Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gall bladder

I started getting gall bladder attacks during my second pregnancy.  I can remember being in my bedroom and then getting this God-awful stomach ache.  It passed relatively quickly and I don't think I even realized at that point what it was I was dealing with.  Then, last summer right before work started, I got about 3 days in a row that I go the attacks.  The worst happened when my husband was out of town for the day and I was home with my infant and my little girl.   The pain was so bad, I laid on my bedroom floor and thought to myself, "so this is what a heart attack feels like".

I did go in and get a both an ultrasound and a CT scan and sure enough, gall stones.  Seriously?  I had had some kidney stones a few years ago and my heart issues have always been around.   One more organ giving me issues, oh come on!  I did think about doing surgery, but starting back to work after my baby was quickly approaching and I knew I couldn't get in before work started.  So, I put it off.

Months went by and I didn't think much of it.  About 2 weeks ago, I got another attack.  Again, hubby and this time baby were visiting family hundred miles away and so my mom came and took my munchkin for awhile.  That attack lasted about 7 hours and then I was fine.  In the back of my mind I planned to make an appointment over the summer to get the darn gall bladder out.

Well, fast forward to last Wednesday night.  Hubby is always home late on Wednesdays.  He called and said he was bringing supper home and supper turned out to be fried chicken and onion rings.  I had one large breast and two onion rings and almost instantly I realized that they just didnt taste that good and I wasn't feeling so hot.  We ate late, at around 7pm and I went to bed kind of early because I just didn't feel myself.

By midnight I was en route to the closest ER with my husband driving, my groaning in the front seat, and my two kids bundled up and sleeping in the back of the car.  Hubs walked me into the ER and then went back out to stay with the kids.  We wanted to let them sleep instead of taking them into the hospital.

I was very quickly diagnosed with gallstones and pancreatitis.  WHAT?  I had not even thought that was a possibility, that pancreatitis.  Evidently one of the stones and gotten stuck in the duct between the pancreas and the gall bladder and my pancreas had "sludge" in it and was inflamed.  THe docs told me I was being admitted and I'd have that sucker out pretty quick.  I quick called my husband in the car and told him to take the kids home and back to bed.  I figured they wouldn't be doing surgery until the morning and by then we could have a relative come and stay with the baby while our daughter was at school.

Turns out, that my cardiologist wanted me to switch to the hospital he was at.  Made sense.  I have unique cardiac needs.  Let's just say, however, that the surgeon who was going to do it at the first hospital got his panties in a twist when he found that out.  What a conceited, rude doctor?  He came up and grilled me on why I would want to leave.  So glad I got out of there!

My husband took me over to the other hospital and I got settled in, only to be told that since it was now Friday morning surgery would not occur until Monday.  It was the weekend and they had to wait for my pancreas to heal up a bit.  Know what that meant?  Not only was I stuck in a hospital for days and days,  but it also meant I couldn't eat ANYTHING the entire time.  That's right, I had no food or liquid except ice chips for 5 days.  That was the worst part, that and my pancreas making me want to kill myself because the pain was so bad.  So bad in fact, that not even morphine could make it ease up all the way.

Now, you know my husband has anxiety issues.  There he was, with his wife in the hospital and two kids to take care of at home with a puppy.  He actually sent the two kids to my inlaws for the weekend. It still stunk because he wasn't there that much.  I know he had lots to do but my mom, dad, and sister took over staying with me.  I didn't mind for the most part, was just sad Hubs wasn't there.

I had my gall bladder removed yesterday.  I remember when I was being wheeled down, that my husband was still not there.  He had an appt at the VA to see his psych at 9am and with my surgery starting at 10 he had time to go.  Turns out, he was more nervous/anxious than we realized and he didn't make it back before I went into surgery.  He made it back before I was wheeled back into the room.  In fact, he had been there for 5 minutes when the phone rang to let the family know how I was and when my parents reached for the phone, he got a little p.o about it.  I saw both sides.  Really, my husband was the one who should have asnwered and gotten all the info, but he wasnt there and even though my parents understood, I think it was weird for them because all my other surgeries as a kid, it was them waiting for the call from the OR.  Oh well.....glad I was passed out and missed all that nonsense!  It's a blessing really, that so many people were there for me.

The surgery went well.  They did it laposcopically instead of cutting me open.  It's less invasive that way, but let me tell you, they are still pulling an organ out of you through a hole in your belly button.  OW!  I woke up in the recovery room in pain.  Later I felt much better and went without pain meds for quite a few hours.  Last night the pain got pretty bad, but a few oxycodone and it was better.

So that's it.  My gall bladder is gone.  I'm still sore and my stomach is still swollen from where they pumped gas into me to see the organs better.  I'm off work the rest of this week and then next week is spring break and i'm off 2 days after that is over because I can't go back until i see my followup appointment.    I have an extended spring break I guess.  Not how I wanted that to happen, but I'm hoping i feel better really soon.

My biggest problem is going to be the weight restriction.  I can't lift over 10 pounds for 6 weeks because I could very easily give myself a hernia.  Not a huge deal with my job, but I have a toddler.  He is not going to understand that I can't lift him up in or out of his crib, or have him climb  up on me.  My poor Hubs is going to have to be the one to do all that and I'm a little nervous.  I think he'll do great, but if the kids start acting up, I think my husband could get really snippy really fast.  However, maybe I'm wrong.  The week I was in the hospital, he did really well being the single parent.  So proud of him!

That's my story.  My pancreas is tender.  I tell you what, if you have gall bladder attacks, run, don't walk to a surgeon and get an appointment to get that sucker taken out.  I waited too long and as a result I didn't get to do it on my terms.

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