For years, I struggled with some crazy attack on my stomach, which we originally thought was an issue with my gallbladder. I’ve missed a Christmas day with family, plenty of school, many sorority events, freshmen orientation, and a whole slew of other things because of whatever is wrong with me. Every time, I wound up in the ER, but no one could figure out what was really wrong with me.
A couple of years ago, I was experiencing the symptoms and went in for my typical night in the ER, and discovered that my appendix was ready to rupture, so I had an emergency appendectomy. I really believed that was the cure to my un-diagnosable illness. After the appendectomy, I only experienced a “gall bladder attack” once.
Tonight I’ve had the worst one in history. Like the others before, it all started with sudden and extremely intense pain in my lower abdomen that radiated up to my bottom ribs, and around my back. It makes it impossible to stand up straight or lay flat. The pain is so intense, it causes me to vomit for hours and hours. In the ER, they guage this as Level 10 pain, and typically dope me up on morphine to calm me down.
Whenever the pain is this intense, my body temperature drops considerably. The lowest on record was 95.4, and I could definitely feel that happen again tonight. I shiver and shake uncontrollably, no matter how many pairs of sweatpants or blankets I put on. It’s like being the stick inside the popsicle; you’re stiff with pain so you can’t really move around and you’re cold, clammy and wet.
Most times, when I feel my temperature drop and the pain is a 10, I lose track of time and go in & out of consciousness. Tonight I focused really hard on Jason & his friends in the living room… and since the walls are paper thin, it was easy to hear what they were talking about. Being able to focus on them, kept me from passing out from the pain — although I can’t be sure I truly stayed with it for 4 hours…
Right now my pain is down to a 7, and is radiating around my back and down my left leg in a very sharp, continuous ache. It feels like someone has their hands inside my body and is wringing everything out. My back feels like someone beat me with an aluminum bat. And my stomach… after a few intense hours of pain, you sorta loose feeling at the source of the pain. I can still feel the pressure, but the other stuff that’s hurting distracts me from the pain in my abdomen.
I know I should go to the hospital… but since I’ve been able to pull myself together pretty well tonight, I feel like I can master this particular attack. Besides, I can’t afford another $3,000 ER bill. If it’s still a 6 or above in the morning, I’ll go straight to the ER.
Oh, and I’m skipping church in the morning.