My Diagnosis: Part 2


I had ignored my problems from 1999, since I had never been given a diagnosis of why I was bleeding from my stomach. In June of 2005, about a year after second time in graduate school, I started having intense abdominal pain. I went to the hospital and the initial diagnosis was “stomach flu”, they gave me some pain killers, and they sent me on their way.

Two day later, I went to the same hospital, writhing in pain, and complaining again. They admitted me. They still had no idea of what was wrong with me, but I had stated vomiting bile…. Yes, bile. That vomit was horrible, it smelled like hell, it watered my eyes, and I swore it peeled paint from the walls.

They did a “exploratory” surgery discovered that I had ischemic bowel. My entire small intestine was riddled with clots, and part of my small intestine was, essentially, dead. The surgeon did what he could, but he had to remove approximately 1/3 of my small intestines. Now, after approximately eight weeks in two different hospitals, Innovis, now called Essentia, in Fargo, North Dakota, and Saint Mary’s, part of the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, I was released from the hospital, just in time to return to graduate studies.

Now, at that point, I still had no diagnosis as to why I had that massive blood clotting throughout my small intestines.

Also, due to my abdominal surgery, I developed an “Entero-Cutaneous Fistula” that ran from my small intestine to where my navel had been, prior to my surgery. And although in 2014, the Veterans Administration (VA) surgeons offered to close that fistula, I declined, since there is no surgeon that can guarantee that I will not develop another fistula after the surgery. Now, the fistula hurts all the time, it feels as if there is a rusty nail in my abdomen. I have accepted that this is a fact. Nevertheless, it hurts all the time, and I have been feeling that pain for the past TEN AND A HALF YEARS.

Three years later, in 2008, I was in the hospital, this time at the University of Utah Hospital, yet again. I had developed a bowel obstruction, and, yet again, it hurt like hell. However, as I had that damnable fistula, the doctors and the surgeons told me that they do not need go cut me open, and they would let it work itself out. Whatever that means. Now, while in the hospital, I had developed a pair of “Pulmonary Embolisms”.

After the pulmonary embolism event, I was visited by a doctor named Robert Pendleton. Doctor Pendleton was interested in my case, not the bowel obstruction, but the pulmonary embolisms. This guy, Robert Pendleton, ordered a BUNCH of blood tests and gave me my diagnosis, finally. He explained everything to me as, at the time, I was pretty smart. He knew I could understand academic papers, and so he gave me some academic papers, and he explained my diagnosis to me as an equal. He explained the how and the why I should be on Warfarin, for the rest of my life, he explained my blood clotting disorder to me, he was, and still is, a truly great doctor, he even told me exactly what factor is missing from my blood clotting cascade, and what factor is over-compensating.

Anyway, after I was released from the hospital, three weeks later, I had my diagnosis, I had my medication, and I had a definite regiment of when I should take my medication, and that I should have blood tests for the rest of my life to monitor my blood clotting.

… To Be Continued …

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About Kevin Benko

I'm a fifty-something generic humanoid sack of water and meat.

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