Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that can form inside the body, binding internal organs together...and leaving the victim to suffer incredible pain. Since adhesions elude the eye of standard medical tests, and many doctors do not discuss the illness itself, a proper diagnosis of adhesions, or ARD (Adhesion Related Disorder), is often left up to the sufferer!
How is it that countless US physicians, specialists and highly esteemed health centers are silent when it comes to ARD? Many seem to have no knowledge of adhesions, adhesion related disorder, or ARD, as they do NOT recognize the illness in their alphabetical list of diseases and conditions: See Mayo--We Dunno!
John Hopkins: At America's Best 2007! I found endometriosis, which included the word "adhesions" within the text, but I did not find adhesions in and of itself as a disease or disorder. (If someone finds it listed, please let me know).
However, I DID find someone who knows about adhesions, recognizes the illness and includes it in their alphabetical listing of diseases and disorders: We Know (After perusing their alphabetical list, I think I'll see if they have a doc on hand!)
Seems rather strange, doesn't it?
Mary is 42 years old, married, with four children. Mary's husband, Jack, is an avid golf player. Mary has bouts of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and back pain. In the last six years Mary has seen 32 doctors. Eleven of those doctors were doctors of internal medicine. Thirteen of those doctors were gastroenterologists, and eight of those doctors were OB/GYN's. Out of 32 doctors, eight surmised that Mary was pregnant. A pregnancy test was performed eight out of eight times, even though Mary knew, and insisted, that she was not pregnant. Eight out of eight times, Mary learned that she was not pregnant. She did not learn, however, what was causing her abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and back pain. Out of 32 doctors, 24 suggested that she see a psychologist. Each of those same 24 doctors wrote Mary a prescription for an antidepressant. Mary told each doctor, "I am not depressed. I am sick." To which 21 of the doctors replied equal versions of, "Of course you're not depressed. But antidepressants also counteract pain." (Real or imagined.)
In the course of six years, Mary has had 4 endoscopy procedures, countless x-rays and CT scans, 12 small bowel series, and 3 colonoscopies. Mary has visited the emergency room 16 times due to excruciating abdominal pain. Each time Mary has pain, vomiting, or ER visits, Mary's husband and children have to make their own meals, wash their own clothes, feed the dog, run the errands, and clean up their own messes. Mary's husband, though normally a patient man, is doubting that Mary is really sick. He has missed his last three golf tournaments due to Mary's "pain." (Real or imagined)
Mary's medical history reflects an appendectomy at age 35. Mary was fine prior to the appendectomy. Mary believes the appendectomy may have been the ground breaking event that has lead to her new pain and problems. Ten doctors have said, "That's a ridiculous theory." Eleven doctors have said, "Hmmmmmmm." Five doctors have said,"The appendix was removed, so that can't be the problem." Five doctors have said, "Mmmmmmmm?" (Equal to hmmmm, but said with raised, questioning brows, as in "you may be on to something.") One doctor said, "Why hasn't Jack been to the golf tournaments?"
You are the 33rd doctor.
A. Pregnant? And expecting a fifth child.
B. Depressed? And just doesn't know it.
C. Likes attention, therefore she "acts out" with crying and vomiting.
D. Wants her husband to stop playing golf.
E. Actually has an illness that doctors refuse to acknowledge.
F. Is a female who is always complaining.
G. All of the above.
Edith Rodriguez's death, unfortunately, is an in your face testament to our country's lacking medical care system and the lame attitudes toward the ill and suffering. Edith was ignored while seeking HELP at a medical facility, Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital. It is appalling to read that she lay in the floor of a USA emergency room and begged for help, was ignored, while a nurse summoned a janitor to clean up the blood around her! News articles about Edith Rodriguez report that she was a prescription drug and meth addict, which seem to be reported as a means of justifying a medical system who failed her miserably. However, the coroner's report shows that she had no illicit drugs in her system when she made a return visit to the MLK facility on 04/21/07 with continuing stomach pain and vomiting. See: Coroner's Report
The coroner's report shows that Edith had extensive adhesions of the lower abdominal quadrant and that she died of a perforated bowel. The coroner's report reads like a classic American adhesion sufferer's story: presenting at the ER with abdominal pain, nausea, distention, tenderness of the abdomen. Treatment: Pain med's, CT scan, nothing wrong, sent home.
Though MLK is under fire, as they certainly should be, countless adhesions sufferers have lived the same nightmare in emergency rooms all across the US (though most do receive a bed to lie down in rather than being left on the hospital floor). As is chronicled in the book about our daughter and the nightmare she (we) lived, ER visits were all the norm for Melissa, yet she was often ignored or scoffed by medical personnel. More than once we turned around and went back home, believing God to stop the pain, as there was no help for her at the ER.
Until American citizens understand that stories like Edith's are not about a person's class, race, or poor choices in their personal life and come to realize that this is an example of a failing medical system AT LARGE, we will continue to read stories about people such as Edith. Until American citizens demand that the story be told in all its ugliness, without allowing medicine and media to derail the story with reports of prescription and illicit drug use, ALL Americans will continue to suffer.
A human being died due to medical negligence. A human being lay screaming in a hospital floor in the United States of America and she received NO help. That's the story in all its ugliness. And that, dear friends, should make us all quiver in our boots.
Cheers to Mike Adams for going where most men refuse to go! Not only does he delve into the topic of menstruation, he takes an ax to the pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and to men who have perpetuated the idea of hysterectomy to countless women who most likely could have avoided a hysterectomy. Mike urges women to respect their bodies, the function of their bodies and to think for themselves! Food For Thought
The classic symptoms of Crohn's disease are: abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Have you been adequately diagnosed? Do you have Crohn's disease?
When Melissa became ill at age 13, a gastroenterologist finally determined that she had Crohn's disease. She had all the "classic" symptoms, and, in addition, wasting.
Of course, we already knew why she was wasting away...she simply could not keep food down and she had constant diarrhea. Each meal was trying, painful, and almost always came right back up. Many times she couldn't even keep liquids down, so it was easy for us to understand why our daughter was fading right before our eyes. Panic stricken over her condition, we had her drinking Gatorade. When it came right back up we waited an hour and had her try again.
By the time Melissa was diagnosed with Crohn's disease she was very frail, to say the least.
And, it seemed the doctor who had been assigned to Melissa's case and who made the Crohn's determination, sealing our daughter's fate with this dreaded disease, was correct in his diagnosis.
And then, I decided to study the disease, which I chronicle in the book: Doctors:Bound By Secrecy? Victims: Bound By Pain!
Since I've talked to many other adhesion sufferers who were originally diagnosed with Crohn's, it goes without saying that sometimes the diagnosis that's given is indeed incorrect. Had we sat back and accepted the Crohn's diagnosis, Melissa would still be living her life hovered over a toilet.
This statement is found at the following Crohn's site: When a patient is critically ill with severe pain and weakness, an intestinal blockage or perforation (which may or may not be due to Crohn's disease) as well as appendicitis or diverticulitis must be considered and quickly diagnosed. See: Crohn's,
Looking back, we now know that Melissa dealt with repeated bowel obstructions, but, unfortunately, she was left to suffer in incredible pain..doctors' never mentioning the possibilty of a bowel obstruction (which we now know that they knew she had). Rather, they insisted that she "up the corticosteroid" when the pain increased. Sadly, what they termed as "increased pain" was, in reality, excruciating, life-threatening pain!
Adhesions, perhaps resulting from inflammation in Melissa's body, gave way to symptoms that were characteristic of Crohn's disease. However...she did not have Crohn's disease! The adhesions, wrapped around her small and large bowel, had not only bound (strangled) her intestines, but had bound (strangled) her entire life!
In addition, we never once heard the word "adhesions" from any doctor or specialist in the entire 13 years that she suffered. Each time Melissa had an upper gi and small bowel series and we were shown the results, the doctor always referred to the compromised areas as: "narrowing" or "narrowed bowel."
It is (now) all too obvious that many doctors surely knew that "adhesions" were the reason the bowel was 'narrow.' Very often, literature on Crohn's disease makes mention of 'scar tissue' rather than 'adhesions.' Likewise, the unsuspecting patient, (or parent to the patient) skims over any terminology, whether it be 'adhesions' or 'scar tissue,' as the person who studies the illness will likely accept 'scar tissue' or 'adhesions' as part of the disease itself.
And we, for years on end, were none the wiser. However, we did continue to fight our way through the frustrating medical maze of medicine...which finally resulted in our daughter regaining her health, her life!!
Note: Click Merck (To learn more about intestinal obstruction.) Click: UMHS (To learn more more about intestinal adhesions)
The information found on this website is to share the personal story of my daughter's trying journey with Adhesion Related Disorder. This website is designed solely to: inform, educate, and shatter the silence that surrounds the illness of adhesions, or ARD (Adhesion Related Disorder). The postings within this site are the opinions of the author and/or guests who post here. No content of this website should be construed as medical advice. This site does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician for all matters concening physical and mental health. 3/14/07