DP Family: Katherine Storms Off: Medical pain

Medical Mystery

Katherine recently lived in Virginia for three months training horses, but she says she had to return home because of her health issues. "I have been riding horses since I was 5 years old, and that's always been my passion. When I was 13, I started to have a really sharp pain in my side, like someone stabbing me with a knife. I got really sick," she explains. After a hospital visit and numerous tests, doctors discovered she has kidney stones. "I'm only 19 years old, and I can't ride horses because of the sharp pain in my side. Lately, my kidney pain has become worse. I can't stand for more than 30 minutes. It feels like someone is stabbing me with a knife, and it's very intense, and sometimes I get spasms in my hands, where I can't move them because the pain gets so bad." She adds that it's hard for her to get a job because of her condition.


"There were times when the pain was so excruciating that we actually ended up in the E.R., so it's been very frustrating for all of us," says Erin, Katherine's mother.


"I just wish I could live a normal life, but I have this really sharp pain, and no one understands what it is. It definitely could be something worse than just kidney stones, but I'm hoping that it won't be," Katherine says.


[AD]To help Katherine determine what's causing the pain, the Dr. Phil show teamed up with the TV show The Doctors. They contacted UCLA Diagnostics and set up a comprehensive panel of tests with urologist Dr. Jennifer Anger. The doctor performs a urine test and learns there is blood in Katherine's sample, so she has the teen undergo a CT scan.


"I really enjoyed meeting Dr. Anger. I liked her a lot. She's very aggressive with what she wants to do. She really had a game plan, and I'm really looking forward to finding out what's going on," Katherine says.


Katherine's tests results will be revealed on an upcoming episode of The Doctors.

Dr. Phil sits down with Katherine to find out how she's coping with the tests and the pain.


Katherine tells Dr. Phil about her pain. "I always had this feeling where it feels like someone is stabbing you in the side, and it happens if I stand for more than about 30 minutes, if I walk for any period of time," she says. "I can't do anything anymore. I can't ride a bike down the street with Leilah or Nathan anymore. I had to sell all the horses that I had. I want to be able to stand up," Katherine explains. 


When the pain first occurred, Katherine visited her OB/GYN. "Ever since I saw the urologist, he threw up his hands at me. He said, 'Drink water, and that's all we can do. There's nothing we can do for you.' And that was probably the most letting down thing, because he told me that I couldn't get better," she recalls, becoming emotional. "I went to my regular doctor a bunch of times, and she put me on antibiotics to help, and I would go back and forth, back and forth, and eventually, over the last year, I just said, 'Screw it. It's not going to get better. I'm not ever going to get better.'"


[AD]"You said, 'I don't have health insurance right now. My health is getting worse. I don't know what to do. I can't get a job to get money to pay for a doctor, but yet I continue to hurt all the time,'" Dr. Phil says. "But we've now got you on track for this."

"I want to talk about your reasoning," Dr. Phil tells Katherine. "We set up to use all the resources at our fingertips, which I always do when it comes to you, and then I get this email from you: 'Hey, so me being a goof, I was pumping gas, and I set my phone on top of my Jeep, and I drove off with it on top. Needless to say, I don't have a phone right now, so I can't fly across the country with no phone, so I'm sorry, but I can't make the flight. After I get a new phone, who knows when that will be, then I can come out. I'm really upset about not being able to go, but there's nothing I can do. That sucks, Katherine.' Are you kidding me?"


Katherine explains why she wrote the e-mail. "I was very scared to find out what's really wrong with me. I don't want it to be something really bad that I have to lose my hair over or anything like that. And I had to fly out by myself, and I was afraid," she says.  


"If that's true, Katherine, why don't you just say that?" Dr. Phil asks.


[AD]"Because in my family, I was always taught to stuff your emotions and hide them away," she says.


"I don't know how much more I can help you, and I deserve better than that," Dr. Phil says. "You're paralyzed with pain and can't afford to go to the doctor, and somebody steps up and offers you the top diagnostic center in the world and you say, 'Well, lost my cell phone. I'm going to have to blow you guys off.'"


"I agree it was the wrong thing to do. I agree 110 percent that it was the wrong thing to do," Katherine admits.