Desperate for Diagnosis-Diaphragmatic Hernia-9 mo.
I am so glad to have found this site. I am a female, age 73, 5′ 3″, 150 lbs, and am desperate to get a diagnosis for what I am positive is a Diaphragmatic Hernia, right side. For 9 months I have had pain and discomfort in the area below ribs, several inches to the right (and lower) of my navel. I have experienced numerous horrifying ‘Events’, when what feels like a 5 lb. ham suddenly and forcefully thrusting up under my ribs and into my chest cavity. This usually happens when a body movement puts pressure on my right side, such as bending over, pulling on a sock or shoe, sitting with leg pulled up, leaning forward, etc. I have learned how to be more careful so as to minimize these events, but it is a moment- to-moment monitoring of my body movements, and I am conscious of discomfort and/or pain all my waking hours. My quality of life is diminished, and I cannot imagine having to live the rest of my life dealing with this condition, and feeling in constant danger.
I have done a lot of online research… reading papers written by doctors, operative reports, JAMA articles, everything pertaining to hernia, and the only plausible diagnosis I can reach is that there is a tear in my diaphragm, causing my liver to abruptly thrust up into my chest cavity. Apparently this is a rare condition, more rare in women, and even more rare on the right side. When an Event occurs I immediately push the mass down to where it belongs. On the list of hernias that you repair, Diaphragmatic Hernia is not mentioned, but I am hoping that you can help.
I have been to my PCP, who sent me to a Pulmonary Specialist, who sent me to a Thoracic Surgeon. I have had two CT’s (one with contrast), and an MRI, all of which were negative. None of the doctors have been helpful… it seems that if the tests do not show anything then nothing is wrong. Some of the things the Thoracic Surgeon told me were: “Lose some weight, maybe it will go away.” “It is impossible for the Diaphragm to have a hernia.” “Maybe it is your omentum moving around.” and when I told him that my research said that a CT or MRI will not show the defect 50% of the time, he said, “That is not true. They are liars. They are all lying.” I asked him if he could do an exploratory Laparoscopy because something is VERY WRONG in there, he said, “Absolutely not. I could lose my license for doing unnecessary surgery. Why would you want to put yourself through surgery for nothing?” Sigh. No help at all.
I am a well-informed person medically speaking, have had a high interest in medicine all of my life, and worked in a hospital (Admitting) for 15 years. I am not an alarmist, nor a malingerer, nor a complainer… I consider myself to be a stoic person, and I do not run to a doctor for every little thing. I tough it out and take care of most things myself. Now, when I really need medical help, it is not there. They do not seem to know what to do with me and are hoping I will ‘get better’ on my own.
I read about Dynamic Ultrasound, and I could probably force an Event to happen, although it is a horrifying experience. I would appreciate your comments. I want my life back! Thank you so much.
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