I am a 25-year-old male who started struggling with digestive problems as of April 2018, which was the first time I ended up in the urgent care for nausea and vomiting. A few days later, the side effects started to go away on their own and I though nothing more of it than a stomach bug. In late August / early September of the same year, I started experiencing some of the same symptoms in addition to many new ones. I started having diarrhea 8-10 times a day, vomiting 5-6 times a day, excruciating lower/upper quadrant abdominal pain, and colon spasms. Over the course of the next few months I was in and out of doctors' appointments, doing various tests blood tests, stool tests, and an ultrasound, all of which came back negative for pathology. The only finding before February of 2019 was fatty infiltration of the liver, which was evaluated by ultrasound. In early February, I ended up in the emergency room with abdominal pain in the right upper and lower quadrants. I was then admitted to a local hospital for 5 days, where there were no significant findings. I was discharged with a diagnosis of IBS-D. By the time I had left, prior workup had called for celiac, C. difficile, stool pathogens, PCR, celiac, basic labs, inflammatory markers, fecal cal protectant, EGD and colonoscopy with biopsies, and CT enterography all of which had been unrevealing. At this point since April of 2018, I have lost upwards of 40 pounds and am being woken up nightly to abdominal pain, as well as tenesmus. It is now November of 2019, and in total I have been to the emergency room 7 times in the past year, with one admission being in February of 2019. The 6th ER visit, I was put on stroke alert, due to symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, tingling in extremities, pins and needles, right sided face numbness, and neck numbness. This same visit, the nurse practitioner recommended me to the secondary healthcare system for continuation of care, as GI had exhausted its resources. Up to this point, I have had two ultrasounds, two abdominal CT's with contrast, two endoscopies separated by 9 months, a colonoscopy with biopsies, an MRI of the brain, a thyroid uptake scan, and an ultrasonic endoscopy with biopsies. Findings up to this point suggest mild to moderate chronic pancreatitis, found on the EGD/EUS done within the previous month and esophagitis, which I contribute to the upper quadrant pain, but the origin is unknown. Testing is currently being done for autoimmune pancreatitis as I am not, nor have I ever been a heavy drinker.
There are only 3 major hospital systems in the state that I reside in, which at this point, I have jumped through all of the tests that have been thrown at me. I have seen upwards of 30 different doctors between 2 different healthcare systems (at different times) since the beginning of my symptoms in April of 2018, and symptoms continue to progressively worsen. I completely exhausted the first healthcare system as well as its GI department. I have an enormous GI workup done through that first system, in which I transferred over to the second healthcare system when my care was terminated. Out of those 30 doctors, I have seen at least 8 different GI specialists between the two healthcare systems. I currently have been put on a trial of pancreatic enzymes (Creon), as well as omeprazole for acid reflux. I take upwards of 8 Imodium/daily, 4 Lomotil/daily, 6 (36,000 unit) Creon enzymes/daily, 2 omeprazole/daily in an attempt to stop the diarrhea with no relief. I am still currently experiencing diarrhea 5-6 times a day. I have tried cutting out multiple medications, cutting out all dairy/gluten, alternating Gatorade/Pedialyte on top at least a gallon of water a day, eliminating alcohol/carbonated drinks completely, eliminated coffee/caffeinated drinks from my diet, low fat diets, low Fodmap diet, low fiber diets, as well as fasting for 48 hours with no relief. Even when I do not eat food, my stools consist of unabsorbed liquids (aka diarrhea). I have even tried acupuncture and holistic medicine as an approach with no relief of symptoms. My exercise schedule went from 4 to 5 days a week to 1-2 days if I am lucky, due to intense spasms, nausea, and violent vomiting.
The only reason that I have not made a trip to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix yet is because I am unable to leave my school program to receive care primarily due to my schooling, but also because Medicaid will not cover out of state care. Also, I am unable to afford care out of state until I get a job as an ultrasound tech and have better insurance. I am expected to graduate from my Ultrasound program in April of 2020. Luckily, I was able to receive some accommodations from my school's disability program, otherwise I would have been kicked out of the program months ago. Every day is a new battle with my symptoms, but it never gets any easier. It seems like with every flare up, symptoms only get 5 times worse. I am looking for any recommendations for relief that I haven't tried, as this battle makes the will to continue pushing through more and more difficult. My family and I do not know where to turn at this point. Someone please help! I just need relief for the next 5 months until I graduate and am able to go out of state to receive better healthcare.