Sludgy Gallbladders

I’ve been on a low calorie diet lately. I cut out carbs, dairy, and sugars. It sucked. But, I lost some weight. I started getting cravings for good stuff – and the cravings hit pretty hard. So, we decided to order pizza the other night and I planned on eating some. I didn’t go crazy, but I didn’t follow my diet plan. The pizza was good. Really good.

About 30 minutes later I noticed that I had some pain in my belly. I figured that it was an upset stomach and that a trip or two to visit the porcelain God would do the trick. Well, no such trips happened. I thought that I should just call it a night and that I would feel fine in the morning. No luck. I spent the entire evening tossing and turning. I couldn’t get comfortable. Nothing was helping. I got up at one point and drank some water. Another time I drank some Pepto. I took a bath at some point. I even cuddled with a heating pad in hopes of some relief. The pain would not go away.

As I was laying there in a puddle of self-pity and pizza resentment, it occurred to me that the pain wasn’t coming from my stomach. It was coming from right below my ribcage on my right side. I also noticed that the pain kind of radiated through my back and chest. Nothing like any stomachache I’ve ever had. Around 3am I did what any American is trained to do – I consulted Dr. Google to solve my medical woes. WebMD informed me that I was either having a gallbladder attack or that I was dying of cancer. WebMD has a knack for scaring the shit out of you. Alex’s alarm went off at 4:45 and I had gotten about 2 hours of sleep. Alex woke to find me laying in the fetal position. I felt like crap and still couldn’t shake the pain.

It was then that I decided to take action.  It had been about 12 hours at this point.  I informed Alex that I was going to go to the ER and asked him to stay home with Anna. I threw on some clothes and headed to the nearest hospital. I felt like such an idiot explaining what had happened. I was sure that I was going to be seen and the doctor was going to tell me that all I needed to do was fart. They took some blood and started an IV. The pain finally started to subside. Thank God! The doctor was pretty sure something was fishy with the ol’ gallbladder. The blood work came back normal – no signs of infection or inflammation. I was rolled back to ultrasound. The tech did the ultrasound but refused to tell me anything. And then I waited for 28 years for the doctor.

Turns out that my little bitty gallbladder is full of stones and sludge. Yes, I said sludge. That’s the medical term for it.  (See I’m not making that up!)  Apparently pregnancy and weight loss can cause you to form stones in your gallbladder.  I immediately felt like a cow because I always equated gallbladder stuff with like really, really obese people.  I realize it’s completely irrational, but oh well. It turns out that gallstones is just another thing to add to the list of how babies destroy your body.

The doctor sent me home with some pain pills and a really restricted diet. No fats, oils, or dairy until I can get this puppy taken out. There’s a chance that another attack could happen. My sludgy gallbladder is a ticking time bomb. I was given the number of a surgeon to make an appointment with. So, now I’m stuck eating dry lettuce and baked chicken until my doctor’s appointment. Funny how I was alright with dieting until it was mandated. Apparently I have a problem with authority, and fats for that matter.

My name is Gail and I’m your gallbladder.  I really like you.  I think we make a pretty good team.  I want to hang around and play with your bile.  I’m sorry for causing you some discomfort.  I know I’m filled with sludge and stones and bound to fly off the handle at any moment, but can’t we all get along??  Please!  I’m begging you!!  I don’t want to leave!

 

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