The ultrasound with a fatty meal revealed no stones, no obstructions, no thickening of the gallbladder wall, no sludge, bile ducts within normal diameter, and an ejection factor of 75% 20 minutes after consuming the fatty meal.

So, now I have no idea what to think about my gallbladder. The HIDA was low, the ultrasound was on the high end of normal. Nothing consistently reproduces my symptoms.

It’s been a week since the ultrasound and blood work, and I still haven’t gotten the blood work report yet. Which I find strange. I got the ultrasound report on Monday. And a liver panel and lipase and amylase don’t usually take that long to run, as far as I’m aware.

I haven’t heard from Dr. S about either test. Or the referral to the neurologist, and I’ve had numbness whenever anything presses on my middle finger for about three weeks now. The involuntary leg spasms have been more frequent the past couple of weeks. And the ocular flashes are getting more frequent again. Its something I would like to get checked out before classes start in fall. I’m already behind enough on my own research and academic progress, I really don’t like being behind in classes too.

Gallbladder, oh gallbladder

I just got back from Dr. S’s office.

She thinks the left sided pain may be referred pain from my gallbladder, and that surgery is our best option at this point, but understands my reluctance, especially since the change of resolved problems with atypical symptoms is 41%.

So she’s agreed to do the ultrasound and run the blood work for pancreas function (amylase and lipase) when I asked her to. The ultrasound and blood work is scheduled for the 2nd. It’s pretty much the last test we can do to give us any indication if its the gallbladder, short of removing it.

So, if those results of the ultrasound and blood work don’t give us any new information that contradicts surgery, then I agreed surgery would be the best next move.

Every time I go to her office, I bring a report of everything that’s been going on since my last appointment. My reports have included information about my bladder being reluctant to empty completely, the pins and needles I get in my limbs, and the random muscle contractions that occasionally occur in my right leg– most often before bed (which she said is normal) but also have occurred when I am awake (she said that is not normal). She thinks I should see a neurologist. So I’m going to look into if I can go to the student health center over the summer, and get the student health center to refer me to a neurologist, since the insurance will pay more of the bill (90% instead of 80%) that way. If I can’t go to the student health center over the summer, Dr. S said she can refer me to the neurologist.

I really like Dr. S, and am so glad she listens to me and validates my effort, thoughts, and research into my own health. In my experience, it is rare that a doctor does that. She’s one of the good ones, which makes up for the incredibly slow speed of her office, and why I will continue to see her as long as I need to.

Now I just need to think about the financials. It’s stressful enough that my health causes “speed-bumps” in my academic work and mental functioning (I have had some cognitive dysfunction lately, often switching a wrong word for what I mean to say, and making mental connections is slower than I’d like… Which is NOT conducive to working on my preliminary exam this summer.) But the financials are getting pretty tight. Graduate students don’t make much money.

I have an annual $3000 out of pocket max on my insurance. I need to find out if the “year” is the calendar year or the school year. It’ll make a big difference if my out-of-pocket max rolls over on July 1st, or January 1st. If I’m going to have that surgery this summer, and see a neurologist- with more tests I’m sure, I really want to know if I’m looking at a new $3000 bill, or if it will be less since I’ve had, and paid for, procedures so far this calendar year.

Follow-up: Cysts and Pills

The ultrasound yesterday was at the GYN instead of the Imaging Center where I usually go- it was much less thorough and only TV instead of both abdominal and TV. While I hate the pain of ultrasounds, I at least appreciate when they are thorough enough to really see what is going on…
One thing I did like was the screen set up directly across from the bench so I could watch what was going on. Makes sense to have a monitor accessible if you are usually doing ultrasounds on pregnant people- of course they want to see. I love watching ultrasounds, and usually request a copy of my ultrasound images following the procedure (I didn’t this time), so it was a nice feature. However, since I do know what I am looking at… I found things to be concerning. My uterus looks normal as always, same endometrium, same cervix, and left ovary always has a few (4-6) follicles… so that was all typical. There was even the typical shooting pain that comes with the position they have to put the probe in to look at my right ovary. But right ovary came up with no big clear cyst like last time. In fact the tech had to put the doppler on to even find the ovary. I couldn’t easily differentiate if there was an endometrioma (i.e., blood filled cyst).

My GYN is actually out of town until Monday, and since it isn’t a big, obvious, follicular cyst I’m sure her nurse (who ordered the ultrasound for me) won’t actually give me any indication of what is going on. If it is an endometrioma, that sucks, but I am okay with knowing that there is indeed a cyst pressing on things and causing this pain. If it isn’t a cyst… why does it hurt like this again? What else could be going on? And if it isn’t a cyst, is my doctor just going to blow off this pain? Will she order more imaging to try to see what is actually going on? Will she try to push Depo again? Will she suggest I look into surgical options, or refer me to a gastrointestinal specialist?

Monday seems so far away.

Cysts and pills

I think my cyst on my right ovary is returning. I have an ultrasound in about two hours to get a look at it, which of course is something I am dreading. I don’t mind abdominal ultrasounds- the pressure isn’t my favorite thing in the world but it isn’t bad; the transvaginal ultrasounds on the other hand are excruciating. Not all of is horrible, but there are certain positions they must place the probe in to visualize everything and some of those positions make me want to cry. I took a hydrocodine to help cope with the current pain and to hopefully mitigate some of the searing pain that comes with the TV.

I don’t know what we’ll do if the cyst has returned. I’m 5 months in on the BeYaz- currently 1/2 way through my last pack of this 3 month rotation (I only did 2 months the first time since I had already been on a month of NorQD). I got the first cyst on the NorQD, but it regressed to the point it no longer felt like appendicitis when I switched over to the BeYaz. I don’t really have many other options to switch to from the BeYaz if there is a cyst again. And I am NOT, NOT, NOT doing the Depo shot.

I hate this. I hate endo.