This is my first post anywhere. I am hoping someone can help me figure out some things about my Diverticulitis. First (for the sake of saving reading time for people) my questions. Then I will post my experience.
1. I don't have "pain" per say. I always have a full, stitch, hard, bloated, uncomfortable feeling (trying to find words to describe it) on the upper left side of my stomach. Sometimes it is like a sharp-shooting twinge can happen more on the lower left side. Because of this, I have no idea if I should start to add-on more low-residue foods. I am afraid that if I add something, it will push me to an attack again. All of the articles I have read say, "Once you no longer feel pain, then you can advance to the next stage of eating (from liquid, to full-liquid, to low-residue, etc.)." It doesn't hurt- but it is uncomfortable and mostly scary. So do I stay on liquid until I don't have that feeling at all anymore? Or will I continue to feel something no matter what?
2. Other than having a colonoscopy, is there a way to flush out the diverticuli? I have not been able to find any information about this yet. Or once the diverticuli become infected, whatever stuff is stuck in them (foods, fecal matter, etc.). is stuck there?
3. I've read that things like grapefruit seed extract and giner are good for inflammation, but I have Silent Reflux- wouldn't these aggravate my reflux?
I am a 39 y/o female. In November 2016 I cut out carbs (no bread, no soda, no potatoes, etc.), cut out all dairy (am lactose intolerant so I never really ate much anyway), drank only water (no coffee, teas, juices, etc. and I didn't really drink these anyway but was having soda often), and basically was following a Paleo-Low-carb-dairy free, acid free, diet. Daily my meals where a combination of the following: cooked with/ate only butter, chicken, ground beef, steak, salmon, raw carrots, raw broccoli, raw baby spinach, one to two avocados every day, one to two bananas a day, cooked asparagus, cooked brustle sprouts, bacon, eggs. I felt super great. Meals were super easy to prepare, I didn't have any cravings for starches anymore, I slept really well, had a ton of energy, lost 20 lbs., and was just super good. I started doing this because in the same month, I woke up choking and going to the ER. I was Dx with Silent Reflux. That was really scary and I didn't want that to happen again.
February 2nd I went to the doctor because two night before I was lying on my right side sleeping and woke up because I had a charlie-horse-like pain on my left side. The next day it got slowly worse and then finally I went to the doctor. I have no fever, no chills, no nausea, nothing other than the pain. They did blood work and had me come back the next day. WBCs were elevated and the pain was worse so they sent me right to the ER. ER did more blood work, WBCs still rising, pain worse, but still have no fever, nausea, etc. CT scan showed Diverticulitis, no perforation, no abscess. Was given 10 days of Flagyl and Levaquin (both generic). Pain started to get better but this feeling on the upper left side that I asked about above is still there and hasn't gone away.
The last night of my antibiotics, I had fever, chills, and felt super nasues, so I went back to doctor the next day. They did more blood work and supposedly my WBCs were coming down, but they extended the antibiotics for 7 more days. After 4 days I had pain and severe cramping in my legs and arms and went to the doctor who stopped the Levaquin (I was Dx with drug-induced neuropathy) and told that I could experience tendon rupture. I took the Flagyl for one more day and that made the cramping in my legs come back so I stopped that too.
Went back 3 days later and the cramping in my legs was gone, but until now the neuropathy remains and I am having all sorts of other things going on from the medication. Doctor said it was common and sometimes it can get worse over time and sometimes the body can heal. That wasn't helpful but she was very-matter-of-fact. Took some more lab work to test magnesium, B12, potassium, etc. She was supposed to call me this past Friday but didn't.
As far as the Diverticulitis, she said to try and start adding things like cooked carrots. That it was best for me to go to a high-fiber diet as soon as possible (even though I told her that is what I was doing since November and despite me reading so many places that high-fiber is actually not good for Diverticulitis). I told her about the "pain" I was having and described it as I did above in this post. She said that was normal because of the inflammation and it could take 6-8 weeks before that feeling went away. She explained that the area was so inflamed that tenderness is normal and with time, it should be better. Either way, I am still losing weight too fast and I needed to start adding food and it would be fine. I asked for a referral to a GI doctor but she said not at this time and all they would do was tell me the same thing- it takes time, I need to start adding more soft foods, and if it starts to really hurt- go to the ER.
So I have been eating two eggs, avocado, 1-2 vanilla pudding cups, Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Collagen (heard it was good for gut health and also for repair and am dealing with the side effects of the meds so I figured I'd try). Sometimes I will add a piece of white bread or a piece of sourdough bread or english muffin. I've tried bits of watermelon once (didn't seem to upset anything). The weird feeling in my stomach is always there but like today, I was so starving I ate english muffin plan, the weird sharp twinge happens more towards the lower left side, but still that other feeling on my left upper side is always there. There has been a few times that I have super bad gas pain and I don't know what to do about it so I just try and sleep with a heating pad over my stomach.
I feel super bad from the meds (the fatigue is awful and the burning and pain sucks too and depression and anxiety hit me from one day to the next), but I also feel bad from not eating but I am afraid to eat.
I am also considering switching over to Kaiser hoping that they will be able to refer me, help me in some better way because I am not happy with how these doctors have treated my concerns with such a matter-of-fact way. I kind of just want to have surgery because living with not knowing if I will have another attack, or not fully healing, and then having to take more antibiotics, is such poor quality of life. I don't want that but right now I don't have a clue when or how I will feel better.
I am really mad that by eating healthy, this happened. How does that even happen? It is like a cruel joke or Karma or something. If I had just kept on, I would've been fine. I am pretty sure trying to do high fiber will just mess me up again, and I have read that for some with Diverticulitis, high-fiber doesn't work. However, I now hate eating carbs because it does give me cravings and it makes me feel drowsy (you know that carb feeling).
Thanks for listening.