Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gallbladder Removal

It's been a long time coming.  2 weeks after my first born came along I had what I call a Gallbladder attack.  I had never been to an emergency room in my life and within 2 weeks I had been there twice.  My son was 5 weeks early due to my water breaking this is how my first trip went down.

2 weeks after the birth I was back in with this dang gall bladder.  Everyone remembered me and were happy to see my son.  "Hello! Woman in great pain here!" I think is what I said in my cranky painful gallbladder stupor.  This stopped the group from oogling my baby and back to me and my pain.

The attack went away as quickly as it came on.  I got no pain meds as I was nursing.  After an ultrasound showed I had no gallstones they said, "Lucky you only one stone."  I was sent home.

I was so worried for years.  I wondered when was I going to have another big attack.  From then on my gall bladder ached from time to time.  When I was pregnant with my daughter my only real physical concern I had was that dang gallbladder.  It ached 24/7.  I asked my Dr. about it and she said we'll cross that bridge when it comes.  Nothing came of it thank goodness.  After my daughter was born the aching let up.

Over the last 20 years I've had about 4 gallbladder attacks.  Each ultrasound revealed no gallstones.  Each time I got the "Lucky you" response.  About 4 years ago my gall bladder started back to aching every day pretty much all day.  No change in diet would change it.  I just learned to live with it.  Waiting for "The BIG One" to come along and force the doctors to take it out.
I've felt like doing this a time or 2 myself!

I got to thinking this year I really need to get to the bottom of this as I plan on doing some traveling and I don't want to be in another country when my gall bladder finally fails.

I talked to my doctor about it.  Again I got an ultrasound and no action.  In June I finally put my foot down and asked my doctor, "Why do I have to live like this in pain and waiting for a full on gallbladder attack?"  She said, "I'll send you to nuclear medicine and they can do a test on you to measure the functioning of your gallbladder.  Hallelujah it's about time!

A nuclear medicine scan of the gallbladder is used to produce a set of images that look like x rays. The procedure uses a small amount of radioactive dye which is injected into the body. The dye accumulates in the organ, in this case, the gallbladder. A special camera called a scintillation or gamma camera produces images based on how the dye travels through the system and how the radiation is absorbed by the tissues.  This whole thing took about 2 hours of laying quite still.
What they found in me is no gallstones, no blockages, but a gallbladder functioning at 10%.  The Dr. called the next day and said, "Yeah that thing needs to come out."  What a great relief that the Dr. believed me and to finally hear those word.  All these years I've felt I had a ticking time bomb in me.
I was really surprised at how quickly they could get me in and how well it worked into my schedule.  My family and I didn't need to rearrange anything to fit this in.  DH took a few days off from work.  My teens are home for the summer.  One of my teens drives, which is REALLY handy.
The family is working really hard to make me comfortable including my poodle.  I went in at 6am and was home before noon.  My poodle though just knew something was up.  When I got into bed upon returning home my poodle uncharacteristically sniff my torso all over and then curled up with me.  If one could understand this she had this strange look of concern in her eyes.  DH kept trying to remove her she didn't want to budge.  He didn't want her to jump on me, so I understood his concern.  I assured him I'd make sure she didn't.  So, curled up next to me with her head on my belly she stayed.  She's played a major part in my recovery.

1 comment:

Jan said...

It's too bad it took so long to remove an unnecessary body part that was causing so much pain for years.

Glad you have a furry little nurse though.

That cartoon was TOO funny.