Sunday, June 9, 2013

That One Time My Gallbladder Tried To Kill Me

We had such a great trip up to Washington and it was so hard for all of us to come home! We flew in on Monday night and on Tuesday I was planning on being back at work so that I could direct my choir in a festival on Tuesday night. We sang at the festival and although I was sore and tired it all went really well until the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

I woke up to my little man trying to eat his hands and decided I should probably sit up and try to feed him. Its really difficult to describe the pain I got hit with but it started with feeling like I was getting really horrible hunger pains. It was so intense I put Dallas down and went into the kitchen and scarfed down some crackers. That seemed to help for 60 seconds and then it just started radiating to my ribs and up to my back. I woke up Jona cause I couldn't hold Dallas any longer and just spent the next 45 minutes writhing in pain. I had no earthly clue what was wrong. I finally jumped in the shower to try to get some relief and it started going away. I've had kidney stones before but this was totally different. The only thing we could come up with was my gallbladder so I texted my mom (she had hers out right after giving birth to Steph) and asked her about some of my symptoms. Sure enough, it sounded just like gallstones.

I had a couple more attacks and finally called my doctor and he sent me in to get an ultrasound on my gallbladder and kidneys. They called me a couple days later and said my gallbladder was filled with stones and that I needed to get it out. I scheduled an appointment with the surgeon to see if I could wait a few weeks so that I could finish recovering from Dallas's c-section and finish out the couple of responsibilities I had at SCCS. Of course the Lord has better plans than I...

I went to bed on Mother's Day and woke up in the middle of the night with an attack. This one was different and far more painful. I tried to tough it out for a couple of hours and finally I just told Jona that I needed to go into the ER for stronger pain meds. We didn't want to try to pack up our sleeping kids and Jona's parents were out of the country so we decided I would drive myself to the ER. I drove like a crazy woman and bawled my eyes out the whole way. I stumbled into Henry Mayo and thank the Lord, they quickly got me into a bed, got an IV started and sent the doctor into see me with some pain meds. She ordered another ultrasound on my gallbladder and then I sat and waited for about 8 hours. Poor Jona tried to juggle the kids for a little while then our sweet friends, the Gwinns took Penny for us and Jona came to the hospital with Dallas so that I could finally feed him.

I asked about 30 times for a pump and for the doctor to come back in to see me and finally she came in and said, "so your gallbladder is incredibly infected and possibly gangrened so we have to admit you". In hindsight I wish I would have packed up and gone to where I delivered the kids, but I didn't want to have to start the ER process all over again so we let them admit me. It was pretty stressful trying to cancel everything and make sure our arrangements were made for Pen but God clearly wanted me to rest and to get this taken care of on this time table. They decided to put me on antibiotics for 24 hours then schedule surgery the day after that.

They went through great lengths to make sure that Jona and Dallas could stay with me (giving us our own room, an isolation room, gave me a pump and access to the maternity ward fridge). But then in the middle of the night a nursing supervisor came in and chewed us out for not following hospital policy after we had apparently been told repeatedly that we needed to take Dallas home. It was so confusing because she had so much wrong information and of course we would have sent Jona and Dallas home if anyone had even indicated that we needed to but oh well. Poor Jona had to pack up all the stuff and leave with Dallas at 2:30am. It really was a bummer that it happened because it ended up destroying my milk supply which I still haven't been able to fully get back.

I was scheduled for surgery at 2pm and I was so so nervous. The morning of surgery out air conditioning broke at home and so Jona had to be there for the repair guys to come. Unfortunately we were told that we needed to completely replace the entire thing. When it rains it pours!! Things would have gotten a little comical had it not been for the price of a new unit! :-/ Jona dropped Dallas off at my sweet friend, Caitie's house (who has a toddler and a newborn of her own!) and tried to make it to the hospital to be there before my surgery. He got stuck in traffic due to a poorly timed (and planned) bike race and missed the whole thing.

I went into surgery and didn't get to see Jona till several hours later but we were finally on the way up! I was really surprised by the pain associated with the recovery cause I had read that it was such an easy surgery. I would have gladly taken a c-section (without the back stabs) over gallbladder surgery any day! It was just a weird recovery but I think that was because of the infection and because of the fact that I still wasn't recovered from the c-section. We stayed in the hospital for 2 more days and my awesome inlaws came home and were able to help take care of the kids.

I am so thankful that God knows what is best and that he times all things perfectly. Jona was absolutely incredible and I am so thankful that he serves our little family like he does. It was so humbling that we were cared for and prayed for like we were. There are so many big and important things happening in other's lives and my dumb gallbladder is way WAY down on the list, yet people came and visited and prayed for us and took care of our kids. We are SO SO grateful!! I'm also very thankful that I only have one gallbladder so that I never have to go through that again! :)

Got to spend the first day hanging out with this little cutie

This was right after my surgery,  I was so very thankful to hold my babies

Jona and I got to have a couple of date nights in the hospital. I adore that man!

1 comment:

  1. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comJuly 2, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    Hi, recently launched a free interactive "Human Body Maps" tool. I thought your readers would be interested in our body map of the Gallbladder:

    It would be much appreciated if you could include this tool on and / or share with friends and followers. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thank you in advance.
    Warm Regards,

    Maggie Danhakl- Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline Networks, Inc. * Connect to Better Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107