I would like to share my medical story that started with a wrong diagnosis that led to the truth! So I was in fact very blessed by my wrong diagnosis.
Several months ago I went to visit a gastroenterologist specialist as I had been suffering from intermittent constipation which was chronic when I had it, and happening with much more regularity. I could never understand the reason why as I ate a healthy diet with lots of fruits, veggies and fibre that would send normal constitutions to the bathroom several times a day. All I knew was that the food I was eating was not leaving my body and I was always uncomfortable with severe bloating. I had tried to loose some excess weight for years and never succeeded – I am about 10 lbs overweight.
The specialist offered to do a colonoscopy (the very thing I had dreaded for years and had put off looking into my problem as a result of) I had accompanied my mum for a colonoscopy several years ago when I lived in the UK and they had to stop it as she was screaming in pain – no sedation there. So when the specialist told me I would have a general anaesthetic for the procedure I eagerly agreed (I now live in USA).
After the colonoscopy the specialist showed me a color photo of what he believed was a large cyst pressing into the end of my colon near the cecum. All you could see was an impression as it was on the outside pressing in. Within a week I was sent for a CT scan of my abdomen and colon.
No cyst could be found, but what they did find was that my colon was the wrong way round with my cecum and appendix in the upper left hand quarter of my abdomen. Apparently I had a MOBILE CECUM and the whole of my ascending colon was not adhered to my abdomen (apparently a genetic condition that I was born with) So for 54 years I have lived with a colon that has a mind of its own and moves freely around my abdomen – and sometimes not so freely in the times when I had acute constipation – which was happening more and more. My colon was “kinked” often but had not twisted. The specialist told me it was rare to find this condition in an adult other than when it presented as a twisted bowel when you are rushed to the emergency room in danger for your life.
The illusive cyst that I was originally diagnosed with turned out to probably have been my kidney – as my colon had floated off to that part of my body on the day of the colonoscopy and was pressing into my kidney– had that not happened I would never have been sent for a CT Scan – so you see sometimes wrong diagnosis can lead to the truth! I also went for a barium enema to confirm exactly where the cecum was – not a pleasant procedure as it took over two hours to find my cecum as it was choosing to hide on that particular day!
The colonoscopy did not uncover the mobile cecum!!
Anyway I was sent to see a surgeon who suggested two options. Either the removal (re-section) of the ascending colon or a cecopexy – which would adhere the floating colon to the abdomen wall. He recommended the cecopexy but the gastroenterologist recommended the re-section/removal of the ascending colon as he thought it was too floppy and long to adhere to the abdomen. I went for a second opinion and that surgeon too recommended the cecopexy as it was less invasive and could also be later changed to a re-section if it was unsuccessful. They also wanted to remove my gallbladder as I had gallstones. I started doing a lot of research and was confused about what I should do. I decided that I would hold on to my gallbladder for the time being as I didn’t want that removed at the same time as potentially my ascending colon. I was scheduled to go for the re-section based on my gastroenterologist’s recommendation as he said the cecopexy often failed and came unstuck again with the risk of a twisted bowel.
I soon realized that my decision for the surgery was based on fear of “what might happen in the future”. I am a lady of faith and decided that my life would not be based on fear of the unknown.
On the day of the surgery I asked the surgeon to do what he felt was the best solution for me based on what he could see once inside with a camera. I asked him to stitch it down if the colon was viable and to re-section if it was floppy and worn out!!
He performed a cecopexy and showed me the photos of the surgery! He said it was a long and arduous operation as the colon was extra long – he started tacking it just below my liver and went all the way down to my pubic bone – there was no space to tack down the cecum so it still remains unattached. The surgery took three hours and he was happy with the outcome.
That was ten days ago and by the fifth day I was having normal bowel movements several times a day. The surgeon apologized for the bloat in my abdomen after the gas of the laparoscopic surgery – I said what bloat!!! My stomach was less than half the size than it had been prior to the surgery!!
I am now doing well with regular bowel movements that for the first time in many years are no effort – what a relief – and the bloat has all but gone. I now feel that what I eat is leaving my body instead of turning into stale toxic waste. The pain from the internal stitches were sore for about a week and are still uncomfortable and I am not allowed to lift anything for six weeks and will be off work until mid September, but I believe it will be worth it.
So the lesson here is don’t always think that a wrong diagnosis is to your detriment – in my case it was part of the journey to finding the truth.
I look forward to being able to run again without holding my stomach – I have done that instinctively all my life!! I was also sick every day of my life until I was ten – which I now know is a huge symptom pointing to this defect in the colon when you are a baby or young child. I also had strange fluttering sensations in my belly often when I lay down at night – I was convinced I had an alien invasion of parasites and often de-toxed – it was like the feeling I had in the early days of pregnancy when you felt a flutter of movement! So I guess the fluttering feelings this time round was my colon on the move looking for a place to settle!!
I know that this is quite a rare condition and difficult to diagnose but maybe even just one of you out there has had similar experiences and this might help!!
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