Severe nausea and dry heaves with severe back pain
Please help me with some ideas about what to do. My 15 y.o. stepdaughter is in hospital for 8 days now, with both severe back pain AND severe nausea that causes strong whole body dry heaves, sometimes for 1.5 hours, even with IV meds. Doctors are unable to diagnose her, and ready to send her home, but she is sooooo sick....I really need help, please!
The back pain started last Tuesday, shortly after vomiting from some stomach upset of unknown origin. Her nausea and dry heaves CAN co-incide with her back pain "episodes", but she can get severe nausea even when her back pain is well controlled with the meds, so, it is not necessarily due to the pain.
The back pain is mostly low back, though sometimes can go as far up as mid-thoracic level.. Only high dose morphine or percocet controls it, and even then, if she stands up it triggers a pain "episode". These episodes can last 30 mins to 3 hours, of wailing, sobbing, rocking back and forth, screaming, crying, gasping for breath, and constant dry heaving. It is truly horrific to watch. These episodes are getting more and more intense as time goes on, even on Valium. Drinking lots of water, and urination seem to help manage the pain as well. (Up to 4 gallons a day, plus her IV).
Her nausea has no rhyme or reason. It can come and be mild, causing belching and light heaves for 15 mins, or be severe and cause violent vomiting, and spitting up of pink phlegm for 1.5 hours. Timing of eating or type of food doesn't seem to factor into the equation.
She's been on IV Morphine (switched to Percocet today), antibiotics (because at first they thought kidney infection), Valium (because she is very freaked out about being so sick and having so much pain), Zofran and Zantac for 8 days. She has a history of stomach ulcers.
All X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI's and CT scans are normal looking. Nothing out of ordinary in blood work. Kidney stones, kidney infection, ectopic pregnancy, ovarian or gynecological problems, meningitis, or any type of bacterial infection have all been ruled out.
MRI shows slight bulge of disc at L4-L5 in toward the spinal cord, but she has no pain or dysfunction in her legs, and her pain patterns aren't consistent with spinal stenosis or herniated disc at that level. In fact, if lying down, she can twist, hyperextend, flex fully, and laterally bend, without problem.
They have done a psych eval, without any unusual findings. But they've not done a GI work-up yet, except for the CT scans with contrast.
She is unable to stand up without severe back pain, so she is in diapers and we lift her onto a portable toilet. This is a normal 15 y.o. high school sophomore, in marching band and very social. It is so hard to believe she is so sick so fast, and no one can tell us what is wrong.
Any insights as to how these two symptoms could be related, or any info about what kind of disease this could be would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
My Dad is also getting severe back pain so bad he could barely stand up at times. It began as a dry heave about 1-2 months ago. He is 80 years old, so the doctors said Arthritis at first. Then an x-ray and they said buildup on cartilage on his back bone. He is at the hospital again. They keep giving him pain medication, but nothing to breakup the buildup.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.