Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pesky little gallbladder

July 18th I went to the urgent care due to really bad abdomen pains that radiated to my back. I had many tests done, including blood work and a ct scan. They sent me home after a while with no answers.

Over the next month and a half I was in and out of the urgent care and once went to the ER. The answer was my pesky little gallbladder was filled with gallstones. When I say filled it was completely compacted with the stones, which was not fun!

The end result was surgery to remove my gallbladder which we had set for August 26th. I had to do a NO fat diet the last 2 weeks before my surgery. Those 2 weeks I had no pains, which was amazing. The surgery was set for 8 am with an arrival time at 6:30 am. My husband waited in the area and I was taken to get my pre-op done. They started an IV drip and gave me antibiotics to help make sure no infections happened after my surgery. There was a lot of waiting and reading on my phone. The anesthesia doctor came in and we went over things for that part of the process. I was taken back to the operating room and got all set up there before they knocked me out. I woke up in the recovery room which is never fun, but it wasn't so bad. The nurse there never left my side except to go get my glasses and my phone. About an hour later I was taken to a chair and my husband was brought back. He helped me get dressed and about 30 minutes later we were on our way home.

Recovery at home was slow. I slept on the couch for about a week due to not being able to lay on my side. I am a side sleeper so it was rough. Finally I just sucked it up and laid on my back in my bed and it wasn't too bad. It took a few days before I started sleeping on my side in the middle of the night without my knowing it, but it wasn't too bad. My husband stayed home with me that Friday and the whole weekend. Monday he had to go back to work and I was left alone at home. My goal was to go back to work on Tuesday, but that did not happen. I wasn't ready to return to work. Wednesday I went back to work and made it until 1 before having to head home. Thursday and Friday I worked all day.

A week after my surgery Friday night I started having the pains again and I ended up in urgent care. They did some tests and my liver levels were high, so they gave me some meds to help with the pains and then asked me to come back Saturday morning. I headed up Saturday morning and the levels were still high, but they sent me home. Saturday around 12 the pains came back and I was told by the on call nurse to head back to the urgent care. We got there around 1 and many tests were done and they communicated with the surgeon's office... after 6 hours they finally told me that I was going to the hospital to figure out what is going on. We got our stuff together and we left to head to the hospital.

Abe grabbed dinner and snacks before heading to the hospital and we checked myself in shortly after. I called my momma and told her what was going on and asked if she was willing to come up still. She started doing some checking and said she would call me back. I was told I couldn't eat until they figured things out, so I ate as much crushed ice as I could. The first night there wasn't much they could do so we just got settled in and after some time we headed to bed. Before bed my momma told me that she would be here Tuesday at 1. Sunday we did more waiting. They told me that I needed to do another MRI of my abdomen and it was a waiting game until they came and got me. I was still unable to eat anything. Monday around 12, Labor Day, it was finally MRI time. I was wheeled away and they did an MRI of my abdomen. It was the longest 25 minutes of my life. I had to do it with my arms above my head and a thing on my abdomen to help show them what they were looking for. After the MRI my pains came back and I had to get my first dose of pain meds while being in the hospital. Hours later around 7 the head nurse came in and let us know that they found the problem and it was a stone that decided to stay behind causing me all this pain... The end result was I had to have an ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography) which in short was a scope that they sent down my throat and it ends up in my bile duct so they could find the stone and break it up and suck it out. That was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. I was so excited because it would be after my momma got here. Abe had to go to work Tuesday which made me a little nervous because I would be by myself. Our niece came and sat with me until around 11 when she had to leave. I got up and walked around a little bit as well to keep the blood moving in my legs. At around 2:30 they came and got me to take me to pre-op for my scope procedure. My momma wasn't here and I was alone. I was so sad. I called my mom and they just pulled into the parking lot. I got to the pre-op and the nurse there called for my momma so she was able to come down and sit with me until the procedure. I talked to the doctor doing the procedure and he was awesome and explained everything very well. I then talked to the anesthesia doctor and we went over that process as well. Everyone was extremely awesome and made me feel comfortable. Finally they wheeled me off for my procedure and I woke up in recovery. This recovery was different because I never saw the nurse, I just heard her and talked to her with her being behind me. Finally they wheeled me back to my room. I was out of it for a little bit but my momma and my husband were waiting for me when I got back. I even had food waiting for me when I got back. Granted it was a liquid diet, I was so excited to have something to fill my stomach with. I was so hungry after 3 days of no eating. My mom left later that evening with Cadence to head home and Abe stayed the night at the hospital with me. This man is amazing and has never left my side the whole time (except to go to work, which is understandable). Wednesday came and Abe headed to work. I got another liquid diet at 6 am and then my doctor told me if I was able to eat some real food I could head home, so I got on the phone and ordered some real food. The nurse came in while I was eating and I told her I was ready to leave when I could. They started getting my discharge papers together and my best friend came to pick me up. I finally left the hospital at 10:15 am and I was so thankful to be out of there. I was sore, but I was ready to be home with my mom and baby girl and hubby! AND LET ME TELL YOU... I was super excited to sleep in my own bed! The hospital bed was not very comfortable at all...

So, that was my gallbladder experience. I am back at work and my momma is back in Louisiana. I am able to eat foods again. I can't eat as much as I use to be able to eat due to my stomach shrinking, but I am doing good. Fried foods seem to upset my stomach so I am staying away from those for now, but I am doing better. I am still sore around my incision spots, but they say that would get better each day and it would take 4-6 weeks to feel normal again. Tomorrow is 3 weeks since my surgery so I am getting closer to the 6 week mark! I am thankful for all my friends and family that helped out during the last 3 weeks... Some friends brought food, some friends brought gifts like flowers and a nice blanket which I use every day, some came to visit in the hospital and some helped get me home and helped with my baby girl! Some family sent get well cards and each and every one made my day! I appreciate every prayer that came my way and I am so thankful to not be having pains anymore!