Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Viral Pericarditus and Cecal Volvulus

Posted In: Medical Stories 4 Replies
  • Posted By: Grustel
  • August 8, 2007
  • 11:46 PM

35 yrs ago I was thought to have histoplasmosis or a fungal infection in the lungs which is endemic to river valleys e.g. Ohio River (Kentucky). After 3 weeks of incredible pain (chest; arms; night sweats; chills; etc) the pericardital rub exhibited. It was audible even to me without a stethoscope and sounded like two sheets of sand paper rubbing together with every heart beat. This was FINALLY the clue the MD's needed to make the diagnosis. I was already in congestive heart failure, but steroids eventually "cured" it. When I tried to wean off of the prednisone it took me a year and a half to do so.

Post script ...I was told I would have been dead within 24 hrs had I not been admitted to the hospital when I was.

Second misdiagnosis -- cecal volvulous -- or twisted colon. Seven yrs ago I presented with a "distended" feeling of flatulent build up. In other words, I thought I had gas. Upon trying several home remedies including an enema, and positioning myself (butt up in air to relieve the pressure) NOTHING seemed to help. This happened 4 times within about a 3 month spread. :confused: The last time it presented, I was given an xray at a local ER (having waited for the obligatory 5 + hrs :mad:) only to be told I was constipated and to drink an ENTIRE bottle of PHILIPS MILK OF MAGNESIA. This not only exascerbated the symptoms, but I finally could stand the pain no longer and could hardly dial 9-1-1. The ER ordered a barium enema for contrast and what the ensuing xrays revealed were STILL in contention.

The on call general surgeon decided to open me up. She had never seen, and only read about my situation, after-the-fact, however. My ASCENDING colon had distended from the normal 3 cm (about the size of a quarter) to that of a dinner plate (28 cm) and had, what she referred to as serosal tearing (the outer layer of 5 layers of the colon) much like a BALLPARK frank ready to burst on the BBQ. She told me later, that had I not had that surgery, I would have either died or become extremely ill by that afternoon! The twist of the colon trapped all fecal matter BEHIND it. Those periodic twists over 3 months would ultimately twist back to its normal position. This last time, however, adhesions or scar tissue possibly from a recent hysterectomy caused this "floppy colon" to adhere to this glue like adhesion. As days went on, this distended colon was in jeopardy of bursting. Later it was shown that I had gangrenous colon tissue as well as the eminent "bursting point". My surgeon told me that she had to encase the compromised colon in towels so if it did burst, the contents would hopefully be trapped by the towels. She also reassigned the small intestine to the transverse colon.

Post script: The surgeon also told me...she literally went to battle with the ER doc who advised her to withhold the surgery as I was "...dying from colon cancer and had already matastisized ...that surgery would be in vain..."

I literally owe my life to her and her seeming stubborn nature. As it turns out, she was a holy terror (a good thing!!!) and when she entered my ward the nurses would duck and cover as she was not to be reckoned with!!! I heard her yelling and screaming on more occasions than one in the hospital and again at her office when a mastectomy patient had been discharged too early and needed further procedure(s). I'd say she's more than an MD...she was mine and others' "guardian angel" to who I literally owe my life. Cecal volvulous affects only about 1% if the population and it is thought that West Africans and Ukrainians are, for some reason, at risk more than the general population! I am Polish heritage, so perhaps this is consistent with the Ukraine connection. I understand, also, that dogs and horses present with this more often than humans!!! (hummmmmm?!!!):rolleyes:

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  • HelloI was interested in your bout with a cecal volvulus. I am a 58 year old personal trainer. I have always had problems with bloating but just thought that was part of my "make-up". In the fall on 2009 I started feeling ill and tired. Thought I had anemia although that was ruled out. My doc said that I do too much exercise for my age and it was normal to feel tired. On my one day off (Sunday) I would get up to go do my own workout, only to get hungry and tired and then go back to bed - then I thought I had depression. Anyway, on 18 Nov 2009 I came home from work and headed for bed (at 1pm in the afternoon!) Got up at 5pm and had a drink of juice and some fruit - then one hour later excrutiating pain, then vomiting. Thought it was food poisoning and toughed it out for four hours until I could no longer stand the pain. My nearest hospital was actually so small and in a not good area that it was classed as a medical center - but I was treated with kindness and efficiency. The er doc took one look at me and ordered a pet scan at the same time he was calling in the surgeon on call. Within two hours I was on the operating table where the surgeon had to rotate my intenstines back into place and cut out the cecum. He said it was a real mess. Seems I have had this "birth defect" all my life and they were surprised I had had no problems until now. Staff of med center and doc were absolutely amazing. Went back to work after 2 weeks and am now 1 month post op and working out a little harder. So, how are you doing now? How is the eating and (excuse the courseness) pooping going? I have to say that I have not felt this well for a long time. Did you have the same experience? Would love to know how you are doing and also how your heart is.Lynda
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 15, 2008
    • 07:34 PM
    • 0
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  • I was just reading my former post and seeing if I got any replies. I noticed that I said my cecal volvulus occurred on 18 Nov 2009. I did, of course mean 2008. Blame that on anesthesia or (as my husband would say) being blonde. Anyway, would love to hear from anyone who had a cecal volvulus and how they are doing now. I continue to feel better. Taught 1 spin class two weeks ago but am not on the regular group ex schedule until I return from England on the 12 Jan. Worked out a little harder with weights yesterday and am sore today but did not do anything my body told me not to do. Now that I am alive I am now concerned about the scar (4 inches down center of abdomen.) It has puckered quite a bit. Doc said when stitches dissolve should look better. Would like to know how everyone else is doing.My appetite has returned with a vengence but I am still about 5lb down from my original weight of 114lb (good thing!!) Bring on the cake!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 25, 2008
    • 11:29 AM
    • 0
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  • HI. I am 56 yrs old and I just had a diagnosis of cecal bascule which is a rare form of volvulus. I had been bloated, starving and gassy for months. Finally I developed so much abdominal pain I had to go to emerg where I had exrays that showed a softball sized area of trapped gas. Turns out my colon is not attached to anything and flipped over somehow causing this obstruction. When I received the barium to drink for the Cat Scan it somehow flipped back on its own. They tell me that the odds are very low that this will ever happen again and that is is very rare and congenital. This was last week and I feel so much better now and am not starving any more. The hunger may have been from lack of absorption, in effect I was eating well, but malnourished. I have only walked since then for exercise, but I hope to go to the gym today.Hope you're stilll doing well.I was just reading my former post and seeing if I got any replies. I noticed that I said my cecal volvulus occurred on 18 Nov 2009. I did, of course mean 2008. Blame that on anesthesia or (as my husband would say) being blonde. Anyway, would love to hear from anyone who had a cecal volvulus and how they are doing now. I continue to feel better. Taught 1 spin class two weeks ago but am not on the regular group ex schedule until I return from England on the 12 Jan. Worked out a little harder with weights yesterday and am sore today but did not do anything my body told me not to do. Now that I am alive I am now concerned about the scar (4 inches down center of abdomen.) It has puckered quite a bit. Doc said when stitches dissolve should look better. Would like to know how everyone else is doing.My appetite has returned with a vengence but I am still about 5lb down from my original weight of 114lb (good thing!!) Bring on the cake!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am a 31 year old female and I had surgery for Cecal Volvulus on July 8, 2010. I had been dealing with symptoms and misdiagnosis for about two years. Finally, it peaked on July 8. I toughed out the severe pain for five hours before having the sense to go the the emergency room; was in surgery three hours later. I'm almost three weeks out and am feeling really good - better than I have in a long time. I never thought that I would be, excuse the bluntness, but so happy to eat, digest, poop, repeat! No more bloating, constipation, gas etc. I am wondering about recovery - has anyone who has undergone this surgery had any lasting effects that I should be aware of? Any repeats situations? I'm hoping this is something that is dealt with only once, but would love to hear about others experience with this.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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