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Intense episodes of abdominal pain?

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I’m a 19 year old female. My gallbladder was removed 2 years ago, and I’ve been suffering from gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) for a little more than 2 years. About two years ago, maybe a few weeks after my surgery, I woke up to fairly intense upper abdominal pain. The attack lasted maybe 20 minutes. The pain is really hard to describe… it’s like a combination of sharp, burning, and squeezing. During the attack the pain comes and goes, each time coming more ferocious than it was before. The pain starts in the upper abdomen, on the right, central, and a little bit of the left side.. it feels like its right underneath the rib cage. But when the pain gets really bad it radiates all throughout my abdomen and my back. The episodes are accompanied with nausea and vomiting.

I had these attacks on and off like this for about a year. Painful, but tolerable. Nothing in particular seemed to be a trigger. They ALWAYS happened in the mornings, NEVER past 10 am.

One night I was prepping for a colonoscopy, and I had to drink a ton of Miralax. That brought on attacks like I’d never felt before. The pain was unbearable. I was screaming and crying (I’ve never screamed from pain before) and my parents wound up calling an ambulance. Because it was a result of the colonoscopy prep, the doctors didn’t run any tests. They gave me dilaudid for the pain, and it didn’t help in the slightest. Those attacks lasted 4 hours, and I threw up 16 times during them.
I took Imodium once after that, and the same thing happened, just not as severe. (Lasting a little more than an hour). Once a doctor ordered a CT Scan for me, and the barium brought on the attacks. So medicine like that I stay away from.
I graduated High School about a year ago, and since then I’ve been sleeping in much later than when I was in school, so I think I’ve managed to sleep through some.

But recently, on St. Pattys day, I had our annual dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage, and that seemed to bring on attacks. I mean, really serious attacks, like the ones I got from the barium or Imodium. And they happened at night. For the first time ever, one happed at night. And it was just as intense, and it lasted for an hour.

I thought that was a freak accident until a couple of weeks later, when I noticed a constant dull pain in my upper right side. Then, almost a month after St Pattys day, I got another attack. This one was in the morning, but it started with the dull pain in my side getting more intense, then blowing into a full-fledge attack. It lasted about an hour. I hardly ate anything that day out of nausea, then went to a neighbors house at night. I had some ginger ale and a bit of Jell-O. Then the weirdest thing - another attack, at night! Two attacks one day – nothing’s ever happened like that before.

So now that these attacks are becoming worse and unpredictable, I’m getting nervous. Luckily enough the attacks have only happened when I was at home or with close friends, but I can’t imagine being in school or church and having this happen. The tricky part is I don’t have health insurance, but when I did I saw a few doctors and none of them had any idea what it could be. Anyone have any idea what this could be?
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replied May 8th, 2011
The same thing happens to me, but yours sounds a lot scarier! I am in the surgical field and do a ton of gastrointestional surgery. Im NOT a doc. But I have been asking them and they dont know either. some type of ischemic attack. Maybe a mesentaric clot in my artery is my newest (and bad) self diagnosis. I dont have a gallbladder either. I also have colitis type symptoms at a severe level but a colonoscopy ruled it out. And the meds for it dont help at all. I have only had 4 attacks in about 6 months but Im scared. (dont forget what I see everyday).
Do you have other bowel issues? Have you been tested for a gluten allergy????? Every big hospital has a "gastrointestinal clinic" for patients with no insurance. at least do an allergy test.
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replied October 3rd, 2011
i have had this ever since one week after my gallbladder surgery and never did get an answer. I call it an attack and usually you never know what brings it on. Morning can be bad sometime, esp if not enough sleep. I never get the nausea and vomiting. Just that extreme pain thats somewhere in the center, you feel it radiate thru your ribs, back and chest, just everywhere in that area. I find that grabbing a huge huge pillow and hugging on that helps when you are alone, if you have someone with you during one, try this trick i discovered. Have them rub you pretty medium strength right on your back i nthe center between your stomach and chest. It really eases it up and make it pass much quicker. Hope it helps for you and hope we get answers one day on what that is called bc its just too hard to really explain how painful it is, like pressure and pulling, everything all at once. i do feel for you. I was 17 when I had my gallbladder out, I have been dealing with this pain for 15 years.
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