August 7, 2007

How I Broke My Gallbladder

Starting out, I did have my gallbladder taken out Sunday. Fortunately, I got sent home Monday morning. So I am recovering now. But the story of the last six days is pretty interesting.

It all started on Wed morning at 4:45 am. I woke up with this terrible pain in my upper abdomen. Pretty much right at my lower rib cage. It was a terrible pain. I actually had it once before about a year ago or so. Anyway, I couldn't lay down, stand up, it was terrible. I called my mom, who was working 3rd shift at the lab (already at the hospital) and she said if I felt that bad that I should come on down to the ER. I woke Ellis up and we loaded up into the car and headed to the hospital. I was poked and prodded, they did an ultra-sound, CT Scan, and all sorts of other stuff. The lady who did my ultra sound told me I had a "gold mine" in my gallbladder. But, my Dr said "Everyone has gall stones. We think this is a stomach ulcer." So, by noon or so, I was no longer in pain and I was sent home with a prescription for stomach acid medicine and hydrocodone.

I spent the rest of Wed resting, but spent the night throwing up the little food I had eaten. Apparently my body does NOT like hydrocodone. On Thursday, I was afraid to eat much of anything. I think I ended up having dry cereal, 1/2 of a chicken wrap, and more dry cereal. That was all I had all day. Oh, and I stayed home from work. I just did not feel right.

Finally, on Friday, I was a little stir crazy and knew I didn't feel 100%, but I wanted to go to work to get out of the house. Plus, I had a lot of work to do. School was starting soon and I have a lot of stuff to do to prepare for that. So I went in to work and felt light headed all morning. I was in an out of the copy room, working on time sheets, just getting a lot done. But, I was feeling worse and worse. I decided to call it a day around 11:45. When I went home, my mom called and asked how I was doing. She sent my dad over to drop off some soup for me. Since I had so little to eat, I ate a WHOLE CAN of chicken noodle for lunch. It was so good! Then, pretty much immediately after that, the pain I had from Wed morning came back. It lasted for about 5 hours. The best way to describe it is if someone had hit me but the pain of that punch lasted the entire time. And it was like a band all the way around me, even to my back. Near the end of this (we finally realized that I was passing a gall stone later) my mom came over and the first thing she noticed was that my eyes were yellow and I looked like a pumpkin. Apparently, somewhere along the way, I got jaundiced. She ended up taking my blood and a urine sample and we found that besides the pain, my bilirubin was about 300 times higher than it was when my blood had been taken on Wed.

We went to the emergency room again on Friday. We got there around 6:30 or so. When I saw the Dr, he couldn't believe I was sent home on Wed and immediately told me that he was keeping me for the night. My 5 hours of pain ended around the time I was checking in to the ER, but because my blood work was so out of whack, they really wanted to keep me to try to figure out what was going on. So, I was stuck in a hospital gown and room all day Sat and I felt pretty normal. Since they didn't know when they were going to take me to surgery, I had a lovely diet of jello, Popsicles, chicken broth, and water. Strangely, I have redeveloped a love for Popsicles after all of this.

My Dr set up my surgery for Sunday and it went smoothly. I am glad all of that is over. He removed my gall bladder laproscopically. So I just have four little scars on my stomach. I don't feel normal yet, still some pain from that. So, I am planning on staying home this week to try to feel better. I feel bad taking a week off, but my mother-in-law pointed out that used to, people would have to take 6 weeks off from work. So, putting it in that perspective, I shouldn't feel bad. Besides, I do need to time to heal.

Anyway, I think this is most of the story. In a few weeks, I should be as good as new!

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