08 January 2009

New Year, New Adventures

For the past several months, I've been having some unpleasant moments - nausea, vomiting, etc. - which I'd dismissed as a bug of some sort. On Black Friday (after I was successful at scoring some bargains at the mall), I had the worst experience ever -- nausea, vomiting, pain in my abdomen that had me doubled over. I spent a good 6 hours huddled around the toilet, yakking and moaning. I initially wrote it off as food poisoning - but when these attacks increased in frequency and intensity, it was obvious that something else was going on.

On December 17th, I finally went to my primary physician who promptly did bloodwork and based on those results sent me for an abdominal ultrasound. On January 3rd, I discovered that I had gallstones -- and was sent to consult with a surgeon. That consultation was yesterday and I'm scheduled for gallbladder surgery (okay - for my geeky friends, a cholecystectomy) on January 13th.

I fell in love with the surgeon -- great tableside manner and she was wearing some pretty awesome jewelry. They were gorgeous blue stones in both her necklace and earrings -- I wanted to pet them. She went through all my symptoms and looked over my charts and decided she wanted to operate quickly. At one point she asked if I wanted it out that evening -- I wasn't quite ready for that.

Due to my bloodwork results I had to go for an MRI (actually an MRC -- magnetic resonance cholangiogram, which is done in the MRI tube) yesterday to ensure there were no stones in my bile duct. That was rather fun... I was a bit claustrophobic when they first slid me into the tube, but if I tilted my head back a wee bit, I could see outside the tube and I was okay. After that I just closed my eyes and practiced some relaxation breathing techniques. (All that yoga is finally paying off!) Even the technician commented on how perfect the 'normal breathing' portion of the procedure went. He said I was the best he's ever had; most patients try to do deep breathing and I was a relaxed, but fast, breather. (Go me!)

I'm waiting for the surgeon's office to call me once they have the results. Today I'm scheduled to go to the hospital for my pre-op testing -- of course, I have to fast for this. Two days in a row, I'm not going to be able to eat until sometime in the afternoon. Ugh. It goes to figure that I'm starvin' Marvin on those days when I cannot eat.

I'm scheduled for a laparoscopic procedure -- but there's always the slight chance that it will become an open procedure. If the laparoscopic procedure goes perfectly, I'll be home the next day and will only be off work 7-10 days.

My Mom's flying out on Sunday to be with me -- Mark will take the day of surgery off, but Mom will be here to help out around the house and with the dogs. I don't care that I'm 40+ years old now, but when one's sick, it's always nice to have some Mommy TLC. Obviously, my trip back to Ohio on the 16th wil have to be rescheduled. I'm kind of disappointed about that as I was looking forward to seeing some friends, but given the circumstances...

I managed to go to the library earlier this week and pick up several books -- if I'm going to laid up for a few days, at least I've got something to read. In the meantime, I'm hoping to get through the next five days without incident. Not to mention I'm looking forward to FOOD after this testing is completed today. The Fiber One bars are calling my name! (I think I'll toss one in my bag for a quick fix when I'm given the green light to eat.)


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm kinda surprised that it's bugging you now that you're skinnier. Usually, losing weight helps.

Anyway, the Tour Manager had his out a few years ago. It's not the most pleasant thing, but it's relatively easy. Just take it easy on the recovery.

I'll be thinking of you.

Plant Girl said...


As soon as I started reading your post I immediately thought gallbladder. That's exactly how mine started a year ago -- random bouts of nausea and vomiting. Then it progressed. Mine problem wasn't stones but a lack of function completely.

Surgery was a breeze. I have 4 small incisions (laparoscopically) and they closed mine with surgical glue. I slept most of the day it was done and laid in bed the 2nd day. By the 3rd day I relocated to the recliner and was up and moving somewhat. The worst is when you change positions -- going from lying down to sitting, sitting to standing, etc. Hold a pillow over your abdomen as you do that, it helps for the first few days.

I've been fortunate that I can eat almost everything after having mine removed. My mom still struggles with certain foods after 5-6 years.

Hopefully surgery goes well, recovery is a breeze and you're feeling better soon!

If you have any questions, shoot me an email at akn82878@hotmail.com. Goodluck!

DebbieJRT said...

I had mine removed laparoscopically and I was out of the hospital the next day. The day after that I was walking around a natural history museum with no problem (mine came out in the middle of my vacation and I wasn't going to spend the rest of it sitting on a sofa) The only adjustments I made was I didn't run my planned 5k race and I moved my flight out a few days forward. I had more problems with the Vicodin they prescribed then with the surgery itself. I hate Vicodin.

Valerie said...

Well damn, while everything else took a while the surgery is moving fast! Too bad we don't live closer as I'm still recovering from my own surgery. We could be "sit in front of the tv with a project and get better" buddies. ;)

You have every ounce of sympathy I can muster. Surgery of any kind sucks! But afterwards you should be good as new.

My thoughts are with you.

una sognatrice newyorkese said...

Hi, i don't know if you remember me, we met at wvas on december 20th, my name it's Ezia and I am new at the group metrostitcher.
Hope everything goes well with your surgery!
Bye, Ezia.

Stacey said...

Oh my gosh, Marci...I just saw this and I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. I'm glad you're doing ok now and everything went well.

You are so very brave!