The Diagnosis

While I sat in the hospital Christmas Eve, I wrote this deep dive into how I got here. If you are considering the TPAIT surgery, you may recognize yourself. For the past two years, I have struggled with horrid back and stomach pain from time to time. I had multiple procedures done but we always found nothing wrong with my stomach/intestines. The doctors concluded that I had nerve damage, and I was just going to have to live with the pain. I often pushed through the pain so that I could have a sense of normalcy in my life. However, second semester of my freshman year, I found myself in such a great amount of pain that I was unable to push through it anymore. The pain was consistent and grueling, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The fall of my freshman year, college went really well. I got to feel like a normal student my age. I was no longer the sick girl (I relished in that fact). I was exploring my identity, who I was outside of my family and health. I was able to have a new freedom, and I loved it! I still couldn’t completely keep up with my peers ( I was never in perfect health), but I loved being around people my age. As you can see below, I had a great time with friends!

However, at the start of last December, I started to have more trouble. I started getting tired a lot faster than normal. If I stayed up late one night, the rest of the week would be extremely challenging. As December (2019) turned into January(2020) and January into February, my condition worsened. I was in constant pain, and it was only getting worse. I was waking up at night in horrible pain. This pain increased to point where I could hardly walk. After having stomach pain for the past two years, I assumed I was going into another Ulcerative Colitis flare. However, I did notice something different. The pain was radiating to my back. I had back pain often the past two years, but the pain never got this horrible. I ended up calling my mom and begging her to come and get me. I was in so much pain I did not go to my classes. She took me to the ER, and the ER doctor agreed that I was probably having a flare but he decided to run basic labs (just in case) before they released me. He came back quickly and said that in fact it was not a flare of my Ulcerative Colitis. It was this conditioned called Pancreatitis. He said that I needed to get imaging done and get admitted to the hospital. Little did I know, that on February 28, 2020, the longest, hardest, and loneliest journey was beginning for me.

This road I have been on isn’t always a happy one. I get frustrated and angry about my situation sometimes. I have asked God why he chose to put this on me after all that I have already dealt with. I don’t know the all the answers to my questions, but I do know that I am not in this alone. If I didn’t believe in God, I am not sure where I would be or how I would survive. God provided me with wonderful support system at home that has carried me when I felt I could not keep going on. I’m not offering a picture perfect relationship with Christ because my relationship with him is far from perfect (I have gotten mad at him for allowing these horrible situations to occur again and again). But, I can say through grace given by the Father, I can keep carrying on. His plans are greater than the ones I can see for myself. He offers me mercies all through this journey.

Next post will talk about where I’m headed. To stay up-to-date with these post, subscribe with your email!

19 thoughts on “The Diagnosis

  1. Dear Rachel, I pray for you & I pray you will find the medical team that will have answers and solutions.
    Thank you for sharing your journey & allowing your thoughts to be read. Love, Carolyne Bowles


  2. Rachel, thank you for sharing this. I hope the experience of sharing will lessen your pain and frustration over the circumstances. God uses our pain to shape who we will he in the future, for his purposes and glory. I don’t say this lightly, but because I have experienced it myself. Love you and your heart. ❤️


  3. Rachel, I know God uses our pain to shape who we are in the future, for His honor and glory and to strengthen our faith muscles. I don’t say this lightly, but because I have experienced it in my childhood. I love your sweet heart, and will pray for you. ❤️


  4. Rachel, my husband, Bobby, and I are close friends of your grandmother and grandfather Kaiser. We want to be informed through your blog. We are praying for you and family about your upcoming surgery.


  5. Praying for you Rachel! I have studied pancreatitis quite extensively since July of 2019. Stephen was diagnosed with it and was also in DKA. It was a scary time for us and I have never seen him in that much pain. I cannot imagine anyone going through that chronically.

    He was ultimately diagnosed with a hereditary hypertriglyceridemia that caused his pancreatitis. Thankfully with medication to control this, he has not had any other episodes. However, we both have done extensive research and have joined several groups for those with chronic pancreatitis so that we can learn as much as possible.

    I cannot imagine what you go through day to day. I hope you find the right solution. I have seen stories of many in your situation who have found great success and pain relief with the TPAIT surgery. Many have done very well without needing insulin and that is my prayer for you!

    We will be praying for pain relief and return to a “normal” life for you!!


  6. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and with the Lord. I am Joyce Kernek’s friend, and we’ve been praying for you for a long time and will continue to pray for you. Keep on believing and praying and we will, too! I understand you have chosen surgery and that it will be long and arduous, but your daddy will be with you for three weeks. The Lord does indeed love you very much. Continue to trust Him. He IS Faithful.


  7. Rachel, I’m Re-reading your post this morning and thinking about you every day. Praying God’s hand will be seen in all aspects of your medical treatment, every single aspect. God Bless


  8. Rachel, So glad to see this thorough update. You are so courageous. Writing this all down will be a blessing not only for you, but for others. We will continue to pray for you and your family during all of this. Please let us know if there is anything you need. Love you.


  9. “His plans are greater than the ones I can see for myself “—I love that and know it to be true! Praying with you on this journey. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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