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Avatar universal

My husband has been through the ringer

Hi everyone,

Warning:  This may be a bit of a long post, but I'll try to condense it as much as I possibly can.  My husband is 43 years old.  He is a diabetic, overweight, and is treated for hypertension.  One day way back in the spring of 2006, my husband developed pretty severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.  At first, we thought it was just a stomach bug.  We had just gotten home from visiting his mother out of state and had been eating out a lot and we thought maybe he ate something that didn't agree with him, so we kind of blew it off as that.  However, when he didn't get any better at all, we headed to the ER.  He had several lab tests done and his lipase was through the roof.  It was pancreatitis (note, my husband does NOT drink alcohol).  The PA then did a bedside ultrasound (I was right there during this), which showed several gallstones.  They prescribed him pain medication and an antiemetic and sent him home.  He eventually felt better.  To make a very long story short, ever since 2006, he has gotten a flare-up of pancreatitis about once a year.  However, during all of his subsequent flare-ups, his amylase and lipase were always totally normal, but his triglycerides were always through the roof, which triggered the pancreatitis.  In fact, 2 years ago, he ended up getting septic from a pancreatic cyst that burst.  He had to go to a hospital out of town who could help him and he ended up having several ERCPs and bile duct stents that summer and they finally discovered that there were several old stones lodged deep in his bile duct.  They were so old that they were discolored.  The gastroenterologist said they had clearly been there for years.  He removed them and dilated his bile duct.  Finally, after that procedure, he was fine for the next 2 years...until these past few weeks.  A few weeks ago, he started getting many signs and symptoms that are TEXTBOOK for gallbladder.  Pain shooting into his right shoulder and back, nausea and occasional vomiting after eating, and he even developed a UTI a week ago.  While my husband was at work, I spoke to his primary care doctor and essentially demanded that they order a HIDA scan with ejection fraction.  He did this and also referred him to a local gastroenterologist, whom he saw last week a couple of days before Thanksgiving.  This gastroenterologist FINALLY put all of the pieces of this nearly 10-year puzzle together.  He told us that his dysfunctional gallbladder is what is most likely causing his triglycerides to get so high, which then triggers pancreatitis.  He even read in the notes from the out of town gastroenterologist from 2 years ago that he should have had his gallbladder out ASAP, but his primary care has blown him off for years regarding his gallbladder and always just kept telling him that "something else had to be going on" because his amylase and lipase were always normal when he had severe abdominal pain, yet his triglycerides were always significant elevated.  My husband has explained to his PCP that this is how his pancreatitis always presents (both my husband and I work in healthcare), but his doctor always says "Well, it's not pancreatitis as I know it since your amylase and lipase are normal, so something else has to be going on" but he never had any idea what that "something else" was.  The new gastroenterologist canceled the HIDA scan since it won't tell him what he needs to know and because he is going to remove his gallbladder regardless, so the HIDA scan will be a complete waste of time and money.  Instead, he scheduled him for an upper endoscopy this Thursday and an abdominal MRI on Friday to check his pancreas.  He also thinks my husband may have a "lazy stomach" and a metabolic syndrome like his mother had (another thing his PCP has always blown off).  This gastroenterologist was just floored that it has been nearly a decade of dealing with this and no one has taken his gallbladder out.  He even said we probably have a good malpractice case!  He said that my husband also should have been referred to a weight loss specialist and a pain specialist many years ago, which he is going to do.  However, over this past weekend, my husband got worse.  He started developing severe chest pain, felt feverish, and had very bad, shivering chills, even though it was 75 degrees in our house.  Finally, yesterday morning (Monday), he couldn't take it anymore and went to the ER, where he pretty much immediately ended up being admitted.  They have done a full cardiac workup just to ensure that his chest pain is not cardiac-related.  His EKGs and troponins have all been normal; however, his magnesium was critically low at only 1, so they repleted that with IV magnesium yesterday and last night and this morning, his blood pressure became very hypotensive.  The last they checked, it was 90/45, WAY too low, especially for someone of his size.  I know that magnesium can have some vasodilator effects, so could this be causing his significant hypotension?  His systolic is usually in the high 130s.  He just got back from having a Lexiscan stress test and we are waiting for the results of that, which I suspect will be normal.  We are almost 100% convinced that his chest pain is gallbladder-related.  In fact, my my grandfather had the exact same thing, where he thought he was having an MI, but it turned out to be gallbladder-related.  I am at home worried sick about him.  Has anyone been through this before?  What should we expect from hereon out?  We don't know how much longer he will be kept in the hospital.  He is supposed to have his upper endoscopy on Thursday.  Any advice, reassurance, and suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!  I'm a worried sick wife!
2 Responses
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hoping that the endoscopy went well and provided some insight as to what is going on. If there is new information that you can share, we maybe able to help.
17201068 tn?1454531830
My 12 yr old daughter is going thru great pains and discomfort 5 months after she had her gallbladder removed, She called me from school telling me she had pain on her right side and it goes to her back, sometimes she felt like a gallgladder attack. After each pain flare her liver enzymes were extremely elevated.  Her Gastroenterologyst suggested an ERCP, but it was risky. No stones were found in her bile duct. So he suggested she may have ODI. After the ERCP she contracted pneumonia and was in the hospital for 8 days. She has missed so much school and now that she is back, sometimes she calls me and tells me she still gets pain on her right side. In the forums I found out she may have postcholecystectomy syndrome, so following the natural path, I found people taking  a supplement called "Jarrow Bile Acid Factors" and the reviews are very positive from people suffering this chronic illness. I will try the bile acid factors and see if this finally helps her feel less miserable. I wish you the best.
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