17 September 2011

My Latest Medical Issue

Beginning last Saturday (a week ago today), I began having left upper quadrant pain.  It was a sharp, stabbing pain directly under my ribs, not unlike the pain I got with my pancreatitis/gall bladder episodes, but the pain never moved to where my gall bladder (right upper quadrant), and it wasn't related to when I ate.  Since it continued throughout Monday, I called my doctor and described my other symptoms (extreme fatigue and headache).

Now, I expected that once I started work, I would be tired, but this wasn't getting any better as time went by.  If anything, it may have been getting worse.  And I kept getting obnoxious headaches from not eating.  But it wasn't that I was intentionally not eating - I just wasn't hungry or I'd go to eat and then I'd just pick at it because food wasn't tempting.

I got a call back from my doctor that I should see her NP that day for an urgent care appointment.  I was able to see the NP that I prefer, and I got an appointment for right after work.  I went in, talked to the NP, and we talked for a little while.  She said, "From what it sounds like, you've been out of work for awhile.  It's not that you just switched jobs, right?"  "Right."  "Well, I think you have a kind of post-traumatic stress thing going on.  Let me explain.  I'm guessing that when you were out of work, you were pretty stressed and anxious."

And I said, "Yeah," and then I just started crying.  And not just a regular cry, but one of those mortifying, messy, snot cries.  She handed me some tissues, and said, "See, that's what I mean.  You're obviously still carrying all that stress and anxiety and negative energy around."  At first, I thought she was a whack-a-doodle, and I was going to take back every positive thing I'd ever said about her.  Or I thought maybe she'd misunderstood me and thought I'd just LOST my job or something.

But she explained that she sometimes sees this when people have been out of work for a LONG time and then return to work.  The brain is all "Yay!  I'm relieved and don't have to worry anymore!" but it takes awhile for the body to get the memo.  And I explained to her the whole thing with me thinking I might have to move to Missouri, etc.  So she said that all kind of furthered her theory.  PLUS, the added stress (even though it's the good kind of stress) of starting a new job, training, meeting new people, etc. 

She still scheduled me for a few tests for the next day, just to rule out a few of the more obvious things.  But in the meantime, she wanted me to "be more forgiving of myself."  Nap after work if I felt exhausted, even though I typically hate to nap on a work day because then I won't sleep well that night and will be cranky at work the next day.  She told me to not feel pressured to eat regular meals, but do try to nibble throughout the day so I can at least get some calories in me.  So we talked about my nutritional needs since I'm SUPPOSED to be low-gluten, low-carb, and sugar-free.  She said that she wanted to me to still be conscious of those things, but JUST FOR NOW I could have a bit of a flyer on those because she really wanted me to just make sure I ate.

She also recommended Mylanta for when the pain bothers me.  She thinks that my acid reflux is just acting up since my stomach is mostly empty, but instead of being all heartburn-y like usual, it's hurting me in my stomach.  Then since I feel like I'm being stabbed, I don't feel like eating, and it becomes a vicious cycle.  Plus, the headache doesn't help.

I called my therapist that night to make sure this all sounded right to her.  She confirmed that from a therapeutic standpoint, it did.  Although, technically, she said it would be more of an acute stress disorder, not PTSD, but that was just a technicality on her part.  She recommended a massage and an occasional milkshake.

I seem to be doing BETTER food-wise, but I've got a ways to go.  I made my veal parmigiana left-overs from Thursday last two meals -- lunch on Friday and supper Friday.  I had a granola bar for breakfast, and some snack crackers for an evening snack.  Today, I had some more snack crackers for a morning snack, I noshed on a Godiva bar all day, and I managed to get down an entire box of mac and cheese throughout the day.  I'll probably have some cheese and crackers for my evening snack.  I'm getting there!


  1. Oh lady, stress is no fun at all. I'm sorry this is happening to you. I hope you are feeling better soon. *hugs*

  2. hope you feel better soon... my impending cranial implosion may leave me unable to care for Fe...

  3. Sometimes it is easier to drink than eat when that kind of thing happens. You may want to look into a type of Insure that is heavy on calories (and sugar free).
    Also, While I was married to my nutsy freaky abusive first husband, I survived. ALl my ptsd really started after I met Oscar and felt safe. Weird, but logical in a twisted way.
    anyway [[[[hug]]]]

  4. uh, I meant ENSURE
    (word to type in was 'unwebit'
    huh, sound slike it should MEAN somting