December 2017
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worried about abdominal pain / going to the ER / western medicine

I got two LOVELY packages in the mail from valynn and darkpool, but I feel too yucky to express my delight right now. I am delighted, but it's buried under other stuff.

[possibly triggering for people who are squeamish about hospitals] I went to the emergency room today, because I have had a constant pain in my lower abdomen for about a week now (mild for the first half, and sharp since Wednesday), with no known cause. After driving two places, peeing in two cups, getting stuck by needles twice (once in my elbow, where she had to dig and dig before she found the vein, just like all other times), drinking acidic crap to outline my GI tract, having a quick and shocking pelvic exam (I didn't know what to expect, since it was my first), getting iodine pumped into me for the CAT scan (which I was oddly freaked out by, dunno why, but I had to keep my eyes closed and carefully regulate my breathing) and then discovering that I am allergic to iodine! by breaking out and having my head itch like CRAZY, then getting about 7 syringes pumped into me to cure the allergic reaction (which HURT because the initial vein was upset about the iodine and didn't want anything else coming through)...

They told me they don't know what my problem is. At least I know it isn't a tubal pregnancy or appendicitis (both of which kinda scared me), but my mom's family almost ALL had some form of cancer in their lives, so I am still worried. I have to set up an appointment to go see the ob/gyn (which is less intimidating, now that I know that the pelvic exam doesn't hurt, it's just uncomfortable).

And I HATE that we spent *counts* EIGHT HOURS just to discover nothing. And despite reading it all over and over, I can't figure out how my health insurance works and I am afraid of the possible costs. Aren't CAT scans expensive? eeesh.

And my lower belly still hurts all the time, especially when I sit. Which sucks because I want to take photos of it for the 'favorite body part' theme, but I can't love it while it is snarling and tearing at my innards. And I am so pale that I look yellow instead of pink (I have thin pale skin and always look flushed), scary. And since I am almost never sick, this is rather traumatic for me.

And there was an old lady across from me at the hospital who was screaming and crying out for help -- it made me cry, especially when she asked Jesus to please take her. I know how that feels. (and then the nurse walked by and laughed. possibly at someone behind me but... she didn't seem very sympathetic toward her, saying sarcastically to another nurse, "Don't you just love nursing home patients?"). I felt SO terribly guilty for not going and just standing next to the old lady and telling her it would be alright, like I really wanted to do... but I was stuck because I am just not that bold yet, and I was afraid that either I would make her worse, or get reprimanded by the hospital staff, or both -- and my tummy hurt and I didn't want to move. But I couldn't help thinking how I would feel if I was old, alone, hurting, and stuck in a bed in an uncaring hospital after being transferred from a nursing home where they left me as I had fallen on the floor until the paramedics came. (I overheard the 'unsympathetic' nurse explaining why she thought the old lady was so terrified -- it made me like her a little better. I think she was just being cranky earlier) So I did the little I felt I could -- I prayed and prayed for the old lady. Finally her son and daughter-in-law showed up, and they held her hands and comforted her for a while.

All of this makes me hate western medicine. Who is the idiot that came up with the idea that the best environment for healing is a sterile, loveless, professionally distant environment? My babies are NOT going to be born in a hospital -- I don't care if Ben has to take a midwifery course. They aren't going to be torn from soft, dark, comforting warmth to cold, harsh, bright sterility, separated from me, and weighed like a piece of meat in their very first moments. It's not like their stats are going to change that much in a few hours, damn! If I can, I will do the water birth -- if not, I will at least do a home birth.


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kevloid2006 ══╣╠══
wow that SUCKS that you went through all that and still don't know what's up. :-/ hope you get it sorted out soon.

I think some hospitals have birthing rooms now that are like being home.
belenen ══╣loving╠══
thanks again for being so concerned. *hugs*
kevloid2006 ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
kevloid2006 ══╣╠══
evileve ══╣╠══
that's horrible!! I hope the pain subsides on it's own soon.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
It did -- but not without a giant hospital bill. :-P
camilleyun ══╣╠══
It's possible that you may have fluid pooled in your ovary or a fibroid. The reason why I suggest these is because I had abdomenal pain like what you have described and that is what I had. Nothing to worry about the doctor said as long as the pain subsided and they keep monitoring it regularly. I used to get pain every now and then but I don't anymore. Did they rule these possibilities out with an ultrasound?

*hugs* I hope you feel better soon.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I haven't felt the pain since a few days after the hospital visit, so I think I'm okay now. ;-)
camilleyun ══╣╠══
Hospitals suck and nursing homes are even worse. Having worked as a public legal guardian, I spent loads of time in both visiting patients and many or them left [or didn't leave at all] worse than when they came in. Except fpr my yearly gyn exam, I stay away from doctors. Luckily, I'm healthy.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Re: P.S.
yeah, me too -- and this recent visit has convinced me more than ever to stay away from hospitals. Uh, so much money for NOTHING.
vineofcrescendo ══╣╠══
I'm sorry you feel so ill :( I know you will figure it out and God is a powerful God in healing too.

Late last night I flipped channels and came across Coretta Scott King's funeral on CSPAN. He daughter was speaking...I was blown away. Her daughter was a strong - and I do mean STRONG - woman of faith. She just took my breath away and I wished that I could have kept a copy of her sermon, if only in print. In any case, Coretta actually died of complications of cancer in her ovaries, which in turn gave her some sort of severe pneumonia and then she passed away - after three days of being in and out of consciousness. Well, as I am reading your post, I'm thinking about the awesome speech Coretta's daughter gave over her mother. She related this cancer of the reproductive organs to the cancer in the reproductive organs of our society - God had led her to scripture about it all...I think I need to make a post summarizing it actually. Anyhow, you might look into it - there might be something in it for you, if they have some sort of transcripts from the funeral.

That might have been totally random, haha. Sorry if it was.

And you touched my heart about the old lady :(

And I totally see what you are saying about having a baby in a hospital...if I were going to have children, I think I'd feel the same way as you.
belenen ══╣loving╠══
♥ Thank you so much for this caring comment.
smallestdelight ══╣╠══
I just wanted to say I *definitely* understand your frustration. Back in October/November, I was having severe abdominal pain/lower back pain and had a bit of difficulty eating. I went to the ER three timesand they found absolutely nothing as each time they did more testing. The pain lasted for the following month and then slowly subsided; I still have small problems from that area every now and then, but...

I definitely, definitely know your frustration. Oh, and I didn't like having iodine injected in me during my CAT scan either; I didn't have an allergic reaction (sounds not fun at all, btw!), but I remember getting horrible hot flashes from it. The nurse said it was normal, blech!

Anyway, hope everything checks out when you figure out what the problem might be! It can be scary, I know. You'll be in my prayers! ♥
belenen ══╣loving╠══
Thank you so much for the prayers and sweet comment. ;-)
lorelei_sakti ══╣Final Fantasy╠══
This sounds really heavy. I hope you don't have anything serious. What if it's an ulcer? Do ulcers hurt all the time? You're too young to have an ulcer, aren't you?

You've never had a pelvic exam before? It's medical opinion that all sexually active women and women over 21 should have regular pelvic exams. (This is not my personal opinion, just medical advice.) I personally never want to have a breast exam. I heard that they're very painful, and I'm afraid they'll flatten out my breasts.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I'm right with you on the breast exam... and I've known that I've needed a pelvic exam, but everything is so damn expensive and we just haven't had the money. :-(
paravati ══╣╠══
I've had kidney stones, a fibroid, multiple cysts, and an ulcer.

All of them, any of them, and even something like Gallbladder trouble, can cause the symptoms you're describing.

The way the abdomen works is that it's a cavity, surrounded by a sac of tissue that shares nerves. If your kidneys are in trouble, for example, sometimes the pain travels along the nerves and it manifests as pelvic pain.

I went to the ER three times, for pelvic pain, before another doctor at a clinic did a $50 blood test and proved that I had H. Pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers. I took some medication for three weeks and it went away.

I would get an H. Pylori test. It's just a standard blood test they can do while you wait. RULE OUT the possibility of ulcers.

Notice when you feel the pain. Is it before you eat, after you eat? Do you have heartburn, problems pooping, gas? Write down the TIMES you feel the worst pain and see if there's a trend, and WHAT YOU ATE beforehand. Tomatoes, acidic fruits, and dairy products could all be trouble.

When you are having the pain, see if sitting down on a chair, balling your hand up into a fist, pushing it as hard as you can into the spot that hurts, and leaning over on it heavily helps the pain at all. If pressure and pushing in on your stomach seems to alleviate the pain, you probably have ovarian cysts.

Ovarian cysts are normal. Your body makes a cyst every time you ovulate. However, sometimes the cysts don't pop and release the egg and you end up with abdominal pain until your next cycle. If you are having cystic problems, possible hormones can help (I take Depo, and don't have those problems anymore).

Mysterious abdominal pain sucks. I've suffered with it for years, for a variety of reasons. The best thing you can do is log what you eat, when you have pain, how it lasts, and if there's anything that you do (like pushing on it) that helps. And get that H. Pylori test! Now!!
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Yikes! That's a lotta tummy trouble! :-(

Fortunately about three days after the ER visit the pain went away and hasn't come back, so I'm guessing that it's okay for now. If it comes back I'll definitely come back and take your advice. ;-)
darkpool ══╣╠══
I have never gone to a doctor and been told something new. If they ever tell me something is wrong with me it's either something I already have or it's what I thought it was when I was coming in.
Hospital environments are unfortuanly truely not that sterile. Hospital acquired infection are the sixth leading cause of death. Just a randomn factoid. They're not really a big cause of death because cancer and heart disease make up about 75% all by themselves.
belenen ══╣upset╠══
Hospital acquired infection are the sixth leading cause of death.

! ! ! wow, that doesn't make one feel very trusting of hospitals, does it?
aubkabob ══╣╠══
i'm so sorry that you have been feeling pain-laden lately! i wish i could help. tummy rub? making the decision to go to the emergency room is such a hard one to make. i'm sorry that you had to go through so much. i'm happy that they didn't find anything, but unhappy in an odd way, because now you have to be in pain, and not know why, whereas just about any other verdict would at least give you some sort of closure, of knowledge.

i'm sorry that i don't know what to say or do. just know that i love you.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
at least the pain went away! (about 3 days after the ER visit)

Thanks for loving me. ;-)
twisteddaydream ══╣Hope - lethebasii╠══
Oy! ER visits are *never* fun. In fact, I try to avoid emergency rooms like the plague. On the one hand, I am glad that they didn't find anything. On the other, I am not because I know how frustrating it is to be in so much pain and no one have an answer for you. (And I just have to say that an ER pap smear is different from a regular one in my experience, meaning: an ER pap usually is a lot more...not rough, but...more hasty. My midwife has *always* been a LOT better about doing them than the ER doc was.) Hopefully the pain will either go away or you'll find something else out soon. (A couple of comments I noticed seemed to have good ideas.)

I hope you feel better soon!

(A quick caveat here: Please don't take this as me saying "OMG you *have* to do this," because it's definitely not meant in that spirit. Just my experience/thoughts and stuff...)

I will say one thing to something that you said about delivering babies. I had my daughter at Cartersville Medical Center, and their Maternity floor is just...well, the best part of the hospital. The rooms are warm and inviting and the lighting can be adjusted to your liking. There are comfortable rocking chairs, soothing colors, etc. as opposed to the "typical" cookie cutter hospital room. I went with a midwife when I was pregnant for all of my exams and what-have-you, and she was awesome; however, I definitely wanted to be at the hospital in case something went wrong. (Which it did. I ended up having to have a C-section.) But I would not totally discount the idea of a hospital delivery. What I would do is research the hospitals that your health insurance works with and the doctors in your area first. At the least, you need to know that so that if you are delivering at home and you run into complications, you know where you are going to go at that point.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
I've heard you mention your daughter a few times, but I'm a little confused (if you don't want to answer, just tell me, I won't mind at all). I hope this isn't too prying, but does she live with you? If you would like to tell, I'd like to know the story there.
twisteddaydream ══╣╠══
juansrx ══╣*kur1╠══
Ideas about reforming the medicine practices have been formulated(remember Patch Adams), but always a great stream of opposition will be found.

I heard that too much exposition to blood, death, corpses, etc, makes doctors, nurses, etc, insensitive, they must stand these things regullary.

But I think thathospitals need people who cares, people like you, that can help the pacients to feel better, to find a hope, afriend, somebody they can trust on.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I think so too. I think there should be nurses that never have to deal with the blood/death, but just come in to encourage.
beautymess ══╣╠══
I'm sorry you're in so much pain. Have you called an ob/gyn yet to set up an appointment? If not, do that right away. Let them know how much pain you're in and that you need to be seen ASAP.

I had to get a vaginal ultrasound (not sure if that's the technical term--they put an ultrasound wand--not large--inside your vagina) to diagnos my fibroid. It didn't show up in a regular ultrasound because it's on the bottom/back part of my uterus. The sooner you find out what's wrong, the sooner you can get treated and feel better.

As far as insurance stuff goes, it's sometimes best to call your insurance company (the number should be on your card) and let them explain your benefits to you. I get my doctor referrals from them, too, to ensure that the doctors I see are in the network.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Well, the pain went away, so for now I'm assuming it was just a fluke (still going to see an ob/gyn though), but if it comes back I'll treat it more seriously.
beautymess ══╣╠══
Also, I have a friend in NY who is planning a home birth. It's not as uncommon as one would think.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
cool! ;-)
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
Awww... I hope they figure out what's wrong and even more so I hope you start feeling better soon! :)
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
well, they never figured out the problem, but the pain went away a few days later and hasn't come back. ;-)
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.