Saturday, July 16, 2011

An Update for a Rough Week

I've had a very rough week. I started having some new, strange symptoms, after I ate dinner Monday night. I started having severe pain in my right shoulder, chest, and back... the pain was so severe that I had trouble moving, breathing, coughing, etc...

While it improved some, the following day was still very painful. It has slowly gotten better, but it's still painful.

I'm also having pain just below the sternum, and often have severe abdominal pain. I found out in January 2009 that I have a small hiatal hernia and gastritis. So, I called my GI doctor, but he can't see me until the end of August.

I set up an appointment with my primary care physician for Thursday, but the pain was still so bad that I moved the appointment up, so I saw him on Wednesday. We did an EKG to make sure my heart is okay (with acute chest pain, pain and numbness in my arm, etc...). It came back fine... thank God!

We also took some blood to check my kidneys, liver, etc... Everything came back normal (kidneys, liver, electrolytes, and all of the stuff checked in the comprehensive metabolic panel). By the way, I have to brag on myself a little. Even though I'm still losing weight, my calcium and protein (I mention these because I was deficient in them both, when I was in the ER last September) are both very good. :-) 

I had a gall bladder ultrasound yesterday. My doctor called late that afternoon and said that the results are normal. So, I'm supposed to continue taking the daily Omeprazole that he started me on the other day, and monitor the pain.

I think what jump-started all of this mess (we believe it's a combination of the hiatal hernia and gastritis) is all of the stress lately (moving, husband getting a job, temporarily living with his parents, getting used to everything here, etc...), as well as my continuing weight-loss.
I was 120lbs at the time of my accident (October 2008), and have been up and down (mostly down) since then. I was steady at 110 lbs (the end of January through mid-March), then I was down to 105.5lbs by the end of April, we stopped the Topamax beginning/middle of May, but I just keep losing weight... At the end of June, I was 104.5 lbs, and the first symptoms of the hernia pain were the day after that weighing. The horrible hernia pain started July 11, and I weighed 102.5lbs on the 13th.
I've been taking so many medications over the past few years, that it's just tearing my body up (and NOT helping the things they were meant to treat!). I really wish I didn't have to deal with ANOTHER source of PAIN. I just don't have the strength right now. 

I think that once we get moved and everything starts to level off, that things will begin improving a bit. I really need to figure out how to gain some weight because I think that's contributing to A LOT of the new symptoms, as well as worsening old ones. I just don't know how to eat more / gain the weight... it seems an impossible task with all of the chest/shoulder pain + migraine pain + nausea...

On a POSITIVE note, I went to my neurostimulator doctor this week. I got my stimulator rebalanced/reprogrammed (and added a few more programs), which should help. My doctor wants to see me every 2-3 weeks (now that I'm living closer), in order to try to get the stimulator helping me more. He hasn't given up yet. :-) I really hope we figure out a way to better manage the migraines.


  1. Oh Jamie, I know what you are going through. I too have a small hiatal hernia and severe gastritis. I have to take 40 mg omepazole everyday. I hate it because it interacts with my other medications. I have to take it a few hours after my other meds so they don't interfere with them. As you know, I too suffer from migraines. I keep praying for you.


  2. I sure hope that all of this calms ways down for you once you get settled in. Having just gone through a big move myself I can certainly relate - so much stress and everything goes haywire.
    Good luck with the changes to your stimulator!

  3. Jamie - my sympathies are with you as you put up with far more than I think I could myself.

    In regard to the under-weight issue: three years ago, I had a 4-month-long bout of colitis. All my blood work came back fine, and so the doc did not believe me - to the point of waiting 2 months to order a colonoscopy - that I felt terrible all the time, had no energy, couldn't think straight, etc. I had lost 20 pounds from a top weight that my primary doc told me was already too low. It's the only thing I can imagine made me feel so badly while all my bloodwork was so perfect: I was just too thin.

    So I began to force myself to eat even when I did not feel like it, which is often with migraines. After a while, I got used to it and gained weight up to the point that my doc is satisfied with. It's hard to weigh more than I ever have, but I chalk that up to vanity and remember how sick I was.

    I started out with small and mostly healthy extras even when I didn't feel like eating. If that hadn't worked, I was going to consult with my doc, because there are weight-gain formulas out there that really work well.

    I hope this helps, and that the stress in your life is relieved soon.

  4. I'm sorry you're having a bad week. I have a small frame (genetics) and MSG was making me sick until a nutritionist figured it out when I was a teenager, so I can relate to trying to gain weight! The nutritionist had me drink Carnation Instant Breakfast to gain weight, but it didn't help much. Now I still am skinny everywhere except my belly and butt, apparently the only places I can gain weight haha. Sometimes when I feel nauseous I'll try getting involved in a TV show to distract myself so I start doing mindless eating. That's about all the advice I have, unfortunately. Hope it helps!

  5. Carol: Thank you for sharing about your experience. I try to force myself to eat even when I don't feel like it, which is much of the time. Sometimes, though, it upsets my stomach so badly that I end up paying for it later. I wish there was an easy (and healthy) way to gain weight.

    Heather: I've tried things like Ensure, etc..., but I'm lactose intolerant and can't handle those to gain weight. It's been so much of a problem (dairy) that even the thought of milk or milkshake-like substance makes me ill (I can usually do cheese, sherbet, etc... in moderation, but I have to be very mindful). That's funny that you mention getting involved in a TV show to mindlessly eat... I do the same thing! It hasn't worked, but I keep hoping and trying. lol.

  6. I'm late catching up (last week was not a great one) - so I do hope some of your pain has resolved since you posted this. It sounds so awful. That feeling of "oh no, not ANOTHER pain" is just so horrible, especially when it already feels like every ounce of energy is being fed into the pain you already have.

    Sending prayers your way....


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