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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Gallbladder: Did that really just happen?

This has nothing to do with sewing, so if you want to skip, I understand.

I had my gallbladder taken out yesterday. What the heck? Let me tell you how this started. On Sunday I was having severe chest pains. I put up with it for a couple of hours then I just had a feeling I had to go to the Emergency Room. Dear Mr. Thinks He Can did panic a bit, but was such a trooper. I asked him on the way if he thought I might be having a heart attack.

Here is a bit about me: I'm 32 with normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol counts and normal everything. I'm a bit chunky, but I really like to stay on top of any health issues that arise. I didn't think it was a heart attack, but it was all I knew it could be in that area. The pain was really severe and right between my breasts.

At the emergency room they started by doing an echo cardiogram, but that came out all clear. Next they tried giving me some antacids mixed with some kind of numbing agent. That didn't work. They gave me an IV and injected some pain killers and anti nausea medicine. I felt good all over, but nothing stopped the chest pain. They did a chest X-ray and found nothing abnormal. Finally, they ordered a sonogram of my abdomen and found five stones in my gallbladder as well as some inflammation of it.

illustration
http://digestivedisease.uthscsa.edu/smallintestine.asp
Apparently one stone was in the top tube of the gallbladder and the pain was from the gallbladder trying to push it out. You can see above that would be the chest area. It turns out a lot of people have stones in their gallbladder, but never have a problem with it. Some of the things that increased my odds were: being female, 30-40 years old, being heavy, and possibly genetics.

Back to the story I was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital to have my gallbladder removed. Because I am young, they knew it could come out in the next 24 hours. I was finally in the hospital and in a bed at about 10:00 p.m. Sunday evening. The staff at Methodist Hospital in the Houston Medical Center was amazing and explained what was happening to me very well. I spent the night in the hospital getting fluids from the IV as well as morphine. Even that did not stop the pain though! Mr. Thinks He Can went home at my request and got a good night's sleep, well as good a night as my assistant would give him. Apparently she looked for my all night long!

They started my surgery at 8:00 a.m. and it was conducted laparoscopically (can't find a spelling on that). I only have three small incisions along my right side and an incision in my belly button. That one hurts the worst. Amazingly I was discharged from the hospital last night. I can walk around, but I am very uncomfortable. Sleeping last night was hard just because I am sore all over. I am amazed I am doing as well as I am. Yay technology! 

So consider this a Public Service Announcement. I never knew I could have issues with my gallbladder at my age, but I was a prime candidate. Also, chest pains can mean a lot of things, not just a heart attack. If you think something is wrong in your chest, get it checked out! I am lucky I went in as soon as I did because if the stones had gotten out they could have caused complications with my pancreas or other issues. 

You may not see much sewing from me for a few days, and I may have to skip my RTW dress contest entry and top a month challenge this month. But gosh I can't believe I just had an organ removed yesterday! I hope you all are doing well! And a special thanks to Mr. Thinks He Can for his support and my neighbors for the extra dog walks and influx of Jell-O upon my arrival home!

14 comments:

  1. WoW! That is a fast recovery! Good for you!!! My mom had it removed six months ago with a programed surgery (She did not feel any pain at all). Did the doctors recommend you a special diet? My mom got a restricted diet for a few weeks, but now she is back to normal. Take good care and get normal soon!

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    1. They did not recommend a special diet, but did say I would not be able to handle fried or fatty foods. I'd love to hear what they told your mom in terms of diet. I'm kind of terrified to eat.

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    2. let me ask my mom, but I remember she said no fatty foods at the beginning. I'll let you know.

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    3. My mom said: no greasy food at first, and then eat the food you eat regularly but in small portions, taking note what feels good and what not. She eats a normal diet now, eat everything in moderation, pay attention of what you eat that's all. I hope it helps.

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    4. Thanks for asking her. That is what I was putting together from researching on Google.

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  2. Hi Stacie,
    so sorry to hear you had to have surgery.. But so proud you got it out and now on to the road of recovery. Take care of yourself.. And we will look forward to your sewing items...when you get better.

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    1. Thank you, I plan on doing what they tell me so I can get back to sewing!

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  3. Oh gosh! I hope you're feeling better soon.

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    1. Thanks! I'm feeling OK, just really sore.

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  4. Hi Stacie, I thought about you today.. Sending prayers that you are doing well. and had a good day..

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  5. Oh geez. I'm glad you're out and resting up. *hugs from Canada*

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  6. I have been exactly where you are! Mine was taken out in 2003 after a very similar incident. The only difference is I puked on the nurse while I was in the emergency room. :( If you have dietary problems ask about Welchol. It is typically to lower cholesterol but it helps with the side effects of not having a gallbladder.

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  7. I also did a search on baking soda for gallbladder + leg pain and came across someone's page who spoke of referred pain.

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