A student feels like she is constantly being stabbed in the stomach with a knife & # 39; due to a rare disease that causes her blood vessels to crush each other.
Evita Gamber, who lives in Oval, London, visited A&E four times in the summer of 2016, but was told that she had constipation and insisted on painkillers.
After examining her symptoms online, the 22-year-old was finally diagnosed with three types of vascular compression syndrome in November 2017.
She had an eight-hour operation, followed by two more, who couldn't relieve her pain and left her with a huge scar on her stomach.
Miss Gamber, who has studied mathematics and physics for a year at University College London, is now desperately waiting for more operations.
She claims she was helped by her fight with her nine-month-old Bo, a shepherd dog, who comforted her in her darkest days.
Evita Gamber, 22, living in Oval, South London, visited A&E four times in the summer of 2016, but was told that she was suffering from constipation or painkillers. Pictured, in the hospital
After researching, Miss Gamber was diagnosed with vascular compression syndrome in November 2017. Pictured, with her mother Anette, 47
The life of Miss Gamber is reversed by her dog, the nine-month-old Bo, who has comforted her in her darkest times with pain that feels like being stabbed with a knife & # 39;
When Miss Gamber first moved to London to study in September 2015, she planned to spend her three years at university hoping to become a quantum physicist one day.
A mysterious and persistent pain in her lower abdomen developed the following summer, but she initially thought it could only be indigestion.
She said: & # 39; I've never had an illness before. And that's why I didn't go to the doctors for a while, even though the pain was pretty serious, because I thought: & # 39; I am not the kind of person who will ever really get sick & # 39 ;. & # 39;
When a week of pain was aggravated by nausea, she finally saw her doctor, who couldn't find anything clearly wrong.
As the weeks went on, the pain continued – becoming so extreme that she went to A&E four times in November in London.
But she was told by medical experts that nothing was wrong with her and that she should take painkillers.
By Christmas, her weight had also dropped slightly, from 8st 2lb (52kg) to 7st 6lb (48kg), because food exacerbated the pain.
Miss Gamber, who was a marathon runner before he got sick, said: & # 39; Everything was starting to become very difficult for me because I was in constant pain.
& # 39; Then on Christmas Day I again had a severe attack of stomach cramps and pain in my chest, which prevented me from moving.
& # 39; I went to my local hospital in Germany, where I spent the festivities, and an ultrasound showed that I was a bit hidden.
& # 39; I was advised to take feces and have a colonoscopy at some point, but flew back to London and thought that everything would calm down now. & # 39;
Instead, she noticed she was suffering from unbearable pain and her constipation prevented her from eating.
A mysterious and persistent pain in the belly of Miss Gamber developed in the summer of 2016, but at first she thought it could only be indigestion. Pictured later in the hospital
When a week of pain was aggravated by nausea, she finally saw her doctor, who couldn't find anything clearly wrong. Pictured at a later time in the hospital
In October 2017, Mrs. Gamber wrote a German specialist in Leipzig, and as a result, vascular compression syndrome was diagnosed. Pictured later in the hospital
Frustrated by the lack of answers she seemed to get from the medical world, she began to do her own research into her symptoms.
She eventually found something called vascular compression syndrome – a rare condition that occurs when a vein or artery is squeezed through another internal part of the body that affects less than one percent of the population.
In October 2017 Mrs. Gamber wrote a German specialist in Leipzig and as a result diagnosed with median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS), May-Thurner syndrome and nutcracker syndrome (NCS) – all of which affect the kidneys and abdominal area and cause unbearable pain.
Immediate surgery to relieve pressure on the kidneys and celiac disease was recommended and on November 6, 2017, she underwent surgery for an eight-hour hospital operation.
Miss Gamber, who was left with a long scar from the bottom of her rib cage to below her navel, thought her nightmare was over.
However, the operation was unsuccessful, meaning that she needed two further operations in the next two weeks to resolve complications.
With a three-month recovery period, Miss Gamber had to put her studies on hold – still not delayed by the constant pain on her left.
The family bought Bo, a Maremma shepherd dog from a local farmer in Tuscany, where they were on vacation when he was six weeks old
Bo is ready to be trained as an assistance dog so that he can give in to the growing needs of Miss Gamber
Miss Gamber had an eight-hour operation followed by two more operations in November 2017, but they have not relieved her pain. She said her dog is her savior – pictured together
Miss Gamber said: & # 39; The abdominal pain lasted a short while, but then it became a lot worse on the left side of my torso.
& # 39; It was so bad – worse than it was before my operations – that I spent months in the hospital and at home with my mother in Germany, unable to do anything or even to leave home. & # 39;
Despite still living with constant pain, Miss Gamber returned to London in September 2018 to try to complete her studies of mathematics and physics.
Her mother, teaching assistant Anette, 47, and Maremma Sheepdog puppy Bo followed in January 2019 to help with her care.
The family bought Bo from a local farmer in Tuscany, where they were on vacation when he was six weeks old.
Miss Gamber said: & By the time I met Bo, my pain was so bad that I often fainted and rarely left the house.
& # 39; Just having a companion in the dark times is very reassuring. & # 39;
Bo is ready to be trained as an assistance dog so that he can give in to the growing needs of Miss Gamber.
Miss Gamber said: & He is already very helpful to me. I'm pretty tough and I don't like to show when I'm having a hard time, but he detects these things, so stays close and looks at me to check if everything is okay.
& # 39; There are also times when I miss fainting or pain and he is there to try to wake me up or warn other people.
& # 39; But most importantly, he is an excellent friend to me. & # 39;
A kidney transplant – a procedure in which the vein is moved and hopefully no longer compressed – is planned at St Mary's Hospital in London.
Miss Gamber said: & # 39; Hopefully this will be a huge step forward for me, giving me the pain relief I desperately need. & # 39;
Miss Gamber is raising money to help pay for her medical expenses donate here.
WHAT IS VASCULAR COMPRESSION SYNDROME?
Vascular compression syndromes are caused when a vein or artery is squeezed through another internal part of the body.
They occur in less than one percent of the population.
Chronic entrapment can lead to arterial ischemia and embolism, venous stasis and thrombosis and hematuria.
These syndromes are usually seen in otherwise healthy young patients, of which an under-diagnosis is common.
Variations include Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Quadrilateral Space Syndrome, Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome, Nutcracker Syndrome and May-Thurner (Cockett) Syndrome.
The median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS) is when the median arcuate ligament presses too tightly on celiac disease, an important branch of the aorta that delivers blood to the stomach, liver and other organs).
NCS is a form of vascular compression that is so called because the renal vein that connects the kidney and the heart, & # 39; cracked & # 39; is between two other arteries. The prevalence is unknown.
In May-Thurner or Cockett syndrome, the left common iliac vein (LCIV) is compressed between the right common iliac artery (RCIA) at the front and the fifth lumbar vertebra at the back. Chronic venous stasis due to compression can lead to deep venous thrombosis in the left iliac and femoral veins. The syndrome is diagnosed in up to five percent of people undergoing evaluation for chronic venous disease
Source: Radio Graphics Journal
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