It’s been a crazy few weeks, so crazy in fact, that I’ve been too busy to actually write about it and my gallbladder attack. Lots of life choices have come to a head and not in a good way. Not in the ticker tape parade, I just unlocked level 1000 in life success kind of way, but in the what the hell have I been doing to my body over the past 40 plus years sort of way. My body mutinied on me.
Two weeks ago, Easter Sunday or the night on Walking Dead that Daryl got shot and I should have been rioting, I was instead ignoring the hell out of The Walking Dead and the possibility of Daryl being shot because I felt like I myself was dying. I say that literally, not figuratively. My body was attacking me over either macaroni and cheese or my Mother-in-law’s amazing cheesecake; trying to kill me and I really wanted to give it the satisfaction of dying just to be out of my misery.
Remember a couple weeks prior, I thought I was having a heart attack and ended up in my local emergency room? That night I found out that I had gallstones and that was my first ever gallbladder attack brought on by a Mexican birthday celebration meal, I was in excruciating pain.
I was given some intravenous meds, including a nice morphine push and I felt great. The ER doctor didn’t seem to think I needed my gallbladder removed because we thought the whole thing was precipitated by my stomach that was irritated from the 1800 mgs of ibuprofen that I’ve been taking every day for the past 6 months thanks to my broken leg. I watched the “bad food” or so I thought for a couple days and then I went back to eating whatever I wanted, because that’s what I do. I’ve always said, I’d rather workout for 3 hours a day than give up French fries. I know better now.
P.S. Anyone who tells you to eat whatever you want because the chance of having another attack within a couple weeks is rare is not your friend. Ignore them because they are full of shit and obviously never survived an acute gallbladder attack.
So anyways, 2 weeks ago, the Sunday before the Thursday that I left for Spring Break at Disney World (the same trip I had to cancel in October because of the broken leg) I had my second attack. It was 10 times worse than the first one. It was transition labor with no medication terrible. I have a high pain threshold and I tried to wait it out for 4 hours, it never subsided. It only got worse. Finally, I had to call my brothers to come over to watch the kids while my husband took me to the ER at 1 am in the morning.
Aside from the body splitting pain in my gallbladder and stomach, I was vomiting pure bile and nauseous. My stomach was messed up and I could not get comfortable. I was in so much pain; I couldn’t get above a whisper. I tried everything; heating pads, drinking vinegar, drinking water, laying on the floor, on my back, on my stomach, upside down. I was trapped in my body being tortured. I sat on my bed and sobbed in desperation and excruciating pain.
After all was said and done, I spent the entire night in the hospital trying to get the pain manageable. After three rounds of Zofran, Dilaudanum and something else, I can’t remember (in my defense, I was pretty drugged), I was finally sedated enough to drift in and out of consciousness through the attack. It was agreed that I needed to have the gallbladder removed at my earliest convenience, which is now. Remember, I was going to Disney World or bust for spring break but changes were going to have to be made.
Immediately, I was told that I needed to go on a low-fat dairy, reduce my fat, cholesterol and carbohydrate intake diet. There would be no butter, cheese, red meat, pizza or Mexican food in my near future. It was fine with me because there is no food in the world worth a gallstone attack. Seriously people, watch your cholesterol and fat intake. So, I went to Disney World on a severely restricted diet and I made it work. You’d be surprised at how many options you find when you look. I’ll write another post about that later.
Anyways, it’s been 2 weeks since my last attack and I’ve lost 13 pounds. I’ve never eaten healthier in my entire life, my blood pressure is down and I am waiting for the call from surgery to schedule my removal.
In case you are wondering why I am still having my gallbladder removed even though I have the attacks under control with diet, I am removing it because both doctors told me that once you have a gallstone attack it’s not a matter of if you will have another attack, it’s a matter of when and I simply don’t want to go through that excruciating pain ever again if I can avoid it.
Needless to say, let me serve as a warning to you, watch your fat and cholesterol intake. Move around and work out because gallbladder removal surgery is the most performed surgery in the United States and I’m sure that has a lot to do with our super-sized, super fat, super sugary, high cholesterol diets. It’s rich food. Ironically, gallbladder issues don’t exist in poorer countries.
What would you be willing to give up to avoid this kind of pain? For me, I’d gladly give up all foods to avoid another attack.