tight band under ribcage top of stomach please help
I am a 42 year old female and have never had any health problems until a year ago. It has been one thing after another or possibly one thing with multiple symptoms. All I know is I don't know how much longer I can handle this. I need some relief fast. I have a band that runs across the top of my stomach and directly under my rib cage. It feels for lack of better terms, sucked in, it is not really pain but still very dibilitating. It is at its worst when I sit or lay down. I also have this on my right side while I am lying down on my left side. It is in the area that sinks in like on an hourglass. It feels as if it is being pulled inward. The area at the top of my stomach almost feels trapped or frozen. Sometimes while I am sitting at the computer and I turn the upper half of my body to the right or left it feels like the whole middle section of my stomach is just frozen in place. As I said I have had nothing wrong with me for the majority of my life but 15 months ago I started having difficulty with my legs feeling very heavy and back pain in the mid back thoracic section. I had some numbness in a small area of my face or maybe not numbness because I could still feel it when I touched it but a strange sensation of tightness to it. I went to a doctor who sent me to a neurologist who did an MRI. the MRIS shoed a disc protrusion at t7 and a slight bulge at c4/5 and the beginning of a bone spur. The neuro said that the spine was actually curving outward to go arounf the bulging disc at t7 and put me on gabapentin. I called him back 2 weeks later in tears from the pain and he prescribed hydrocodone but I can't take that. It knocks me out makes me feel strange. I just went back to my regular doctor who has slowly taken my up to 2400 mg of gabapentin per day. I take it 600 mg 4 times per day. I never really discussed with the nero about the band at the stomach but I talked with my regular doc who said I had COPD and sent me to a pulmonologist who said i had moderate emphysema but that it would not cause anything with the stomach area on the side or at the top of my stomach. He said it sounded neurological. The pulmonologist sent me to have a sinus scan and a barrium swallow to find that i had reflux and items sticking in the esophagus. So I was sent to a gastro dr. Who did an endoscopy and said I had Barrett's and severe reflux. Although I had never felt heartburn in my life. She put me on nexium. Within a week I started having heartburn feelings that lasted all day, food that would stick in my esophagus and then literally pop back up into my mouth 2-3 minutes after I had swallowed it. She said I would had to have had severe reflux for years for it to have caused Barretts. I asked her how it was possible to have had it so severe and never have felt anything until now. And I asked if it was possible to have had the reflux only start and that it was just so severe that it caused the barretts. She said no that it took years to cause Barretts. I asked her just like I asked the pulmonologist about the stomach band and she said the same as the pulmonologist that is sounded like a neurological problem. I went back to my regular dr and told her that the pulmo and gastro said it sounded neurological and she said she was not going to send me for anymore testing or back to the neurologist. This all took place over about 6 months and so I just gave up since the doctor would not do anymore. I can't just make an appointment with a neurologist or pulmonologist I have to have my regular doc refer me. In the last month my back pain has become severe. The pain in the mid back and now severe pain in the shoulders and neck. When the pain gets really severe my arms have a tingling to them as do some of the fingers on my left hand. The top front of my thighs have an odd sensation and they feel slighly heavy or as if I am trying to walk in water or mud.
If the band on my stomach is caused by a neurological problem I thought that it would only be a "sensation" of a band, however this makes it difficult to breathe when I lay down and actually really feels sucked in even though not visible. I t has an ache to it that is slight. As if I have overused is the only way I know to describe how it feels. I think half of my problem is not being able to describe the problem correctly. The way I view something is not the way a doctor may view it so I need a better way of explaining my symptoms.
What should I do? Please help me. I just don't know how much more I can possibly handle with this pain and this band? Thanks so much in advance for your help.
A word of advice, when you are going to a doctor never tell them what the other doctor concluded (e.g. that it is neurological) or what you think it is, especially if the conclusion sounded like a guess. Keeping your mouth closed helps the next doctor's mind stay open, gets them thinking, and may in the end help faciliate them figuring out what's wrong with you.
I happen to think that since it is a total mystery at this point, you just need someone to get to work on figuring it out, and there is not a good reason at this time to think you need to see a neurologist or pulmonologist in particular.
You have a very serious problem. The things that your doctors are giving you treatments for are not the source of your problem (slipped disk, acid reflux) but are lesser problems.
You have to find what "it" is that is causing the strange and unusual abdominal sensations pain and discomfort, top of thighs, and numb arms.
Don't be afraid to fire your doctor if he/she isn't getting you help. Go to a new general physician. or go to two different new ones without telling each about the other.
If they all fail you, walk yourself into the ER and tell them you want an exam because you just can't take it anymore. If you had no health problems until a year ago (copd and emphysema are serious, though), and suddenly you have all these issues..use your common sense that something is very wrong. Don't let doctors try to rob you of your common sense with their professional opinions.
Lots of serious illnesses go undiagnosed especially in people who talk alot during a doctor visit - unfortunately these people are oftentimes taken less seriously.
Thanks so much for your input. Unfortunately I am stuck with this doctor until thte end of the year due to insurance issues. The COPD is pretty bad so I do indeed need to go to him and I have to continue going to the gastro due to the Barretts and the food popping back up into my mouth. I am new to the forums and posting and all this stuff so I apologize for not responding sooner. I wanted to try and get my info that I put on yesterday to a dr here but am uncertain as to how to do that. Hopefully what I have put on here will be seen by one. Thanks again and have a good week.
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