When Casey first experienced an episode, they thought he might have burst his appendix, but the pain stopped as they arrived at the hospital. A month later the same pain returned and began occurring more frequently.
“It kind of feels like being stabbed and then a twisting pain,” Casey says. He explains that most days he experiences mild pain and then an attack will bring on extreme pain, which causes him to lose consciousness. “I would give anything to feel normal again,” he adds.
He has undergone ultrasounds, cat scans, a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, an MRI, and two exploratory surgeries, but all these tests and procedures have not solved what is ailing him. His parents feel helpless seeing their son’s pain continue to go undiagnosed for so many years and continue to be in pain. The Doctors brought in help from Alan Gordon, from The Pain Psychology Center, which treats people with chronic pain.
Alan explains that the function of pain is the body’s way of protecting us from causing additional damage, but there are times when our danger signals can become activated and get stuck when there is no physical damage present.“Casey has had these danger signals that have flipped on in his brain… there is so much fear around this pain, you live in fear of the attacks, and that fear is what is keeping the pain there” Alan explains to the teen.
Thankfully, Alan was able to diagnosis a cause for Casey’s chronic pain and come up with a plan to treat him. Watch the video below for more on Alan’s diagnosis of Casey’s condition and find out the surprise he has for the 17-year-old and his family.