The Whole Dang Pancreatic Story, Part 4
Now We Are Getting Somewhere
Early 2009 – He does the test where I eat an egg with some radioactive material in it and they watch it go through my system to see how long it takes to go through. We find I do have a slightly slower rate of digestion than normal. Now we are getting somewhere. He starts me on meds that will speed up digestion a bit.
He also starts to prescribe medicines that will deaden my nerves a bit. His thinking is that i have very sensitive nerves in my digestive tract because we know that I have sensitive nerves in my right arm & leg. The sensitivity plus the slow digestion is what is causing the pain, he thinks! The meds do help for a few months, but the Pancreatic episodes return about twice/year.
Again and Again and Again
This pattern goes on and on and on. I have some test and try some meds. I get better. We think I'm fixed and then I have another episode. I even had exploratory surgery in July of 2009 where they found some adhesions which they removed and it didn't help.
In December of 2009, I end up back in the ER for the 3rd time in a few months. I see the same surgeon who did my original Gallbladder surgery way back when. He decides to remove my Appendix because I'm feeling some of the pain near my appendix hoping that will fix it.
The Appendectomy goes well and they send me home. That surgery took care of some of the pain, but not the Pancreatic pain. And in 2010 I have 3 episodes of the Pancreatic pain. I spend a lot of time in the ER and we do some more test and try some more meds.
Sphincter of Oddi
My doctor believes that I may have the same problem with my Pancreatic Duct as I did with my Bile Duct, but he has been saving that procedure as a last resort. He is sure I will get really sick from it because of my history of Pancreatitis. Finally in November of 2010, he refers me back to the specialist who did my original Bile Duct procedure.
I spend most of December in bed on Percocet. It was not a good time for me. I was frustrated and so sick of being sick all year. But it seems we have a diagnosis. I may have Spincter of Oddi Dysfunction.
The specialist agrees that we are at the end and the risk is worth it. He schedules the ERCP procedure for Decmber 20, 2010. He will do an ERCP while I'm out and go down with a camera to my pancreas. He will test it to see if the pressure is high. If it is, he will do surgery to open the Pancreatic Duct more and put a stint in to lesson my chances of getting Pancreatitis.