Fighting pancreatitis by Kate
“Being unable to eat and in constant pain is life altering. No help for your future is terrifying.”
My story started 5 years ago on my 30th birthday. My life and my family's lives were turned upside down. Little did we know how tough and scary things were going to get.
I was rushed to hospital in dreadful pain with no idea what was happening. In that week in hospital I was told I had a gall stone stuck in my bile duct, this had caused some irreversible damage to my pancreatic duct and I was referred to the University College London Hospitals.
At the UCLH I was informed I have pancreatic divisium a birth defect where the two tubes in the pancreas don't fuse together. Although this meant my pancreas was working backwards it was still working until this point. It was explained to me that because of the damage caused by the stone my pancreas was now forced to drain through the other tube which unfortunately was too small to drain.
I have spent the last five years in and out of hospital with acute pancreatitis, and having multiple ercps to keep my tube open so it can drain when I eat and drink. This has meant that at the beginning of every year I have been able to eat a reasonably normal diet and gain some weight for a short time. But, unfortunately I can't have these procedures done any more because of the damage they have caused. I am in a difficult situation the problem with my pancreas is not only rare but very complicated and no surgeon will risk operating. Without intervention my tube remains almost closed causing chronic pancreatitis and necrosis (death to the pancreatic tissue due to chronic pancreatitis). Being unable to eat and in constant pain is life altering. No help for your future is terrifying.
This I why I have started to raise awareness of the pancreas and its huge function in the body and to raise money to fund research into the pancreas to help people in the future. If I can stop one person having to go through what I am going through it will be worth it.