Saturday, October 14, 2017

Abdominal Update: "Second" Opinion

I want to provide an update on the status of my abdominal pain, because I feel I glossed over that update a bit in my Mayo Clinic post. I saw a new gynecologist at the recommendation of my pain management doctor. I explained in this post that my pain was not due to scar tissue on my abdominal wall, as he had previously thought. His advice at my follow-up appointment was to go seek another opinion from a gynecologist. As I said at length in my previous post, I was disappointed to start back at square one, but excited at the fresh perspective this new doctor might bring. Although, I should point out that while I am calling this a second opinion, I have actually seen 3 other gynecologists within two practices for this issue. However, their diagnoses/treatment plans were SO wrong, that I choose not to include them when discussing my progress.

Finding a New Gynecologist

My mother (angel that she is) made an appointment at a local gynecologist that had experience in laparoscopic and robotic surgery, and seemed well regarded by her previous patients. I would like to point out at this point that we had already been the surgery route. I have had a large number of surgical procedures for a woman my age, and while we are not against surgery, we don't want to keep opening me up without a game-plan. We hoped that this new doctor, let's call her Dr. R, would provide us with potential non-invasive options, as well as explore diagnoses we had not yet considered.

A Possible Diagnosis

After taking a thorough history, and taking into consideration the diagnoses and procedures I had already explored, she had a potential diagnosis. Dr. R believed I was exhibiting some symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis. This condition is also known as painful bladder syndrome. The obvious symptom I was displaying, was mild-severe pelvic pain. I will say, however, that I do not feel like my pain necessarily revolves around the bladder or urination. Just the same way that I don't feel that my pain increases or decreases based on what I eat, or how much I eat. As always though, symptoms are different for everyone.

Treating I.C.

The best part was that the treatment is non-invasive. Physical therapy for your abdomen and pelvic floor (sounds interesting), and a medication with minimal side effects. I tried the medication for about a week- it is supposed to be fast acting- and experienced no changes in my pain. I have an appointment booked for physical therapy, but as with everything in the medical world, there's a waiting list. I'm not too optimistic about the physical therapy since the medication didn't work, but I will give it my best and try to go into it with an open mind.

I can't imagine I will have too many more updates on my abdominal pain before I go to the Mayo Clinic, but I will of course have plenty of other things to write about!

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