All I can say is holy crap.
It was great to find stories that totally goes against the emergency room doctor who just last night made me feel like I was just over stressed or exaggerating. So many of your stories could have been mine, but Clarebear you stopped me cold with your "...When I speak to my doctor about the spasms they look at me is if I'm talking another language... Mine also start as a strange feeling in the top of my stomach which feels like you're hungry and within minutes escalate into muscle spasms across my diaphram, through to my back and down and across my abdominal muscles, and I start to sweat (I've always assumed due to the pain) and can't breath properly. I am also sick sometimes and have at one point thought I was going to pass out as the pain was unbearable. I don't know where to put myself as no position takes the pain away.... sometimes for up to about 2 hrs. The next day I feel as if I've been run over by a truck as my whole body aches, and I am absolutely shattered...."
It hit bad about 2 hours after I went to sleep. My poor 16 yr old daughter drove me to the ER, which did tests for my heart, liver, pancreas, and found nothing.
I too have had my gallbladder removed, but don't know if that means much.
Thank you for this site and hopefully some of your suggestions will help me too.