Life With Adhesions

A little blog to help people understand what it is like to live with adhesions!

My Story – Part One

on February 14, 2012

Every adhesion sufferer has a unique and varied story.  I am no exception to that rule.  My story is a somewhat long and winding path of ups and downs.  Sit back and enjoy!

As I alluded to in my first post, I have been on this journey for about 2 years now.  It all started with a nagging pain in my right side and lower right abdomen that just wouldn’t go away.  If my pants were too tight, or if I wore a certain bra that dug into me, by the time I got home from work the pain would be more intense.  I sought medical help from my doctor, who early on suspected that I had adhesions, but I didn’t really know what those were so I didn’t pay much attention to it.  She sent me for labs and a few tests, but everything came back clean. Never-the-less, she still believed that I had adhesions that were causing this pain.

I ended up in the hospital emergency room one time when I came into my doctor’s office in excruciating pain and covered in sweat.  My doctor immediately thought that I was having bowel obstruction and sent me to the ER.  She phoned ahead and talked to the surgeon which helped to get us into the ER quicker.  They sent me for blood work and a CT scan and everything came back normal.  By the time the actual doctor came to see me, the pain was far less intense than it was when we came in.  He came in and from the start was unimpressed with me.  He quizzed me about whether I was having any UTI symptoms and basically dismissed me by saying that I had a low-grade UTI and that I shouldn’t be in so much pain. (Basically that I was faking how much it hurt) The funny thing is, I didn’t have the normal UTI symptoms of frequency and pain when I urinated, but if that’s what the doctor says, that’s what I believe. This was the beginning of the journey of second-guessing doctors. So, I went home and took some antibiotics.  And meanwhile, the surgeon called my family doctor and reamed her out for sending me to the emergency in the first place for a low-grade UTI.  What an ***hole!!!  So, for the next 6-8 months, every month I would end up at my doctor filling a prescription for a UTI because the pain was back.

Then, I put my life on hold for 6 months to a year when we had a close family member going through a health struggle which eventually ended with them passing away.  Somehow, I was able to “forget” about my pain so that I could deal with everything that was going on.  It’s amazing how your body is able to respond to a crisis!!

In January of 2011, my pain intensified again and my doctor started me on pain medications (Tramadol) for the pain.  We started the cycle of tests (blood work, CT scan, ultra sounds, x-rays, etc…) to find out what was going on and rule out the possibility of anything else happening.  My family doctor was becoming more and more convinced that it was adhesions, and I was starting to believe her too.

But how would I have developed adhesions you wonder?You see, about 13 years ago I had my gall bladder removed.  And then about 8 years ago, I had a tilted uterus, so I had a uterine suspension.  Funny enough, exactly where I had those two surgeries is where I was having the pain. Now that I look back, it was all to obvious exactly what was going on – but hindsight is 20/20.

We went through months of ending up in the ER because of the pain and each time becoming more disappointed with our medical system here in Canada.  We would basically sit for 8-10 hours in the ER, waiting for a doctor to grace us with their presence, only to be dismissed, told I was imagining the pain, told the pain wasn’t as bad as I was describing, and told here are some pain meds, go home we can’t do anything for you. We did have some small successes, like the doctor who agreed with my family doctor about the adhesions and helped to speed up the process for an ultrasound (he was able to bump it up to 2 weeks instead of a month).  And the doctor that diagnosed the pain as APNYD (Abdominal pain not yet diagnosed), but told me the important and very valuable information that it was not a UTI and to stop taking the antibiotics.  But, for the most part, the doctors were dismissive, and uninterested in my case.  They wanted to shuffle me off to another doctor or another test, but nobody was willing to take me on and discover what was causing the pain.  I wonder now if they too suspected adhesions, but were unwilling to make that diagnosis because they were unwilling to do anything about them.

The pain worsened and I pushed through at work, but by the time I got home I was in so much pain and so exhausted that I couldn’t make supper and I couldn’t help around the house!

We finally got back all of the test results and thus started my second half of my story…. Stayed tuned to find out what happened next.

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