Tuesday, October 3, 2017

still no diagnosis

I've really retreated from life this passed month. I've been mostly either in bed or on the couch, unable to really do much because of the abdominal pain I still have. There are still no answers, all the tests have come up negative so far. That's so far for the non-invasive tests we've done. We know what that means.... invasive tests next up. I really thought we'd have answers by now. I've had many, many meltdowns because of being in pain with no answers and no treatment plan. There was Rosh Hashana, then we were waiting for test results from cultures and whatnot, then there was Yom Kippur, and I'm still suffering. I'm going out of my mind not knowing what is wrong in my body. It hurts So Much, I've never felt anything like this.

My mind has been going to some very dark places. I've been alone a lot these past weeks. I'm in bed a lot... in pain. In bed, or in the bathroom. Things have been so bad. I've been really feeling like this is it... the end is near. I know that sounds melodramatic, but I get to write how I feel here, and I have to get it out. I think I am still somewhat traumatized by my friend Sabrina's passing last year; I feel like, well, I'm next. Here it is.
I tell you, health is EVERYTHING.

I look at people's pictures on Facebook... I have friends who are playing in orchestras, who are able to travel to beautiful places, who are able to go out to dinner with their spouses, who are able to do fun things any ol' day! It is hard to see these pictures while I'm in pain in bed. I miss life. I keep telling myself, if I get to get over this, whatever this is, I'm going to go to a nutritionist and get on a good regimen, I'm going to do yoga with a private teacher in my house (something I've wanted for a long time), get back to my Tai Chi, and do all the things I want to do with my husband, kids, LIVE.

I wish I could draw a line in the sand and just say from HERE, from this line, I don't have to visit any doctors any more.....

OK, fantasy over.

Back to talking about scans and tests about this issue I have here and now...

The only thing that showed up on the CT scan and the ultrasound is the one little gall stone I have. I've had that on all my scans over the years. The pain I have is not characteristic of gall stones, not at all in the areas that gall pain would be. And the blood test shows that my liver is doing well, so it doesn't look like the gall stone is the problem. And of course I'd like to avoid surgery. Intuitively I don't think it's a gall bladder problem... it feels like stomach to me. I'm also having problems swallowing. And my appetite is nearly gone. But I enjoyed the peanut-butter-and-jelly on whole wheat toast that Robert made for me today! That is one of my comfort foods.

We called our "medical rav", Rabbi Benjamin Fisher from the organization "מגן לחולה" ("magen l'choleh", an organization which helps match patients with appropriate doctors, among other amazing things). He has led us to all the right doctors each time I've had serious medical problems in the past years. Many of my past surgeries have been done by surgeons recommended by him, and have gone successfully. So, It was time to call him. I've been sick for too long with no direction, no good gastroenterologist, no diagnosis, and lots of pain. He told us who to go to; and it is the head of gastroenterology in Soroka (the hospital here in Be'er Sheva, one of my least favorite places on earth for so, so many reasons.)

That doctor does see patients privately, but even using Rabbi Fisher's name and my whole story, I couldn't get an appointment with him before the end of October. I took that appointment, and put myself of the waiting list for mid October, when he comes back from his vacation.

In the meantime, I went today to an anonymous Russian gastro doctor, a different one than the one I saw a few weeks ago. I told him that the pain is worse than it was a few weeks ago, that we need to proceed with endoscopy and colonoscopy. He examined me, asked the standard questions, we talked, and he was very sincere and very understanding. He took me very seriously, thank God. He scheduled me to do both procedures at once... this Friday. As in three days from now.

I'll be in "twilight sleep", he said I won't know that the procedures happened. I won't feel them, especially because I am a patient who is in pain, he will make sure I am fully asleep.

I am very nervous, but I am relieved to be getting these tests done soon.
We will at least then have some answers.

Or not?????? There's a scary thought.


  1. Sending healing thoughts and prayers

  2. I'm glad you're doing these tests on Friday. I hope they will provide an answer, finally.

  3. I'm so sorry. I really hope they'll find something very minor and easy to fix.

  4. Sarah, I can't believe this is still going on. I really hope that between the tests and the new doctor you get answers and a relief from your pain. My heart aches for you.

  5. I think of you often....I will be praying that you find peace comfort and healing. I hope you get some answers soon.��