Well, I said I would follow-up on the last leg of my medical journey, which I started explaining in a prior post titled Doctor Appointment #Infinity.
I must admit that I was wrong about my doctor. At this moment, my faith in him has been restored. My husband was also right when he said that God works in mysterious ways and there may have been a reason that I needed to have the abdominal CT scan, which I believed would be a waste of time and money.
The CT scan revealed a variety of issues, none of which were a stomach ulcer. It appears that some of the symptoms I have been blaming on Endometriosis, may be related to an entirely different problem.
My abdominal CT scan came back abnormal with punctuate calcifications in my spleen, extrahepatic biliary (up to 8 mm) and pancreatic duct dilation, enhancing gallbladder walls, hypodensity of the left hepatic liver lobe, thickening of the ascending colon, probable scattered leiomyomata within the uterus, and a left adnexa cyst. The report mentioned several possible causes such as gall stones, colitis, chronic cholecystitis, a genetic disease (for the spleen calcifications), as well as some even more scary possibilities that I’m trying not to think too much about just yet.
The duct dilation is what scares me the most. It can be caused by recently passed gall stones, which is what I’m hoping for, but (from my extensive research) I have learned that with the lack of excruciating pain in my upper right quadrant, there are other possible causes as well, which is likely why the radiologist recommended an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP).
Don’t let Web MD’s simple explanation of this procedure fool you because it is actually a serious procedure that must be performed by an experienced GI doctor with precision and expertise. The risk of potentially life threatening complications, such as pancreatitis, is around 20%, which is unsettling, to say the least. I have no idea how much it will cost and for that reason, I’m not sure if it will even be within my financial reach (like so much of the treatment that my hubby and I need right now).
The next step will be an abdominal ultrasound (which is scheduled at 8:15 am tomorrow morning), as well as a referral for a GI consultation, and maybe the suggested ERCP procedure.
I do wonder if any of these things be could be related to Endometriosis. If they do recommend gall bladder removal, I plan to ask the GI surgeon if he/she could check for bowel Endo at the same time. I don’t know if normal GI surgeons are familiar with Endometriosis of the bowel but I certainly think it’s worth discussing. I don’t know if I have Endometriosis anywhere other than my ovaries, cul-de-sac, uterosacral ligaments, and fallopian tubes, but I have always suspected that I might. Pelvic adhesions are another concern with my prior abdominal surgeries.
The timing of all of this really isn’t great. Considering my hubby’s vascular blockage in his leg, the expensive tests and appointments that I just had and will likely have more of soon, along with the very real possibility that one or both of us could end up needing surgery for NEW health conditions before the end of the year, I really don’t know how to process it all just yet.
The only thing I know for sure is that we are not in control so all we can really do is educate ourselves, listen to our doctors, and hope and pray for the wisdom to make the right decisions along with a way and for the best possible outcomes. A miracle or two would be helpful too but I don’t want to get greedy. 😉
❤ Wishing you all a low pain level day ❤