life without gallbladder

Life Without Gallbladder

A journey of life after gallbladder removal surgery

Category: No Gallbladder

15 years old and gall-less

November 1999. I woke up thinking I was very hungry, and knowing that I had to travel 2 1/2 hours that day to play a soccer game. It was a different type of hunger feeling, I thought, a slight bit of pain. I wasted no time getting out of bed, ate a bowl of “Oreo-O’s” (remember that dumb cereal? I didn’t even really like it but I ate it), and proceeded to get prepared for my away soccer game while still having that slight pain. We were to meet at a local McDonalds to carpool with my teammates. As dedicated to the game of soccer that I was and my love for playing, the onset of intensifying pain didn’t cause me to do more than simply mention it to my parents as I was getting into the car for them to drop me off to meet my team at McDonalds. This is when it began to hurt. And now it was excruciating. By the time we were getting ready to exit the neighborhood, I told my dad that I didn’t think I could go to the game. He knew something was wrong. Now our destination was the hospital.

They gave me an x-ray, didn’t expect to see something in the location of my gall bladder because of how young I was (15 years old), thought there was something on the lens so they cleaned it and gave me another. Sure enough it was still there, so I got an ultra-sound to confirm that I had gall stones, stayed over night so they could monitor my food intake so that early in the morning they could inject me with a radioactive substance reactive to the machinery to read if my gall bladder was infected and needed to be removed entirely rather than removing just the stones. It was a bad one! I got scheduled to get a laparoscopic cholecystectomy two weeks later. NEVER wait that long to get your bladder removed if you can help it. That period of time was during Thanksgiving, which ended up being my demise. Funny story about that night was that after dinner, I walked over to my girlfriend’s house who lived a block away from where my family were gathering for Thanksgiving. We were young and it was complicated to get together so this was a good time to meet up…so I thought. Soon after I got to her house I could tell the pain was coming again, and I knew I needed to leave for sake of not rolling around on the floor with sudden pain, fever, and erratic yelps of terror in front of her parents. It had happened a total of two times prior, that first morning before soccer and another after eating buttered popcorn at a movie (the butter did not occur to me as a problem for some reason). I remember it really starting to hurt as I was trying to formally make my exit without anything seeming strange. As soon as I left, I went back to my family’s Thanksgiving, and found a couch to roll around on, grimacing in pain. All the while knowing that the knife in my gut and my high fever would subside within about an hour (the gall stone would finish making its way through a duct).

My Journey

I began experiencing severe pain after eating fried food and throwing up. On August 24, the pain was so severe I went to the ER. When it was decided it wasn’t my heart I was ignored for 4 hours in pain and still throwing up. I finally left and went back home only to return to a different ER 6 hours later. They gave me morphine every two hours then sent me home with a prescription for pain pills. I called my Dr. and saw him August 26. A HIDA scan was scheduled for August 28. Nothing could be seen during the HIDA scan. I was unable to reach my Dr. the next two days. Our clerk at school was extremely worried and got an appointment for me to see an internal medicine Dr. He immediately referred me to a surgeon ASAP and told me if the pain intensified to get to the ER.

About 10 pm on August 31, I began having stabbing pains and off I went to the ER. Once again they gave me pain meds and sent me home. I saw my surgeon 7 hours later after an ultra sound and he scheduled surgery for 4:30 pm. It was to be lap chole. One he began the procedure, he had to do open instead. My gall bladder was full of stones, inflamed, infected, and had adhered to my liver. He said it was the worst he had ever seen. I was admitted to the hospital Sept 1 and came home Sept. 4. I am doing much better now although the staples are beginning to really bother me and itch. Looking back, I did have symptoms but didn’t realize it was my gallbladder. Thank God for my surgeon.

New to this – No Gallbladder

No Gallbladder

Hi all, so I had my gall bladder out on July 5th, I’m not doing too bad now, I think the recovery process is finally really coming along. I’m still having some gas issues causing some pain but it isn’t bad, and is getting better. I make sure I walk each day and I’m sure that is helping a lot. My incisions are mostly healed though, the worst part is that there was a bandaid used on my arm that I’m allergic too, so it’s been itchy. lol

I’m trying to mostly stay away from fatty foods though as I’m sure that wouldn’t help with the gas stuff. I’m hoping that goes away in time as I think it’s still pretty sensitive right now. I usually feel the pain the most when I go for those walks.

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