For ten years or so, I've been having occasional stomach pains that are quite extreme. Occasional as in maybe 4 or 5 times a year and sometimes quite a long time between. So last time it happened, I made an appointment with the doc. He ran tests. It wasn't an ulcer which is what I had thought it would be. No pilori bacteria. Doctor's idea was that it was muscle spasms, where the muscle in question being the lining of the stomach. Nothing to say one way or the other though.
He told me that the next time it happens to go to the emergency room so they can conduct tests, while it is happening. Monday, it happened. So I dutifully bussed my way to Swedish E.R. Waited only an hour to get in. Waited longer for a doctor. Shortly after I donned my required hospital garb that shows off my fine backside, someone wheeled in a kid who injured himself at Rainer Beach H.S. football practice. Kid screamed every time they touched him, he was in that much pain. Luckily for him, looks like nothing broken. (And then his mom and dad got to have a custody battle in the hallway! Whee!) Anyway, back to my story. Drew blood eventually. First time a phlebotomist has drawn the blood from the back of my hand. Usually they take it from the inside of my elbow. I liked this better. Waited several hours. Everything turned up pretty much normal.
Except one protein level. I can't remember the name offhand, and I've kind of avoided looking it up online for a couple of days cause it's scary. Anyway, the pacreas secrets the protein, which is then activated in the small intestine and digests food. Only sometimes it can get activated early. Essentially the pancreas starts digesting itself. My levels of this protein were high. But just over the range. Of course, by the time they drew blood, my pain attacks had subsided.
So I could have a pancreas that's eating itself. I don't know yet. It's not yet life threatening if that's the case. I don't know the treatment, if there is one. And it could be something totally different, like the muscle spasm thing I mentioned, or stress manifesting itself in odd ways. I'll find out more later, I spose.
No big deals about it. A ton of my friends have had more serious issues lately and this doesn't compare. What's a pain in the stomach, even a bad one, compared to emergency kidney removal (Debbie, you should tell people you woke up in a tub of ice in Vegas), lung surgery to remove growths, and freaking brain surgery (M.R., did they take pictures of you with a hole in your head? That would be so cool.)