36 year old female.
10 years ago i was diagnosed with Gastroparesis. i have always had trouble eating. i eat very slowly and can never eat very much at a time. however i do not ever vomit nor have i in the past felt like vomiting. more recently, though, there are more and more frequent episodes where for about a week i feel super full like i just ate a thanksgiving dinner and it is just sitting all the way up to the top of my throat not digesting....for a week. if i lean forward during this time, digested food may come into my mouth a bit. but this is as far as vomiting goes for me.
the problem i am having is that i have also had a terrible upper left side pain for these 10 years that has been getting worse and the past 6 years increasing very rapidly. it used to just sometimes be a sharp stabbing pain right under my ribs that would last for about a day. i would wake with it and it would stay all day then go away.
it has progressed to the point it just always hurts. ALWAYS HURTS. then there are these times about 3-4 times a month where there is a sudden sharp stabbing pain up under my ribs on the side (this is about 3-4 inches below my bottom rib, about 5-6 inches left of my belly button the size of a golf ball but it can radiate into my hip and up into my left shoulder!). this is progressing so quickly i don't know what to do.
i was told it was adhesions from all the surgeries i have had in the past. i had bad pancreatitis which led to my gall bladder being removed, then appendicitis so that was removed, i had a hernia repair from the appendix surgery and got a mesh put into my abdomen, my tubes were tied, i had a hysterectomy (i had a large fibroid and we were hoping it was the cause of this pain) and a tummy tuck.
i had everything checked over the course of these past 10 years, more recently because of the rapid progression and intense pains. i have had many upper and lower GI's done, gastric emptying test (that is back when they diagnoses the gastroparesis), glucose tests (i am hypoglycemic and borderline hypothyroid), kidney function tests, a bunch of CTs with contrasts, and nothing has been found out that should be causing this pain. so as a last ditch effort i recently had exploratory surgery to cut away adhesions. he found some in my left lower area and cut them away but i still have the exact same horrible debilitating upper side pains that drop me to the floor.
i have kept very detailed food diaries (i kept track of every little thing including sex, bowel movements, mood, weather, activities, etc) and tried many diets, including one where i ate nothing but rice cereal for a few months. it was horrible.
i was diagnosed celiac by looking inside, i had what physically LOOKS like celiac disease in my esophagus with smooth walls and redness, but my blood work says i do not have celiac. i have had these tests do this twice to me over the course of a few years. (can this be something else???)
i cannot link this problem to food of any sort or any certain activity other than if i run it will cause the pain for the rest of the day and possibly the next day. it seems completely random other than that.
i used to be constipated a lot, a bowel movement every 3-4 days was normal for me my entire life. but i recently started drinking a multivitimin and cleanser that keeps me going at least once a day (which is amazing for me!) and i still have the exact same pains and getting worse. this also gets rid of my horrible acid reflux i have been recently (this last year) having...but no reflux and still same pains. also because i don't digest quickly (maybe because of?) i don't pass gas. could this be gas pains? i cannot burp and very rarely will i ever pass wind. i have never been able to. i don't know if this is a normal symptom of gastroparesis, it is difficult to find this one online.
i have been treated for IBS in the past with pills like reglan which just made me very sick and did nothing to help anything. i have tried a few pills for the IBS all seem to cramp my stomach and make me sick. i have tried nortryptaline and it did nothing, it didn't even help me sleep like it was supposed to. i have taken Tordol for pain and it does nothing. i have taken oxycontin for pain and demoral but they only bandaid the problem and help for about 40 minutes. there are many things out there to try but i have never been offered anything else aside from IBS medications that make me sick and pain killers.
nobody has given me any other alternatives for pain management or what this pain could possibly be from. does gastroparesis hurt like this? is this something else?
the surgeon who cut away my adhesions said my intestines looked good from what he could see on the outside. i don't have some gastroparesis symptoms like vomiting or feeling like i will vomit, but i do feel full easily and eat very slowly. i eat a handful of something in the afternoon then i eat supper. that is all i can handle. it takes me about 2 hours to eat a cup of food. this pain doesn't happen after i eat. or if i don't eat. or if i eat certain things. it seems very random and very unrelated to food or drink. it feels like it is my stomach that is in pain, but it can feel the same whether it is full or empty and i usually wake up in pain and it lasts for a couple days (the horrible level 10 sharp pain where i cant move) it feels better when i apply pressure to the spot under my ribs. when it hurts bad i lay on a hard pillow or press it very firmly up into my abdomen under my ribs and it alleviates the pain as long as i don't move. when i have a sharp stabbing wave of pain, i flush and feel hot. people have said my cheeks turn red and i feel very hot to the touch for a couple minutes as the wave of pain washes over me. the pain comes in stabs that last 30 seconds to 3 or 4 minutes all day. sometimes for 2 or 3 days.
is this gastroparesis or something else?
i cannot find anything online about gastroparesis causing this pain. could this be my spleen or pancreas? how could i find out? could this be diverticulosis? i have had doctors swear to me it can't be because it is on that side up high, but i have read a few things online where in some cases it can cause pain up that high on the left.
on occasion (once every 2 or 3 months maybe?) i get a lesser pain on the lower right. same as the terrible pain and this is new since about three years ago. it isn't as bad, in fact i hardly ever notice it since i constantly hurt up on the left. but it is there sometimes. same size, same type of pain. bottom right. it seems to be appearing more frequently as of late and it isnt always at the same time as the bad upper left pain. or if it is i don't notice because the other pain is so intense. i usually only notice at doctor visits when they press on my abdomen and i feel that it hurts there, also.
i have only been able to go to the hospital a couple times while in absolute pain because i cannot drive when this is happening to me...i can't even stand upright. they didn't find anything aside from both times i had the beginning of a UTI that i was unaware of. (i used to get them very frequently then i had my bladder cauterized and hadn't had them since...until recently i guess)
i always thought this was adhesions. they have always told me that is what this pain was because nobody could see anything else it could be. my last ditch effort was the exploratory surgery and it didn't help and now i am back to square one wondering what this horrible pain is from and how much worse is this going to get?
so is this gastroparesis symptoms or what?