Saturday, March 12, 2016

My crazy Thurs to Thurs 7/16/15 gall bladder drama/surgery

Long story short -this post was to be on my gall bladder issues.

So - the long version goes like this.
I had started gall bladder attacks during my pregnancy with Sterling. I remember the first one was November '14 - a few months pregnant. I thought it was just a terrible bout of heart burn.

I had two attacks over Christmas break in Michigan. Again, thought it was terrible heartburn or indigestion. I ate a ton of tums and that helped for a second. But I spent a few hours in the bathroom just hoping to throw up and relieve the pain. It was terrible.

These attacks were always at night, and about 90-120 minutes long.

I had 3 more attacks before Sterling was born in May. I kept telling myself I would just tell the OB about it at my next appointment. But really after the pain subsided I felt good as new. And I figured they wouldn't do anything about it since I was pregnant. So it just never came up in my appointments.
I had called a nurse at one point and they said they'd do an ultrasound on my gall bladder next time I was in - but I just never brought it up in the office.

The last few attacks were bearable, I had researched and found that drinking apple cider vinegar would help the pain subside in 15-20 minutes. I'm so, so grateful this actually worked!! I would do a 1/4 C ACV with a glass of apple juice - choked it down - and felt better about 20 minutes after.

I figured I wouldn't have anymore attacks after I delivered Sterling. But I also knew it was a good chance I had stones since my mom, all of my aunts, and both grandmas had had their gall bladders removed.

Middle of July, I felt another attack coming on. It was always such a frightening feeling, and random/sudden. They say it's usually triggered by a certain food. But mine never seemed to be - maybe cinnamon. But that wasn't consistent. This attack was coming on and it was unbearable. I drank the apple cider vinegar/juice mix. and the pain subsided for just 10 minutes. And the pain came back full force. I couldn't breath, it was worst than delivering a baby related pain!!! I thought I was having a heart attack and was really struggling to breath through it all.
Once the pain mostly subsided I still did not feel well. Seth and I went to the ER. I got great meds, and we did an ultrasound. The tech had to be called in (it was midnight at the point) the wait wasn't too bad.

Anyway, the tech took a glance at my gallbladder and said "Oh yeah. That one needs to come out. You should have came in sooner."

An hour later I was discharged with surgeon information. I really didn't want to leave that night. I still just did not feel right. But... we went home.

Just days later I was back in the ER. The surgeon couldn't meet me until Monday. and it was Thursday. I couldn't even convince them to get me in sooner because every place was closed for the 3 day Pioneer day weekend.
I went back to the ER because I was still in pain since the last I left the ER. My stools were clay colored, and my eyes were yellowing. Which were all reasons listed on my discharge instructions reasons to go back to the ER.

The doc was skeptical anything was wrong with me. I was explaining my symptoms and he said "You don't need to tell me everything, the labs will tell me what I need to know". aallllrighty then.

My labs came back, he said "we are just waiting for a specialist to call me back". Yeah - that's right dude - I am not faking anything.

The specialist ordered an MRI. my liver wasn't functioning and I had jaundice. They suspected a stone was blocking the liver.

the MRI showed I must have passed the stone. I didn't even know that was possible!! But I did it. Therefore, there was no emergency anymore and I could wait until I met the surgeon Monday. I still felt crappy though.

Met the surgeon. Scheduled the surgery. Sterling was blessed the next weekend. I had so much help from friends and family while we waited for surgery day.

Gratefully my in-laws, Seth's parents stayed for my surgery! Seth and I went to the hospital early morning, I was wheeled into surgery a few hours later. Put under - a wonderful thing. and before I knew it I was awake again.

There were 3 or 4 of us in the recovery room that came out of anesthesia at the same time. I remember we were all moaning in unison and the anesthesitcian was running between us all trying to control our pain.

Seth met me in the post surgery room. and Within an hour and a half I was up walking around and ready to go home. I got a picture of my gall bladder - over 50 stones were in that thing! Gross. The surgeon told Seth it was one of the best ones he has seen.

Recovery went well. I am so grateful for the amazing pain meds. And so grateful I didn't have to change a diaper for a whole week! And that my in-laws were there to help and do everything. And Seth stayed home from work to be my personal helper. Meals were brought in from our wonderful neighborhood. So blessed.

And most of all - so blessed I will never. ever. experience another gall bladder attack!!!!
 Ventured out to feed ducks - first outing after surgery.
 Scarlett got her back to school hair cut by grandma! Grandma also took care of back to school shopping for me. Her and Scarlett went out shopping for clothes, shoes, and her first backpack!
 Seth was a great helper, diaper changes and all.
 handsome Lincoln with handsome Grandpa Burke
  Scarlett waited for me while the group got the car so I didn't have to walk more. We had taken a trip out to bridal veil falls to get out and about.

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