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I wanted to share with you a story about my wife who had her galbladder removed. She is experiencing consistent aching pains in the RUQ which has been extremely limiting for her. Every doctor we have visited either thinks we are crazy or tries to refer us to someone else who also is of no help. We have practically lost faith in the entire medical system. I wanted to share with you our story and hopefully find someone on here who has had success, if that's even possible. If you have a doctor you could recommend, that would be fantastic.
We got married in June of 2015. Everything was perfect. We just bought the house of our dreams together in hopes we would someday have our own family. Then life threw us a lot of lemons....
Sometime in the beginning of August she became sick. It all started with her feeling fatigued, lathargic, and nausious. She would hardly eat anything and she never seemed hungry. This went on for months and I knew something was wrong. Between the months of August to October, she had lost almost 20 pounds without exercising or doing anything. She is 26 years old and 5 feet tall weighing in at around 110 her normal body weight. It got so bad that normal household chores were too much for her. Doing simple things like folding her own pile of laundry or going out to the grocery store with me became very challenging tasks for her. This is very different for us because we have always been the type of people on the 'go'. We are always active and doing things. A typical weekend for us would be spending 10 hours straight doing DIY house project stuff which is drastic considering now she can't even dedicate more than 1 hour at a time. I have basically been watching my wife deterioriate in front of me just only a few months into our marriage. I have had to become a caretaker and do everything else that she is no longer able to do. All she can do is literally sit on a couch and watch tv all day. Our active lifestyle has completely changed because of this. During these months we have been seeing numerous doctors, all of who had no answers and was the biggest waste of time and effort.
Then sometime in October she started vomiting uncontrollably and hadn't eaten for days. So I brought her to the ER and they had no clue what was going on. They gave her fluids and anti-nausea meds and sent her home. Her vomitting was under control for 1 week.
One week later, we are sitting on the couch watching a show on Netflix and she starts having her lunch which consisted of some pasta with olive oil. Not even 15min later she is on the floor screaming in pain. I thought she was having a heart attack. So I took her to the ER and the doctors had no clue what was going on. They ordered an ultrasound and a cat scan, both were normal. They put her on Dilauded which seemed to help temporarily. She was admitted into the hospital for 5 days while the doctors ordered test after test and got nowhere. Everyone thought we were crazy and started telling us that she needed pain management help and a psychiatric evaluation. I fought with them to keep her in the hospital and was the most stressful time of my life. She hadn't eaten in 5 days and the pain was not subsiding. She was shaking and couldn't stand, I thought she was dieing. They finally ordered a HIDA scan and found that her galbladder was functioning at 0%. They had the galbladder removed on October 15th and she was sent home the next day.
Everything seemed to finally be looking up. She was dealing with her recovery pains from the surgery and after a few days she started to get her strength back. She asked to go on short walks with me and started to get her appetite back. She was on a low fat diet and followed her orders from the doctor.
Two weeks later, the day after Halloween she comes down with this sharp pain in the RUQ. She described it as a band that wrapped around to her back and then up to her upper right shoulder. It was a stabbing pain similar to her galbladder pain, except this time the pain lasted for a few hours. It's the type of pain that drops you to your knees and takes your breath away. Thankfully, her followup appointment with her surgeon was the next day so she just took some narcotic pain meds and rode the pain out.
The surgeon said that it could be Sphinker of Oddi, but in order to do anything about it you would need elevated liver and pancreas enzymes in your blood tests. She had her blood tested and everything was normal. So he referred us to a gastroentrologist.
While we were waiting for a month just to get the appointment, she had two more attacks similar to the one she had the day after Halloween. They would eventually pass but then she was left with this dull aching pain in her RUQ that is consistent and is always there. We told the gastroentrologist all of this, and he gave her Bentyl and urged us to wait until her next attack and get her blood tested immediately. He also ordered a gastric emptying study be done to rule out other issues but the study was normal.
Another month goes by, we are in the beginning of January now and she did not have another one of those attacks. She has this constant dull ache that will not let up. It limits everything that she does. Our lives are on hold right now, she cannot be active and cannot do anything other than sit in a chair. She sleeps in a recliner at night because it's the only position that makes her comfortable. She operates on 3-4 hours of sleep per night because she is in pain.
We saw another gastroentrologist for a second opinion and he said that her pain could be caused from gastritis or sphinker of oddi. He prescribed her Carafate and Welchol. He also said that it's unlikely that anyone would do an ERCP without elevated liver enzymes. I asked him if it would be possible to do a Botox injection and he told me that it's unlikely that anyone would do that. I read an interesting research article on PubMed here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9865560 but he didn't seem to buy it. So he then referred us to someone else who specializes in ERCP's for sphinker of oddi. We are in the process of getting that appointment. The medicine she is on now doesn't seem to be helping, although it has only been 5 days.
We are running out of options here. I have done all the research that I can think of for SOD and Gastritis. I was hopeful that a Botox injection would at least be a significant clue, but I keep getting turned down by it. This has put our lives on hold and there has to be a reason behind why she is in so much pain all of the time.
If anyone has advise about what treatment options worked for them or anyone has a great recommendation of a doctor, please let us know. I want a doctor that will fight to figure out what is going on and won't just pawn us off to someone else, while we wait another month or two to get an appointment. Time will not fix this.
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