Helpful ReplyWOW... gallstone attack

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Mosca
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2012/04/22 11:36:36 (permalink)

WOW... gallstone attack

You know all those bad words? I said 'em all, and made up some new ones to go along with them.
 
It started innocuously, at about 10:30PM Friday. And I didn't eat anything spicy or fatty for dinner; heck, I had a bowl of chicken soup and a chicken salad sandwich, at about 8:30. I did wash it down with a strong ale, though. Anyhow, about 10:30, I started getting an ache below the ribcage on the right. What the heck, I figured, I'll go to bed and it'll go away.
 
But by about 12:30, it was worse. The pain covered my entire abdominal area, and I was dizzy, with chills. So we went to the emergency room,  where we sat for 2 hours. About 3AM, I finally got to the back, and asked for something for the pain, and got a shot of Dilaudid. An hour or so later, they gave me an ultrasound, which showed thickening of the gall bladder... well, yeah, I've had that for 20 years. The thing has been full of sludge about that long, but it's never caused me any problems.
 
At about 7AM, they gave me another shot of Dilaudid. Around 9:30 they told me that they were going to send me home with half a dozen Percocets and a 4 day prescription for hyocyamine. I took one of the Percs and went home and fell asleep, and basically I slept from 10AM yesterday until 9AM this morning.
 
I got no appetite. I woke up long enough yesterday to have a bowl of Cheerios; I had two soft boiled eggs and a cup of tea this morning, but I didn't eat the toast. Frankly, I'm afraid to eat anything that might set it off again, because it really, really sucked. Right now the abdominal pain is gone, but there is an ache where the gall bladder is, like a muscle strain.
 
I figure on a forum about eating spicy and flavorful foods there have to be people who have dealt with this. I feel like for the next week at least, it's canned vegetables and white rice... but what does the future hold?
post edited by Mosca - 2012/04/22 11:38:01
#1
ces1948
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/22 12:04:02 (permalink)
My ex had to have her gallbladder taken out but this was in the early 80's and it was a major operation then. I understand they've come along way with lasers and other techniques since. Have you looked into anything?
#2
felix4067
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/22 12:06:40 (permalink)
I fast-tracked the whole process with mine...did one night in the ER like you did, complete with the dilaudid and percocets. Then it was fine for about eight months. Then one day at work I started feeling dizzy and cold and clammy and everything got echo-ey and my vision started closing in from the edges. Thought I was going to be sick, and I had the worst pain imaginable in the notch of my ribs. Ended up leaving work in an ambulance, and spent 12 days in the hospital. I was allowed NOTHING by mouth, not even ice chips, so I had a feeding tube. And got a shot of dilaudid every four hours for the first ten days before going to codeine pills every four hours. Which I stayed on until I finally had surgery.
 
Turns out what happened was one of the gallstones had escaped, and through a one in a million chance lodged in  the valve of my pancreas, which immediately started eating itself. Apparently I got lucky...that often leads to a several month hospital stay and long-term issues like diabetes and kidney failure. Long story short, it was too infected for them to do any surgery right then, so four months later they were finally able to. Because of the pancreas issues, it was another four-day hospital stay (gall bladder surgery is usually outpatient), and I have a lovely 8 1/2 inch scar across my abdomen. I was also on a completely liquid diet for almost five weeks afterward (and lord, did I get mighty sick of pudding, Jello and protein drinks!). From there, it was soft foods (soup, boiled eggs, canned vegetables, etc.) for about three weeks. My surgeon told me that was because of how they had to fix my pancreas, though...had it been just gall bladder removal I'd have been eating solid food within a few days).
 
Until I actually had my gall bladder out, I had to be careful of what I ate. Peanut butter killed me, so it was right out. Anything deep fried was out. Anything with full fat (milk, butter) caused me pain. Certainly anything with any spice hurt. I went through most of a huge bottle of Tums in four months.
 
Here's the good part (yes, there is one)! After I recovered from surgery, there is NOTHING I can't eat. Seriously. Used to be you had to avoid spicy and fatty foods after you had your gall bladder out, but no more. I specifically asked my surgeon, because I thought I was looking at another 40 years of bland, tasteless food. He told me, and I do quote verbatim, "Once I take your gall bladder out, it won't care what you eat." Sure, everyone should cut down on fat, and I already did that anyway. But I used to have to take a Prevacid every morning, and had for at least five years. Haven't taken one since I got out of the hospital almost exactly a year ago. I have gotten heartburn exactly twice since then, and it was because I WAY overdid the Tabasco in my chili. Basically, as far as what I can eat, it's like being a kid again, because I can have whatever I want without worrying about what it might do.
 
Good luck!
#3
CCinNJ
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/22 12:17:50 (permalink)
Avoid popcorn and ALL trans fats as long as you have that gallbladder. Trans fat can trigger an attack for like 8 hours ..that will make you wish you were in labor.

#4
starfire62
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/22 15:32:38 (permalink)
i had a stone lodge in 1 of my bile ducts,i was in such pain i wished i was dead.i have a good tolerence for pain.i never felt that much before in my life.i had to have a test  and then they pulverized the stone and i felt better.i had to wait a month to have surgery because i had hepatitis and was real jaundice and gall bladder became large and infected.the dr didnt want to cut me open for the surgery.the only good part was he saw a hernia and repaired it also.the worst part other than the pain was the ride in the ambulance for the test .the hospital didnt have the machine. what a uncomfortable and noisy ride.
post edited by starfire62 - 2012/04/22 15:33:56
#5
felix4067
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/22 15:55:24 (permalink)
CCinNJ

Avoid popcorn and ALL trans fats as long as you have that gallbladder. Trans fat can trigger an attack for like 8 hours ..that will make you wish you were in labor.

Absolutely! One of my surgeon's interns had the same thing happen to her that I had, about a year after she had a baby. She said she would rather give birth repeatedly without any drugs whatsoever than feel that pain again. " />
#6
CCinNJ
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/22 16:13:07 (permalink)
I've had 2 babies (no drugs no tears) one was 8 lbs. 12 oz. I would do it again on a hot bed of nails rather than have a gallbladder attack to cry and cry through.

It's horrific...and I feel for anyone who has ever felt that pain.
#7
Benzee
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/22 18:16:48 (permalink)
Hello all
I had my gall bladder taken out  emergency surgery three yrs ago .
First night I went to the emergency room of the now closed Arden Hill (Kill) hospital in Goshen NY , after a few hours they sent me home with a few pain pills and to see my own doctor .
Next night started the pains again around 10pm , by 2 am I was in so much pain had my wife take me to another emergency room, this time St Lukes in Newburgh , Cornwall campus .
They diagnosed it right away , got me into surgery a few hours later
That morning it was taken out , two nights in hospital , had no idea until I talked to doc how close I was to disaster on this .
Done laparascopically , minimaly invasive .
I had felt like crap for months , thought it was indigestion or something ,  realized it was this .
Good luck and get second and third opinions if possible
Benzee
#8
kathy_in_wlsv
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/22 22:52:01 (permalink)
In mid summer 1995 I was at work one day when I thought I was having a heart attack. Long story short I spent the night in the ER and had my gallbladder removed in the morning. The report read no stones, but long term chronic inflamation.
 You don't have to have stones to hurt like the dickens.
My oldest brother nearly died of a gallbladder attack because the dam fool didn't go to the dr soon enough and he developed gangrene..
Keep an eye on it..
#9
kathy_in_wlsv
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/22 22:52:16 (permalink)
In mid summer 1995 I was at work one day when I thought I was having a heart attack. Long story short I spent the night in the ER and had my gallbladder removed in the morning. The report read no stones, but long term chronic inflamation.
 You don't have to have stones to hurt like the dickens.
My oldest brother nearly died of a gallbladder attack because the dam fool didn't go to the dr soon enough and he developed gangrene..
Keep an eye on it..
#10
HollyDolly
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/23 11:43:30 (permalink)
I have  gallstones, but so far not too many problems,and I've had it for 10 years.I do watch what I eat  and trying to get better about excercise. Now last Saturday night i had an upset stomach and a mild case of the other problem and saw my doctor.She said something I ate at the chinese buffet didn't agree with me,and gave me Nexium.Said it would help, and talked about my gallbladder.I do have a referral she gave me, and maybe after school's out, can go see this guy to get it removed,but it will be over the summer.They do it laproscopcally, my sister had it done ages ago.Dr,Naik said it is much easier than in the past.My sister mentioned they can also use sonic waves to break gall stones up.
My doctor said I'm doing really well  for someone who has had it a long time, but there are problems that can arise if things change.Sorry you had such horrible pain.Hope you all feel better.
#11
lleechef
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/23 12:49:20 (permalink)
My philosophy is rip the thing out.  After all, you don't need it!  I had constant problems for a year and the idiots in Alaska never checked my gall bladder.  Couldn't keep boiled white rice down.  Went back to my doctor in PA and he says, "Hell, it's your gall bladder!"  I had it out and have been healthy and able to eat everything since then. 
#12
Foodbme
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/23 13:29:35 (permalink)
Your Gallbladder is like your appendix and your ex-Wife.
Nice to have when they're working good, but when they start giving you trouble, get rid of them. You don't need the aggravation!!!
#13
lleechef
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/23 13:40:41 (permalink)
Foodbme

Your Gallbladder is like your appendix and your ex-Wife.
Nice to have when they're working good, but when they start giving you trouble, get rid of them. You don't need the aggravation!!!

How true!!

#14
Mosca
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/23 17:11:38 (permalink)
Thanks. I've been able to eat very little since then, and it still hurts, but not like it did. I just got back from my regular doctor, who did the thorough examination that I didn't get in the ER, scheduled a different test, and said that if it comes back positive, and he thinks it will, then I'll have to get it removed.
 
Ahhh, piss. I just have had so many operations over the last 10 years, another one is not what I want.
 
 
#15
totillie
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/04/24 01:42:03 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
Dear Mosca -
 
Please do the surgery. I understand your feelings about surgery, truly, but this one **will** improve your life. It will most likely be 2 days in hospital. It's Laparoscopic, no huge scars. No, in our experience, afteraffects.
 
My sweetie went though it all, after a most frightening night [the attack came on without warning, and was bad]  five years ago, and sailed through. I, on the other hand, was a wreck. haha.
 
The surgeon took photos [!]. It was not pretty. Please do this. You will not regret it.
#16
Mosca
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/04 17:52:10 (permalink)
Well, yesterday I tried eating some stuff with a little pizzazz; I fried my eggs instead of soft boiling them, and I buttered my toast. And for dinner I made Simon & Garfunkel chicken, and I buttered the rice.
 
I knew I did it; my gall bladder protested a bit, but nothing I can't handle.
 
I really, really don't want another surgery. I've had 4 in the past 7 years, and 6 in the last 20. I'm going to let this go and see what happens.
#17
Michael Hoffman
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/04 18:33:45 (permalink)
The surgeon I saw in the fall of 2010 wanted to go ahead and get the thing out. But I was apprehensive, and he said if the symptoms return to get back to him. Well, they have returned and I guess I'll be getting back to him after Mothers Day -- if I can hold out that long.
#18
Mosca
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/04 19:57:54 (permalink)
Oooooh. but you did get 2 years. I think I'd be happy with that. What I'm worried about is that I'll have this, then when I have my colonoscopy they'll find something, then there will be something else, and I'll never be well again.
#19
Michael Hoffman
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/04 21:35:07 (permalink)
Well, I've been putting off getting a new hip because I'm not exactly sure I'll survive, so the gall bladder thing isn't anything I relish, either.
#20
Mosca
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/04 21:36:22 (permalink)
I understand. Hang in there, my friend.
#21
baileysoriginal
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/04 21:46:24 (permalink)
When you get the new hip go for the minimally invasive - the spouse spent only 2 days in the hospital and had a very fast recuperation - no physical therapy and on the riding mower 10 days after surgery.
#22
Foodbme
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/04 22:53:52 (permalink)
Mosca & Michael,
I've had 2 new knees, a stint, a pacemaker and major back surgery with plates & screws. In every case, I felt significantly better after than before surgery. Gave me a new outlook on life. In every case, I said to myself, "Why didn't I get this done sooner?" Don't put it off if you want to improve your quality of life. Life hands you lemons? Make lemonade! Temporary inconvenience, long range improvement in quality of your life. 
#23
Mosca
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/25 16:16:51 (permalink)
I had my surgical consultation this morning. The doctor was shocked that I'd been sent home from the emergency room without having surgery that day (it figures, with Geisinger). My gall bladder is infected and needs to come out ASAP. Surgery is scheduled for next Thursday, the 31st. It has to be open surgery, it can't be laparoscopic because of all the scar tissue from the other surgeries.
#24
felix4067
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/25 16:20:34 (permalink)
Well, shoot. Good luck, mend quickly, and take FULL advantage of the morphine drip! I know you really don't want to have another surgery, but trust me when I say you will feel a LOT better without it.
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totillie
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/26 00:34:05 (permalink)
ahhh, Mosca - best of luck to you. And a fast recovery. I know you will feel so much better when it is over and done. Even with yet another scar.
 
[this getting old stuff...just stinks...]
 
T
#26
mar52
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/26 02:46:09 (permalink)
Good luck to you, Mosca.
 
Michael... Now is the time to get your hip and gall bladder done, but of course not at the same time.  You have someone to take care of you.  No sense hurting and not living life to its fullest.  Can't do that when you're hurting.
 
Lisa...  Make him do it!
#27
lleechef
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/26 08:52:19 (permalink)
Yes ma'am!
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KathleeninAK
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/26 21:31:24 (permalink)
Hello. I am new to roadfood. I will be hosting a live call-in radio show in Anchorage on June 20, 2012 and am looking both for Alaska Road Food spots to recommend on the air and why they are good, and to invite knowledgeable folks to call in and make recommendations. Very interested in hearing form lleechef ;-), but also from others. The radio station is KSKA, 91.1 FM, streaming at www.alaskapublic.org. This should be fun!
#29
KathleeninAK
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Re:WOW... gallstone attack 2012/05/26 21:34:55 (permalink)
lleechef: Hello - I may have goofed when I tried to post to your latest post - I have just joined and the board needs membership of 15 days for me to direct message you. But I would like to engage with you on road food recommendations for Alaska - North from Anchorage through the Mat-Su Valley all the way to Fairbanks, South from Anchorage through Kenai to Homer, Southeast -- wherever! I am interested in having chefs call in to share suggestions and spots.
 
Hope to hear from you. The show is June 20, 2012 and I am doing some preliminary work now. You sound very knowledgeable so I thought I'd make contact. Happy Memorial Day Weekend/ Kathleenin AK
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