For over 17 years my wife has had continual problems with the xyphoid process and costochondritis of the left-hand side of the ribcage, since undergoing keyhole surgery for a gall- bladder operation. She was living in Germany at the time. Despite investigations in several hospitals , both in Germany and the UK, she received a diagnosis only 18 months ago. The gall-bladder operation was carried out at the insistence of an Internist whilst both her pancreas and liver were inflamed, and whilst she was in a terribly debilitated state, weighing just over 6 stones, having lost almost 4 stones in weight over a period of the previous six months, when she had become ill following a flu vaccination , which had been given to her whilst she was suffering from Hepatitis A (which her GP had misdiagnosed as pneumonia ). My wife was not on any pharmaceutical medication at the time, neither did she consume alcohol regularly or in excess. Until this time, she had been a very active person (e.g. travelling, skiing, parachute-jumping, in addition to working full-time.) Since developing major problems following the gall-bladder operation (which have finally been diagnosed as chronic inflammation of the xyphoid and costochondritis), her life bears no resemblance to the one she lived before all this happened, and she cannot function as a normal person would - for instance, she easily becomes ill when trying to do normal housework. Since the diagnosis, she realizes that repetitive movements of the arm can trigger the xyphoid inflammation all over again, i.e. cleaning internal windows, ironing, hoovering - even grating a carrot or rubbing a stain on a garment! If she doesn t do much and rests a lot, she can feel reasonable , but this is quite bad for her psycholigically, as she feels that in order to feel a bit better, she has to almost lead the life of an invalid. Following the diagnosis, she was informed that problems with the xyphoid also brought with it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which certainly seems to be the case with her. Several months ago, she was pointed in the direction of anti-inflammatory foods, which she finds does help to a certain extent, but it is a daily struggle. However, this still doesn t allow her to return to leading a normal life again. Please, PLEASE, can anyone help her to regain some semblance of a normal life again.
Asked On : Tue, 11 Dec 2012