Surgical Removal of the Gallbladder

I never thought the day would come when I would have gallbladder surgery, but it did! I always thought that doing cleanses and flushes would keep me from having surgery, and for about 20 years, it did.  But the day finally came, and here's how it happened, and why I don't have any regrets...yet :-) Here's my story, forgive the sarcasm you'll find here and there, but sometimes you just have to laugh at situations that come your way!
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During the last months of 2005, my dear Dad was fading after years of struggling from several strokes, and passed away.  I was in great need of doing another gallbladder flush, but decided to wait.  Dad passed away on October 19th of 2005. Then there was a period when I was just...numb, I don't know how else to describe it.  The last years had been difficult, and so was his passing, and even though I was so thankful his suffering was over and he was safely home with his Savior in heaven, it was so hard.

Then there was getting through the holidays, then getting other things done...so many distractions, and before I know it, it was early February.  For about 6 months I had been having many digestive problems and pain in my back where the gallbladder is with almost anything I ate.  In December I'd somehow reached my 54th birthday, my husband had a new job with excellent insurance, and he was beginning to gently push me in the direction of surgery...I told him the only way that was going to happen was if they had to take me by ambulance on a stretcher.  Deep inside, I too was getting a bit tired of having to think about my gallbladder all the time, and tired of being picky to the point of ridiculous about my food intake.  I prayed and asked the Lord to let me know what to do, and His answer came!
 
It was a Monday, February 6th, just another day, paying bills, with the usual discomfort in my back...but who wouldn't have a pain in the back paying bills :-/  I had lunch, and noticed pain gradually increasing...right in the middle of my abdomen, between the bottom of my breastbone (sternum?) and the bellybutton.  It got worse, and WORSE, AND WORSE!!! until I could barely think. I called my husband...and guess what he did?  He called an ambulance, and had them come to the house, put me on a stretcher, and take me to the emergency room, and there he met me with a smug look on his little face...finally, he had me where he wanted me, and there was no way I was going to leave that hospital with a gallbladder in me...only kidding (sort of :-) he was very concerned about me, and hated to see me in pain.  Very patient and gentle, he's really a sweetie. 

So the doctor comes in, checks me, takes me for an ultrasound which shows gallstones...less than before the flushes, but still enough to be "a pain", and they gave me Demerol for the pain.  Phew, what a relief.  He says "so, do you want to get it out"? I looked sheepishly over at my husband, and knew my answer had to be "yes, if I go home I'll never come back".  So that is what I said.  

They couldn't take me then, but could take me when they had a chance the next day...the hospital was so full that they set me up in a room in Pediatrics, yes, it was great, listening to babies and little ones crying all night, listening to the beeper on the intravenous pump that constantly went off with the slightest move so that I had to call the nurse to fix it, and then when I'd finally doze off the nurse would come to check and see how I was doing.  She was very sweet...but I'm glad I was there only one night!


I wasn't able to eat or drink a thing, not even a drop of water.  They want you empty for surgery so you don't get sick and aspirate anything into the lungs, which can be deadly.


The next day finally came, and at about noon, a nurse came in, as if she was announcing a party down the hall she was inviting me to, and told me "Guess what! They're all ready for you in surgery! Lets go!!"  Of course, I could barely contain my excitement...just kidding...the doctor had been in to give me the details about the surgery earlier, I had signed the zillion papers, and just wanted to get it over with.  


Down we went to pre-op or whatever you call it, where a nice, kind gentlemen, the anesthesiologist, who had such a strong accent I couldn't understand him, told me all about the fun drugs he would be giving me.  He was so proud of the collection of choices he had, and I guess he should have been, because I don't remember a thing that happened during the gallbladder surgery :-)  

A little while later they were ready for me, my husband and I prayed, and off I went.  I looked around the room at all the equipment, was put on a table as hard as a board, and cold too, but it wasn't long before I said "are you putting me to sleep now" and heard "yes", and the next thing I remember was very warm blankets being put over me by a nurse, looking at a clock that said 3 pm., and asking "is it over? were they able to do it laperoscopically" and she said yes to both, and that it all went very well.  I was only slightly nauseous, hardly enough to do anything about, but they put "a little something" in me that took it away right away.  
 
It wasn't long before they took me up to the room where my dear husband was waiting, and not long after that I wanted to get out of bed, as I knew that was the only way I'd get to go home.  And also ate a few bites of sandwich...just enough to get out of the hospital.  We left at about 8 pm that night for home. 


I went right to bed, and was able to get up the next day, and spent the day in the recliner watching TV and playing on my laptop.  I was a little drugged and nauseous with the Percocet they gave me, so I asked my husband to pick up some extra strength tylenol.  That was enough to take the edge off the pain the next 2-3 days, after that it was bearable and I stopped the drugs. 

My greatest challenge has been figuring out just what I can and can't eat, you can't just eat anything you want right away, I learned the hard way...ouch.  Now, about 5 weeks later, I am feeling pretty good, still know my body is adjusting, my most challenging symptom being bloating, and yes, gas, but I understand that will let up eventually...I hope.  I'm taking a bulk herb in my everybody's protein powder, slippery elm, (also available in capsule form) in the morning and evening, to help absorb some of the bile that just drips now.  Also drinking some aloe vera juice and taking probiotics. Over time I found that I needed digestive enzymes when I ate my main meals, especially lunch and dinner and added Proactazyme and for dairy,  Lactase Plus. (Please contact me for FACT SHEETS on the bold items using the form below) When I ran out of the Proactazyme, my symptoms of gas and bloating returned.

So it's done now, and it wasn't all that bad.  I'm glad I waited, though, as it's helped me to learn so much about healthy eating, and was the start of my journey to becoming a Nutritionist. 


Do all you can to keep your organs as long as you can, but don't be stubborn or foolish, you'll know when it's time to say goodbye.


Please feel free to contact me using the form below if you have any questions! 

6 MONTH UPDATE ~ It's August now, and I am able to eat just about anything, it took time to get to this point for me, but here I am, but still need the digestive enzymes mentioned above.  I am very happy with my progress...it's been so fun to eat so many yummy things, I'm going to have to tap into my knowledge as a Nutritionist and put together a nice little weight loss program for myself :-)

6+ years later in the Fall of 2012, and I'm doing fine! 
 
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Updated 1/17/13

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