Is My Invisible Illness Visible?

I almost can’t help but find some twisted amusement, as my invisible illness (the namesake of this blog), seems almost visible these days.

There is no doubt that I have not been myself lately.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I am desperately struggling to function through heightened anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and all around emotional instability.

I seem to have lost all ability to control my emotions, and even worse, my reactions and the words which spew uncontrollably out of my mouth, unfiltered, and without prior thought or regard for my surroundings and others in my presence.  My stress level seems to have taken a toll and my body and mind are doing as they please, despite my constant resistance.

Not only are these changes in my personality visible (and often embarrassingly audible ~ LOL) to those around me, but my appearance has undeniably been going downhill. Continue reading

The NeverEnding Story

I must once again apologize for my random absences, missed weakly features, and sporadic posts.  Since our main topic is chronic illness and pain, I am confident that our followers can relate to and sympathize with my recent occasional bouts of being bedridden, feeling incapacitated, sick, in pain, and unable to post as frequently as I would like or had planned.

My editorial calendar is filled with interesting, educational, and helpful topics which would better appeal to the masses but my rather unexpected and new health issues which have developed over the past few weeks have taken center stage and caused my blog to take on more of a diary format for the moment.  I am going with it for now, as I find it helpful and supportive to share our individual journey, as well as other topics along the way.  Some periods of time may lean in one direction more than the other but our goal remains the same.

During my last update about my current GI journey, I believe I shared and explained some complications or side effects that I experienced for several days following my recent ERCP and pancreatic bile duct stent placement.

My gastroenterologist, despite him being highly skilled and me being forever indebted to him for most likely saving my life, seemed to be lacking in the area of follow-up care after the ERCP procedure.  I was never given a follow-up appointment and did not know exactly what would be found or done during the procedure, which obviously will have an effect on a patient’s recovery.  The issue of follow-up care has since improved but at the point in my journey which I’m describing here, that is very much how I felt.

I believe I spoke with both my doctor and another GI specialist (the latter two, three, or more times) after I woke up but we all know how the side-effects of heavy sedation or anesthesia can affect eliminate your memory.  I have no recollection of speaking with my doctor and only remember two out of the three (or maybe four) times that I spoke with the GI doctor on-call at the hospital.

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Thanks to “painsomnia” I am awake in the middle of the night so I thought I would report on a slight recovery set-back.

I was doing okay, eating/drinking clear liquids, until today.  Well, actually I ate half a bowl of tomato soup and two crackers last night without incident.

I guess having not eaten (except liquids) in 72 hours caught up with me because on a whim I decided to eat half a bowl of potato soup followed by about half a bowl of Moosetracks 🍦 ice cream 🍦.  I only have one word for this choice – MISTAKE! Continue reading

I Did It!!!

Yesterday’s endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) was a success! I also had an EGD which revealed no stomach ulcers but the ERCP revealed that I do have I have sphincter of Oddi dysfunction and my pancreatic bile duct was completely blocked so they performed a sphincterectomy, sliced it open and inserted a stent. I had to stay at the hospital all day but they gave me a choice to be admitted or go home with my Mom (since she is a nurse) so I stayed at my parent’s house last night. Continue reading

Well, I made it through the first day of another three day work week. Sadly the extra two days off this week are not for a holiday or fun time off but for a rather risky medical procedure.

I will likely be missing my division’s Christmas party at work. Since I can barely eat without severe pain that is probably for the best anyway, although I will miss the White Elephant gift exchange. 😉

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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.

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