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My husband swallowed a VIDEO CAMERA!

Yesterday my husband swallowed a pill with an extremely small wireless video camera inside it. He had to wear a pack around him with wires that made him look like a bomber for 8 hours. This pack held a special tape to record from the wireless video camera passing through his body. Technology is absolutely amazing these days. Why did he do this you ask? Well the past 2 years I have had to rush him to the emergency room at random times due to EXTREME and unbearable abdominal pain. He has had every test done to figure out what is causing this pain. From blood work, CT scans, Endoscopic Ultrasounds, Endoscopies, Colonoscopy, you name it. Still no diagnosis! I have even tried taking out certain foods and still nothing has been consistent of why this happens. How frustrating can this be?

It all started almost 2 years ago when we took a family trip to Hawaii. His entire family got sick towards the end of the trip one by one with vomiting and diarrhea. Fortunately I did not get it. Everyone got well within a day or two except for my husband. He ended up in the hospital for almost 3 weeks with a diagnosis of Pancreatitis from one blood test. After that, the blood tests remained normal throughout the 3 week stay, but the pain was still there. He had to be on extreme narcotics injected in him every 2 hours. Stronger than Morhpine! Getting out of the hospital is a whole other story that starts bringing tears to my eyes. Just want to touch on the subject on how angry I am at the doctors and pain management people for not even tapering off his narcotics and sending him home cold turkey. If anyone understands what I am trying to say here, I am sure you have an idea of what he had to deal with after that. Anyways, to make a long story short, life has been quite a rollercoaster since the trip to Hawaii. I have such a hard time seeing him in pain when this happens. He went almost 5 months with no pain and last week he was in the ER twice.

The point of me discussing this post is for two reasons. First reason, if anyone has any suggestions or knows someone who has been through this type of nightmare sudden pain, please share with me. If the specialists (which are supposedly the best) do not find anything with this amazing test, we will be going the holistic route. Second reason, This has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. I now find myself being much more laid back about things that normally would make me very upset. A good day for me is watching my husband having a pain free day. Seeing a smile on my daughters face while my husband holds her lights up his world. So of course my heart melts. Going through trauma has only made me stop and appreciate the beauty that life does have to offer.


Posting on a blog is a great way to spread the word and, hopefully, find some answers. Your strength as a family and support of each other shines through - and the photo of Lyla would bring a smile to anyone's face!
Anonymous said…
I didn't realize Ben was still having trouble with his stomach. My heart goes out to all of you as I know that unanswered pain is frustrating as well as emotionally draining. Ben is very lucky to have you by his side. I hear more and more from my peers regarding holistic medicine and would not discard it. I hope you hear from people who have had direct intervention with it and can give you some specific answers. Needless to say Lyla is precious!
Unknown said…
I am not sure what to say, other than if you ever need me, I am only a phone call away to babysit, or anything else.
Anonymous said…
aside from ben holding a special place in my heart and lyla being so absolutely, lauren, are the one who brings a smile and warm cuddles.
Lauren Brooks said…
THANK YOU ALL sooo much for your support. I really appreciate your kind words and will continue do keep everyone updated.


Royce said…
CRAZY! Yes pain meds are a huge two edged sword. I'm sorry you and your husband have had to go through this. My heartfelt best wishes go out to your family.
Royce said…
Happy Mothers Day!
Anonymous said…
Have they checked to see whether it is a parasite? I hear of this happening with parasites. I am so sorry you have to go through this. The baby is gorgeous.
Lauren Brooks said…

You are so right about pain meds. Sometimes they do more evil then good. Thanks for the mother's day wishes.


They never mentioned anything about parasites. I think the doctor said it would have showed up in the blood work or biopsies that have been done. But I think we will have to go to a holistic doctor for them to find a parasite. I was sort of thinking that's what it could be.
Anonymous said…
I had no idea this was still going on. I am so glad you have Lyla in your life and so sorry that you have to deal with this. I wish I had some advice but all I can do is let you know that we are all here for both of you!

Love Dunnzy and Jeff
Franz Snideman said…

How did it go with Dr. Oliver? Was he able to find anything at all?

I know there is solution out there for Ben. We need to keep researching and keep PRAYING!

Happy Mother's Day! (your first one!)
Lauren Brooks said…

Dr. Oliver is out of town until May 24th. So we are patiently waiting until then. We also find out the results from the camera test on that same day. So we are crossing our fingers that there is an answer for all of this.

Thanks for the wishes. I really enjoyed my first Mother's Day because it was also our first Anniversary.
Anonymous said…
Hope they find something with the camera. I know you said you cut out certain foods without results. Has he been eating shellfish the day of pain or day before? I have seen many in the hospital have this tpe reaction from shrimp, crawfish, lobster, crab, etc. and how their body responds to it as a food allergy. It can be a sudden after eating or delayed a day or two. Will be praying for you all. I understand how things like this make you not sweat the small stuff, same here after my husband coded, I did CPR and he was on a ventilator for over a week not knowing if he'd live or die. Thankfully God allowed his a second chance but good health around here for both of us is appreciated on days it is there as its not nearly often enough. {{hugs and prayers}}
Anonymous said…
It sounds like you've tried taking things out of your diet, but have you tried to add probiotics too? So I have a friend who has a history of intestinal problems and she's been seeing a nutritionist who specializes in Candida. She wasn't sure she actually had Candida, but she followed his advice taking out wheat, sugar, etc., for over a year while adding probiotics. She said that she was born with lacking the right amount of probiotics to break down food and when she got any sort of a virus, guess where her sickness the most sensitive part of her body, on top of not being able to digest many foods.

Also, don't know if you've heard this, but many western dr.s don't know how to deal with tropical viruses or how to diagnose them. I know you were just in Hawaii, but viruses can be brought from anywhere and taken to anywhere and often attack a person's most sensitive area. Dr.s in the US also don't think to test for things like girardia because here we take advantage of knowing we can drink clean, filtered water. Well, if you haven't been tested for girardia, I would do that. Because you can have it and not know for a while because it can flare up and die down, while certain foods trigger it, like sugar. And, you can get it in the states.
Rob O'Brien said…

I wish you and your husband the best. I broke both bones in my lower left leg in 2000 and had a rod and 3 pins incerted. After 4 days of Demerol they gave me perks and sent me home. I understand your husbands pain and would not wish that on anyone. Both of you are in my thoughts and I hope he gets well soon!

barbara shaffer said…
Dear Ben & Lauren, I have the name of two holistic doctors. Dr Majid has trained with Dr. Matt. I would go to either doctor personally, I trust the recommendation and I have heard about Dr. Matt for many years. I thought you could call either or both of their offices for a recomendation in San Diego if you find the need. Dr. Majid is in Santa Monica (310) 399-4024 and or (310) 285-3272. Dr. Matt has a website I hope the 24th comes quickly and that there is a situation easily resolved. In the meantime hugs to all of you and special kisses to lyla. love auntie barbs
Lauren Brooks said…
Thanks again to everyone for their support! Ben is back in the hospital and now staying there. I will give you all more information soon! It's just not easy at the moment.

Anonymous said…
Hi Lauren,

I just visited your blog for the first time today. I came to check out your kettlebell info, but your family's struggles caught my eye.

I talked to my mom last week, she broke down and was crying because she has been having this awful pain in her stomach. It's been going on for about 2 years and she's just telling me now. She has been in to the ER once and seen her doctor a few times. This is totally not like her -- she will not go to the doctor. Her appendix burst last year and her neighbor had to drag her in. She has had all sorts of tests but they can't find anything. Her GP suggested she's depressed because her husband recently passed away and recommended Prozac and now she feels like a crazy fool because no one can find anything wrong with her.

My mom says this pain is unreal -- worse than the appendix, worse than childbirth. She's constantly running to the bathroom after she eats anything and her stomach feels full of air and incredibly tight.

This all started not long after her husband was in the hospital. He came down with some kind of infection in there (C-diff?). It seems like your husband also came down with his problem after his hospital stay, so I wonder if the problems could be connected.

Sorry for the long comment. I hope you and your husband get some answers soon. Please keep us updated.
Lauren Brooks said…

I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I am not sure if this is related. The doctors have found Ulcerative Colitis, but the pain still does not match up to the diagnosis. So I am still not convinced. But right now it has been under control with tons of meds and an extremely strict diet. This can't go on forever so hopefully we will find more answers.

Thank you for sharing this with me.



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