Friday, September 24, 2010

Not A Hundred Percent

Man, the last few weeks have been pretty harsh. The word sick can't even begin to describe how I've been feeling. It all started about a month ago, I got these really sharp pains in my chest. At first I just ignored them and they kind of went away, but about a week later the throbbing pain came back. This time it was worse. I felt as though an elephant was sitting on my chest sticking a knife in and out of my heart.

I've had so many tests run on my heart in the past that I really didn't think that was the problem, but when you have sharp, stabbing, chest pain radiating throughout your chest cavity and down your arm you start to get suspicious. Instead of running to the ER in a panic only to receive the most likely response that my heart was fine, I decided to wait it out a bit.

I've always been one to have poor health and have missed out on much of life because I've been stuck home in bed. I have worked hard to change that the past few years, even when I'm not feeling well I do my best to push through and get out. I figure I'm going to be sick whether I'm home in bed or out and about, so I might as well go out and try to have some fun. It was with this frame of mind that I attended a ward overnighter the weekend of Sept 10-11. I was in a lot of pain and wasn't able to play all the games everyone else did, but it was good to be around friends and I did have a good time. However, about 5:00 in the morning I awoke with an intense, pulsating, pain in my chest. Everyone was still asleep so I silently laid there praying it would go away while tears streamed down my face. Shortly after other people got up and set about getting breakfast ready, I pulled Bishop Shaffer aside and told him I was not doing well and needed to get home. The problem was that I had driven up a car full of girls that would need a ride home. He helped me work it out so everyone had a ride and I could leave.

The first thing I did when I arrived home was take a Lortab for the pain. I laid down and tried to rest hoping the pill would kick in and relieve the pain. When it wasn't any better after an hour, I decided it was time to go to the doctor. I called a friend up and asked for a ride to the instacare. At the clinic they ran an EKG as well as a chest x-ray, and like I'd expected it all came back normal. The doctor gave me a few different prescriptions for pain, muscle spasm, and inflammation. He also gave me a shot that helped ease the pain for the moment.

That night I decided I needed a different kind of help. I called my friend Melinda and asked if her dad would give me a blessing. They gladly came over and helped me out with a few things around the house and he administered the blessing. I was really grateful for that. I know that no one can help me more than the Lord can. That blessing was something I really needed both for my physical health and for emotional support and strength.

Four days later I was still fighting the pain, but doing my best to deal with it. I was working with my uncle and shortly after eating lunch the pain intensified and I literally felt like I was going to die. The doctor at the clinic had told me that if it got worse I should go to the ER. I got on the phone and started texting my friends to see who would be available to give me a ride to the hospital.

As I finished out the day with my uncle he started telling me that my aunt and felt bad chest pain when she was pregnant with Savannah and they had told her it was caused by her gallbladder. Once she had it removed her pains stopped. I called my mom to tell her I was going to the ER after work and also told her what my uncle had said. She then informed me that gallbladder disease does run in our family. Apparently my father along with several of his relatives had to have theirs removed. It caused them all a significant amount of pain and although doctors couldn't find anything wrong with them through testing, once they went in to remove the gallbladder they found it extremely diseased and everyone felt better once they had it out. Good information to know!

At the ER I informed the doctor of my history, both my heart history and my recently discovered gallbladder family history. He ran a bunch of tests including blood work, EKG's, and more x-ray's. Once again he found nothing wrong...story of my life. He sent me home with another prescription and told me to follow up with my primary care doctor.

By this time I'm starting to get frustrated. The pain is increasingly getting worse and spreading. It now starts just under my ribcage on the right side, runs up my sternum, and over into the left of my chest cavity. However, I thought that maybe I just haven't given it enough time to heal on it's own...whatever it is. I waited a few more days before I called my doctor, but nothing changed. On Monday I saw my primary doctor. I rehearsed the story of my pain and everything the other doctors had said. Thankfully he took me a little more serious when I told him about the family history of gallbladder disease. He performed his own evaluation and decided he agreed that it could be the gallbladder causing the problems. He sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound to look for gallstones, and once again the test came back normal.

So here I am, I've been in agony for almost a month and no one knows what to do about it. The doctor is sending me in for another test on my gallbladder the beginning of next week. I am praying this test will show something and they can take care of it quickly. I am getting very run down by having been so ill for so long. I still do my best to get out and enjoy life, but it is getting harder and harder. My body is weak and all I feel like doing is lying down. I am getting pretty drained emotionally as well. The frustrations of being sick and no one knowing why can be quite depressing. I don't like not having the strength and energy I need to live life the way I would like to. I am doing my best to manage the pain with the medication they've given me, but the meds also make me a bit sick and I just don't feel like myself. It's difficult to say the least.

I'm sorry this post was so long, I tend to ramble when I'm on drugs. If you stuck it out and read this whole thing maybe you could do one more thing for me...say a prayer. I don't know how much longer I can carry the weight of this pain, I need all the help I can get.

Thank you and I love you!


Jenn Johansson said...

I had my gallbladder removed a couple years ago because I was in pain and was getting sick all the time. Apparently, it compromised my immune system for some reason. I hope your pain is improving or they've found a reason.

Thanks for commenting on my blog. It was nice to see your name in the comments. :)