Yes, it is!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gallbladder Issues?

It started in the middle of the night Thursday/Friday.  I kept waking up and every time I woke up, I had a feeling of nausea.  Then I started to ache.  I initially could not tell if the aching was from working out or if it was from something else.  And I was scheduled to work with the personal trainer later in the day. Finally, the alarm went off letting me know it was time to get Jackie out of bed and ready for school.  It took everything in me to do this.  I was really starting to feel bad and I knew it the pain was not just from sore muscles from working out.  I was starting to feel pain below my sternum combined with more nausea.  The thought of eating even turned me off.  I had no appetite. 
I got Jackie ready for school, fed, and out the door to the bus stop.  As soon as Jackie got on the bus, I waved to her, blew her a kiss, then headed back to the house.  I collapsed back into bed.  I was not doing good.  Then Ben woke up.  So I got him changed and gave him some breakfast.  I texted the personal trainer to let her know that I may not make it to our session.  Then I laid back down where I could hear Ben while he played.  I also took a tyelenol which helped the headache but not the other aches.  The nausea was not letting up, either.  For a fleeting moment, panic struck me at the thought that I could be pregnant.  But, I know I am NOT pregnant.  It just is not happening.  Well, unless a higher power decides to override our preventive measures.  (Abstinence, anyone?) Just kidding. 
Anyway, the pain and discomfort finally let up and I started to feel a little better. However, I still had no appetite.  Jackie had an ophthalmology appointment later in the afternoon.  I called about canceling it but the next available appointment was in another 2 months.  Jackie's vision is being followed every 3 months and since this was already a reschedule on the doctor's part, we were already a couple of months overdue for her appointment.  I started to feel better so I kept the appointment.  I had to pick up Jackie from school early for the appointment.  I was actually feeling good and thought that perhaps I just had a 12-hour virus.  All was well until early evening.
A little while after I got home from Jackie's appointment, I was feeling very tired, probably from the continuous waking up from the previous night.  Tim came home from work a little earlier than normal so I took that opportunity to lay down on the couch where I dozed off for about an hour.  During this time, my sweet Ben also had dozed off on my bed where is daddy was watching TV. 
I woke up to Tim asking me what I wanted to do for dinner.  Dinner?  I had not even given it much thought being that I had no appetite all day.  So he offered to go to Lee's Chicken and bring home dinner.  Good, because I just did not have any energy again.  By the time Tim got home with the dinner, I was starting to feel a little hungry.  I was able to eat 1 piece of the roasted chicken and a biscuit.  Within an hour, I was doubled over in pain.  And it was not letting up. 
By 9:30pm, I decided that I had to get some help for this.  The pain was unbearable and I was feeling even more nauseous.  The kids were already in bed and Tim was working on a paper.  I ended up driving myself to the ER.  I thought I was going to have to pull over a couple of times to call for help but I finally made it to the ER. 
At the ER, as soon as I got checked in and described my symptoms, I was immediately taken back for triage where they drew blood and hooked me up to an EKG.  Then I was immediately put into a room.  I must have been prioritized.  After arriving at the ER and seeing how packed the room was, I thought for certain that I was in for a several hour wait.  A bit after I got into a room, a nurse came in and asked me to provide a urine sample.  Then I was hooked up to an IV and the heart monitor and other equipment.  A doctor came in and talked to me and asked about my symptoms.  Then the nurse came back in with 2 cups of nasty for me to drink.  I was going to have a CT scan.  I started to sip the first cup.  I got about a quarter of it finished before I threw that up.  Ugh, this was going to be a long process.  I was told to drink those 2 cups with in 30 minutes.  I can tell you it didn't happen.  Even with the pain medication and TWO doses of Zofran for nausea, an hour later, I still had barely finished that first cup of nasty with all the heaving I was doing.  It was finally time for the CT scan and when the technician asked if I would be able to drink another cup of nasty before the scan downstairs, I told her what had happened.  Nope, it wasn't happening.  Once downstairs, the CT tech injected a contrast through my IV.  I got done with the CT and was wheeled back to my ER room to wait for the diagnosis.
I was able to doze off a bit before the doctor came back with the CT results.  The doctor informed me that I have a kidney stone but it was a non-issue as it was non-obstructive.  As long as it does not move and stay haydrated, I should be fine.  But, he was fairly certain that my primary problem was a gallbladder issue.  The doctor said that the CT scan is not good for detecting gallbladder problems and to follow up with my doctor on Monday to get an ultrasound scheduled.  I asked why an ultrasound was not done there at the ER and he explained that the hospital does not have on-call ultrasound technicians.  Ugh, I went through that CT for naught.  The same thing happened 4 years ago when a suspected rupture appendix ended up being a ruptured ovarian cyst.  Again, an ultrasound in lieu of the CT scan would have saved time, money, and best of all, saved me from more radiation.  I'm a little peeved about that.  But, since a kidney stone was detected, I guess the CT this time was not in vain.  It's something to be aware of in case problems arise there.
Before I left the ER, the nurse told me what I should avoid and should be safe for me to consume in case I do have gallbladder issues.  
I got home at 3:30am and Tim was kind enough to keep the kids away from me to allow me to sleep in a little bit.  When I finally did get up, I felt a little better, although still with some mild discomfort.  Even though I was starting to feel hungry, I was afraid to eat.  I did have a banana and no pain followed.  So that was a good sign. 
In the afternoon, one of my friends called to see if I felt okay enough for me and Jackie to join her and her kids to play at Chuck E Cheese's.  Sure, since Ben was with his daddy, I took this opportunity to have the special time with Jackie without the bother of her brother.  I ordered Jackie a personal size pizza.  Since I was told to avoid dairy, I didn't even have any of Jackie's pizza.  However, since Jackie does not like the pizza crust, I ate that.  That was probably a mistake as I was feeling a little uncomfortable after a little while.  After we left Chuck E Cheese's, Jackie and I headed over to Walmart to get Jackie fitted for another pair of glasses (that's another story for another post later. Promise!).  After we were done with that, we bought a few groceries and headed back home.  By that time, it was time to feed dinner to my family.  Tim had the rest of the Lee's chicken from the night before.  I wanted some but I knew the consequences if I enjoyed some of it. So I stuck to the green beans and the rice.  I still started to feel uncomfortable an hour later but not nearly as bad as the night before. 
If I do indeed have gallbladder issues, I am determined to avoid surgery.  I know it will mean even more changes to my diet but I do. not. want. surgery.  Learning to avoid offending foods and drinks will be a learning process, for sure, but I'm determined to do what it takes to avoid invasive procedures. 
Looking back, this is something that has been going on for some time.  I just did not realize it.  For the past several years, every few months, I would have this dull ache right above my stomach sort of below my sternum. I would even get this full feeling in my chest.  And it seemed that I would have to burp more than normal.It would last anywhere from a few hours to a day and then disappear.  I just brushed it off as heartburn although it did not feel like typical heartburn.  It's probably a good thing that I was not too terribly bad eater in the way of fatty, greasy, fried foods.  Because I understand that those type of foods are really bad for gallbladder issues. 
So, if I do end up being diagnosed with gallbladder problems, then this will just be another adventure to learn about in the way of diet and health.  I will post with more information after I have consulted with my doctor. 
I feel good today, good enough that I might even go to my Zumba class today.  I missed 2 days of working out and I have to do something to make up for it.

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