Christine suffered for 9 long years from adhesions caused as a result of
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). She suffered with extreme pain,
gastresophageal reflux, and vomiting. She even had to carry a plastic bag
around with her due to the spontaneous vomiting which would come on at
any time. She had undergone numerous surgeries and lost multiple jobs due
to her suffering.
· I had adhesions for 9 Years before detection
· Diagnosed on November 9, 1999
· I have 3 Children
· My Birthday is Wednesday, December 3, 1952
· I live in Menominee, Michigan USA
Nine years ago Chris had gone to a doctor with symptoms of GERD! The
doctor told her it was nerves and sent her home with an anti depressant!
As time went on, Christina's symptoms worsened to the point that she
could not eat anything without suffering great pain and vomiting. In only
four months her weight dropped to 96 lbs., and for a 5'5" slim built lady,
she looked like someone out of a concentration camp! It was then that the
doctor decided that she indeed needed medical attention. Because she was
starving to death they flew her to one of Wisconsin's major medical centers.
She had feeding tubes put in and was fed for 31 days with supplemental
feedings directly into her stomach! She had three different feeding tubes,
as each one gave her problems and had to be replaced. When they were finally
removed for good, three clamps were inserted to close the incisions on
the stomach where the tubes had penetrated for so long. Once Chris regained
most of her health back, and was being treated for the GERD, she returned
to work and then became pregnant with Amanda!
As the years rolled by, Chris began to experience pain and a pulling
sensation in her abdomen. She went from doctor to doctor looking for a
reason for her pains but test after test came up negative. One doctor even
accused her of having Muchuchins Disease (where one self induces their
bodies with chemicals or poisons to get ill so they can seek out the attention
of medical personnel because they crave pain and attention). She was accused
of being a hypochondriac, a whiner, a pest, eyes rolled when she walked
into the emergency room and they pulled out her thick files!! Pain persisted
and was getting worse!
She applied for and was denied disability benefits multiple times although
she was unable to work. She basically lived in poverty due to this disease
and no fault of her own.
Over those nine years she tried valiantly to find help for herself,
but was unable to find a doctor who would believe her whom would give her
the right kind of help. A new young surgeon came into town and Chris made
an appointment to see him since everyone told her how updated he was on
things! She made her appointment and was thrilled when he agreed that she
needed an exploratory, as he was sure he knew what was causing her pain!!
He said those three clamps had to come out. Of course it made sense to
her since the pain started shortly after that surgery!! It had to be those
October 1999: Chris is prepped for surgery and the doctor decided that
he had to do a laparotomy if he is going to get those clamps out. He opened
her up from just below her breastbone to the pubis! What he discovered
much to his dismay were those nasty problematic adhesions! Lots of them!
So he did an adhesiolysis and removed TWO clamps to boot! These clamps
were located at the junction of her esophagus and stomach. Chris felt better
right away and was so happy that her problem was resolved and those clamps
were out...but what about that third one she wondered! He didn't mention
that one, but it must be ok, he's a newly graduated surgeon!
Three weeks later Chris developed a vague pain and pulling again. She
started to vomit and couldn't keep anything down. She constantly had a
feeling of dehydration. She carried a bottle filled with juice or water
everywhere she went since she threw up constantly. The pain got worse and
she went back to the surgeon saying that she thought the third clamp had
to come out since she is in pain again! Her incision also never healed
and after three weeks it was still draining and open! The doctor told her
he didn't think he could go in and get that third clamp due to adhesions.
He said that she still had so many adhesions that they would have to wait
for six weeks and he would go back in and lyse the adhesions and remove
the third clamp! He gave her a prescription for pain medication.
The next week Chris saw the article on the ARD support group. She called
and gathered lots of material and confronted the surgeon about adhesions
and surgery's. She confronted him about the necessity for the upcoming
surgery. She asked if he was sure that the cause of her pain was the clamps
or could it be the adhesions causing her pain, since she thought she had
a lot of pain for just ONE clamp!? The surgeon admitted that when
he ran into the adhesion problem he was surprised. He also admitted that
adhesions cause pain, however he took the clamps out while they were in
there anyway. He also stated that a second surgery could prove to create
more of a problem then it would resolve...so maybe she should try using
the ARD support group to deal with her symptoms and stay on pain management.
Chris was adamant that she would not agree to any more surgeries now
that she had learned about ARD! She aggressively pursued the SS disability
appeal but continued to vomit and experience severe pain at times in the
She went to the emergency room at the very least six times following
her surgery, all x-rays normal. She had an elevated temperature but she
did have that open incision with drainage which indicated infection and
could account for the elevated temp! Her last visit to the ER was the evening
of Monday, Jan. 3rd! The bowel x-ray was normal and the doctor on call
told her the pain must be from her adhesions and to go home and rest!
Chris called a good friend from the adhesion site to discuss her symptoms.
Her friend told her that the pain sounds pretty severe just to be adhesions.
He friend thought the vomiting was unusual. She was so accepting the pain
coming from the adhesions that her main worry was whether she would make
her court appearance that Thursday! Her friend told her to call her attorney
and explain things to him, get his opinion of where she stands etc.
January 4th Chris's friend called to check on her. Chris's son answered
the phone very upset and shaken! He said that something bad is happening
to his mom and that her temperature was only 96 degrees and she was in
great pain! Her friend told him to get her to emergency at once and that
she would call ahead to the hospital. She said she would speak to someone
about Chris's temperature and that she was on her way into the hospital.
On Wednesday January 5th at 9:30 PM Chris's son called to say that they
were taking Chris up to surgery for a possible lacerated bowel! He said
that he spoke to Chris and that the x-rays they took showed the abdominal
cavity was filled with air. Air is NOT to be outside of the organs and
free within the abdomen and Chris was distended larger then a ninth month
pregnancy! He also said that Chris was alert and even trying to direct
the course of her care.
Chris was scared, but trusting! She told him that she knew this time
was bad, real bad! While they took her x-rays he said Chris watched every
move with large eyes pleading for help... she didn't speak anymore as she
saw all the hustling and rushing to get her to surgery and she knew it
was bad, real bad!
So she went into surgery. At 1:00 PM...her son called and said he is
so sorry to have to tell me that his mother didn't make it! She died today
from complications of her surgery! DIED!! How, why, when, ????????????????????????????????????????
The surgeon had punctured a hole in her stomach during her adhesiolysis
and her stomach contents spilled into her abdominal cavity causing peritonitis,
thus dying from infection (peritonitis).
Christine died on Wednesday, January 5th, 2000.
In life Christine was unable to find the help she so desperately needed
for her ARD (Adhesion Related Disease) but perhaps as a result of her untimely
death, this will have an impact on people from around the world who post
messages on the International Adhesion Society to learn as much as they
can about their own medical conditions and take whatever steps are necessary
to seek out the best medical/surgical treatments available to them Chris
suffered alone for nine years before discovering her disease. Once she
knew that she was not alone anymore, Chris fought desperately to get better,
but she was already losing that battle as she reached out to help others
who suffered as she did! She was going to make a difference, and she did!
Christine was finally approved for disability benefits on the day of her
death! Christine was the happiest she had been in years these last four
months that she was active member in the Bay Area Chapter of the International
Adhesion Society...so ill yet so happy as she finally knew what she had
and that it was indeed real...ARD!