39yo Male. Pretty healthy and fairly active.
Quit smoking 17 years ago cold turkey (my daughter was about to be born). Have since smoked "other things"....well, one specific thing to be certain. Drink on occasion, but not a heavy every day drinker.
For the past few months, I have been trying to get to the bottom of what has been ailing me. First I thought that I had colon cancer, which made for a very stressful December when 2 out of 3 occult blood tests were positive for blood. After the colonoscopy result came back as normal, I was very relieved and thought I was out of the woods. But around that same time I started feeling dizzy every day, as well as a slight tremor in my hands. I would wake up feeling like I had a couple of beers and this feeling would last all day. The shakiness reminds me of when my blood sugar would be low. I am not diabetic, but it has happened once or twice in my life. Stress definitely makes this worse. Looking down and then up quickly also exacerbates it. I thought that this symptom was probably a "post traumatic" side-effect from all of the stress I put myself through thinking I was going to die for a month straight.
So began the hunt for why I was dizzy/shaky all the time. I had my brain scanned which was ordered by my neurologist. That came back OK. Vertigo tests (VNG) did not show signs of vertigo. Then I I thought there was Cancer in my femur because of deep pain I was feeling there. Yes, I might be a hypochondriac.
Since about mid February, I noticed that I had a dull ache in the left side of my back, about half way up. At that time I started reading about this complaint online (bad idea) and started to panic because of some similarities in the whole catalog of symptoms I was experiencing at the time.
I noticed that my stools were lighter than normal, and tended to float more often than not. I would say my stools were roughly the same color as peanut butter (good luck eating that now...)....somewhere between yellow and brown....almost an orange/brown.
The consistency of the stools was never that of diarrhea, usually well-formed....but soft. I would notice the smell as rather nasty as well. When I would flush, the stool would disintegrate into a cloud of fecal matter before exiting....like a puff of brown smoke. I started to look more closely at my stools in the toilet and noticed that there is a clear film of what looks like oil on the surface. My fears were growing at that point.
Also, I noticed upper left/center abdominal ache/discomfort in addition to the dull back ache.
I went back to the same Gastro that handled my colonoscopy back in December, and advised him of my concerns. He ordered another round of blood work (previously also done in November). He ordered a CBC, Metabolic panel, Amylase, Lipase, Hepatic panel, CA-19, and a few others. All bloodwork came back normal. At that time he also ordered a Fecal Fat test (Quantitative - 1 sample) and it came back as "increased", which basically means...."Yes, there's fat in your stool". He ordered a "Pancreatic protocal CT scan with and without contrast". This was normal.
Around this time I started to develop a weird metallic taste in my mouth. Worse after eating. Concerned about malabsorption, he ordered a blood test to check for fat soluble vitamins A, E, D, B12....I don't think he checked K. Anyway, everything was ok except for vitamin D which was a little below the low-level....25.4. (It has been a long winter here in the northeast and perhaps that is why my level is a tad low). The doctor felt maybe it would be a good idea to perform an endoscopy to check out my upper end (since the lower end was already checked). He found a mild case of "duodenitis" and prescribed Nexium.
Since a couple of weeks ago, I have noticed the upper abdominal pain even more and feel the connection between my front and back as almost one in the same. Pain sometimes goes around the side too, and it seems like my left shoulder is now involved.
So my concern is, is it possible for the CT scan to miss something? My impression is that if you have pain that is coming from something sinister within your pancreas, it would certainly be large enough to be detected on a CT scan designed to look at the pancreas.
I feel a lot more fatigued over the past couple of weeks. I have been experiencing fatigue for a while now, but it seems to be worse. Coupled with the dizziness it is unpleasant to say the least.
All symptoms still exist.
• Lighter stools (sometimes they float and other times they sink all the way down)
• Persistent oil film on surface. It's clear and sometimes hard to see. It's not like a bottle of Wesson was dumped in there, but its definitely an oil slick.
• Pain in upper left abdomen / side / back / shoulder. Seems worse lately and definitely worse after eating, usually a 1/2 hour or so after....not sure if fat content has anything to do with the pain. It might.
• Metallic taste (I have no idea why, but have read some pretty alarming causes for this)
• Dizzy / buzzed feeling
• Tired a lot
• Serious anxiety
• Obsessed about what is wrong with me. Can't think of anything else.
• No loss in weight
• No loss in appetite
• No nausea
• No jaundice
• so far lab results have been favorable.
• Dr is confident it is not cancer. I wish I was confident too....
Just wanted to get some thoughts on what I might be looking forward to.....