Monday, January 13, 2014

Gallbladder removal and journey (not the band...sorry :()

Gallbladder and Hypothyroidism. Did you know that these issues are related? Neither did I. The most annoying thing that I have heard in the past week is, "Oh, your GI should have caught this gallstone issue a long time ago." My surgeon isn't annoying...the fact that this was "missed" for so long is annoying...ya feel me? I then tell my surgeon how I TOLD my GI I believed I had gallstones, (thank you Web MD) to which the pompous, arrogant jerk replied adamantly and repeatedly, "No, I am confident in my diagnosis and you have IBS." I was asking him to do a gallbladder ultrasound and if he wouldn't do that, to at least give me something for the painful attacks I was having. He said no and no. He was so dismissive. Not open to anything I was even telling him. That was the last conversation I ever had with THAT JERK....which in my mind to be honest is the NOT the name I use for him. Yeah, when I think of him, I am dressed like a Ninja underneath my sneaky white lab coat (like a Dr.), spitting out foul language and hurling small sharp, shiny objects into his abdominal cavity and the empty cavernous hole that for most humans houses a beating heart and he is like "Hey, it hurts when you throw razor sharp gadgets into my soft belly and chest area, and I say, "Oh, no, no, no, don't mind that, its a simple bout if IBS." Muahahahaha. know just like Vincent Price laughs at the end of Thriller. It did cross my mind to lay my putrid, dysfunctional, stone and bile filled gallbladder  in his bed sheets......(Yeah, you know, like in the Godfather....with the horse head? Funny? No?) Ok, not really, but for sure, the foul language starts to flow....anger...yeah there is quite a bit of anger. I started having these "attacks" several years ago and had no idea what they were. As I searched the wondrous Internet, I came across the gallstone diagnosis. I learned how diet can affect this issue and so I was careful to eat fatty foots sparingly. I did notice that it wasn't always fatty foods that spurred the attacks. I had more attacks. I spoke to a friend and fellow blogger and she told me she was going to do a liver cleanse. She gave me the info, I did it. For sure it wasn't the most pleasant 3 days of my life. Oh and as a gift of completing the liver cleanse/flush, I ended up with a migraine. Oh, my body is so sweet. NOT! I had to drink down this horrible Epsom Salts and water solution for a few days at certain times of the day while fasting and on the third day, you drink an Olive oil and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice solution. Google it, search YouTube, you will find loads of information on this. To put this in Layman's term, horrible tasting water solution goes in, horrible water solution comes out....yes water. I should have just slept in the bathroom. When it came time to drink oil, I had to think of it like salad dressing. That was actually the easy part. Anyways, like I said, you can find lots of info on this through your own searches and as always, I am simply sharing my experience with you, I am not suggesting you  do this without talking to your Dr.. So yeah, not a fun time, not for the weak and guess what?! I WENT THROUGH ALL THAT NONSENSE and later when I asked my regular Dr. to do the gallbladder ultrasound, which she so graciously agreed to, I found out that those pesky suckers were not moved by my attempt to eliminate them. So, for me.....that gallbladder/liver flush didn't work. After I got my ultrasound results, I met with a surgeon and went home and did some searching. There were people who said it could be controlled by diet and others who had it removed and told me of the icky bile dumping side effects,(that's a fun google search too!) which was a MAJOR, MAJOR concern of mine. After I had my surgery date,  I backed out and proceeded on a way more healthy diet. I did good, then the Holidays hit.....cue the creepy slasher movie music ala Mike Myers and then bam, New Years day....OMG! The gallbladder attack pain is like child's the only thing that I can liken it to. I have had 4 babies, 4 C~sections. With the birth of my first child, I tried to be all strong Mama and refused the epidural. Hours later and 4 hrs plus of PUSHING ALONE (that means minus active labor), I was on the operating room table, I couldn't really say no. So the gallbladder attack pain was bad, severe! The first few gallbladder attacks, I suffered through, pain, chills, sweating...I am surprised they didn't find me like Elvis on the bathroom floor (minus the drug use). After a few of those episodes, I thought....hmmmm, it might be wise to go to the ER so that they DON'T find me like Elvis. Anyways, with diet I was able to stay out of the ER for quite a while. Dun dun dun....

So New Years Eve I ended up in the ER...can't say I missed it. I was a big tough girl, or so I like to tell myself. I will say though that there were a few tears that HAVE made it down the side of my face simply because I at times feel betrayed by my body. How can it be such a horrible sport? OK, whatever, I just always try to remind myself that I have so many, I will not go there. So, another ultrasound was performed and "Helllloww"  stones (remember that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry doesn't wanna give up the voice? Classic!) nice to confirm your existence once more, as if your manifestation of excruciating pain were not enough to convince me of your continued undesired existence. My bile duct was hovering in the realm of normal to not normal. So I was sent home. I ate applesauce for 3 days and a Red Vine which almost sent me back to the ER begging for help!

At my preop, I met my surgeon who totally treated me like a human. Aye Dio mio!!! Seriously, he shook my hand, gave me eye contact, listened to me and calmed my concerns for bile dumping. He EVEN stepped outside to answer a call regarding a Dr. apt for his own children. I found that very endearing. He went so far as to tell me that if I called the next morning and said I didn't want to do it, that he wouldn't be mad in the least. It was my decision. He did make it clear, I would have more attacks. Boo. He said what he did differently than other surgeons was inject this dye into the duct to see if there were any stones in the duct and if there were, he would have to refer me to the GI, I would have to stay the night and have another procedure done. Surgery day, I was nervous. I made sure to tell my surgeon thanks for treating me like a human during my preop and for listening to me AND for not just sitting there and taking notes. I told him this, literally on the verge of the "ugly" cry. Lol, wish I could have blamed it on the drugs, but sadly....I cannot. What can I say, the medical community doesn't seem too kind lately. Ladies and gents, I chose the rockstar of surgeons and he saw those stones in my bile duct and removed those unwanted suckas his self.....booyah! And saved me some monay!!! Oh yeah....happy dance.

See the curious looking infinity sign drawn on my bandage? That wasn't me! What goes on in those OR rooms......hmmmm, makes ya wonder! Maybe they were watching Toy Story? To infinity and beyond!

These are the steri strips I am waiting for them to fall off. There are also 2 other curious looking pokes that are in my belly above and below that one incision in the middle. What happened there????

I need better lighting, the beautiful purple color and all its majesty cannot be fully appreciated.

Suh puhrtttyyy! I love purple, its my favorite color. I normally wear it in clothes, but on my skin for over a week? AWESOME!

Me and my family BEFORE I went under.

That my amigos is my gallbladder removal story in a huge Monsanto sized genetically engineered nutshell....hehehehe.

And might I just go ahead and quote Journey.....Don't stop believin'!!!!!

There are good Dr.'s out there and on this day, God blessed me by putting this one in my path!


  1. Have you gotten any attacks since your surgery?

  2. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comAugust 14, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Hi, recently launched a free interactive "Human Body Maps" tool. I thought your readers would be interested in our body map of the Gallbladder:

    It would be much appreciated if you could include this tool on and / or share with friends and followers. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thank you in advance.
    Warm Regards,

    Maggie Danhakl- Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline Networks, Inc. * Connect to Better Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107