Life Without Gallbladder is about a personal experience on living life without a gallbladder. I am Ken Montecillo and this is my journey of life without gallbladder.

Early 2009, I complained on the pain in my stomach and went to a gastroenterologist for check up. My first doctor, Dr. Hans Potot gave medical prescription and suggested that I should undergo endoscopy, which I did later around March, 2009.

On August, 2009, I felt my first agonizing abdominal pain that radiated to my back. My sweat was cold. My mouth was dry. I felt like I am going to faint. An unbearable pain that I even punched the wall of our rented apartment. It was the worst and the longest pain I ever encountered. I felt the pain around 8 in the evening but I just thought it was an ordinary stomach pain after a full meal. Around 10 pm I felt that my back was in pain and that my stomach pain slowly went up. Then around 1 am, I felt a severe pain on my upper abdominal area and on my back. I went to the rest room but it did not help. So, we decided to go to the hospital and there they injected me with pain reliever. We went out of the emergency room around 6 in the morning. Four hours later, around 10 am, we went to my doctor for follow-up and he advised me to have a full abdominal ultrasound as he suspected that I have a gallstone. And there showed some small protrusions believed to be gallstones. Although, the sonographer noted only one small stone but I saw around 3 when she moved the probe.

Positive. Dr. Potot then told me either to undergo cholecystectomy or just wait and observe how my body will deal with the gallstone.

But not in 5 days. I again suffered a colic attack, so went to an internist for 2nd opinion. Dra. Joan Singidas then requested for laboratory test and another ultrasound. And there again showed the small gallstone. And her advice was to have my gallbladder removed. She suggested to have Dra. Bernadette Moscoso read the whole laboratory results because of clinic hours and that the results will be released on the afternoon. Dra. Moscoso prescribed pain reliever and anti-acid medicines and suggested that I should observe within 1 week for any developments.

But not in 3 days. Colic attack hit again and we decided to go to a surgeon that specialized in gallbladder removal. Dr. Edward Rosello requested another set of laboratory exams but this time were focus on gallstone related tests. Although he is not into removing the gallbladder right away, but with my laboratory results and the frequency of epigastric and back pains, he opted to have me undergo lap chole (Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy). Even me and my wife, we already thinking to have my gallbladder removed since I can no longer bear the pain that occurred twice every week with more than 6 hours agony per attack.

And my gallbladder was removed around 10 am on October 1, 2009 in Cebu Doctor’s Hospital (Cebu City, Philippines) through lap chole (Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy) procedure.

Life is not the same after the operation, alot of foods to be avoided. Dr. Rosello said that it will only take around 2 to 3 months to recover since I’m young and the recovery is fast.

But few days after I hit the 2 months marked, I experienced again a severe abdominal and back pains. Got admitted to Cebu Doctor’s Hospital again. And the pain only subsided when Dra. Singidas advised to gave me nubain because for 4 hours in the hospital no ordinary pain reliever (oral and IV) managed to mellow the pain. I even took pain reliever before we went to the hospital.

Series of lab tests were done. Alot of blood was taken. The nurse took some blood 3 times and with 2 vials each hit. The findings of my surgeon, Dr. Rosello, was that either before or during the operation there was a stone that went out from the gallbladder. He then advised me to undergo ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) procedure.

But alot of twists happened. Coincidence or blessing-in-disguise? Maybe or maybe not.

Dr. Rosello scheduled me for ERCP 10 am the next day but the nurse informed us that there was no #8 needle available and we need to secure it outside. Then later another nurse informed me that my schedule was moved to the afternoon. As my wife tried to buy the needed needle, Dr. Rosello arrived and told me that the ERCP machine in the hospital was broken and that he can perform it but on another hospital, Perpetual Succor Hospital on the afternoon of the following day. Afterwhich, an insurance agent visited and informed me that I am no longer covered and that we need to shell out around PhP 40K in cash for the ERCP procedure. Wow, where we can get that amount of money in 1 day? Plus the outstanding bill of the hospital.

So, we decided to cancel the ERCP with the consent of my surgeon and will be scheduled until we get the budget.

I’m now looking forward for the good things to come in the year 2010. And the years to come.