Chronic Pain

I have been having terrible stomach pain in my lower right abdomen for a long time. Achy, crampy, stabby. I first went to the doctor in January this year. It was so bad, especially around my menstrual cycle, that I would be unable to function and would miss work. Long, dull story short: In these 6 months, I have had an ultrasound, a CT scan, multiple blood tests. No findings that would explain my pain. No fibroids, ovaries normal, no gall bladder trouble, no stones, appendix not inflamed. What they did find: a very small and unremarkable ovarian cyst. Moderate B12 and iron deficient anemia (I had gastric bypass surgery 6 years ago and am at a healthy weight and otherwise blood tests normal). Two small hernias related to my incision line. A congenital non-functioning left kidney, but right is healthy and compensates. Hormone levels normal. Peri-menopausal.

The pain is worse during menstrual cycle, but it happens at any time. Usually late afternoons. Every few days. I have been gobbling ibuprofen at the first stirring of a cramp, which usually works. If I wait too long,the pain becomes severe. Today, I didn’t have any medication. I had to leave work at 4 pm, drove home in agony, gobbled ibuprofen and a tramadol, and went to bed. I just woke up, sore but mercifully cramps gone.

My doctor and gyno treated what they did find. B12 level normal (monthly injections) and iron low-normal (icky liquid supplement since I haven’t been absorbing pills). I am at wits end. Husband thinks my very high-stress job plays a part. He believes that the cramps are real, but that they may be my body’s way of coping with stress.

My doctor has not outright suggested it, but in lack of evidence of a physical cause, is (like me) grasping at straws. Dietary adjustments to rule out lactose or other common intolerances. No change.

I am at the end of my rope. I do not believe that the pain is “in my head” - I believe that there is a physical cause that has not been found yet.

I know that this is an Internet message board and I am not seeking medical advise. My doctor is aware of my Ibuprofen addiction, but sees no ulcers or irritation that would point to this being the cause AND cure. From CT scan, bowels appear normal. Not likely IBS, though I do have some occasional malabsorption issues related to surgery. Gyno thinks the chronic and unpredictable nature of pain (and test results) rules out endometriosis or other serious problems.

What I am asking… Has anyone ever suffered from chronic pain of unknown origin? What did you do to get to the bottom of it? If stomach pain, what did you ultimately find? Any anecdotes of a friend/family member and a diagnosis of obscure origin found?

The only thing I have refused to do thus far out of dread and fear is the scope down the throat. I now think this is essential to see if there is something gasto intestinal. Has anyone had this done? Is it as awful as I fear?

I’m not going to guess at your troubles but I have had an endoscopy. Prep drugs (“twilight sedation”) guaranteed I didn’t give a shit about the procedure itself. I don’t remember the trip between pre-op and wherever they took me after that. I do remember bits and pieces of the procedure itself but they’re really foggy and some of them make so little sense that I’m not convinced they’re all real memories.

I had the tiniest hint of a sore throat for a very short while after.

I think it isn’t nearly as awful as you fear.

My first thought before you even mentioned it, was an ovarian cyst. That could be causing the kind of pain you describe.
Please don’t wait till it becomes “remarkable”. A few months of (prescribed) birth control pills should do the trick.

Not to be a dick, but if you had low b12 levels - that leads me to believe you were not being properly treated post gastric bypass (or you weren’t doing what you were told).

Most doctors have no training in how to deal with gastric pybass complications. I’m not saying yours is, but it isn’t even in their mental decision trees - as it wasn’t popular when most of them went to medical school.

Things like post-prandial severe hyperglycemia are relatively new and severe potential complications of gastric bypass. Most doctors wouldn’t be familiar with it.

It would possibly explain the timing - and the cramping, but you didn’t mention other symptoms that fit the bill. I’m not saying this is it - it probably isn’t, but I hope you are seeing someone with experience in gastric bypass.