May 17, 2012

Goodbye gallbladder. You won't be missed.

Welp, I am officially gallbladder-free.  All went well with the procedure yesterday.  Don't worry, I will fill you in on all the details. I just realized though that I have never said on this blog why I had to have it taken out in the first place.  Here's the back story: Last summer, shortly after I had Aspen, I was getting this unbearable sharp pain below my rib cage on the right side.  It happened during the night, usually after I ate a big meal.  Sometimes the pain was so bad, I was gasping for breath. Well after googling my symptoms, I found out I was having gallbladder attacks.  So I had an MRI done and they found some lovely stones in my gallbladder.  I discussed my symptoms with Dr. Jennifer Tittensor (I know, funny name but she is an amazing surgeon I was referred to by a friend). She suggested that I have my gallbladder removed right away for a couple reasons: a) I have stones. b) If I want to have another child, I need to have it removed before I get pregnant (apparently pregnancy aggravates your gallbladder and the last thing you want is emergency surgery while being pregnant). Also, I should mention that gallbladder issues run in the family.  Two of my sisters had theirs removed, as well as both parents and some grandparents. So I was all scheduled to have mine removed but the timing just wasn't right.  Nick was working graveyards and about to start school and I was breastfeeding Aspen 24/7. I felt strongly that I needed to hold off.  Amazingly, my symptoms started to dissipate.  In fact, most of the winter I felt so good that I wondered if I really needed to get it removed. No such luck. Sometime in February I felt that familiar pain under my rib cage.  It wasn't an attack, just an annoying pain every time I ate.  Then came the nausea.  It became so bad that even after eating a bowl of cereal I felt like I was in my first trimester of pregnancy.  It was then I remembered my doc's advice about getting it out before I have another baby.  We're not planning on #3 anytime soon, but with Nick's encouragement, I decided to face the inevitable and become one more family member thriving without a gallbladder.

Like I said, the procedure went well.  No complications.  It was a laparoscopic surgery, so less invasive and shorter recovery time. The worst part was coming out of anesthesia.  They were having a hard time waking me up. It took them a good 3 hours (most people wake up 1-2 hours after surgery) and as I soon as I opened my eyes, I started vomiting.  Vomiting with incisions is the WORST.  And when Nick walked in the room, his face said everything about how I must have looked: terrible.  After the 3rd puke, I was finally ready to go home.  I still don't understand why I was so sick.  I've had a couple other surgeries and never had that experience.

Today the nausea is mostly gone and I'm trying to keep the pain to a minimum (not a fan of pain pills).  Nick's wonderful parents took Toby off our hands for a few days so Nick would have one less person to look after. And some sweet friends insisted on bringing us some meals.  No doubt we are very blessed to be surrounded by such thoughtful people. 

And on that note, I am going to go try to catch some Z's.  I can't even remember the last time I went to bed this early.

Hoping this will be the last of surgeries for a very long time. It was just slightly embarrassing when one of the nurses said Nick and I looked really familiar.  :)


The Andersons said...

oh you're gonna love having done it.... Derek had his out and he feels so much better. I almost took him to the ER once from the pain he was in. and YES. vomiting with stitches is THE WORST. EVER. after I had sophie (c-section) I was so sick and everytime I threw up I wanted to DIE from the pain. hang in there!!! you'll be up in no time!

Jessie said...

Glad it went well and you won't be attacked by your gallbladder anymore. Sheesh!
I had four surgeries as a kid and puked after every one. Also, meds always take FOREVER to get out of my system. Epidurals take hours, novacaine at the dentist - same thing. Forever.
Maybe that's not your normal thing, or maybe it's another genetic thing we have in common. Super fun!

Colleen said...

I'm so glad it went well! Congratulations on getting the rotten thing out. I'm sure you will be glad you did it.

Karisty said...

Man I have been so out of it since having Madison. We need to get together for lunch. So glad you're doing better and sorry I wasn't there for you. I love your family picture by the way!

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