I'm a 26 year old female. I am 5 ft 7 inches and weigh 146 lbs. I have a history of alcoholism and am a smoker although have extremely cut down on both.
In 2004 I was diagnosed via CT with Appendicitis and Gallstones. The surgeon operated and found no gallstones and no appendicitis. He removed my appendix but left the Gallbladder. The Appendix was sent of to a lab and came back showing a very small carcinoid tumor. I followed up w/ a GI and OBGYN doc and no issue except for an umbilical hernia due to me taking a kick boxing class before being fully healed. That surgery had to be repeated 3 times as it wouldn't heal. I think this one falls on the surgeon. Very young and eventually lost his license for operating while under the influence of alcohol.
I became pregnant in 2006 and developed Gestational Diabetes and Preeclampsia and was put on bed rest at 5 months. I delivered a healthy baby girl vaginally with no complications.
On 11-3-09 I developed a sharp pain in my lower left quadrant. (MY lower left, not yours if you were looking at me) The pain became more and more severe and I ended up in the ER. I was put on Morphine and told that I had a C-Diff infection, although this was proven to be untrue. I had a CT that showed Diverticulitis. They have me antibiotics to treat what they called an acute diverticulitis attack. I was going to be sent home and then things went crazy. My stomach swelled to the size it was when I was 9 months pregnant (belly button poked out and all). I would not allow anyone to touch me as I was in so much pain. Morphine did not take away the pain at all. I had another CT on 11-4-09 that once again showed diverticulitis. The continued w/ Morphine and antibiotics. Additionally I had a sonogram that showed Gallstones and small ovarian cysts. The cysts were considered normal. I stayed in the hospital for 8 days on Morphine. The last procedure was a colonoscopy. It showed Diverticuli and some reddened areas, but nothing major. During my 8 day stay I was prepped for surgery 3 times. My doctors kept telling me they were worried and I can honestly say that I thought I was going to die. After the colonoscopy I felt as though they had given up. I checked myself out of the hospital and was given paid meds to take at home. Something else that I had throughout this whole time was hot flashes that were so terrible they would soak my clothing and making my hair soaking wet.
The pain never returned as severe as it was during my stay, however it never fully improved. I to my OBGYN fearing that I had some sort of cancer and was at first told that I had pelvic inflammatory disease but after seeing my own OBGYN he said there was no way I had that. ( I have no STD's at all) He told me he would do exploratory surgery if the GI doc wouldn't because something was obviously wrong. During that time I also visited two other hospitals ER's. They thought that maybe the pain was gallstones but had some sort of "Gallbladder expert" (hahaha) come in and rule that out. One doctor actually looked at me and told me, "I apologize, but I have no idea what is wrong with you."
I went to the GI doctor who remembered me from the hospital, although I did not remember him. He called the surgeon from the room and sent me there the next day. The surgeon scheduled laparoscopic exploratory surgery.
On November 24, 2009 I checked in to have surgery. I woke up to the surgeon telling me that he removed 3 inches of my transverse colon. (think this is called a Colectomy) There was a hole in my colon all of that time and he mentioned something about my colon attaching to my abdominal wall I think. He said it was in such a weird spot, and due to my age and overall health, that might do some kind of study on it.
Fast forward to December 30 , 2009. I had started having a sharp pain in my upper left quadrant. It was under my rib cage and I compared it to someone taking an ice pick to my abdomen. The pain was a sharp stabbing pain. It hurt more after I ate although this is key here *** The pain was there when I first woke up in the morning, not ONLY after I ate****. Again I was sent for testing. First an ultrasound of my gallbladder showing it packed full of gallstones over half an inch long. Then I had a test done (can't remember the name) where they laid me on a table for 90 minutes. At first they put some kind of fluid that showed up on the pictures. They filled up my gallbladder and then put another fluid in my vein to make it release the fluid. Both went fine. I did feel a little bit of pressure once the fluid was being released which led them to decide to remove my gallbladder.
On January 3, 2009 I had my gallbladder removed via laproscopic surgery. It is now two weeks to the day of my surgery and I STILL have pain in my upper left abdomen. It is normally a dull pain when I just sit but when breathing deep it becomes a sharp pain that once again, feels like an ice pic under my rib cage. The pain is still made worse after I eat. It lasts for hours at a time. Not only this but I have pain in my lower left quadrant where the piece of my colon was removed if I have to have a bowel movement and shortly after I have a bowel movement. When things move through my colon it literally feels like a big mass trying to make it's way down a tiny tube. I go from being constipated to having diarrhea. My stool looks to be slightly green in color and sometimes is kind of "fatty" looking. (broken into loose pieces, lightly colored, etc). I have recently stopped taking all pain medication and I feel everything. The lower left quadrant pain, upped left quadrant pain, and the upper right quadrant pain from the removal of my gallbladder. I experienced hot flashes and cold chills last night. This morning I had cold chills so bad that I had three blankets on, a hat, hoodie, and winter jacket on inside my house with the thermostat at 73 degrees. It took me over 4 hours to warm up. I have no energy and I keep having anxiety attacks (one that lasted for 1 1/2 hours) where my heart feels like it is beating out of my chest, it becomes hard to breathe, and I become nauseous. I do have a history of anxiety and I take a very low dose of Klonopin nightly. Last night I awoke with abdominal pain and a panic attack. I have not had a true panic attack in probably two years until this all began.
I read another post where a woman had the same issue w/ the Diverticulitis and then had it in her upper left quadrant. I believe she went on to have even more surgery. I wonder about an issue with my pancreas but I would have thought that they would have noticed something with the multitude of testing that has been done. I have a follow up appointment with my surgeon tomorrow, who I trust by the way. My condition seems to baffle everyone.. and I mean everyone. I have lost around 4 lbs since this all began.
Please let me know if this sounds familiar to you and share your experience. I'm looking for someone who actually found a way out of this. I am married, work full time (bread winner) and my daughter is almost 2 years old. I need to feel good and be healthy for myself and for others around me. This is my official cry for help.
Thank you in advance.