Help in Orlando? (I am trying to post this for a 2nd time)
I have read a lot on this forum and hope I can get some input/advice on what to do next? I am a 45 yr old female, and have been very active at my local gym. I am not a body builder (5’6″, 127 lbs), but it is more than possible that for the past 4 yrs I have “over-trained” like a lot of women at the same gym. I cannot think of a single physical event that kicked off my symptoms, but I am a left-side sleeper, and in June 2017 I woke up on a Monday feeling like something was hanging/pulling/dangling through my middle from my right side. Because I started having what felt like “episodes” on my right side, especially while sitting or driving, I visited my gynecologist that day. My urine was clear, my gyn exam was so painful for the first time ever. He ordered a series of scans I would schedule for later in the week following insurance approvals.
The next day I felt worse and went straight to our local emergency walk-in center. They checked my urine, blood work, performed ultrasound and a CT scan. I am sure they were trying to rule out appendicitis (clouded by gas in bowel), kidney stones, anything having to do with ovaries, the uterus, bladder, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, etc. Mostly all clear – I went home with the Dx of a 2.5 cm cyst on my ovary. I tried to get back to life on Wednesday and Thursday, headed back to the gym, etc., but through that I was still having these uncomfortable episodes at my waistline and below on the right side, becoming constipated, losing interest in food, and becoming worried as the week continued.
On Thursday I called my gynecologist to say I was still feeling bad (worse), and all that my tests had revealed was that cyst. I am polycystic, it struck me I always have cysts, and that this one wasn’t that large. When I asked if that could be the culprit, he laughed. He was right, I always have cysts, and probably larger than the one they had found Tuesday, but it’s the only thing they could find. To be safe, even having had two clear urine tests that week, my gyn prescribed an antibiotic over the phone for a UTI.
I tried to get back to my routine, again. Friday I had a massage – I wondered, was it my psoas that was acting up all week? It was worth a try. Saturday I went to a weights/cardio class, and that is when I had to stop jumping rope a round or two in, and I noticed I could only pull down or pull up half the weight I normally could on the cable machine (triceps and biceps) because there was too much pressure somewhere low in my right quadrant. In fact, I stopped putting equal weight on my right foot, there was too much pressure coming up my leg into my abdomen on my lower right side.
Sunday, I went back to the emergency walk-in center. This time, without a temperature again, and with my Hx from Tuesday’s visit a few days prior, they told me they suspected an inguinal strain. I left with some pills, but was worried because I couldn’t imagine a strain would make me pant and breathe through ridiculous bouts of right side pain/spasm, make me constipated, take away my appetite (this girl loves food and wine). I read about muscle strain then hernias, I texted a physician friend and was referred to and booked with a general surgeon for an appointment on Tuesday.
Early, early Tuesday morning (middle of the night) “it” woke me up. I was so uncomfortable that I dressed and nearly drove to the hospital, but the pain/discomfort subsided. I waited for my 10am office appointment with the surgeon. He checked me for any hernia bulge, there was not any. As we talked he said he would like to watch me for a week, but he realized I was feeling worse every day. And he pointed out I had mentioned 6 symptoms that correlated with an appendicitis. Of course, I was worried all week about appendicitis. It didn’t take much to convince me we should remove it the following day. I was miserable.
Post surgery, I guess I felt better-ish? The spasm was gone, but I had lower quadrant pain and my groin was tight, and everything still hurt from the only surgery I have ever had. I started walking a few days afterward and built up my activity into the Fall. But, I have never gotten total strength back in my lower right/side abs. I was still babying that side even into December, 6 months post-surgery because it felt like I would push something too hard (pressure!!!). The last things to come back were sitting up in bed, pulling or pushing anything kind of heavy, and using the rowing machine. It’s like in the rowing machine where my leg would meet my low abdomen upon exertion was still uncomfortable and felt iffy, like a trigger point in my abdomen. But I was making strides back at the gym, increasing my weights, doing more, taking Orange Theory classes. In fact, in December I may have overdone things. I tried a lower ab leg raise, then moved to the rower and felt “something” tweak a little. It wasn’t that memorable until I took two more classes over the next three days, then fell apart the following week. But I didn’t put it together…instead…
December 18 I went back to my appendix surgeon worried sick because I felt all of my “appendix” symptoms again from June, but this time without an appendix. I was worried about adhesions, infection, a bowel blockage, something internal. It hurt to sit in the car, I had pain in my lower right side, wrapping around my waist when I was driving. It hurt to try hold myself up at the steering wheel of the car, too much work for my abdomen on the right side. I could not bend over to pick up my 5 lb dog. It hurt to twist. I was constipated like I was in June.
My doctor examined me then told me he believed I had an injury in my abdominal wall, and that I had likely come to him with exactly this in June. I said, But you took out my appendix. He said, It wasn’t that bad (rigid obliteration). He thought I was experiencing nerve pain, and made an appointment to talk about cutting the nerve(s). I later cancelled that, but I did completely rest for 4 weeks. No workouts. And my abdomen and groin symptoms improved. Then I started walking outside and using the hill programs on the treadmill to walk inside 2 weeks ago. Trying to get back to it again, I cannot lift, pull, push anything heavy (or light) even though I am trying. 6 weeks now, it hurts to bend over, to pick up my tiny dog, it hurts to cough. And by hurts, I mean it’s painful or aching in my lower right abdomen, a tender spot with zero bulge. And there is a lot of tightness in my right groin/thigh. I have an urge to stretch my groin/thigh to try to pop it to release some pressure. Everything around my waist and glute are getting tight on the same side (I deal with hip imbalance and am prone to right glute/piriformis tightness).
I met with a new general surgeon today in Orlando, I just needed someone to help me figure out what is going on inside my right side. He mentioned sports hernia, or any kind of tear, but honestly, he seems sort of baffled. They will call me to arrange an MRI, but what do You think? And now I have read so much about a regular MRI missing diagnoses that I do not know if or how I should insist on something standing or dynamic.
Any insight, feedback, or recommendations are greatly appreciated.
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