My Chronic Pain

I've been living with burning pain it the upper left quadrant of my abdomen for decades.

I had 24 abdominal surgeries from age 4 months to 6 years of age, then 3 more between ages 21 and 25 for the cesarean births of my three children.

I feel twinges that are adhesion pain, but those are not my chronic nerve pain, I see this to illustrate there is a distinct difference.

The pain is under one of my floating ribs, which seems to be bound up in scar tissue attached to the pain's source, there is a ridge in my abdominal wall there that has been felt by body workers. The pain never moves from the upper left quadrant site. It is perhaps two inches, the part that burns--it feels like a raw scrapped knee, but inside me. I can press on it, sometimes alleviating the pain, I sleep with an 8 pound weight to push on it as it can make my breathing easier (the pain spot is not pulled). It seems that scar tissue in my diaphragm is likely attached and pulling the place the pain emanates from.

I've had Eastern and Western medicine try to alleviate or treat the pain. The pain is fist sized, it burns-it hurts while I sit, breathe, lay down or am walking--all the time. This makes it hard to sleep also I'm a very fidgety person, I shake my leg while I sit and I wiggle a lot. I'm sort of used to the pain after decades, but one never really gets used to pain.

I've tried acupuncture that was able to take the pain away "turn it off" amazingly, but it lasted only an hour and a half. I've tried anti-inflammatory herbs and follow an anti-inflammatory diet (I take 5 fish oil caps daily and have raw walnuts, I eat very healthy-I fast most days eating only once and eat minimally processed foods, lean meat with green, reds and orange vegetables daily). I've had rolfing and different types of deep body massage trying to stretch the area and free up the adhered floating rib. Sometimes the pain is lessoned, I've never found anything that takes it away completely like the acupuncture did once (that was the head of a school in Austin that taught acupuncture, he'd been successful in China and was invited to head and teach at the Austin school, he was considered the best in the Austin area, I'd been referred to him from a different acupuncturist in Austin).

The President of the Gastrointestinal Society in Austin went through the Western medicine testing for me in '05. I had a barium X-Ray, CAT scan, and endoscopy & laparoscopy--nothing was found that looked like it could be treated by surgery-I was referred to pain management.

I also saw a childhood doctor of mine who was famous internationally in gastroenterology and teaching in MO, at my age of 31. (I'm writing this entry at age 34) Dr. Fleisher said that it was likely a severed nerve in that upper left quadrant area of my abdomen. This is also what Dr. George Willeford, the Austin Gastroenterologist had said when he referred me to a pain management specialist.

I'm now in the UK trying to set up treatment. I've had a referral to a pain management clinic and am setting up an appointment. I'd love to find a way to end the pain. I've taken Neurontin (Gabapentin) for the past 3 years-it really only effects my mind with a mild good feeling, it does not effect my pain. I'm quite adverse to normal treatments for chronic pain that would be bad for my liver with long term use, or my brain. As I likely have to live with the pain, it would be nice to get some support-I can't complain to my husband and my family, they really have heard it all before ;-)

I'd love to try some new treatment where the nerve signals could be blocked with an electrical implant.

I'd like to be able to live without pain, and be able to breathe normally. Sitting here typing this, it is hard to imagine what it would be like to not have the burning. I'd still be enjoying watching my three children play with their electricity experiment kit, jumping up to catch a flying disc. I'll join in when I get off the computer after this entry ;-) Someday maybe I'll be able to enjoy life without pain, sleep normally, not fear long distance driving where I have to sit for hours.

If anyone has any ideas for me, feel free to contact me at shannonvyff @ yahoo . com