I bet you’re sitting there wondering [what’s going on with Judi’s sphincter of Oddi problems?](http://www.momathome.com/viewfromhome/2005/10/that_dang_sphincter_of_oddi_ag.php) Well, as long as you asked…
I’m still uncomfortable.
My mother’s cousin (my first cousin once removed, I guess) is a neurosurgeon out of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He recommended a colleague of his who is a surgeon specializing in the abdomen. At first Mom and I were a little wary of going to a surgeon…after all, they like to do what they do and I don’t want surgery if I can avoid it. But cuz convinced us that first thing is to get an accurate diagnosis and this guy will give us that.
So I visit the doc on Tuesday and take my mom along with me as a second set of ears. He’s very nice. Even nicer, he doesn’t participate in my insurance but since I do have some out-of-network coverage he’ll file and just take whatever he gets. Very cool.
He goes over all my records (I brought everything from 1999 forward) and my MRCP films. Verdict: he agrees that it’s quite possible that it’s sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. The only way to make a definitive diagnosis is with the ERCP procedure, which carries a rather high risk of pancreatic complications. If it is SOD, it’s not an incredibly advanced case because my bilirubin is still in the normal range and my liver enzymes are only slightly elevated. In other words, maybe, just maybe we can make the pain go away with medication without cutting anything. Music to my ears. Now I’m on a rather high dose of Zantac…600 mg a day, with the hope that eliminating all sign of acid in my stomach will stop the spincter from clamping down. That’s the theory, at least. The reality is that it has been 3 days on the medication and I’m still cramping up on the upper right hand side after I eat no matter what it is. I also feel queasy all the time. Sometimes I feel fine, and then a second later I have about 30 seconds of pain that stops me cold. Then it fades and I can go back to my business until the next wave. Annoying.
I’m going back to the doc on Wednesday where we’ll access how things are going and decide whether I should go for the ERCP. If I do have the procedure, it will be done by a big wig at Lenox Hill who has the most amount of experience doing this with the lowest incidence of complications (pancreatitis being the most common).
Thanks for all the good wishes. I really appreciate it.