| | 21 years old and been through 8 months of continuous undiagnosable torture...
Since February 2011 (the morning after a night out) ive been suffering from an extremely uncomfortable, depressing and life controlling lower abdomen pain daily. Ive been left helpless in the care of the NHS and I honestly don't know what to do with myself anymore. Life is not worth living like this.
After putting up with the pain for several days, I attended ER/A&E in England one night in February 2011 when it had reached its penultimate. After carrying out some simple blood tests they ruled out appendicitis and had picked up a raised ALT and CRP in my blood count so admitted me into hospital for the night. The following morning I was then later released and diagnosed with 'gastritis & possible ulcers' and sent home with antacid pills to take for a period of 8 weeks. A test for the helicobacter virus also was taken at this point which came back negative.
8 weeks then passed taking me into early April, which in between resulted in a further 5 late night ER/A&E visits with excruciating abdominal pain. It was clear that gastritis was not the issue, which proved correct following an upper endoscope procedure in the 9th week. My stomach and small bowel were found to be in a healthy state following this procedure.
The attention then moved on to the possibility of having gallstones, so within 5 weeks of the upper endoscope procedure I was sent for an ultra scan in June 2011 to test for stones. This test came back negative.
5 months after having first been admitted to hospital the condition still remained undiagnosable, but back at home it still was becoming increasingly difficult to live with. Further simple routine blood tests since then have been taken to test for inflamed bowel disease which came back negative.
So its September 2011, 7-8 months later and this disease still plagues me at 21 years old with no medical answer. It seems to come upon me 2-3 hours after eating in the evening times and 80% of the time only affects me between the hours of 8pm and 5am, but will come on a daily basis. The pain is undescribable, its constant and sits across a large area at my bellybutton on the lower abdomen. It feels like my lower abdomen is ready to burst in extreme pain and bloating when it sets upon me. I have tried keeping a food diary but notice no correlations between the pain and bloating to the food that I eat. Ive tried antispasmodics 'buscopan and 'colofac (mebeverine)' which resulted to having no desirable affect, along with codine and peppermint oil capsules to kill the pain. The only way I can escape the pain is to take codine to sleep, if I were to sleep for a few hours and wake up, the chances are 9 times out of 10 that the pain and bloating has subsided. It must also be noted that bowel movements are rarely affected by the pain, I still go regular and stools are mostly normal to average 95%+ of the time.
My doctor has put the pain down to IBS and says there's 'little more than really can be done', which frightens me greatly. I cant live the rest of my life having unhealthy excruciating pains every evening, it sounds very selfish but it really gets me down. Ive had to pull out of postgraduate studies this year and put my life on hold for the past 8 months because of it. It seems like it is never going to go away, if its hung about for 8 months then why should it subside on the 9th month?
Surely there is more that my doctor can do? More tests/try different medications? To IBS sufferers out there, does your condition match or sound similar to my experience? Ive read about VSL3 and maybe it at this stage could be worth a try? Any shared experiences or advice would be greatly appreciated.