My Mum is 52, 9 1/2 st and 5'2". For 7 years she has suffered with clusters of severe pain under ribcage/diaphragm line and ends up being sick with the pain. She cant keep water/tablets/food down and ends up being admitted to hospital & receives pain relief, anti sickness drugs & put on a drip because shes so dehydrated. It then takes a few days for her to regain strength and get back to normal. She can go for 12 months without an attack but then get a few within weeks or months of each other.
There's no pattern & certain foods don't trigger it. She's had every test/scan/camera/xray going but it comes back neg every time. The Specialist is reluctant to do anything else to her because the tests have been intrusive to her body and he's worried of the effects they may have.
She's never smoked and when she drinks its normally a couple and thats it. We've even toyed with the idea of it being stress but the Specialist said its too severe and debilitating to be that and shes not a worrier anyway.
She is otherwise in fine health and doesnt take medication for anything at all. She has had one or two bouts of anaemia when she's given blood but iron tablets have sorted it out.
I have tried searching the internet but it always comes back with gallstones, liver problems, porphyria or appendicitis. I dont know where else to turn and hopefully someone will either shed light or know someone who has the same thing. Thanks for any feedback!
Hiya, yes she has had tests for everything they can think of. Not being in the medical profession i can only think of the norm e.g. liver, gall bladder, pancreas etc and its all clear!
They want to do an exploratory operation but she doesnt really want it and the doctor has put him off himself. I really dont know where to turn in trying to find out what may be wrong that the doctors havent yet come up with. Its not even her heart or repro system, she's had tests on that too.
There arent any other symptoms apart from severe pain and sickness. I think when shes been admitted her cholesterol has shot up but then returned to normal. But like i said its not even heart problems.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thread and replying. Someone out there must suffer the same thing!!! take care. melanie
I'm sorry to hear about your mother and the difficulty you have had in identifying her problem. The reason I am writing is because I had a similar problem which plagued me for over 10 years. I am otherwise fit and healthy but for this pain. Like your mother it would come and go sometimes so dibilitating I would be hospitalised. My symptoms were mainly
Chest pain, severe abdominal pain near the kidney, nausea, headach. On some occasions it would feel like i'm having a heart attack and sometimes it would feel like I have a kidney stone. Over the years it would come and go lasting from a few days to several weeks.
I had every test under the sun because I was with Bupa, heart, lung, stomach, blood test and every scan imaginable. They could not find anything, my heart was the strongest they had seen and the rest of the system to boot. I even had them take out my appendix in the hope it would stop. The good news was we did find out what the problem was the bad news was it nearly killed me in the mean time.
The surgeon told me I had a Richter's Hernia which is more of a female problem and even then it is rare so in men it's even more rare. It is imposible to detect simply because it can not be seen or tested for.
I had a hole in my pelvic bone (more common in women because their pelvic bone is bigger) which my intestin had grown into and behind that was an abscess. I have no idea why it caused pain elsewhere i.e. the chest but I can tell you it was severe. The only reason they found it was because it had burst after the appendectomy. I got blood poisoning so the had to open me up and see what was going on, thats when they found the Richters Hernia. This was back in 2004, the surgeon said he could not fix the hole as my life was in the balance and that it could come back.
I am currently housebound because it has come back with a vegence and I can't walk for longer than 10 minutes. I will be seeing the surgeon this thursday in the hope they can drain the abscess and fix the hole so it wont come back in the future. Fingers crossed it wont burst before they do this because I may not survive this time.
Your mother must consider this if all test show everything is ok. I can give you more information if you wish just email me. After spending so many years in pain + in and out of hospital I still have to persuade the doctors what I have (no longer with Bupa). Most have never heard of a Richters hernia and what is written about it is minimal but they do exist. I have had doctors say I have, IBS, ME, chronic fatigue syndrome etc I even had one doctor in a hospital sugest I had munchausen syndrome (I only wish she felt the pain I was in she would know it's not in my head).
thank you greengrass for sharing your story. It really does sound like you have been through the mill for such a long time and im sorry to hear you're still undergoing ops and tests to get better amongst being in terrible pain.
Today the doctor had a word with her and said it could be a hernia inside and her bowel is getting trapped and theyre talking about a laproscopy to see if they can see anything. Its worth her asking her specialist because i havent heard of a Richter Hernia and thats what im after, things it could be that we havent heard of!
I really do hope things go well on thursday for you and i will keep my fingers crossed. It makes us wonder with modern technology why people have to suffer so much.
I understand where you are coming from having to persuade doctors! so many times my mum has been in and theyve either sent her home thinking she's just after strong pain relief for no reason other than addiction or left her to get worse before they'll treat her. They treat her as a new unseen patient each time she goes in and although she takes a letter with her explaining what treatment the hospital must give her from her specialist they still use simple things like paracetamol or tablets she cant keep down! Grrr!
I will show your message to my mum and will let you know in the near future how she gets on. Thank you and good luck. melanie.
Its no problem, the laparoscopy should show up the hernia. As much as you don't want anything to be wrong you still pray that they find something so they can treat it. Just remember if they don't see something doesn't mean it's not there, you must keep trying. If the pain is up under the rib cage like mine make sure they check the pelvic bone. The pain may be below the rib cage but the problem could be lower down like mine. The hernia may cause the pain to travel up a nerve and make your mum feel it just under her ribcage around the kidney area.
I have had the pain run down the inside of my thigh once or twice and up to my lower neck. My hernia is on the left pelvic side and thats where the pain is.
Just a warning, when she has the laparoscopy they will pump air into the abdomen this will give them room to move around and see what going on. If she has a Richters hernia there may be an abscess, if it burst and they don't realise they will send her home. This happened to me, it is like having a burst appendix it is serious and can be fatal. It is important that you keep a close eye on her for the next 24hrs. If she starts to go pale and grey, vomits and is in pain don't hesitate to call an ambulance. I was lucky my mother came by and saw me and even then I told her I was ok, a few more buckets she called the doc and saved my life.