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what could this be??

Posted by dlh510

my niece started with abdominal pain approximately 3 weeks ago. dr's removed her appendix and a fat pad on her intestines, they said that they were not sure if either of these were the problem but were going to try it. she is now vomiting everytime she eats and suffering severe abdominal pain, 3 days ago she began having blackouts and now numbness and tingling throughout her entire body. also her heartrate is becoming irradic. with the last blackout she seemed to stop breathing. the hospital wouldn't admit her during her last ER vist,(2 days) ago they said just to follow up with the GI doctor the next day. the I doctor watched her eat, saw the pain vomiting and blackouts... he then scheduled another test for monday to see if her stomach is emptying.

we are scared, and very frustrated. last night she told her mother that she thinks she is dying.  she is 16 and has a history of shingles (not currently active) and migraines.

Answers (2)
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First let me say that I'm not a physician or medical provider.  I do have twenty years experience assisting patients get the best care possible.  With that said the thought that your neice hasn't been admitted to the hospital is absurd.  You need to know who has been caring for your niece. If it's an intern or resident (nothing against interns or residents) then ask for an attending physician.  Where you live may be another concern.  Smaller or more rural areas won't have the expertise simply because of population size, so it may be necessary for her to be examined by someone at a large institution.  When speaking with the doctor it's important to get them to think outside the box.  When they give their opinion, it's perfectly okay to ask, "what else could it be" that usually stops them long enough to think there may be other possibilities.  In addition, if they are focused on one particular organ in the body ask them what organs are close getting them to look beyond just the obvious.

I would like to recommend that your niece's fear of dying needs to be taken very seriously.  Request a consult with a social worker/psychologist/psychiatrist.  Her fear and panic will definitely be a factor in the equation of her diagnosis.  The medical team needs her help in figuring all this out and her death anxiety could possibly get in the way of a speedy diagnosis.

we actually live in metro detroit. she has been going to the same hospital. we will definitely be going to a different hospital soon. it is hard to figure out where to take her though... childrens hospital, or  U of M. or should we go to the mayo clinic... since we have no idea what is causing this we have no idea where to go.

 she is seeing a neurology today. we saw cardio monday, she has a heart monitor for 3 weeks. they did all the regular test and  her heart is fine. this helped alot to alliviate the fear of dying. the passing out was explained, it has to do with the vegas nerve being stimulated-in this case by pain.

the more she eats the worse the pain and the longer the episode lasts. on liquids it just delays the process, so instead of 15 minutes after eating solids it is about an hour and a half after that the process starts with liquids.

what is absurd is on monday while having a gastric emptying test, 2 techs and a nurse watched her in pain pass out 8 or so times and they never bothered to call a doctor in to see it.  in the ER last week they watched the process and since she was "ok" after they sent her home and said just to follow up with a GI doctor... they have not done an MRI or CT scan.

if anyone has a suggestion as to what this might be, a test that should be run, or where to take her please please let me know.

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