Gallbladder

So I’ll be having my gallbladder removed in a week.

Once a month with the flux of my hormones, I was having a migraine, diarrhea, nausea and indigestion.  Because the pain never centered on my gallbladder, I attributed these to the migraine, but I think know that I was having gallbladder attacks.

With my hormonal flux this month, I started getting diarrhea that lasted much longer than the usual day–after four days, I started to have some moderate stomach pain, right in the middle of my abdomen, just under the rib cage.  The pain shifted to where my duodenum sits, so I began to suspect an ulcer, but dietary changes and acid reducers did nothing to alleviate the pain.  That’s when the pain finally focused on my gallbladder.  By this point, my bm’s all had an orange cast, I was having back pain and nausea.

A normal gallbladder “attack” lasts up to 16 hours.  Mine were constant over 10 days and giving me just a few hours of break.  When I was able to see a doctor, the pain was ranging from a 3 to a 6.

My doctor ordered blood tests and an ultrasound.  The blood tests came back mostly fine (slightly elevated platelet count, plus slightly high glucose and proteins–I’ve got to watch that!)  The ultrasound turned up a 3mm gallstone, as well as inflammation of the gallbladder walls, symptomatic of an infection.  My liver and pancreas looked fine, fortunately.

Because of the length of this gallbladder episode and the fact that it’s possibly reoccurring, surgery was recommended and it’s the option I’m choosing.  With most people, if you have two gallbladder attacks, you’re almost certainly going to have more.  The more gallbladder attacks you have, the more your gallbladder may harden/scar or the more chance that a stone may lodge in the bile duct.

Pain medication has made the pain about a 1 or 2 most of the time, though my stomach feels sort of bloaty, gassy and upset sometimes.  I’m hopeful that the surgery helps!  A side-effect of the surgery can be ongoing diarrhea.  The surgery will most likely (a 90% chance, my surgeon said) be laparoscopic, meaning the incisions will be minimal.

Anyway, I’ll be sharing my experience (including food that works for me!)

2 thoughts on “Gallbladder

  1. Whoa! Very sorry to hear this Dootsie. I hope for your speedy recovery. Will this mean [gulp] an end to the Taco Bell chipotle sauce?

    • With any luck, that won’t be the case at all! Though I’ll have to keep an eye on the fat content of the meals I eat and avoid getting overstuffed (Thanksgiving will be a challenge this year…) I should be clear to eat just about anything in moderation. Everything I’ve read has suggested doing five small meals a day and to keep any meal under about 10g of fat.
      Immediately after surgery, I’ll probably be stuck with a BRAT diet for a couple weeks and possibly a fairly plain diet for a few more weeks while my body gets used to the new system.

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