If you follow me on social media, you saw that I spent Wednesday at the hospital. I was there for about 6 hours doing medical tests and things, and in the end I got some interesting news.
First, I need to explain why I was in the hospital. On Tuesday afternoon/evening, I had a pretty bad binge episode. It wasn’t the worst one I’ve ever had, but it was pretty significant. I’m not proud of myself, but it is what it is and I can’t go back to change it. About the time I was getting ready to go to bed, I noticed some symptoms that usually mean I’m about to have a gallbladder attack. I wasn’t looking forward to having an attack, but this happens from time to time after a binge.
Usually my gallbladder attacks follow a very predictable pattern. I feel the signs that one is starting before going to bed and I usually can fall asleep before it happens. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night in pain and within an hour it is over and I am able to get back to sleep. But this time, it was very different. I couldn’t go to sleep and the pain was not ending. I didn’t get any sleep for that entire night because the pain was so intense. There were times in the middle of the night that I debated calling my mom for advice or going to the emergency room, but I decided to try to tough it out.
By the time my alarm went off on Wednesday morning, I wasn’t doing any better. I was exhausted from not sleeping and feeling horrible that I did this to myself. If I hadn’t binged, I wouldn’t be in pain. I tried to see if I could make it through the work day and go to the hospital after, but that wasn’t going to happen. So I made an appointment with someone in internal medicine for 9:45am and went over to Kaiser.
I was very honest with the doctor I met. I told her that I binged and that I have a history of gallbladder issues. But she didn’t feel like it was gallbladder stuff this time based on the pain I was in. So she ordered some blood work and an x-ray and instructed me to come back once those things were done.
The blood work wasn’t fun (I passed out a few times while the blood draw was happening) and while the x-ray was easy I was still in very intense pain. By the time I got back to the internal medicine department, I couldn’t find a way to make myself comfortable.
The good news and bad news was that there was nothing weird in my tests. I had elevated liver enzymes, but I had that issue the last time I had blood work and I knew that it was something I was supposed to work on. So the doctor ordered an ultrasound to be done so that my stomach, gallbladder, and pancreas could be looked at to see if there was anything that would explain the pain I was in.
The wait for the ultrasound was excruciating. I was sweating and crying in pain and it took almost an hour for them to get to me. And in the ultrasound, they had to press really hard where my pain was located and that was causing me to tear up and have issues breathing. I was really glad when that test was done and I went back up to internal medicine again to see the doctor for her response to my tests.
When I went back up to internal medicine, the first thing they did was give me a shot of a painkiller to help me a bit. At that point, I didn’t even mind that the shot was happening because I just wanted to get out of pain. It didn’t take the pain completely away, but it dulled things a bit and helped to make it more tolerable.
But again, the doctor couldn’t find what was causing my stomach issues. She let me know that it wasn’t my gallbladder as there was only one tiny gallstone in there and it was not in a place that could cause me pain. And everything else they were looking for looked normal. So her best guess was just really bad indigestion or a stomach ache or possibly a small ulcer. She told me to get some antacids and heartburn medication down at the pharmacy and said that my pain should go away within a week.
I was still really mad and embarrassed that I did this to myself. If I hadn’t binged, I wouldn’t have had this problem. And while I want to believe that this will stop me from binge eating, I’m not thinking that would be true. It’s a very tough addiction to get over (can you imagine an alcoholic having to have 3 drinks a day without going crazy?) but I’m trying to focus on getting myself better as much as I can.
But my appointment and time at Kaiser wasn’t a total wash. While my ultrasound was happening, the tech scanned over my liver and noticed what may be a cyst on my liver. If this is accurate, this would explain my weird liver enzymes on my blood work and would make things easier to figure out. Since the ultrasound isn’t the best diagnostic tool to look at cysts, I now have more blood work scheduled plus a MRI with contrast (which means another IV) to look more into things. And I have an appointment with a surgeon after that to hear what needs to happen if there is something I need to do.
If I hadn’t had the binge episode and the stomach distress I never would have found this possible cyst. It is something that explains the weird things in my recent medical tests which is a relief since I couldn’t figure out why things were so weird. But it also is now taking me down a crazy rabbit hole of more medical testing and doctors. I’m hoping that they will tell me that if it is a cyst nothing needs to be done with it. Some cysts go away on their own and maybe this one will do that. But I’m also preparing for more stuff I might need to do.
Either way, I’m a bit grateful that I did something stupid because it lead me to find out something that I needed to know was wrong with me. I wish that this liver thing was what was causing my pain or we could find out what was causing it, but at least I have some medication to take for now and a plan for what else I might need to do.