Plot twist…

The past few days have been a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, scans, and tests.

My CT angiogram showed that my Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome (SMAS) has returned. SMAS is a rare vascular compression in which the duodenum is compressed between the superior mesenteric artery and the aorta.

This was very unexpected as my CT this summer showed improvement in my SMA angle and my nutritional status is greatly improved. On one hand, it is relieving to have a solid explanation for my pain, but SMAS is something I thought was in my past and I REALLY wanted it to stay that way. Unfortunately, since weight gain did not solve my SMAS, we may need to turn to surgical intervention.

My medical team believes that I may also have neurogenic MALS so I am scheduled for a celiac plexus block on Monday. This is a diagnosis we have long suspected, and I am very anxious for this procedure. If it works, the block should take away my pain temporarily allowing me to eat and drink. From what I‘ve been told, this pain relief usually lasts a few hours/days but this can vary. My excitement about possibly eating is out of this world. I want more than ever to be able to eat/drink, but at the same time, I’ll be crushed if it works because that would strongly indicate a diagnosis of neurogenic MALS.

On the positive side, the HIDA scan showed that my gallbladder is functioning, my chest X-ray looked good, and my doppler ultrasound ruled out vascular MALS. The gastric emptying scan was an impossibility due to my utter inability to eat, the pH test was delayed, and the SIBO test isn’t performed at my hospital. Getting testing done and being in incredible pain is absolutely exhausting both emotionally and physically. I am very tired. Thank you for all of the prayers and encouragement.