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    Old 06-29-2007, 03:56 PM   #1
    mizzaj
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    Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!



    HI all,

    Have any of you had this happen to you? I had what I thought were a couple of gall bladder attacks back in February. All tests came back normal: Blood, Upper Endoscopy, etc. But my abdominal sonogram back in March came back showing gallstones. But it was a very "vague" report. The doctors went back and forth about whether gallstones were causing the symptoms I was having.

    Three months later (today) I get a repeat ultrasound in the hopes that there will be a clearer picturer of what's going on inside my gallbladder. The tech tells me, "You have nothing in your gallbladder...it's totally clear-- no stones, no nothing."

    I never did a flush or had any kind of excruciating pain if a stone had moved, or did I excrete any stones that I was aware of.

    Has this ever happened to any of you? I'm seriously confused now as to what is causing my sypmtoms! It's hard when you're going along eating light and low fat (out of fear of getting an attack) and still having some intermittent stomach pain that you once assumed was your gall bladder and now may not be!!!!!

    I had a HIDA scan and it came back normal. However, they forgot to do the ejection fraction part. Do you think I should request that they repeat this test with the ejection fraction? Or do you think the fact that it's normal means that I'd have a nromal e.f.?

    I'm so frustrated! At least when I thought it was my gallbladder, I could attribute all this to something...now I don't even know! But I'm still afraid to eat fat, eat too much, etc.

    Advice?

     
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    Old 06-30-2007, 05:42 AM   #2
    mknudson
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    Re: Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mizzaj View Post


    HI all,

    Have any of you had this happen to you? I had what I thought were a couple of gall bladder attacks back in February. All tests came back normal: Blood, Upper Endoscopy, etc. But my abdominal sonogram back in March came back showing gallstones. But it was a very "vague" report. The doctors went back and forth about whether gallstones were causing the symptoms I was having.

    Three months later (today) I get a repeat ultrasound in the hopes that there will be a clearer picturer of what's going on inside my gallbladder. The tech tells me, "You have nothing in your gallbladder...it's totally clear-- no stones, no nothing."

    I never did a flush or had any kind of excruciating pain if a stone had moved, or did I excrete any stones that I was aware of.

    Has this ever happened to any of you? I'm seriously confused now as to what is causing my sypmtoms! It's hard when you're going along eating light and low fat (out of fear of getting an attack) and still having some intermittent stomach pain that you once assumed was your gall bladder and now may not be!!!!!

    I had a HIDA scan and it came back normal. However, they forgot to do the ejection fraction part. Do you think I should request that they repeat this test with the ejection fraction? Or do you think the fact that it's normal means that I'd have a nromal e.f.?

    I'm so frustrated! At least when I thought it was my gallbladder, I could attribute all this to something...now I don't even know! But I'm still afraid to eat fat, eat too much, etc.

    Advice?
    How in the world did they "forget" to do the ejection fraction? Are you sure it was ordered?

    I had a HIDA scan with GB Ejection Fraction on Thursday. I won't go into the details, but the summary items, in reverse order, are: 3 - Normal accumulation of the radioisotope and normal spillage into the duodenum. 2 - Gallbladder ejection fraction is essentially zero. 1 - Abnormal study.

    That is, the fact that the liver and biliary tree test were normal does not mean the GB is functioning correctly.

    I have been suffering with a "mystery" illness for the last six years that caused me to be incredibilly uncomfortable, but was not what I would call painful. I have had so many test done, but they all came back negitive. I was once taken to the ER for what was thought to be a heart attack.

    This past April I finally had an attacked that hurt. I don't beleive I have ever been that sick in my life. Rather than go back to my regular family doctor, I got in to see an internest that day. He spent a full hour with me, had me stop at the hospital on the way home for a blood draw, and by early that evening had a diagnosis - acute pancreatitis. THis was verified by CAT scan the following Monday.

    Since then I have had an abdominal ultrasound (had one six years ago, should nothing then or now), more blood tests and an endoscopic ultrasound (perfectly normal). THese are on top of the two upper GI's in the past, heart scans, CAT scans and xrays. All negative.

    My GI doctor finally diagnosed "Idiopathic Recurrent Accute Pancreatitis". That is, we don't have a clue. His recommendation, have the gallbladder removed as it is probably producing small stones not visible on scans, but causing enough blockage to induce symtoms. He snet me to a general surgeon for a consult, and he is the one who ordered the HIDA scan.

    I am scheduled to have my GB out in a couple of weeks and I am thrilled. I am so looking forward to not having to worry that my gut "time bomb" won't be going off anymore.

     
    Old 06-30-2007, 09:17 AM   #3
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    Re: Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!

    I don't know how they forgot to do the ejection fraction part. The doctor may have thought he ordered it and didn't. But he acted as though it was the fault of the techs who performed the procedure for omitting that part of the test! Hmmm.....?????

    I'm glad you're getting your gb out soon. It's terrible that it was a mystery for so long! I definitely want them to repeat my HIDA scan with the ejection fraction so I'll be able to rule out the gb as the cause of my symptoms. And if it does, then I guess I'm back to the drawing board. Or as a doctor friend of mine said, "I'm a medicaly mystery...and that's not good!" If only he could read what's on these boards, he'd call us all medical mysteries!

    Good luck getting out the gb!

     
    Old 07-01-2007, 09:01 PM   #4
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    Re: Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!

    Mizzaj,
    I know how frustrating it can be having pain and problems and not find out why. I had the same scenerio. I went to the ER back in Nov. 2005 with sharp shooting abdominal pain. At this particular hospital, the didn't do any tests on me whatsoever except bloodwork. That was normal so they just doped me up with pain medicine and sent me home. They referred me to a gastroenterologist. A few days later I started feeling better so I never went to the GI Dr. This past April, I started having what felt like a sour stomach(it was on a Mon.). It wasn't very painful but it was uncomfortable and I was burping like crazy. That night I went and bought some Mylanta. I chugged it off and on all night and all day on Tues. I didn't notice much of a difference. I still had that weird pain in my stomach. Wed. morning, I thought I was feeling a little better but that afternoon it got worse so I called my primary physician. His nurse told me to go buy some magnesium citrate b/c she thought I was constipated. I didn't think so b/c I had been going to the bathroom but, not to be gross, it was basically all water. She told me I still could be constipated and the watery bowel movement could be coming around the impacted stool. I went to the pharmacy and was fixing to buy the magnesium citrate when I decided to talk to the pharmacist about it. I had never taken a laxative before and I was very nervous(all I kept thinking about was what I had seen in movies so I had reason to be scared). I still honestly didn't feel like that was my problem. The pharmacist asked if I had to work in the morning and I told her yes. She said to definately not take the magnesium citrate then. She suggested just some fiber. I explained to her my situation and she said "stand on your tip toes and then drop back down." I did and she then asked if I felt anything in my stomach when I came back down. I most definately did. She said she though something else was going on(not constipation) and that if I didn't go to the E.R. that night then I definately should go to my Drs. office the following morning. That night, I started getting HORRIBLE shooting pains in my abdominal area. They resembled the pain I had when I went to E.R. in 2005 but were much worse. I have a rather large E.R. deductible so I was trying to tough it out until the morning. That was impossible. It got so bad that I couldn't stop crying. I drove myself to the hospital where my fiance' and mother left work and met me there. This was on Wed. night. My bloodwork and Urinalysis came back normal at the E.R. I then had an ultrasound. The Dr. said it came back normal but there was no radiologist at the hospital to read it so it was sent by satellite to Atlanta to be read and the satellite broke on the way back. This hospital was a joke! I layed there in pain for several hours until right before I left. They then finally gave me some demerol in my I.V. which helped right away. Somehow the E.R. Dr. said he had gotten text back saying my ultrasound was normal. I stayed in bed ALL day on Thurs. Demerol just kept me so sleepy. On Friday, I felt a little better but still not quite right. I made it through the weekend and ended up back at my primary physician's office in tears and in pain Mon. morning. He sent my for a CT scan and did more bloodwork which, once again, came back normal. I was then referred to a GI Dr. and scheduled for an Endoscopy the following Thurs.(which was my birthday). I honestly thought at this point it was probably ulcers. I did used to take Advil very often and stressed all the time so it wouldn't have surprised me. After the endoscopy, the GI Dr. told my mother that my endoscopy was normal and he still seemed to think it was my gallbladder, despite all the other tests coming back normal. I am only 23 and I guess b/c of my age, the other Drs. didn't think that was the problem. I know it is a young age for gallbladder problems but it's not unheard of. I was so frustrated @ this point. I had a $150 copay due at every test and I felt like we were getting nowhere! The following week, on Friday, I had a CCK-HIDA scan. I teared up when the CCK was put into my I.V. I didn't get nauseated but the sharp pain was back. It backed off in a few minutes. I felt a little crappy the rest of the day. I didn't know what to think though, b/c i've heard that even people w/out gallbladder problems had pain when the CCK was injected. I just waited patiently all day on Monday waiting to hear something. The nurse(even though i'm 23) always called my mom to schedule and give results. I didn't mind though. I thought it was kind of funny. Around 5 P.M. that afternoon, my mom called me @ work and told me we had an appt. with the surgeon on Friday. I asked her what my ejection fraction was(anything 35% and below is considered abnormal and I was told it would be taken out if it was below 35%). She said it was 8%. I was like "Um....8? Like a single digit #?" I was shocked. I knew something was wrong and it being abnormal wouldn't have shocked me but I thought it may be like 20 or 25% but no. It was 8%. I was relieved that they had finally figured out what was going on with me. I was missing a lot of work and i'm up to my ears in medical bills from all the "normal tests". The surgeon said I had bilary dyskenisia and no stones. He said b/c I had no stones, there was an 80% chance of surgery relieving my symptoms. With stones, there is a 95% chance of surgery relieving symptoms. 80% was a good chance and I went for it. I had my gallbladder removed June 11th and have had nothing but good come out of it. I have had no stomach pain since. I'm still burping some and still a little swollen and bloated but that's to be expected. Oh, and my gallbladder was very distended and I did have stones after all! These tests nowdays are crap! I didn't mean to drag my story out so much but i'm just trying to help anyone out there who keeps being told everything is normal. You know your body more than anyone else, and if something isn't right, keep switching Drs. or having tests redone. It did get very expensive and frustrating for me. I do feel some tests gave false negatives ir they were not done right. I was in recovery after surgery and I remember the nurse asking my mom how long it took to find out what was going on. My mom told her about 2 months. She was shocked considering gallbladder problems are so common. She said the only thing she could figure is that they aren't that common in people my age, which is true, but I still think they should have found things out sooner than they did. Just don't give up...someone will figure out what's going on. Don't let anyone tell you everything is normal though when you truly know your body and know something isn't right. I had heard a lot of bad about having gallbladder surgery and after the things I read on some of these forums, I was scared to death. I have nothing bad to say about it. Everyone is different and I can tell i'm gonna be much better with it gone. Good luck with everything!

     
    Old 07-02-2007, 09:01 AM   #5
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    Re: Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!

    I am kinda like Jessy. I am 20 years old. I had gotten sick in September of 2006, and the doctors ran all sorts of tests, which all came back normal. I had the endoscopy, and tey told me aI had mild chronic gastritis, but that was it. In March, my doctor finally decided to do the HIDA scan. I got a phone call the next day telling me that I needed a surgeon, because my EF was 9.5%. I could not believe that they finally figured it out, after so long. I had my galbladder out in April of this year. I had no stones, but the surgeon only did the surgery because he thought there were small ones the ultrasound didn't show. When he took it out, and there were no stones, he told my parents that the surgery most likely wouldn't work. But, after about 2 months, I started feeling much better (the first couple months were rough). I did get kidney stones almost right after, so I have been on pain killers ever since the surgery, due to still having kidney stones. In May they did surgery to get rid of some stones, but in September they are doing the surgery through my back to get rid of the rest of them. That is most likely why I was sick right after surgery, but now I am feeling so much better with my stomach. It is amazing, and to think that if the surgeon would have said he wouldn't do the surgery had he known I didn't have stones. Hope gthat when you get teh test, it will explain the symptoms. Also, be aware that the CCK injection is horrible. I couldn't stop moving, as I was so nauseated. I was miserable. hang in there!!!
    Daisy

     
    Old 07-02-2007, 10:46 AM   #6
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    Re: Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!

    Wow, Jessy and Daisy, thanks for sharing your stories. Isn't it amazing how long it takes before these things are diagnosed properly? I read somewhere that if you have gallstones and your gb is removed, the likelihood of it improving your symptoms is much higher than if you have no gallstones, but a low ejection fraction. It sounds like both of you were in the same situation (no gallstones but a low e.f.), and have benefitted from the surgery.

    I'm just at a loss because all this time I thought, "I have gallstones-- that's why I'm having symptoms". I haven't had the pain or discomfort that it sounds like you guys had, but at the time it was the only thing that made sense given the "diagnosis".

    Ever since I had my second ultrasound Friday and they showed me that NOTHING was in my gallbladder, I am suddenly thinking that maybe none of this is gallbladder related. That's why I want a repeat of the HIDA. Everyone says that the CCK injection is a *****-- that does sort scare me. But if it comes out normal, then I can probably rule out the gb as the cause of my problems-- unless I repeat the ultrasound in another three months and they find something again....crazy!

     
    Old 07-02-2007, 02:08 PM   #7
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    Re: Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!

    Good luck!! I really hope that you can finally figure out what is wrong!!! Keep us posted!

     
    Old 07-02-2007, 03:02 PM   #8
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    Re: Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bananarama View Post
    Good luck!! I really hope that you can finally figure out what is wrong!!! Keep us posted!
    Thanks for your support. I hope they find out what is wrong too. I have a second opinion coming up in two weeks, so I plan to be very proactive about everything!!!!

     
    Old 07-02-2007, 06:15 PM   #9
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    Re: Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!

    I actually did end up having stones. They were just very tiny. My surgeon didn't even see them. I just went for my post-op appointment and the Dr. said that may pathology report came back saying I had stones. They were imbedded inside the lumen(whatever that is...i just remember the wording on the report). So tests saying you do not have gallstones are not always right. No tests showed mine. Having the surgery was the only way mine were found. Just don't rule out GB problems. It may not be but they can be kind of tricky at times. I had symptoms come and go for years and put it off as something else. I didn't always hurt after eating greasy food like some people do. My gallbladder attacks weren't frequent(over a year in between them). I did notice whenever I had another one is was much worse than the last. I really hope you can avoid getting to that point. It's absolutely miserable. Let me know what Doctors find out. Good luck with everything!

     
    Old 07-03-2007, 03:51 PM   #10
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    Re: Gallstone Diagnosis...first you see 'em, now you don't!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JessyAZD View Post
    I actually did end up having stones. They were just very tiny. My surgeon didn't even see them. I just went for my post-op appointment and the Dr. said that may pathology report came back saying I had stones. They were imbedded inside the lumen(whatever that is...i just remember the wording on the report). So tests saying you do not have gallstones are not always right. No tests showed mine. Having the surgery was the only way mine were found. Just don't rule out GB problems. It may not be but they can be kind of tricky at times. I had symptoms come and go for years and put it off as something else. I didn't always hurt after eating greasy food like some people do. My gallbladder attacks weren't frequent(over a year in between them). I did notice whenever I had another one is was much worse than the last. I really hope you can avoid getting to that point. It's absolutely miserable. Let me know what Doctors find out. Good luck with everything!
    Wow, it's weird how often the stones aren't discovered until AFTER the gall bladder is removed. I wonder if mine are embedded too. I'm still waiting for the report to come back, so it's possible that it will say there are actually stones-- even though the tech couldn't find them. One of my friends who is a doctor thought that maybe I passed the ones I had unknowingly-- which seems possible but unlikely. It's not like I did any flushes or anything. I've been eating so low fat too out of fear of having an attack-- or at least some kind of bad indigestion that's really painful if it's not the gall bladder. I've heard that the attacks can be quite infrequent. My parent's friend who used to be the chief or internal medicine at one of the Kaisers in CA still thinks it's my gallbladder, and he laughed when my mom told him that the tech said there was nothing inside it (according to the image on the screen). All I know is that I don't know anymore. I will keep you posted with what I find out!

     
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