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people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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so unexpected thing is unexpected
children of dune - leto 1
Went to ultrasound; doctor states I have gallstones?

God, that word just lacks style so much. The question mark is more a product of my lack of ability to put this in context or like, you know, wtf? I am going to be consulting with a surgeon, or so my doctor reports. I feel this entire thing is a product of the fact that this morning I was texting svmadelyn about how pretty the hospital is. And it is! Glass and steel and a garden and all modern and comforting and now, you know, surgery.

Okay, yes, of course I googled, but you know, people who have had this or done this or whatever, give me an idea of what level of panic I need to be graduating to? I am more at the stage of "what the hell".

*sighs and hits google* I reserve the right to be really weird about this for a while.

ETA: I am breaking my soda only on weekends rule. Wikipedia is so very--informative. I've named my gallbladder Horace. If something has this many issues, it gets a name that is easier to use for hating it purposes.

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Don't panic. Annie had her gallbladder removed entirely in September and they considered it "minor" surgery - it was her other stuff that was worrisome.

I got my gallbladder out a couple years ago. It was fine. I basically went to the hospital in the morning, had my surgery, went home that afternoon. Laid very still on the couch for a couple of days (mostly because I discovered that I'm one of those people who don't metabolize codeine, so my pain control wasn't as good as it could have been), felt pretty much back to normal after about a week, though I wasn't allowed to lift anything heavy for 6 weeks after the operation. And no more random attacks of abdo pain! Life without a gallbladder is pretty good. :)

Your username made me laugh really hard for this, btw.

I've never had surgery, so it's very--disconcerting. The closest I've come was when they did that biopsy of my lungs, which was basically them getting me high and then sliding a tube down my throat for exploratory and cutting purposes. I was high enough to think that was the pinnacle of fun.

Before you opt for surgery, you might want to take a look at this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001B2KU1A/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?ie=UTF8&cloe_id=7ec12b0d-b6d5-4498-af18-3baacb389193&attrMsgId=LPWidget-A1&pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0976571501&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0Z6Z6Z4T09ZJ9TZYNZXA

I know several people who've done the 36 hour flush and avoided surgery completely. What your surgeon may not tell you is that many people have a permanent case of diarrhea after gallbladder removal (bile-dumping syndrome). Many of them wind up on various prescriptions to deal with the issue---not always successfully---and can end up not absorbing nutrients properly.

I had mine out back in 2006. It was a bit more complicated for me because apparently it didn't want to come out so they weren't able to do the labroscopy thing, which meant I was laid up a lot longer than most people are. And even still, totally worth it. No more random attacks of debilitating pain because I ate the wrong thing at the wrong time.

And with the labroscopy (which I'm sure I'm spelling wrong) way of doing it, it really is something that recovery is measured in days, weeks at most.

Don't panic. I know so many people who have had it out that I'm starting to think that the gall bladder is the new appendix -- expdendable body parts for the win!

I think the fact it's surgery is the part that's seriously getting to me; general anesthesia just--I need to find out if there's a less terrifying way to go about it. Or you know, stop thinking of worst-case scenarios.

Thanks so much for commenting! And yeah, the intense pain when I ate certain foods is definitely motivating.

My future sis-in-law had the extreme case of gallstones, and had to have her gall bladder removed. She was back up and chasing horses again within a few weeks. If you have to have the worst case, that is, getting gall bladder taken out, it will knock you flat for a few days, maybe a week, but from what I've seen and experienced, you would be back up soon.

Good luck, hope you feel better!

I named mine Charles De Gall(bladder). He and I parted company in 2007, and I have not missed him.

All I can really say is that the pain mostly goes away, but sometimes I still have what FEEL like gall bladder flare ups even though I no longer have one.

And also- because what is the internet for, if not sharing disgusting personal info with strangers?- get used to the bathroom. You're probably going to be spending a LOT of time there. Things will fly through your digestive system at an alarming pace.

Good luck. It's uncomfortable and stupid, but I haven't found that (other than the bathroom thing) it has made my life all that much worse. And I have been told that even the bathroom thing doesn't happen to everyone, so maybe you will luck out!

ETA: Wow, who wrote this post, fucking Eeyore? It REALLY isn't that bad, and the surgery was the easiest "big" medical procedure I've ever experienced. I went in at 11:30am, and was home on my couch sipping a smoothie by 4:30pm. It really has made my life a LOT better, and the pain is minimal now, compared to months of attacks so bad I couldn't MOVE before.

Edited at 2010-06-08 06:43 pm (UTC)

*g* I like your anecdata. It felt very real and soothing, to be honest. I--will totally blow this up in my head to dramatic proportions, so I'm going to use this post to read whenever it hits.

Thank you very much for commenting!

I've never had this particular surgery, but I did have another surgery, and I have just one piece of advice for anybody having any surgery at all. And that is: mood swings are normal.

Almost everybody I know who's gone through surgery with general anesthesia has had them to one degree or another. Mine were horrible and epic and lasted for six months, and varied between "depressed" and "even more depressed," but mine was a major surgery with a very long recovery period and involved a lot of muscles and structures you use to, you know, move about the world. Since yours is going to be really minor, probably it won't be any more traumatizing than a case of the flu. :) But just in case, you know, I'm putting it out there.

I think it's related to the fact that for several days at least, after, your body hurts in ways you don't expect and doesn't do quite what you want it to, and it's a shock, and it's upsetting. Once you heal and your body is behaving normally again, moods tend to even out to normal too. If you google "surgery" and "depression" you find a lot of interesting stuff that the doctors don't mention to you beforehand.

A friend of mine I mentioned this theory to before HER surgery said it helped her, after, to recognize what she was feeling and know it was normal. So I mention it to you, just in case!

Actually, that is soothing to know, to be honest. Mostly my depression has been under control the last few years, so a sudden hard resurgence would be--disconcerting, to say the least.

Thank you!

There is lots of good advice in this post. Assume that I had something useful to add because they said it all ;)

Seriously, I hope everything goes okay - sounds like it will. *cuddles*

Oh, honey. :;snugs:; I've named my amygdala Ulrik. Ulrick the Unruly. Here's hoping Horace settles down and goesn't start throwing the stones about.

*snickers* Ulrick. I love that.

I had mine out many many years ago - back when laproscopy was still "experimental" so I had the whole abdominal slice and dice. It's the only surgery I've ever had. I was really panicked before, because, as I said, no other surgery. Recovery is harder adn longer than with laproscopy but still, not bad.

no long term side effects. no issues with constant-bathroom-running, as people mentioned earlier. I had my first gall bladder attack when my (then premature) daughter was 10 days old - I thought I was dying and ended up in an ambulance and the hospital. I'm *so* glad I had it done.

My only regret is the long 4" scar on my belly. Not that anyone's ever going to see my belly again (baring the Husband) - but I am seriously considering getting a tattoo to cover the scar. Other than that? No worries.

Ooh, a tattoo would be cool! A friend of my mom's had a double mastectomy and decided against recreating the removed nipples and instead had flowers tattooed where they would be. I kind of thought that was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.

One of my BFFs had her gallbladder out laproscopically (however that's spelled) and had a very easy time of it. She basically rested for a couple of days and that was it. She also lived with gallstones for many years, which weren't fun, but she says that surgery isn't always necessary. For her diet controlled them for a long time, but it depends on what sort of stones you're actually creating.

Edited at 2010-06-08 07:26 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I'm hoping the surgeon has more specific information and a timeframe to deal with it. I am not fond of the pain associated with some foods.

Like delle, I had mine out many years ago and have a really long scar - which still itches at times damn it. I didn't have to have mine done as emergency so I lost a bit of weight first keeping away from a lot of fatty foods. I had my gall bladder removed since my gallstones were large and many.

Only problem now is that sometimes I can't eat lots of very fatty foods without feeling a bit sick. Which is good in a way because it makes me eat less of the bad things in life.

Surgery isn't a problem. They give you something to calm you down before you go into the surgery theater and then you get the drip and are out almost immediately. Waking up in recovery is fast. They also give you control of pain meds so you can deal with it as you want. I personally love percoset and had no problems but my husband had problems with it (withdrawal, etc). Tylenol is worthless to me but works for others. Don't let them say you can only have one kind of pain reliever. If it isn't working, they should get you something else!

It's also better to have people visiting you as much as possible to watch over you in case something comes up. Nurses are overworked and don't always pay as much attention as they should.

Also, look up the hospital and check their recovery rates, etc. to make sure it's the hospital you want to go to.

I like the calming down thing part. The idea of general just freaks me out every time I think about it too hard. Or at all.

Thanks very much!

(The hospital is new but it's part of Scott and White system, which is also my insurance; so far they've been great, and we've been with them for years.)

I haven't read any other comments, but I've been through this. my gallbladder, a year and a half ago, apparently looked like a billiard table on the ultrasound - at last an explanation for the screaming pain I'd been in every time I ate something even marginally fatty. I had ambulatory laproscopic surgery, took a week off from work, lost eleven pounds because I didn't feel like eating for almost two weeks, and have never regretted a thing.

my post about this item is here, briefly detailing the joys of fentanyl and the incompetence of the pre-op techs.

Ooho, fentanyl. I had that for that lung biopsy thing. That was goddamn amazing stuff.

Your entry is awesome. *Glee* I love you.

About 18 years ago, I had my gallbladder taken out. Spent one night in the hospital. Four days later I was lifting my son (who was 1 and weighed over 20 lbs - which was against doctor's orders but didn't do me any harm.)

Oh, I like that recovery time! Thank you!

My Dad should have gotten his gallbladder out but was afraid of surgery and kept putting it off. He had various complications and eventually it ruptured and he ended up with emergency surgery, a giant scar, and three weeks in intensive care.

My grandmother had hers out, just like her doctor recommended, and was back to normal in a couple weeks and much better off afterwards.

Although I'm sure some doctors are a bit surgery happy and recommed removal prematurely, you can make yourself a lot worse by letting fear of surgery get to you.

I think that's pretty much my freak-out place; I've never been under general and the idea of it freaks me out. The closest I came was a drip for what they called twilight sleep when they were biopsying my lungs when I had pneumonia; I was very stoned and really zen, but still conscious and had my memory (which was in retrospect informative, but at the time I was mostly finding the video just hilarious--lungs! Tiny tiny cutting thing! Cool!

Thanks for commenting!