Diverticulitis: Like a Blown Out Bike Tube!!

My experience with Diverticulitis happened a few years back but when I think about it I have had the problem for a long time but never realized that something was really wrong. I remember some nights staying up and rubbing my stomach and praying passing gas or having a BM would help the discomfort and pain I was feeling. I would prop my self in bed hoping the right position would alleviate my pain and discomfort. It would eventually pass so I just ignored it as a gas attack.

I started feeling really sick a few years back and after work I would just lay on the couch with a heating pad. I took Pepto and stomach aid but the pain would keep coming in waves but I chose not to go to the doctor because I figured they would just tell me that I had the stomach flu. My husband finally convinced me after 5 days of pain, to go to a minor emergency clinic to get checked. The doc there thought I might have appendicitis even though I did not have an elevated white blood cell count. My pain was around my belly button area but when he pushed certain areas such as my lower abdomen it would cause me more pain. He sent me to the hospital emergency room and they Brayed me but couldn't see anything. They told me to take some Tylenol and come in to the emergency in the morning for an ultrasound. I called work and told them I would probably be a little late for work ( I was convinced that they wouldn't find anything,,tell me I have gas or the stomach flu and send me home). I went for the ultrasound and started to get a Little concerned after 3 different people came and did the ultrasound on me on two different machines and were busy conferring with each other. I got sent back to the E.R. room and later a doc came in to tell me and my family that they had discovered a mass in my lower abdomen. they were not sure if it was part of my G.I. system or my reproductive system. My family and I just looked at each other in shock. I told my family to phone work and tell them I wouldn't be in today. I was sent for an MRI so they could see which specialist would need to deal with me. It turns out the mass was attached to my colon. I was admitted to the hospital and put on no food with bed rest, an IV with powerful antibiotics. I had blown a hole in my colon and that's what had caused my pain, then my body walled it off but the mass was full of infection. I stayed 5 days in the hospital and a few months later has a barium enema to try to see what caused the mass in my bowel. Turns out I had diverticular pouches through out my colon and one had ruptured and become infected. I had surgery to remove the worst section on my sigmoid colon.  Luckily  my surgery was laproscopic so I don't' have the huge stomach scar that usually accompanies the surgery. Its been a few years since that surgery and this year I started to  suffer from  those "gas attacks" again so here's hoping I don't blow my colon out like a tire tube again.

CrystalMessenger CrystalMessenger
6 Responses Mar 15, 2009

I have a similar story. when I was 46 I thought I had gas etc. Then one Saturday it just kept getting worse. I came home from a lunch date and laid on the bathroom floor in pain. I talked to my mom and she suggested I took my temp. It was maybe 99. I called my dr. office and they said to go immediately to the ER. Within 4 hours I had had a cat scan and was informed I needed a colostomy because my intestine was ruptured due to diverticulitis. I had no idea. I was sure it was gas. I just remember laying there looking up at my husband in shock. Within the next 30 minutes I was meeting the surgeon and being wheeled into the OR. It was a long recovery mostly due to the extensive surgery and infection. Eight months later I was able to have the colostomy reversed. That was 4 years ago and I have been having symptoms again. I went to the ER last winter with pain but know knowing what it is, they were able to put me on a liquid diet, antibiotics and pain meds. Of course I panic any time I have abdominal pain, but now I know what to do and not to blow it off.

summersun,<br />
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I am in the same place you are. I just found out that I have diveriticulitis too and this is my second round of antibiotics. I am on bullion right now to rest my colon....it is not easy. But, it is good to know that there are others out there for support. My pain is mostly inflammation at this point and never know when it will come. Take it easy and rest lots!

@CrystalMessenger - I am 32 years old and was told I have DIverticulitis and need laproscopic surgery. How do you feel now, a few years after the surgery? I am reluctant to have the surgery because I am not sure it will totally help/"cure" me from this horrible pain. In the last two months I have lost 30 lbs because I'm in so much pain and not very hungry. Have you found relief in foods and if so which foods have helped you? I have been on two rounds of anti-biotics in the last two months, Flagyl and Cypro.<br />
<br />
Thanks for any advice!

infections from diverticulitis are nothing to fool around with. I knew from colonoscopy exams in the past that I had diverticulitis and my doc said at some point there was a 50-50 chance I'd need surgery. About 5 years ago, about a week after a physical exam in which everything appeared normal, I alternated between fever and chills every couple of hours. My wife took me to the ER that evening. After several days in the hospital with high power IV antibiotics to reduce the very high white blood count, and monthly MRI and blood tests to track the infection, I was scheduled for surgery to remove part of the colon. Turned out the diverticulitis had caused a very rare but almost always fatal liver infection, which I was lucky to survive with no ill effects.

Yeah, the experiences I've had with doctors have convinced me that most of them are just trying to get through their appointments rather than really treat people. I can't tell you how many times I've waited 30+ minutes to see a doctor who spends less than 3 minutes with me. Don't worry about what your doctor thinks, you're paying him to help make you better. GL.

Actually I took care of myself for the first time in a long time and was off work for a month , just to make sure I was completely healed up before going back to work. I am a little concerned about the "gas attacks" I've been having in the last year but again I don't want to say anything to doc cause I don't want to look like a whiner if it's only the flu or gas..Guess I will only know what it is if it turns serious. Heck I had gone to a doc a year before I was diagnosed with diverticulitis and he told me I was constipated!! Good grief!

I'm sorry to hear about your pain and hope the best for you. How long did it take to recover from surgery?