Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bad Headache Day #40 2009

Pancreatitis Attacks Again

Haven't been feeling too great since last week. I thought it was just overexertion, going to a client's location, flying to and from Cleveland, and still being able to do chores over the weekend. Monday I was feeling just kind of blah, and Tuesday started out that way too. By noon Tuesday I started having stomach spasms and by 2:30 I had to call it quits at work, and head down to urgent care.

I asked them to check my lipase levels because I had been having chest pain and back pain for several days in addition to the spasms I was having that day. Sure enough my lipase came back high - at least 4 times higher than my regular high lipase levels, and so what I thought would be a simple urgent care stop so I would know that it was or was not pancreatitis (if pancreatitis you go NPO [nothing orally], if indigestion you take something like prilosec and liquid Maalox) and know how to proceed. I didn't have a clue it was as high as it was. I went from urgent care directly to the hospital.

I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke, I drink very little caffeine, I eat a low fat diet (for the most part) and I quit the medications that I thought were giving me pancreatitis. The Belly just decided it wanted attention because I have been very careful not to aggravate it. I wonder if the episode a few weeks ago where I went to the ER and was vomiting for hours was really pancreatitis and not kidney stones. No way to tell now.

My reaction to The Belly pain is similar to my reaction to The Headache - I got very cold and my blood pressure dropped. The hospital room was glacial and my roommate had just had surgery so bless her heart she was hot, so they even brought in a fan to make the cold air colder. I froze to death while waiting for the enzymes to go back to normal and the pain to dissapper. No matter how many covers I had I couldn't get warm. It felt like there should be icicles dripping off my hospital bed.

The Headache transformed into a whole head monster headache yesterday. I think this is a side effect of having pancreatitis. Every bad episode The Belly has given me a horrendous headache occured, even before I got The Headache in 2007. I spent almost five hours yesterday just throwing up stomach acid (I had nothing to eat or drink) before I got a requested change of medication. One big dose of benedryl and phenergan and I was able to drift off to never vomit land and get a little sleep. I had been getting dilaudid for pain management, but I think The Headache didn't like dilaudid so well. Sometimes dilaudid will put me out for hours but The Headache decides to keep on rolling and I wake up in very bad shape - like yesterday. I told them no more dilaudid, a request they seemed surprised to get.

I am still in quite a bit of pain, but was able to hold some food down today, so I got sprung from the hospital. Woo Hoo! Now I am at home, comfortably warm. The Headache is still hurting quite a bit but I have the occipital stimulator on high and have been taking benedryl and phenergan and trammadol to knock back The Belly pain. The facial pain has been very bad this episode.

The gastroenterologist that took my case says that the biliary sludge I had when I had my sphincerotomy done is a life long problem, and wants me to follow up with my pancreas specialist in St. Louis. The gastro doc also said that I could have had a stone or sludge gumming up the works, since I don't have a lot of risk factors for pancreatitis.

I am tired of 2009 already. I want it to be 2010 - a new year without these old problems.


  1. Thanks Sue I needed that!!! Next week will be better, eh?? :) Just wish I did drink, because then I would have had a good time to look back on before The Belly revolted. sigh...