4 months of pancreatitis pain!

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I was diagnosed with Pancreatitis in November 2003 after a rock star Thanksgiving weekend in the US. After hospitalization I read up on it and didn't have a flare up until 2009 by which time I'd moved back home to Kenya. Managed it at home by fasting and taking over-the-counter pain-killers. In the intervening time I probably have had an attack once every 2 years or so. Each time I've managed it myself with the pain disappearing in about 4 days max. Well, last November 2017, I got an attack that forced me to get a morphine jab that basically didn't help, fasted for 4 days but didn't heal. I've been in pain for the last 4 MONTHS. Been to a Dr. who ordered an ultrasound (clear) and bloodwork. Serum Amylase at 116.08 which the doctor assures me is high and a definite sign of pancreatitis (I already told her it had to be).

Anyway, I'm at my wits end. Is there any other way to deal with this without fasting myself to death? It's been 4 months of daily pain. I'm reliant on Tramadol daily and this obviously has built up my tolerance and I need more pills most of the time. Was prescribed Dihydrocodeine 30mgs with a rather strict warning not to go beyond the 9 pills prescribed and now i'm done with them but still in pain. I live (on my farm) in a rather rural area and there isn't a local GI specialist, is there anything else I can do before I can get to see a specialist possibly later this month?

Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Don’t wait !!!  I had acute necrotizing pancreatitis last Oct.  spent 3.5 weeks in ICU, numerous hospital visits and 6 procedures to remove dead pancreas.   I only have 50% left of my pancreas left.   Another attack could end my life. 

    You can not live without a pancreas.  Hope your not drinking, AT ALL.  4 months to too long without a diagnosis!! 

    Wishing you the best and get to a specialist.  

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your response Kay. I needed that and I'm now trying to set up an appointment with a specialist in the city as soon as possible.

      Thank you Kay.

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  • Posted

    A CT and/or an endoscopy would show more.  Are you eating a low fat diet, that's very important.  As well eat small amounts several times a day rather than 2 or 3 large meals, your pancreas cannot cope with fatty or large amounts of food (which would be classified as normal amount for everyone else).

    A pancreatitis attack can turn nasty very quickly, even become life threatening, so I'd be making an appointment with a gastroenterologist who specialises in the pancreas immediately.  Try to see the specialist earlier than a month's time.  If you have to wait go to your nearest large training hospital and get checked out.  It might be far away but if your pancreas turns ugly you need to be somewhere where you can be treated and monitored properly.  

    As for pain killers, especially if taken over a long period of time.  Yes there's the possible of dependency issues but there is also the possibility that they can have a paradoxical effect, make the pain worse.  I have this problem and it seems it's not as uncommon as you'd think.  I'm prescribed strong painkillers but don't take them if they don't seem to work, I can't see the point.  I use other methods to cope which help me. Our brain is amazing in many ways but it's also easily tricked. 

    The other thing regarding pain that we tend to forget is that it's the body's way of telling us something is wrong. Painkillers mask the pain maybe but don't eliminate the cause.  That you've had relentless pain for 4 months tells me your body is screaming out to be listened to.  

    You have to decide whether it's more important to be treated immediately and possibly be well enough to run your farm for a long time or become so ill (or worse) that you're unable to, at all.  Good luck steve, make the right decision, your gut knows the answer.  

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your response Reefsider. I definitely needed all the advice. As such, I'm spending today trying to set up an appointment with a specialist in the city as soon as possible. Hopefully someone can see me before the weekend.

      Again, thank you very much

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