My apologies (or perhaps we ALL needed a break?), but I just needed a brief break from blogging. Sometimes I prefer not to blog because putting it in writing (if it's something negative) makes me feel even worse. But I also understand the great value in forcing myself to do so.
So, let me catch you up. After I saw the oncologist (who cleared me of any cancer), my old abdominal pain began to surface on a low level--the very night after I saw the oncologist. It was not nearly as severe as it had been, but it was odd that it had been totally gone and then began to return. I felt it on my runs on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Again, not horrible...but there. And I feel it at rest, too.
On Sunday, after my run, we had Amelia's birthday party. I noticed, as I was getting ready for the party, that the pain was quite bad. It was much worse than when on the run. I tried to ignore it, but by the end of the party I could hardly stand it. It was on the right side, just under my rib cage. I finally sat down (I was trying to help clean up) and the pain then became unbearable. I am not exaggerating when I say it was worse than natural child birth. I immediately burst into tears and what happened after that is fuzzy. I know that I started vomiting and Tim took me to the ER. I couldn't make it to Bloomington due to the severity of the pain, so we went to Bedford (BRMC...now IU Health Bedford). All I could do was hold my side and tell them how much pain I was in. I thought something was going to burst. I honestly thought I might be dying.
It seemed like forever...but they got me to a room relatively quickly. My nurse was wonderful. I was puking all over the place, writhing in pain...and she stayed cool. The doctor came in and started asking me all kinds of questions. I was in so much pain I could hardly answer. Finally the nurse asked if she could please give me some pain medicine. He finally said yes. That's all that was on my mind: stop the pain, stop the pain, stop the pain. She started an IV and gave me some Dilaudid--my first time ever having it IV. I've administered a LOT of IV Dilaudid, so I knew it was good stuff..but wow, it is GOOD stuff. My pain went from a 10/10 to a 1-2/10 in about 30 seconds. At this point, I (and Tim and the nurse) was convinced it had to be my gallbladder--the severe pain, the nausea, vomiting, and the fact that it was in my right upper quadrant.
The doctor came in and told me that he thought it was an anxiety attack. Really? Since when does anxiety HURT? I told him that it was not. Then he said that my pain was not typically where the gallbladder causes pain. Again...REALLY? I explained to him that I've had pain in that general area for 9+ months, but never this severe. He then said: "Oh, so it's a chronic problem." I tried to explain that, yes, it is, but I've been doing to much better...and I've never had this pain. At this point, my pain was even coming back some. I had a CT scan and an X-ray, and when I got back she gave me another shot of Dilaudid. And the doctor was still there. "So this chronic pain, are you on pain medicine?" I told him no. "Maybe you should be." I told him no, it's not that kind of pain and I have two kids and can't be on pain medicine.
"Does the pain interfere with your ability to do your job?" I explained that I am able to do my job, but that I'm very uncomfortable all the time, or that I was when the pain was bad. He didn't understand why I would even bring up the pain if I could still work. Then he said it. You probably know what's coming. He said...."It's probably a muscle strain from your pregnancy." I was outraged. I pointed to Rowan, who was on Tim's lap, and said "He is 10 MONTHS OLD. It is not a muscle strain!" He again went on about how it doesn't really affect my life. I burst into tears (Dilaudid will help that along) and explained that I'm a distance runner, my life has been greatly affected, and my quality of life is in the toilet. He looked at me as though I had three eyes. I tried to explain the concept of quality of life...but again it was lost on him.
My CT and x-ray were normal (as I knew they would be--always have been). He explained this and told me to just follow up with my family doctor tomorrow. I told him I'd fired my family doctor. So he told me to follow up with my surgeon, whom he kept referring to as "he." This infuriated me even further. The mere fact that he was assuming the surgeon who helped me was a "he" made me livid. I corrected him--countless times--but he never seemed to grasp that. He went on and on and ON about how this was a chronic problem, likely psychological in nature...my nurse spoke up saying it wasn't, but he ignored her. It was clear he wasn't going to help me beyond killing the pain (which he clearly didn't believe existed)...and that's all I really needed from him. He kept talking, but I stopped listening. I just kept saying "Okay." Finally, he left.
I was given one more dose of Dilaudid before leaving. My pain was much better, but I remained nauseated and was vomiting when I got home. I went promptly to sleep and woke up the next morning feeling VERY hungover. And my "old" pain was back. Just the constant ache in my side. I was just...at a loss.
What happened? The "attack" I had after Amelia's party is something new. But the dull ache in my side is not. When I saw the oncologist, he and the med student both examined my abdomen by pressing on it...and since then I've had some pain...is it possible that just that mechanical movement got the peritoneum all inflamed again? I don't know. And I don't even know if the attack (which seems pretty classic gallbladder) has anything to do with the other pain. I just know that, once again, I need help.
I'm seeing Dr. Jones next week (she is on vacation). So far, I've been eating mostly clear liquids, and the pain has been much better. I had a very good run on Tuesday (10 miles with little to no pain)...except that I'm weak from not eating. So...as much as I hate to type this...I'm still dealing with something. I don't know what it is, but I'm desperate for it to please go away. I don't enjoy the pain, nor do I enjoy existing on broth and gummy bears.
In other news...Amelia did have a great party. And I had a great job interview today. So many things are going well...I just want to feel like my old self for a sustained amount of time. I write this next sentence more for myself than anyone else: I refuse to give up until I feel normal.