So I mentioned a little bit of an update on what was going on with my gall stone episodes but I wanted to get a little more into what has been going on and what I’ve been doing as far as doctors’ visits and that kind of thing.
My gall stone episodes started around a year ago I believe and at first I thought I was having bad back pain from eating too much. I initially felt the pain between my shoulder blades. The more time passed with these, I began to realize I had pain under my ribcage on my right side as well and extreme bloating and basically all of the other symptoms that go along with gall stones.
Since I started experiencing them, they have been quite more frequent and exponentially worse. And I mean WAY WAY worse. I had a regular check up with a new doctor mainly to talk to her about the gall stone episodes to see what my options were and from about two months before the date of that appointment, I decided to log them with an estimation of when they started (basically when I woke up from the pain because most of them were in the middle of the night) to when they would generally stop.
A pattern was forming for me. I would see that I would have 2 of them within a day or two of each other twice a month. So I told my doctor and she agreed that I need to get my gall bladder removed. In order to get that done, I had to get another ultrasound done, so I did that, and they had the results in within hours of the ultrasound. Later on that day, I received a call from the surgeon’s office and got an appointment for a consultation which happened today.
I saw the doctor who will be perfuming my operation as well as a resident and a couple of nurses. I also got my paperwork done, set the date for surgery, and had a urinalysis done (not sure why). They went over all of the possible risks and what will be happening during the surgery, what to expect after the surgery, and how to prepare myself before the surgery. It was a LOT of information to take in.
I am nervous, but I’ll be glad when it’s done. I honestly don’t know how much longer I can take these episodes. The last one I had which was last night was almost too much to bear. The pain was so sharp and my stomach was so distended from bloating that I could hardly breathe. Nothing made it better. I tried soaking in a hot bath, then later (after throwing up from the pain and taking a pain pill to see if it helped) took a long shower to see if it made a difference. I finally was so exhausted from the whole ordeal that I managed to fall asleep. They take so much out of me and I’m so afraid to eat anything because I’m afraid of what’s going to happen. I tried very hard to eat as little fat as possible today and I’m praying I don’t get another one tonight. I can’t keep missing work for this. It’s gone on long enough.
My surgery will be on January 23rd. My mom and brother are coming with me to bring me home and for moral support. They have to intubate me which freaked me out a bit. I won’t know they are doing it as I’ll already be out, but the realization of the whole thing is a little scary. I know quite a few people who have gone through it and they were just fine so I’m praying that is what happens with me.
As far as what the gall bladder’s purpose is, it’s used to store bile that the liver makes. It’s located below your liver and some people begin to develop these gall stones as they get older. Bile helps to break down fat in your system so the more fat in your meal, the harder it has to work to pump extra bile into your stomach. Sometimes the stones get stuck in the ducts that go down into your stomach and that is what the episode is. It can last anywhere from an hour to twelve. Hearing that I’m very glad mine have been around three hours long which when you in pain like I’ve been in, seems like a year!
The surgery is being performed laparoscopically. They will make four incisions in my belly. One near my belly button, and three just below the rib cage. One will have a camera, one the tools to get the gall bladder out, and the other two for incisions and other work. If something goes wrong, they may have to make a bigger incision which will require more time in the hospital and a little more pain.
I will have to still be careful and eat a low-fat diet because my liver and stomach will “have to have time to get to know each other.” They won’t have the gall bladder in the middle of it all anymore.
So that’s the gist of what’s been going on. If you’re experiencing these problems like I am, I’m right there with you and hope you can get yours taken care of very soon.