This story is part of the Guts UK Pancreatitis Awareness Campaign.
Tamar Longmuir’s Story
My name is Tamar Longmuir and I want to share some of my story. I was diagnosed with chronic and recurrent acute pancreatitis when I was 29 years old. I’d been suffering from a severe pain in my left side for about a year but tried my best to just carry on as I had to work. One day the pain got too much and I collapsed at work. I was sent into hospital where they did blood tests and scans and found out I was having an acute attack of pancreatitis. I had a pancreatic cyst that was 10cm in size and already had damaged my pancreas, meaning it was chronic. I had been drinking, but not excessively, so they weren’t sure of the cause.
Now I’ve been in constant pain for seven years, some days are much worse than others. I’ve had to give up my career in nursing as I’m on a very large amount of fentanyl and morphine daily. This has led to me getting very depressed, which made my pain worse. I even struggled to feed myself as I had little money to live on. It affects my whole life as I never know how I’m going to be feeling so can’t plan ahead. I can have an acute attack at any time, I feel sick most days, suffer form severe pain and I am exhausted all the time. Everything in my life seems like a struggle. In the last year I’ve been diagnosed with hepatic fibrosis in my liver, as they found I was born with an extra artery joining my liver and pancreas, so my liver is now affected. I had an acute attack a month ago which meant four days in hospital to get my pain under control and they found I now have venal thrombosis in the vein behind my pancreas, caused by the attack. I’m now left with few surgical options due to the extra artery, as any surgery would be extremely dangerous. So I just have to live with whatever time I have left in pain. Pancreatitis is really frightening, many people haven’t heard about it, some doctors don’t seem to take our pain seriously, and no one seems to have many answers, which is scary. The only positive that has come out of this is that I’ve learnt who really cares for me.
What can you do?
Join in our Kranky Panky Weekend fun and fundraise for more pancreatitis research with Guts UK. Check out some of our fun ideas here!
Guts UK is proud to fund the only fellowship into pancreatitis in the UK. However, one fellowship every three years is not nearly enough for this potentially deadly condition with no specific treatment. We need to do more. Help Guts UK fund more research to find a treatment for pancreatitis by donating today.