Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis

Even writing about Pancreatitis brings back bad memories. Pancreatitis was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. And I had it twice!

Web MD states:

“The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and next to the small intestine. The pancreas does two main things:

  1. It releases powerful digestive enzymes into the small intestine to aid the digestion of food.
  2. It releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body control how it uses food for energy.

Pancreatitis is a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Pancreatic damage happens when the digestive enzymes are activated before they are released into the small intestine and begin attacking the pancreas.”

I first got pancreatitis in August of 2016. I woke up in the morning and was experiencing abdominal pain. Rather than getting better, it quickly got worse. I tried to lie down and it did not help. I tried to eat something and promptly vomited it up. I went for a brief walk and still no change. I then called my mother, told her my symptoms, and off to the local hospital we went. I was in the hospital for 7 days. For much of that I could not eat or drink. People with acute pancreatitis like I had are treated with IV fluids to flush your system out and let your pancreas rest. You also are given pain medication to control the pain and boy did I need it. The medication that ended up helping the most is called Dilaudid. I believe this was the first time I had been in the hospital and I absolutely hated it. It felt like I was in prison. And not being to eat or drink made it all the worse. At best, I was given some ice chips by ones of the nurses. It took days for the pain to subside and then several days of monitoring me to make sure I was back on track. They believe the cause of the pancreatitis was a drug I was taking for diabetes called Januvia.

Once I left the hospital it was not a done-deal by any stretch. I had awful GI side effects that took weeks or months to go away. My GI system was in bad shape and it really took a long time to truly recover.

Unfortunately, I was back in hospital in November 2017 for the same condition. Once again I woke up with strong abdominal pain. It wasn’t quite as bad as before so I thought I had indigestion or something. I went to school and it got worse and I was trying to just power through because I was scheduled to be in a play about body image that night. Unfortunately by 5 PM I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went to the emergency room. In another entry I will talk about the transphobia I experienced there, but the doctor was good and she got me in and out of the hospital in around 3 days. They think it was another medication that caused it. I can tell you one thing, if I get it again, I am going to be pissed. This condition could be fatal or result in removal of the pancreas in serious cases. It is pain I would not wish on my worst enemy and I hope I am totally done with pancreatitis.