Sunday, December 26, 2010


Ready for a story? It might be looooonnnnng...

To make it easier on myself I'm just going to type up what I wrote in my journal. 

Dec. 23, 2010
I went to the ER last night. No. Two nights ago. I had been out doing some last minute shopping with my kids and was hungry. At Target I bought some Zingers and ate TWO of those horrible snacks before getting home. 
At home I started to wrap some presents. But didn't get far. My gall bladder started getting that familiar ache. I tolerated it for awhile, but it kept getting worse. Soon it became clear that this wasn't going to be mild. I got up to take some vitamins that should help. I didn't go back to wrapping presents until the next day. It quickly went to the unbearable, constant, gnawing, pain. I writhed around on the couch for awhile, but it hurst so bad! So I left the living room to go to my cool, dark, room all by myself, so I wouldn't have to hide my tears from my family. Oh how it hurt! Nothing I did would bring relief. I prayed and prayed for it. I remembered back to the intense gall bladder attack when I first got here. It only lasted 10 minutes or so, but during it I plead with God for relief, and said that "I'll go in to the Dr. to get it taken care of, just make it stop hurting!" Or something. Well,  the pain subsided, and I let it go. Oops. I'd been having mild to moderate pain since then. But then came the most horrible attack two days ago. After 20-30 minutes of "I want to die!" pain, I went back upstairs and requested that someone take me to the hospital. It seemed like maybe it was past time for me to fulfill my end of the bargain. Mom agreed to take me. She was great. She got Lydia all ready to go, filled a bottle with formula, and packed her in the carseat. Morgan said he wanted to come. But I knew how much of a handful Morgan could be at a Dr. office, plus Mom already would have Lydia to take care of, an I told Morgan that he would be staying home. He was insistent that he was coming with me and he even made record time with putting his shoes and coat on so he would be ready. He usually requires reminding and way too much time. I was feeling too crappy to object much, and so when my mom, with Lydia in the  carrier, and I, piled out the door, Morgan was right there, making sure he didn't get left behind. When he was safely in the car he said, "See Mommy? I told you I was coming!"
At the ER they didn't take long at all to call me back. However, it was like, two minutes after arriving that my pain decreased dramatically. Still, I went through the process of changing into the gown, answering medical questions, getting an I.V. for blood work, etc. (Boy was that a pain! There were two major failed attempts to find a vein before there was success. Now I have 2 huge bruises in each elbow pit.)

(Check it out. I think this was day two. Just one elbow pit, obviously. They kept getting worse as the days progressed. I purposefully wore a long sleeved shirt to church today so people didn't suspect me of being a druggie.)
Morgan was interested in that part. He saw a lot of my blood and was intrigued. He was also so very sympathetic. He would pat me gently and say, "You'll be okay, Mommy." Or hug me and say "I love you so much!" But he was still a handful for Grandma, so after a couple of hours, they left.
After much waiting, blood tests came back, which showed elevated something, so they ordered an ultra-sound. My whole bed was wheeled through the hospital corridors to the ultra-sound room. It me feel rather silly. I was capable of walking. 
That was a painful ultra-sound. Lotsa pressure on the ribs and sternum. But during it, I realized that a career as an ultra-sound tech, interests me. I even asked the gal there about schooling for it and stuff.
Back in my room I waited for forever before the doc came back with the findings. Gall stones and sludge. She gave me a prescription for nausea and Norco for pain. I didn't fill them though, because of Lydia breast feeding. The doc also told me to call a general physician or surgeon the next day to follow up. Then I was discharged. dad came and got me. I was there for over 5 hours. I was exhausted. 
Now, two days later, the pain is still there. All the time. I haven't eaten much food. I've drunk a gallon of apple juice. I'm usually nauseous, and have frequent heartburn. And diarrhea. 
I talked to a surgeon today. He'll remove my gall bladder on Monday. They were great about getting me in before the end of the year, for insurance purposes. I'm kinda anxious about the surgery. How can this be a pleasant experience? 
Oh, and I have a bit of jaundice. It's probably because a gall stone is blocking the bile duct from the liver, preventing food from being digested with bile. And it makes my stool very light and my urine dark, and my eyes and under-tongue yellow.
Ouch, my abdomen hurts! I can't wait to feel better. 
I won't get to eat Christmas dinner.
Anyways, I really should be sleeping.

After I wrote that, though, I couldn't go to sleep, due to the pain that was present and increasing. I was awake at 3:00 when Lydia woke up to eat. I was awake at 4:00 when Morgan woke up to throw up all over himself and his bed. I was awake at 5:00 when Lydia woke up again. But I was asleep before Lydia woke me up at 7:00. 

Christmas eve dinner was ham, yams, shredded cheesy potato casserole, rolls, broccoli, salad, corn, and pie. I ate only corn and salad with an extra virgin olive oil basalmic vinigarette dressing. I don't much like the dressing, but it was the only one I supposed my gall bladder could handle. Before everyone else finished eating their dinner, I was having another attack. We think it was from the butter on the corn. 

I'm terrified of eating, and always hungry. I am on my third gallon of apple juice, (which is supposed to be good for gall bladders) and eat lots of pickles. Also, I have found that I can handle ramen noodles. But they never feel like real food. 

On the plus side, I have lost 5 lbs! I think I even notice it in my face. 

So, tomorrow I have surgery. It is just laparoscopic surgery, so only a few small incisions. Normally they do three, but I will get a fourth because of the jaundice bit. There might be a stone caught in the main bile duct which will need to be fished out, and they need the fourth incision to do it. 

I'm looking forward to eating again. I do worry about my Lydia though. I have tried to pump some milk in the past few days, but she usually takes it all! All I have is 5 ounces. I wanted enough, not only for the time when I'll be at the hospital, (which could be only half a day) but for when I will be on pain meds that I don't want her to have to be on as well, you know? Maybe she'll just have to get used to formula for awhile. 

Interesting note. My three worst attacks have all been here at my parents house. The first was last winter when I was here and separated from my husband. Stressful time. The second was when I first arrived here again, due to failing marriage. Stressful time. The third was the day after a suspicion was confirmed. Stress. Notice something there? 
Maybe the gall bladder was named that for a reason...

Well, wish me luck!


keith and arianne said...

Good luck Melanie! I'm sure you can't wait to feel better, glad they could get you in fairly quickly!

Nancy said...

Good luck Melanie! I'm praying for you!

A*Waite said...

ohh, I hope you recover quickly! Sending prayers your way.

Megan said...

Good luck Melanie! Take good care of yourself!