When the Gall Bladder Attacks

Well, it finally happened.  It took until the age of 35, but now I can brag (?) that I’ve finally reached my deductible in a calendar year.  It actually only took me until March 23rd, that’s how hard I’m killing this deductible game.

I woke up at about midnight that night with chest pains.  I knew that it wasn’t a heart attack, and I highly doubted that it was heartburn, but nothing I did would take the pain away.  I tried antacids and ibuprofen to no avail.  Finally at about 6:30 in the morning, I woke Lee up and said we needed to go to urgent care.

Let me tell you, they don’t take chest pains lightly.  We walked in to Urgent Care and were immediately rushed in to a room where they started to check my vitals and ordered an EKG.  My blood pressure was incredibly high, as was my heart rate, but they were able to quickly rule out a heart attack.  The ER doctor was a little concerned that it could possibly be a blood clot, as hormones such as the Estrace and Progesterone I was on during our last IUI cycle can sometimes increase risk of stroke.  He ordered a CT scan and started pushing around on my abdomen for signs of other issues.

The minute he pressed on the upper right side of my abdomen, I shot up.  The pain was searing.  That moment will be etched in my mind for years to come; trying to keep it together in front of this strange doctor, just a single tear rolling down my cheek.  He said we had a possible culprit; a gall bladder attack.  He ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen as well, and gave me a shot of Dilaudid for the pain.  Holy shit, does Dilaudid work like a charm.  It was scary and fascinating at the same time.   I can see why people get addicted to the stuff.  It takes away all pain and cares simultaneously.

After a CT scan, ultrasound and about $1700 in medical bills later, a gall bladder attack was confirmed.  There were no blood clots which was great, but my gall bladder was stuffed to the hilt with gallstones.  The doctor asked me if I’ve ever noticed pain like this before, if I had been having issues keeping food down or was suffering from gastrointestinal issues.  The answer was yes, I just never thought much of it.  I have been having issues for quite a while, but I always thought it was food poisoning or allergies that I just chose to ignore.  It had been happening a lot more as of late, but I just attributed it to stress.  I was referred to a surgeon upon being discharged and made an appointment to discuss my options.

With a little more time and clarity I was able to determine that these gall bladder attacks were happening every 3-4 weeks.  Sometimes they would last for a couple of hours, and sometimes they would last for half the day.  There was also no rhyme or reason to what was setting these attacks off.  It became a process of elimination over the next couple of weeks, trying to look back at what I had eaten before each attack.  The list went on for AGES.  How was I going to live like this when it seemed absolutely everything was making me sick?  I met with the surgeon and after discussing the frequency of my attacks, we decided it was best to take my gall bladder out.

So here we are; surgery day.  Am I nervous?  I don’t think so.  I guess we’ll see when we get to the hospital.  I’ve also apologized to Lee in advance for any potential attitude I may give him when coming out of anesthesia.  I’ve only been put under one other time; for the removal of my wisdom teeth.  When I came out of anesthesia I was a supreme asshole to my dad.  I’m independent to a fault and the idea that I would need to be helped out to the car was too much for me in my drug induced stupor.

I’ll be out of work and laid up all week, so I would imagine that this week will provide me lots of naps, TV binge-watching and soup.  This might make me sound old, but I’m really excited for the soup.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out so far today to wish me well!  If you need me at all this week, I’ll most likely be on my couch.

3 thoughts on “When the Gall Bladder Attacks

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