Fast forward to July. We are on vacation and I got sick again. I had to go to the ER because of my symptoms, but again, no pain. They did some tests (not an U/S) and sent me home with a Rx for Cipro. I followed up with a doctor when we got home and she ordered an abdominal U/S.
U/S results show that I have "innumerable gallstones", according to the surgeon I was referred to. I have no idea how big they are so I am not attempting a cleanse. The information I got from the surgeon had nothing to do with pros/cons or side effects to surgery. I wouldn't let someone operate on my kids without getting all the information, so why is that acceptable for me?
I am really on the fence now. I am scheduled for Tuesday and my Mom will be here to help w/the kids. She lives out of state, so I can't just re-schedule whenever I want her to be here.
I have had not been sick since I went to the ER. Sometimes I have excessive belching that is disgusting and smells like rotten eggs and tastes like stomach acid. No more nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.
I am going to call the surgeons office tomorrow and ask some more questions. I don't know why I NEED surgery. I am concerned with the possible side effects of diarrhea after surgery. Some people have it long term. I don't want to be worse after the surgery, the point is for me to feel better!
I have not been given any patient information on after care like diet and exercise. They want to remove an organ and I have no idea how to take care of myself post-op. From what I understand, clean eating will have to be a way of life. I need that anyway, but I feel like it is irresponsible for a surgeon to cut and not educate. I guess that is why I am a fan of Eastern Medicine.
Any ideas would be great. I am not 100% sure that surgery is the right course of treatment for me.
UPDATE: I called the nurse and asked about my labs when blood was drawn yesterday. My liver function, white blood cell count are normal. I feel fine, have no symptoms and at this point it would be an elective surgery.
I am going to control the symptoms with diet, exercise, acupuncture, then follow up in 3 months. Hopefully, there will be no surgery at a later date.
I had my gb removed in 2002. My situation was much different -- I had been in acute pain for a couple of days before I went to the ER and by then I had a fever of 104 and a nice case of pancreatitis (I'm guessing the doctor talked to you about that?). I was so sick --- I don't really remember what was happening in the hospital, I was very out of it, but I do know that once they removed it, I started to get better quickly.
I've not had some of the unpleasant symptoms that some people have. I was very careful about my diet for a couple of years after surgery (you have to watch fatty/rich foods), but i'm less so now -- but to be fair, I eat a pretty healthy diet so I didn't have to make many changes.
I do have to be aware of what I eat -- if I have some cake at a party, for instance, I will have some abdominal cramping if I eat a whole piece, but a bite or two is fine.
Like you, I wouldn't want surgery unless I was convinced I needed it. Even if it's done lacroscopically it's still surgery! I may be wrong, but isn't there a way to get rid of the gallstones without surgery? My inclination would be to try to least invasive route and go from there.
I know in my case my dh signed papers because for surgery because he just didn't think he had a choice -- by that I mean, he felt like only the surgery would allow me get better. It doesn't sound like your case. You can always get a second opinion.
Wife to my DH for 10 wonderful years.
Mom to L (5 yo DD) and J (infant DS)
Chiropractor to many.
Anyways, I go to meet with the surgeon, and when I asked for alternatives, he basically said there were none and I was going to be suffering in pain for the rest of my life unless I did the surgery. Lucky me. I asked about possible problems after the surgery... supposedly none except scarring if the laproscopic surgery ended up not being an option which is supposedly rare in someone slim. I told him I would think about it (I found him pushy and rude, so I was thinking of just finding another surgeon) and left. After all, I couldn't have the surgery for another few months anyways, since I needed a week to recover at least and I was in school at the time. I figured I would wait for summer break.
I had one more gall bladder attack after that appointment, and haven't had one since. I had changed my diet dramatically while having the attacks, but since then have gone back to my old habits (unfortunately). I am sure they will rear their ugly head once again especially when I am pregnant or something, but it has been 2.5 years without an issue. I still get bloated sometimes, but like I said, my eating habits are horrible.
I am not advocating for you NOT to get the surgery, but I figure if you aren't in immediate danger (jaundice and such), then take some time to think about it. I am glad I did!
A year after getting my GB removed, I had another "attack". I was sick with diarrhea and severe pain for a few days. I went to the Dr. and my liver enzymes were through the roof! (They weren't that bad when my GB was still there). Supposedly, I had gotten a stone stuck in my bile duct. It passed without any further incidents but it was really scary. The same thing happened to a woman we knew and she wound up in the hospital with pancreatitis and a damaged liver.
I don't blame you for being cautious and not wanting to jump into the surgery. I also know that surgeons tend to be very cut and dry. My surgeon told me I wouldn't have to watch my diet, etc afterward and wouldn't have any "side effects". He was wrong and once again I found myself having to research this stuff on my own. I think you need to figure out what is best for you and your family. Is your GB even working anymore? How big are the stones that are in there? I know citric acid and ACV (even Epsom Salts) all work to cleanse the GB and liver of the stones....but there is a chance one of them could stuck in your bile ducts....if that happens, you can have further complications and be in a situation like one of the previous posters.
I'm not trying to sway you one way or the other....these are just some things to consider. Believe me, I am not an advocate of just doing what the Dr. says
Good luck and keep us posted. If you have any questions about the actual surgery/recovery/etc, let me know
Treatment options: Surgery
Non Surgical: Stone retrieval
For Gallstones w/out symptoms: watchful waiting, increased exercise, diet change
If gallstones are seen on your ultrasound but you do not have symptoms, watchful waiting is recommended. Gallstones only w/out cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder): Increase your exercise to 2-3 hours a week
Eat more fruits and vegetables, less carbs, alternative medicine options are available.
Wow! I can do all of these things, and I should be doing them already!
There are references to each of these suggestions. Here is the abstract to a medical journal for Alternative Treatment of Gallbladder Disease:
I still need to call the surgeon and ask some questions, but I think I am going to cancel the surgery. I told my husband that if I was still sick all the time, I would feel like I need to get it removed. But since I have felt better for a few weeks, I am re-considering it.
Thanks for your input on your experiences!
Fast forward to 30 and my first pregnancy. I had the stereotypical shoulder pain. I had little feet kicking my gall bladder. It hurt. I was warned that the hormones from pregnancy can cause more gall bladder stones and more pain and upset. After my DS's birth I went through two gall bladder attacks which put me on the floor in pain. They were pretty horrid. I did my research and decided to get my gall bladder removed before my next pregnancy. My fear was that since I had had an attack that a stone could make it out and cause more serious issues while I was pregnant. I preferred an elective day with the surgeon of my choice when I had a babysitter lined up etc. I did not want an emergency with an unknown doctor.
When my DS weaned himself I made an appointment to have it out. I was home that night, though I admit that was too soon. I should have stayed the night but the other family visiting in the room was too much. The surgery itself was 20 minutes. Three tiny incisions.
Eight years later I do not regret having it out. I have not changed my diet at all. A really greasy bunch of mcd's french fries might give me diarrhea but like before sugar is more likely to bother me. I never had any issues afterward like I have read others experiencing.
I wonder if I had attacks when I was pregnant. Upper back pain, between my shoulder blades, level 9/10 and then it would be gone. Weird.
I feel much better knowing that I did not have the surgery for now. A wait and see approach makes me feel in control of the situation. Also, my surgery would have been outpatient, where I go home a few hours later and my family would have to take care of me.
Traditional & nutrient-dense foods/Weston A. Price Foundation advocate, Reiki II practitioner, EFT practitioner, past life & life between lives Hypnotherapist practitioner. Home birth with DD 2007 = never vaccinated, breastfed 3 years
Try the herb to break up the stones and flush them out that way... doing a liver flush (like Hulda Clark's) can cause an impaction/emergency. That happened to my sil and she ended up in the ER, then having her gb removed.