My Abdominal Pain Story: The Onset

Hello all! I hope you’re having a pain free day. For today’s post,  I feel that since I am going to the Mayo Clinic soon, I should explain how this abdominal pain got started, and give a summary of what I’ve tried thus far. This post might be a little lengthy, but I want to document the process as best I can.

The pain first started back in August of 2016. My sister had spent the day with me as she was on summer break from college, and we were preparing to go out that night with my now boyfriend and his friend. We were standing in my apartment talking and I told her I felt a very sharp pain in my stomach- like when you get a cramp from running, but far more severe. We had started drinking and were planning to go to a few bars that night. I figured that it was a freak thing, and the pain would subside. We did go out that Saturday night, and once I had a few drinks in me, I didn’t really notice the pain. It wasn’t until the next morning that things got worse.

When we woke up the next morning, my sister, my boyfriend’s friend and I went to get lunch. My sister could see I was in pain, but I brushed it off, not wanting to make a fuss. Once we got back to my apartment, I sat down in my living room and my sister asked if I was ok again, because I clearly was not. I told her the pain from last night had returned, and that I was feeling light-headed. After a while, I contacted my mom and explained the situation. She told me not to wait any longer and to go to the ER. I ended up having a ruptured ovarian cyst, and I was discharged with some pain meds and a referral to a local gynecologist, since I was relatively new to the area.

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My pain lasted 2 weeks or so before it disappeared, subsiding gradually through the second week. I then experienced a week of no pain before the cycle started again. This went on for months- a sudden onset of abdominal pain that remained severe for a week, and tapered off slowly that second week, with a week of rest. I spend the next few months on and off heavy-duty pain meds, and in and out of ERs and specialists offices. I tried a number of different treatments, with no improvement.

In March of this year, I realized I needed another opinion. I saw a new OBGYN, who recommended laparoscopic surgery to try and find out exactly what was causing the pain. I was found to not have endometriosis (despite being previously diagnosed by another doctor), but I did have adhesions all the way from my reproductive organs to my liver, on both sides of my abdomen. I had never had abdominal surgery before, so this was a shock to us. My doctor believed she had solved the problem by taking down the adhesions and putting up a protective barrier. I suffered incredibly severe pain (unable to move or walk without crying) following this surgery, which slowly began to improve as the days went by. However, I was never pain-free again. The pain seemed to have been exacerbated by the surgery and became constant.

Laparoscopic Hysteroscopy.jpg

In the months since this appointment, I have tried undergone testing and treatment for gastrointestinal issues, abdominal wall issues, and bladder issues. I have seen no improvement with any of this, and I am worse off now than I have ever been since this ordeal began.

I will be going to the Mayo Clinic to attempt a thorough overview and examination of everything I have tried to date, and to get a fresh look at my symptoms. I will likely re-examine the gynecological and gastrointestinal routes, and any other avenues my doctors think might benefit me. I hope to find a cause for all this pain soon, or at least a way forward from here. Thank you for reading, and let me know down below if you have any questions or comments!

 

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