The Saga: Part 1

It started with a platter of aged cheeses and a bottle of wine. 

In August 2008 my two gorgeous friends and I ventured to a little town called Independence, Oregon for a much needed Girls Weekend.   We sat on the vast wraparound porch of the Victorian Independence B&B.  The sun set behind the trees.  The candles flickered.  We laughed, chatted and consumed ungodly amounts of cheese paired with apples and pears perfect enough to be featured on a Harry and David billboard. 

That’s when I felt it – a pinch under my right rib cage.  I immediately stood up and pointed to the spot.  “What organ is right here,” I demanded.  Dumbfounded, they looked at me.  I assumed they would know; they were after all more experienced in the medical field than I, a humble Journalism Major.  The CNA and the veterinary assistant continued to stare.  I explained to them my reasoning behind the random question.   “Oh um, not sure,” they responded.  No help.

Since the beginning, the pain has only gotten more intense.  I’ve seen 5 doctors; had two ultra sounds; a CAT scan; a HIDDA scan; and my most recent adventure, an upper endoscopy.  I’ve been told it could be gallbladder disease (most obvious), IBS (eh? could be), renal disease (not-at-all-likely), my liver (nope), and heartburn (really? please).  I’ve also had family and friends give me their two cents, including a parasite (maybe). 

Also, around the same time I developed extreme bouts of fatigue, irritability, weight gain, and inability to lose weight.  There was a time in 2009 when I faced another medical issue, which may or may not be related.  This particular issue (a hormonal issue) lasted about 6-7 weeks and I swear to you on my grandmother’s incredible enchiladas my pain went away during that time.  I’ve told a couple doctors about my suspicions that something is up with my hormones, which is affecting my digestive system.  They just looked at me like I was crazy and told me to stop researching stuff online.  “Listen, when you come up with an answer, I will stop researching.”  I didn’t say that, but wanted to. 

A word about my research:  I’ve discovered Hypothyroidism can cause gallbladder problems.  A word about my family history:  All the women on my mom’s side of the family have thyroid problems.  A word about Occam’s Razor:  It’s the theory that basically states, “all things considering, the most obvious answer is probably the right one.”  I’m just saying.

Maybe it’s not gallbladder disease or hypothyroidism.   Maybe it’s a pinched nerve and there is a massively painful response being sent from my periphery to my CNS (you know, the brain and all that stuff).  All I know is I am tired and in pain.  Honestly, if I had to describe the pain during a flare up it might be equivalent to a firey-hot blunt knife being stabbed into my side and twisted.  I’ve spent many nights crying and wondering if I would wake up the next morning.  I am not exaggerating about the emo thoughts, either. 

On a lighter note, though I still have mild pain and some medium to really painful jolts during the day, I’ve avoided a full on kill-me-know-I-want-to-die flare-up for a month.  I believe with all my heart this has been attributed to restricting certain foods, herbal supplements and yoga.  Let’s not forget, God, who has definitely had a part in my healing process.

Part 2 will be all about the foods I am eating (rather the foods I am not eating, cause there are more of those), the supplements I’m taking and all the other preventative tools I have in my toolbox. 

Loves and Hugs.

–Shawnee, The Ex-Perfectionist

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8 Responses to The Saga: Part 1

  1. Karen says:

    The way you describe it makes me think gallbladder even more!!! I use to say it felt like someone was digging into me with a spoon…

  2. Wow, what a saga this is! I am looking forward to reading the next part…
    I used to get intense stomach aches about 3 times a day for over 3 months…I went to so many doctors and specialists and had so many x-rays and blood tests done! They never really determined what it was, but after countless experiments with various meds, a round of extremely strong penicillin seemed to cure me. So, I may have had some kind of infection.
    I also had certain foods that aggravated it even more which always made me wonder if it was something more than an infection…

  3. Wow, that’s crazy. My bf has IBS and he describes it basically as massive heart burn after eating. It generally gets worse with various ethnic foods and spicy foods and results in frequent bathroom use, if you know what I mean. So I don’t know if that’s something you may or may not be able to rule out… but it’s more information from someone who’s seen IBS. It’s not pretty. I’m so sorry to hear about all of this… you’re being crazy strong and I keep hoping good thoughts for you!

  4. This really has been a saga! I’m so sorry you’re going through this. All I can say is trust your intuition; you know your body better than anyone else can.

  5. Why don’t you go get your hormone levels checked? There are a lot more hormonal specialists popping up out there- sounds like it would definitely be worth it!

  6. April 5. 🙂 I am patiently waiting too.

  7. Simply Life says:

    wow, I hope they figure out the problem soon and that you won’t be in any more pain!

  8. Heather says:

    I hope they figure out what it is, I know how frustrating not knowing can be!

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