Listening to your body- My experience of being misdiagnosed
May 12, 2022
Hello family. I am not a doctor or anything near it, in fact this post is not meant to supersede anything that your doctor is saying. Simply put it is to say trust your intuition that something is wrong and get a second opinion. Today’s post is inspired by me being sick for several months ,being misdiagnosed with something else whilst it was something far worse.
How it all began
It was about late February 2021 when I was woken up by a searing pain at about 02h00 am in the morning. I thought I was hungry and so I ate but each time I tried to lay down the pain got worse. I am one person who can really handle pain until the last moment but this pain had me negotiating with God. It only got worse and I started speaking to the white porcelain. That morning I went to a doctor only to be told it was acid reflux and got some medication and was booked off sick.
Naturally I started reading up on acid reflux and what caused it and tried to adjust my diet accordingly. I should note I am someone who loves their veggies and water but I am still down for a good pizza or a burger. Yet despite all of that, I would go out for a Mexican dinner night and nothing but a vegetable meal would have me hunched over in pain. I once had a milkshake, whilst out with friends, that had me in pain that I ran to the car like I was avoiding paying the bill. Naturally I stopped ordering or making milkshakes after that. I went through periods where the pain would disappear for so long that I would think it was healed.
When it got worse
About June the pain came back. Only now it wasn’t sporadic and lasting about thirty minutes. I would experience discomfort for most of the day and medication wasn’t helping. I decided to monitor it and write notes down of what was happening. One evening in July I had it so bad that the pain started from 7pm until the morning I barely slept and could keep nothing down. I still went to work and went to the doctor later on. I noticed my pee was a bit brown and dismissed it as side effect of meds or something. In the doctors’ rooms, before my doctor even examined me I sat him down and said I suspect this is more than just reflux. I told him that it felt like my rib cage was giving birth like something was cutting through me. I told him that no medication worked and that for some odd reason when I took a hot shower and let the water hit where it hurt it would provide temporary relief. Enough for me to get in maybe two hours of sleep. That something felt like it moved down but I didn’t know what it was. He gave me a paper on the different types of reflux and he said probably wedding stress was exasperating it. He gave me more medication and something for stress and said if it got worse I could go for a scan. I didn’t get that far because the next night I was hospitalized.
The next morning I was at home trying to recover, I was feeling nauseous but managed to eat. I had a sharp pain but felt it was manageable. As the day progressed it got worse. Late afternoon I called my doctors rooms and I was told that he had left for the day. I took an Uber to Medi- cross. Now East London has potholes (Understatement of the year) that night I felt each bump in the road. My driver tried to get me there quickly but tried to make the ride smooth. He was the most attentive driver I have ever had. At Medi-cross they were about to close so they could only do some little tests. Remember that pee, the previous day as a bit brown? Well it was dark brown even the nurse got a fright. I was immediately referred to St Dominics, they were fearful it could be something with my liver but couldn’t say. At the hospital, I was booked in, my eyes were yellow I looked like a lizard, the nurses told me I had jaundice. I spent that night on heavy pain medication that the moment it finished I rang the bell to be refilled so I could sleep. The next day I went for scans and the surgeon told me it was gall stones and there was a spot available for an operation the very next day.
I have never been hospitalized in all my life let alone go for an operation, to say I was scared would be an gross understatement. Add in the fact that it’s during COVID and no visitors were allowed. Not to mention that the operation was about six weeks before my wedding. So you can imagine my parents misgivings and the superstitions that come with weddings. However I was in pain and could barely keep any food down and I had jaundice which is dangerous as an adult. I called some friends who had, had similar operations so they could allay my fears. The staff at St Doms were really amazing. The anesthesiologist picked up on my anxiety and gave me something to relax. I remember expecting to be asked to count backwards (I can’t believe movies lie to us). The operation was quick and a success. Thankfully I was discharged the next day and was booked off sick for six weeks
My reflections on Post Op and learning to rest and lean on people
There’s obviously so much more to say but I am just focusing on the ‘highlights’. I am really grateful for the staff at St Dominics they were phenomenal. My friends who bought me toiletries and a change of clothes. Recovery wasn’t easy for me I had to learn that my body just needed me to rest and rely on people to help me so I could focus on healing. Sleep became my best friend. My church was also amazing they deliver you a meal on your first day out of hospital. For a whilst I struggled with some post traumatic stress. Friends would ask about the wedding and I was honest, that I needed time to process what happened to me. That week that I got sick to the point that the bile had spilled over had escalated so quickly. I also phoned my doctor and told him what transpired since my last visit and he apologized for missing the signs. I hope I have encouraged you to listen to your body. To push for more tests or at least a second opinion when it feels like something isn’t adding up. If you have had any experience like this before please share in the comments below. Also don’t forget about our current giveaway.