Shhhhhh. My colon is resting.
July 20, 2014 6:59 AM Subscribe
I ended up in the ER on Thursday night with horrible stomach pain, lower left quadrant. After being scanned inside and out and subjected to other personal indignities I won't describe in detail (promise), I was diagnosed with acute diverticulitis. What happens now?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hi, Mefites. I know you're not my doctors, and any advice you give will not be medical advice.
Me: 44, very overweight, female. I have no history of high blood pressure or diabetes. I'm extremely, extremely gluten sensitive. I recently lost a ton of weight on the paleo diet, and gained about a quarter of it back over the past six months or so, mainly due to the existence of potato chips and gluten free pizza. I know all the wrongs I've done myself, so there's no need to point that out, thanks.
My pain was very, very, very bad, and I have a lot of health anxiety, to put it mildly. I'd had diarrhea and constipation off and on for a few weeks, then about a week of steadily increasing pain. My GP diagnosed me with a UTI and put me on nitrofurantoin, which I took for a couple of days. When I told her the pain was getting worse instead of better, she said to keep on with it, and wait it out. Unfortunately -- or fortunately, I guess -- I'm just not that tough.
My ER PA was awesome and very calming, my nurse was great, A++ emergency room experience, especially since I didn't turn out to have tumors anywhere (which is what I was mostly afraid of). But they were very harried and busy, and when I left I was in a post-morphine-and-not-terrible-news haze, so I didn't get a very clear picture of what I could expect to happen next. I know I need to follow up with my GP (I'm not looking forward to that conversation - sorry, I didn't trust you so I went to the ER, and it turned out you were wrong...sorry!?!). I know I need to follow up with a gastroenterologist. I know I need to NOT be googling things.
However, I have been googling things. I just wanted to know what one could expect after diverticulitis. As it turns out, the only people who really talk about diverticulitis on the internet have had forty perforations and three bowel resections and live lives of misery, pain and fear. I'm sincerely hoping that's the 3% of diverticulitis patients who have very bad cases, and not a glimpse into my future.
What I'm looking for:
1) Anecdotes/experiences with mild diverticulitis. What was recovery like? How long did it take? What do you do differently now to prevent it coming back? ...did it come back?
2) Is all diverticulitis chronic? The internet seems to differentiate between acute and chronic, but I can't tell if they're describing acute phases of a chronic disease, or if it's really possible to just have one bout of it and not get it again (assuming you don't repeat previous mistakes).
3) Opinions - can people who have had diverticulitis really never eat corn or nuts again? No pistachios again EVER? I know that's a weird thing to stick on, but I REALLY like pistachios. They're my go-to salty-crunchy when I'm not off the paleo wagon. The internet seems split on this topic as well.
4) Any tips on surviving a forced 5-day fast/cleanse?
YANMD, I am not asking for medical advice! Throwaway email address: firstname.lastname@example.org