Okay, well... I am a 58 year-old male who (for the past 16 months) has been suffering from what I can only best describe, as an ongoing, horrendous medical nightmare, which day by day, not only affects me physically, but is also negatively impacting my emotional health as well. After spending several months searching for answers from a variety of doctors and specialists, yet sadly coming up empty every single time, I feel that I now have no other choice remaining but to reach out here to the online medical community in hopes of finding the answers that I am desperately seeking. I can only hope and pray that someone here will be able to identify with me, or will be able to correctly identify the problems I have be having.
Before I describe my symptoms, I need to make one thing absolutely clear: I am not suffering from what is commonly referred to as "acid-reflux." What I mean by that was that my symptoms are not indicative of acid-reflux, and in addition, none of the medications used to treat acid-reflux (Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac, or Tums) help control any of my symptoms whatsoever. What I do however though suffer from everyday is a consistent burning of my duodenal area, which is the mid-section area of my torso that is directly above my stomach and right below my chest. And now (as of six weeks ago), it seems to have "spread." As a result, I am now also suffering another ongoing and persistent pain; however, this one is much lower, practically at the bottom of my stomach. Both pains are somewhat similar, but are different in the ways that they act/make me feel.
I can best describe the first one as a dull pain which continually increases and decreases in severity (or flares), and stretches across the entire length of my upper rib cage (or duodenal area). IT DOES NOT MOVE UP AND DOWN, RULING OUT (IN MY OPINION) ANY PROBLEMS WITH MY ESOPHAGUS. The lower one, (in my stomach) is more of a sharper pain that is overall stationary in position. Both burnings produce no gastrointestinal problems (such as belching or gas), neither are affected by eating any specific foods, and the worst part is that the burning/pain follows no specific or generalized pattern; it can strike at any time throughout the day.
I have had numerous medical procedures performed to help pinpoint a diagnosis including: MRI's, cat-scans, ultrasounds, cancer screening, an upper GI endoscopy, a colonoscopy, breath tests, and even a few blood tests, yet all of them have resulted in negative findings. All that is, except for the endoscopy which did reveal "a partial inflammation of the duodenum." But that was it. Aside from that - nothing else has been discovered whatsoever. And, in addition to the acid reducers which I mentioned earlier, I have also tried numerous Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI's) (Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec), and they too did not ever produce any substantial relief either! I'm at my wits end here and am growing wearier by the day!
The strange twist in this story though, is that about 3 months ago, I was given antibiotics (Amoxicillin) for an unrelated illness, and somehow (at the same time) the burning disappeared. So, for nearly 3 months, I was roughly 95% free and clear of this horrendous ailment. But now, sad to say, it has reappeared; and it has done so with a vengeance. It seems to be much worse than before and has gone down even further into my stomach.
I am completely frustrated and discouraged. I have absolutely no idea what to do or where to turn for answers.
Please, if anyone has shared the same, or a similar experience and has found any relief whatsoever, or who knows how to help me find some answers - please offer me your insight and tell me how to gain victory over this.