Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Well, wasn't that fun?

Apparently, I've been suffering from gall stones for a bit (like a year) and didn't know it. I've been following a low-volume diet to try to stop from triggering the pain because I'd been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and had been suffering extreme pain that was associated with pluerisy. I may have both of those conditions... but what didn't get diagnosed (until a few weeks ago) was the gall stones.

Monday, July 23rd, I landed in the ER because I had intense pain after eating breakfast. Normally, when these attacks happen, I start throwing up and start feeling better. But I couldn't throw up. And the pain wouldn't let up - so I ended up calling an ambulance because there was no way I could drive to the hospital. They diagnosed me (correctly) with gall stones... then sent me home to try to schedule surgery 'within the next week or so'. I was to come back if things worsened. That took about 48 hours and I ended up having to call an ambulance again. This time, I was diagnosed (correctly) with acute cholecystitis and pancreatitis. Suddenly the procedures were no longer ok to wait a week or so... instead I needed to have my first procedure the following day and the second one - the day after that.

On Thursday they did an endoscopic surgery to remove the stones from the bile duct. Sadly, there was a mild complication that caused some damage to the inside of my stomach. But really, no long-term damage as far as I've noticed.

On Friday they did a lathroscopic surgery to remove the gall bladder.

Home from the hospital by Saturday.

Unfortunately, though - due to the stomach damage; they wanted me to wait an extra 24 hours before starting my Lovenox shots to prevent clotting. Which caused the second complication. A superficial veinous clot in my upper right arm (right above the iv site). Thankfully, these types of clots are extremely harmless and just an annoyance.

I'm back to work - had about nine days home post-surgery before coming in... a little tired still and the incision sites are still a little tender. The arm clot swelling has gone down a lot, but it's still a little red, swollen and sore.

BUT, I am now able to eat full-size meals and am back to eating a normal diet. That's really good news. I wouldn't wish gallstone pain on anyone; but at least the treatment and recovery is pretty mild and it's good to be on this side of that surgery.