I’m going to be honest with y’all– I’ve been struggling.  I have battled with depression and anxiety my entire life and with everything going on with me lately my mental state has been suffering. I am in pain almost 100% of the time and the endless doctors appointments and test left me feeling more and more frustrated and hopeless each time.

After I received the call that my HIDA scan came back normal, I was SO upset. I sat in my office crying, having no idea what to turn to next, and I was starting to wonder if all of my issues were just made up in my head or something. The following day I had an appointment with a gastroenterologist. I didn’t have high hopes for the appointment, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I explained my entire history of problems to the doctor, told him about all of my tests and other appointments so far, and waited for his reaction. After looking at the results from some of my tests himself and feeling around on my abdomen (OUCH), he sat down and said, “Well, I think you have a sick gallbladder.” I was shocked– I have had practically every test possible to diagnose gallbladder problems and they have ALL come back normal. When I questioned him, he said that it’s not all that uncommon for something like this to happen. Apparently he’s seen a large number of young, otherwise healthy people in my situation a lot– they have all the symptoms, but completely normal test results. When a surgeon goes in and takes out their GB, it ends up being visibly diseased and following the surgery all of their symptoms are gone.

So, he is 99% sure that I will need to end up having surgery to remove my GB and feels confident that I will feel miraculously better when that’s done. However, to be absolutely sure there isn’t anything else going on in my gut, he decided to schedule me for and upper endoscopy before referring me to a surgeon. Unfortunately the earliest he can schedule that is in the middle of September… so, more waiting. I’m happy that he’s being thorough and not just sending me to be cut open on a hunch, but I’m also really, REALLY tired of waiting. Patience is a virtue, right?

After that appointment I felt better. I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and knowing that the end is in sight really helped me find the motivation to help myself a little more. Yes, I’m almost always in pain, but I have found a few select foods that don’t cause the pain to be unbearable. No, I don’t have any semblance of an appetite, but if I force myself to eat a little I feel significantly more well. Yes, I know I can’t participate in extremely vigorous exercise right now, but I can do things like slow run/walks and easy bike rides. My perspective isn’t always perfect, but with the help of an encouraging doctor, my best friends (my mom and my husband– who deserve an award for putting up with me for this long), the mental boost I get from doing small things like slow cycling to the farmer’s market to enjoy locally made goodies, and going on easy runs with my patient running friends who don’t mind slowing down for me, I think I can stay away from the darkness for now.

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