Finding it difficult to cope with the persistent pain...

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Hello everyone,

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice! About three weeks ago, I suddenly started experiencing nasty stomach pain - which initially started in the upper centre of my stomach, then spread out to the right-hand side. Over the last few days, I noticed it had spread to my back - again, right-hand side. 

Docs straight away said gallstones, then said they'd book me for an ultrasound. Fast-forward three weeks, and it's been constant pain every day. Some days are manageable, others I struggle. I can hardly eat - I haven't had a proper meal in days and am currently surviving off baked beans, cottage cheese, dry toast and grapes. I've lost quite a bit of weight already - which I couldn't really afford to - given I'm 5ft 6 and now down to 8st 6. I don't want to lose any more! 

Doc did a blood test - all was fine, so no infection. But after this, I felt that they labelled me as an unimportant case - which isn't so good for me having to cope with this daily. 

Apparently I'm 'in the system' for an ultrasound (though they cocked it up to begin with and put me as a routine case - which meant the earliest I could be seen was May - yikes!) but I'm aware that if gallstones are found, it could take months to have surgery, and even then, it might not be successful. 

To be honest, I'm rather concerned. Occasional attacks I can manage, but persistent pain for weeks on end is a daunting prospect, not least if I can't eat. The docs have given me Naproxen (useless) and Tramadol (not much better, just left me spaced out and constipated lol) - and I'm presuming there's not much else they can give me. 

I guess I wanted to ask people - does persistent pain tie in with gallstones? Everything I've read online says that it's occasional pain? i'm worried they're barking up the wrong tree, then I'll have to wait ages again for an endoscopy or whatever other tests they'll need to do.

And is there anything else I can do to relieve the symptoms? It's so miserable!  Thank you x

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I was the same when my symptoms started. Your symptoms do sound like gallstones, I get severe back ache with mine, vomiting and diarrhoea, and pain in the middle of my chest. I had an ultrasound which showed multiple gallstones. I also had flexible sigmoidoscopy and endoscopy. MRI too. Very thorough. My symptoms were frequent at the start but they have petered off to be more infrequent now. I am on the waiting list to have my gallbladder removed in the next few months.

    Hope you get the answers you need soon x

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    • Posted

      Thanks naddynoo - it's consoling to hear that your symptoms became more infrequent - I think if it wasn't constant I'd be able to manage it better! I hope your op goes well. 
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  • Posted

    Hi

    I was diagnosed with Gallstones back in January and am currently on the list for Surgery. My symptoms come in peaks and troughs, I can have weeks of feeling really poorly, constant pain both in tummy and back, feeling nauseus etc .... Then I can go for a couple of weeks of feeling well, apart from a dull ache in my ribs and shoulder blade ( right side ) at the moment I'm having a good week although have began to feel very nauseus this afternoon , hope that's not a bad sign of full blown symptoms returning as I'm on annual leave next week and have things planned with the kids.

    When symptoms are bad I find a hot water bottle comforting and a soak in a warm bath, I find that the painkillers make me feel very groggy, which I don't like so only take if it's unbearable.

    Stick to a low fat diet that really does help, I have also found that if I eat small snacks throughout the day instead of the standard three meals that helps my symptoms greatly.

    Hope you get your scan sorted soon and that your symptoms start to ease, this forum is great for venting and chatting to people who understand what your going through. Take care and keep in touch x

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    • Posted

      Did they say how big the stones are? Get a second opinion also. Save your scan. Sometimes it hurts if the stones are trying to leave the duct. They literally crunch around in there after you eat every time. Stick some real lemon in your juice and try to eat super non fat stuff, almond milk helped me. I was down to chicken and rice eating that only. Smoothies help too. If them stones are small enough to pass I would start a cleanse don't do it unless you find out out they can.
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    • Posted

      Hi sibylan

      They never stipulated a size just said I had several large stones in there.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for taking the time to reply - at present even low-fat foods seem to set me off, maybe I just have to stick to eating little and often as you suggest! Not the most social way to eat when out with family or friends,lol! 

       

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    • Posted

      It really has made a difference to me the past couple of weeks. .... I have also had a family meal to contend with but just ordered a starter to come out with everybody else mains, that way I felt I was joining in and luckily my family understand what I'm going through at the moment so nobody questioned it x
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    • Posted

      That's great that your family understand - I think mine are still incredulous that I don't seem to be able to manage even small portions! 
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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your pain , it's terrible I know . 

    I found I could eat fresh tuna , pitta bread and fruit . 

    I also found that buscapan and codydramol helped with pain , although in respect of the latter some people find that codine doesn't help . If it's very bad you could try and get your GP to prescribe you some oramorph and codine phosphate ( which he may if you've had tramadol ) 

    keep an eye out to make sure that you don't have jaundice , if you do get it then it might mean that a stone is stuck in the bile duct , then I'd go straight to hospital where they will treat  it more seriously ,  because you are jaundiced . 

    Hope some of this helps . 

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  • Posted

    Hi - I have pain all the time and have done since Nov but it is just about bearable most of the time, with bad days. Mine is not typical being focused on the left side and I have constant nausea and stomach bloating, pain all over at times. Can't eat much at all now and feel as if have the flu all the while. But, like you, my tests were generally allright other than a little liver enzyme raise and low Vit D, so yes, you are then not considered urgent, even though I did visit A & E and had paramedics when I had bad turns. They will only consider us urgent if jaundice or other symptoms of infection and obstruction are confirmed. The fact I have left pain always concerns me that it was not gallbladder causing all the symptoms, but I have stones and the Drs think it is triggering off other things and the pain may be referred. Anyway, If your pain is not going and is not manageable, go back to your Drs as others suggest. All the best and hopefully no long delays, if you are in Uk we may have cancelled clinics and surgeries due to the Jnr Drs strikes!
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  • Posted

    After 3 1/2 years of persistant pain in my right side (lower rib cage) that sometimes radiates to my back, I was finally diagnosed with Biliary dyskinesia.  Had to go into Philadelphia (Jefferson) to find a dr. who had a clue.  This was after I needlessly had my gall bladder removed.  I have medication that helps and was told to eat small meals so that my liver is not overwhelmed with too much calories/fat at one time.  When I deviate, I have pain. otherwise it's manageable. Hope this helps
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    • Posted

      Thank you for this information - I've never heard of that condition before, poor you for going through the op unnecessarily. :-(
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  • Posted

    One other thing I've found helpful is a Priobiotic.  I use Florajen3 (it has to be ordered through a pharmacy as it needs to be refrigerated) and GNC Ultra25 Priobiotic Complex with Enzymes.  Hope you can find a dr. that will help you!  If you're near Philly at some point, my dr's name is Dr. Cuckoo (really!) Choudary at Jefferson.  Best wishes.
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  • Posted

    As soon as you have your date for the ultrasound ring them to see if any cancellations I got mine 3 weeks earlier by doing this
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  • Posted

    Doctors love to just stick people on lists for surgerys and not take holistic methods to these kinds of things.

    Back up and think about your eating habits. I know it's hard not to eat out but a lot do, and this is why. Everything is cooked in grease and your consuming it. It's super rare a vegetarian will ever have a gall stone because they are eating properly most likely. Cut out red meats these meats are pumped with antibiotics and other things not healthy.

    You can shrink these stones within time. You need to go on a regime of lemon juices and things to reduce the size of stones . It might be too late if they are a unreal size at this point. Taking your gall bladder out is not a super great idea. I read a lot of boards and facts and I suffered with 5 small ones for a year. I ate nothing but rice and almond milk and lemon juiced it at night. I did the gall bladder cleanse and finally they passed. Do some reading about if you were to get a gall stone where it goes the next time you would be pretty shocked. You will have a lot of bathroom issues. I'm not saying stay away from surgery just beware of what's to become after that .

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