Gallbladders are RUDE!

SneakySnakeLady

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Just popping in with a story time and a question attached for my own research ...

I had my beautiful baby girl back in September via C-section (In labor for 2 looooong days with no progress) and when I came home, about 3 days later I woke up in the middle of the night with generalized abdominal pain. It wasn't ''THE WORST'' pain I've had, but it was just different. I was afraid it was related to my C-section (infection, wound opening etc) so I had my husband take me to the ER to get it checked out. Had a CT scan and a lower abdominal ultrasound which all showed ...nothing. Was told it was probably just me overdoing it, gas etc and I was sent home.

Flash forward to about November about 2 weeks after I had gone back to work from maternity leave, and I get woken up 3 nights in a row with this same pain, although it was slightly more dull. It wasn't a terrible pain just annoying. I would take some Advil, and hop in the shower and it would be gone and I'd go back to bed. After the 3rd night I decided to stop by a walk in clinic and just go over it with them, because it was so specific, it woke me up at the same time each night, between 1-3 am. They had me do an abdominal ultrasound and a few days later called me back saying I had gallstones and referred me to a general surgeon.

I go to the appointment a week later and she tells me my gallbladder is FULL of stones and sludge and it needs to come out. We schedule the surgery and it falls right before Christmas. I had a few more days left before it and finally decided to cancel it , because with the holidays and the new baby and all of the families that wanted us to come with her and all the plans I didn't want to be recovering from surgery in the middle of that. I had been off work a long time for my maternity leave and didn't really have the time off to spare then either. I modified my diet (very low fat) and decided I was going to try to just stick it out until maybe March this year when my husband and I had time off and could coordinate a little better. (Cue the narrator : She would come to regret this decision)

So through the holidays and into January I was modifying my diet , but I could tell I was getting sicker and my gallbladder was getting worse. It got to the point where I had to REALLY restrict my fat content to less than 3g per meal, which if you read any food label is VERY hard. I wasn't having bad attacks but just general pain each day. Then the attacks started back, dull like before but enough to know what it was. I had lost 50lbs from the time of my diagnosis to this point due to just not being able to eat anything. My last week I was eating mostly just broth, jello and crackers.

On Thursday a couple weeks ago, despite this very restricted diet, I woke up in the middle of the night with THE big one...the worst gallbladder attack I'd had to date. It was like being in labor without the break in contractions. It lasted for hours and I finally told my husband I needed to go to the ER either for them to do something or to knock me out. I get there and they load me up with pain medication, which I actually let them do (I'm not a med person, don't like taking stuff BUT I was glad for it in this moment) They called my surgeon in her office to see if she'd squeeze me in and she said yes. She came to see me in the ER and told me she had blindly said yes and when she got to the hospital she saw she already had 6 more add-on cases that day and it was likely she'd have to keep me there overnight and I didn't want to do that and be away from the baby so she said she'd book me for the following Tuesday morning when she had an opening.

So on Jan 21st I rolled into the hospital and said goodbye to my demonic gallbladder. Surgery was a BREEZE and I was home the same day. I'm a few weeks out now, totally healed and no more soreness, I can eat food and am enjoying the extra time off with my little love bug. I was told my gallbladder looked BAD , was stuffed full of stones and that my bile duct was distended and she could tell I had passed a large stone recently which is most likely from the visit that sent me to the ER. I go for my followup at the end of the week and I'm hoping she has pictures for me.

I was told a lot of pregnant women develop gallbladder issues after giving birth, they think due to the huge hormone dump, but really nobody is sure why it happens to people, but it happens more to females. That's my question, since this forum is mostly male, I'd love to hear about men developing this issue vs females you know who have gone through this. Or if anybody successfully has kept theirs despite issues - I know a lot of people have stones and don't realize it , but once they start causing problems it usually has to be removed. It can be very dangerous to keep a bad gallbladder but I have met a few people who have tried over the years.

Picture of my happy little almost 5 month old bundle just because - she's still worth every minute of it

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dave b

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I have no gallbladder stories to share, but glad you and the little one are doing well.
 

Tone deaf

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Glad you are on the mend. I know that is quite painful, but not from first hand experience. One of my sisters had hers out at around 27 (before having any kids). I think that she is the only one I know of that has had the procedure.
 

SneakySnakeLady

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Glad you are on the mend. I know that is quite painful, but not from first hand experience. One of my sisters had hers out at around 27 (before having any kids). I think that she is the only one I know of that has had the procedure.
It definitely got very painful there at the end. I'm glad it's gone!
 

LPMarshall Hack

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Ouch... I can attest gall stones hurt!

Beautiful little girl you got!
 

SneakySnakeLady

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Oh, I know. My grandchildren are currently living with me, including 2 1/2 y/o twins. Things change weekly.
It's incredible how fast they grow and learn - with her it's something new every day now. She's kind of ahead of the curve ...she rolls, nearly crawls, sits up, has been eating baby food and has two teeth, tries really hard to talk and just in general acts like a much older baby, she's so stinkin' smart already. She's said ''MAMA'' already and booyyyyy was I happy!

Here she is being a chatty Cathy

 

Rds

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Sneaky snake that is rough. Glad to hear you're on the mend. I had diverticulitis and had 10 inches of colon removed. It was infected and perferated. It felt like being stabbed in the stomach every 5 minutes. I feel ya!
 

Rob the Photog

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Congrats on the happy, healthy baby girl! :)

Several years ago I passed a kidney stone that sent me to the hospital. Absolutely THE WORST physical pain I’ve ever experienced... Sharp stabbing pain with no end. It was absolutely debilitating, I was writhing on the floor and there was nothing but pain, it wholly consumed me. First and only kidney stone episode so far (knock on wood).

I mention this for the sake of perspective, because my wife’s gallbladder attacks were even worse and more frequent. I never saw her in so much pain before, not even in labor. Each time it took 30-60 minutes before it finally eased up. Her gallbladder attacks were pretty severe from the start, and she also tried to ride it out with dietary changes, but as you know the only way out was through, and she had to have surgery to remove her gallbladder. Her quality of life improved almost immediately, but she still has some digestive issues related to her pregnancy and her missing gallbladder.

It’s a horrible thing to experience, and I’m glad that she is doing much better now (and you, too).
 

SneakySnakeLady

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I finally got my video working not sure what the problem was
 

SneakySnakeLady

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Congrats on the happy, healthy baby girl! :)

Several years ago I passed a kidney stone that sent me to the hospital. Absolutely THE WORST physical pain I’ve ever experienced... Sharp stabbing pain with no end. It was absolutely debilitating, I was writhing on the floor and there was nothing but pain, it wholly consumed me. First and only kidney stone episode so far (knock on wood).

I mention this for the sake of perspective, because my wife’s gallbladder attacks were even worse and more frequent. I never saw her in so much pain before, not even in labor. Each time it took 30-60 minutes before it finally eased up. Her gallbladder attacks were pretty severe from the start, and she also tried to ride it out with dietary changes, but as you know the only way out was through, and she had to have surgery to remove her gallbladder. Her quality of life improved almost immediately, but she still has some digestive issues related to her pregnancy and her missing gallbladder.

It’s a horrible thing to experience, and I’m glad that she is doing much better now (and you, too).
I've heard kidney stones are rough..I had a very small one once, but it wasn't anything bad at all, it just passed on it's own. I was like your wife, my relief was immediate following my gallbladder surgery, but thankfully I didn't and haven't had any digestive issues, it was like nothing ever happened once it was out. My surgery was so easy, they told me I would start to feel sleepy and then I woke up and was only slightly sore for a few days with a few lap sites, nothing bad at all.

Even with the gallstones and c-section and a major ankle surgery I had a few years ago, none of that I would say was my worst pain ever. That would have to be the pain I had breastfeeding surprisingly enough. I like most women wanted to breastfeed when my baby was born but I only managed about a week. I think because of my body not really cooperating with labor and then a near emergent C-section, I just didn't produce. I tried for about a week and never made much and I was trying to use a pump and at one point I had this muscle cramp on my left side that extended through my entire chest, back neck etc and I honestly felt like I was dying. I just laid on the bed and cried and writhed around until I could manage to stand up and get in the shower and down some Advil and just wait for it to ease up. Then I decided I couldn't go through with that anymore and since I wasn't producing anyway we just switched to formula which has produced the 17lb chunk I have today lol.
 

SneakySnakeLady

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Sneaky snake that is rough. Glad to hear you're on the mend. I had diverticulitis and had 10 inches of colon removed. It was infected and perferated. It felt like being stabbed in the stomach every 5 minutes. I feel ya!
I've heard diverticulitis can be a doozy too! They ruled that out the first time I went to the ER with the pain
 

SneakySnakeLady

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bilbarstow

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SSL,

Glad that you were able to get it out and resolved. My story is not about myself, but about my wife.

I had been on a business trip, and when I got home, she was telling me about the Major Pain that she had been having. Now, I'm not a Doctor, and I don't even play one on TV, but I said "Sounds like Gall Bladder to me ?" I had her get in the Jacuzzi with hot water, and that gave her some relief .... for about 30 minutes. 1 hour later, I was taking her to the Emergency Room. They examined her, took an ultra sound, and said "Lady, you are going to Surgery, Stat." (I love that Medical talk !)

It is one of those Medical situations that they can sometimes "miss" because they are looking for something else. But when it's that bad, they can usually discover it and the surgery can resolve it. She, unfortunately, still has to have a more restrictive diet, because she just cannot digest things the same way as before. (This is 15 years ago now !)

Wishing you the best, and congratulations on the return to health.
 

lpfan1980

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Cute baby glad you all are doing well-my mother had a bad time with hers. When it was taken out she came home with a bag of black lava shards-her stones-she said she was mad because the amount of pain and sickness she went through they could have been cool stones.That was my Ma :rofl:
 

bungle

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Congrats on the little one. :) That sounds like a horrible experience. Glad you got it figured out, heal well.
 


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