Here's my story from start to finish. (Brace yourself
After I had my 2nd child I started getting this weird buring pain at times after eating which would start in that soft little part just under and in the centre of the "hoop" part of my ribs. It would come on suddenly and with no warning and then burn like crazy and seemed to travel up my esophagous and then I would vomit. After vomiting I would feel bloated and sore through my chest and back and that feeling would continue throughout the day and often I would vomit again. This was stressful with a 3 week baby crying to be fed whilst I lay over the toilet feeling like I would die! After a couple of days of this I went to the doctor and saw a locum which is possibly where it all went wrong. The locum did not ask me many questions and now that I know what I know I can't believe she wasn't a bit concerned by the vomiting. She diagnosed reflux and put me on Rantidine (Zantac). This seemed to work, I don't know why.
The attacks went away and then resurfaced when I was pregnant with child number 3. I went back to the doctor and said to him that I was having trouble with reflux again. This time it was my doctor and my mistake (now that I have 20/20 vision) was saying I was having reflux. I should have told him my symptoms and then asked what it could be and got him to investigate. But because I said I had reflux he again put me on Zantac because I said it worked last time.
Over the course of the next 3 years I had these attacks intermitedly and trotted back and forth to the doctors always saying to them that I had reflux. When Zantac stopped working they tried another drug (can't remember what that was called) then Losec, then Pantoprazole plus I used to practically drink gaviscon trying to sooth the burning. Up until the beginning of this year the attacks had settled into a nighttime pattern where I would be woken by burning pain, I would quickly down some gaviscon and hope that it was enough to avoid being sick. Most of the time it seemed to have worked.
Then in March this year things really started to go wrong. The attacks started becoming more frequent and more severe. I was vomiting several times a day and was down to eating soup and fruit and still they were coming up. I lost 5 kilos in 4 weeks which I thought was pretty alarming. I went back to the doctor and got a different one since my doctor was busy and said to him what else could this be. He asked me to show him where the pain was and when I did he said but heartburn pain does not occur that low down it occurs in the middle of your chest. Then he asked does your back hurt too when you get this burning? Yes Yes Yes. Then I think you may have gallstones. He sent me off for a blood test and booked me in for an ultrasound and gave me some strong painkillers to take when the pain started. This all occured on a Wed. The blood test that day showed my pancreatic function to be 69. All ok he said now we wait for the scan. Please don't eat dairy foods or fatty foods in the meantime. On the Sun night I went to bed feeling weird my tummy felt tight. I was expecting to have another night of attacks so had my painkillers at the ready. I woke at about
2:30am with a very nagging persisent pain all along the righthand side of my tummy and raidiating up to that hoop part of my ribs again. Himmm that's sore and weird I thought. Took a tablet and tried to go back to sleep. After a couple of hours the pain was getting worse and worse and I considered calling the ambulance. But like an idiot I thought I wasn't sick enough. Somehow got through the night and got the morning routine done and got the girls off to school and then headed to doctors. By this time I couldn't walk straight I had to walk crouched. I walked in and the receptionist said Oh my god what's wrong with you (She does know me personally). I told her I felt very bad so she said sit down you aren't going any where. I was examined and sent for an urgent blood test which showed my pancreatic function to be 994! At those results the doctor said quite seriously You are in trouble I am admiting you to hospital you have acute pancreatitis. It was a relief and a panic at the same time.
Spent a week in hopsital recovering from the pancreatitis and had an ultrasound which showed a gallstone blocking my common bile duct and causing the pancreatitis and a gallballder packed full of stones and sand. They did an endoscopy to get rid of the blocked stone and then I was booked in to have my gallbladder removed the following month. Gallbladder was removed and then it was life back to normal.
However in a post script
to the whole saga I ate some chocolate one day a few weeks ago and was woken in the night with a gallbladder like attack!!! Back to the doctor and another blood test and scan. Turns out there is a left over stone in one of my ducts that has to be removed. I have an appt with my surgeon next week to discuss removal of this one.
It's been quite an adventure but the one thing I am thankful about
, is that it forced me to make changes in my diet which at the time I hated and rebelled against and did under extreme protests! However I am now at peace with my diet and like the things I eat now and mostly don't miss my old diet. I used to love KFC and MacDonalds but now I wouldn't thank you for any of that. I have learnt a lot about
food and supplements and feel I am healthier for it. I still do eat takeaways and sugar and fat every now and then but find I don't enjoy them quite as much as I used to.
It will be very interesting when they do scan your gallbladder. I was like you the drugs seemed to work for me for a while but now that I look back they probably "worked" because after I had attacks I didn't feel like eating so would just eat fruit and light things which would have been giving my gallbladder a break thus no attacks so it would seem the drugs were working. At the beginning of this year however nothing was working and I was desperate. I spent hours on the internet researching reflux and remedies and trying them all and it was so frightening and depressing.
Donna if things work for you then I say go for it. I've read of lots of people on here having great success with the DGL (I'm in New Zealand and it's very hard to get that here) so keep at it if it works. My theory with the supplements is that they are not going to do any harm (providing you are not taking bucket loads of them) so you might as well give them a try. I simply love camomile tea it's such a relaxing tea as well as being good for digestion so if you like it drink it happily. Sorry this is so looooong. Hope your eye's haven't burnt out