Friday, June 27, 2008

I've Got a Lotta Gall (stones)

I have been bitching on Twitter about this for a while now. And now I am subjecting you to it. Because I think my Tweeps may be sick of hearing about it. Lucky you.

While I was pregnant with Bear (7 1/2 years ago!) I found out from the sonographer I had at least one BIG gallstone. (seriously, the guy was like, "WOW! wouldja look at that!) Later on, I was told that I have several. I have asked doctors about this over the years and have been told that if they aren't giving me any problems, then I should just not worry about it. So, while it has remained in the back of my mind for all this time.

Until lately.

When I was visiting the Jackalords recently, I had trouble sleeping one night. I had this weird pain in my back. And sort of in my chest. It kinda felt like when you've drank too much soda all at once and you need to burp. Only you can't. So it hurts. But, I took some Motrin (and maybe some Xanax) and all was well.

For a few days.

Then just after Fathers' Day, the pain was back. With a vengeance. That Monday, I woke up SICK. SD stayed home for part of the morning until I started feeling better. Also, because SP started this sports conditioning camp & I certainly couldn't drive her there. I felt okay by mid-morning except that the pain was back in my back & chest AND it was now wrapping around my ribcage and shooting down my spine. My mind started racing...heart attack? Not likely- it was on the right side. Reflux? Didn't really feel like that. Anxiety attack? Nope. Still there after Xanax. Hypochondriac? There you go.

First I asked my Twitter buddies, and, while concerned, they didn't really have any solid answers other than GO TO THE DOCTOR ALREADY, Sicky McWhinypants!

So, I asked Dr. Google. And realized, DUH! Gallbladder!

Then, I DID call the doctor. On Tuesday. And again on Wednesday. And I finally got in on Thursday. I was told if it was so bad I needed to get in NOW? I could go to the ER. Hmph. Though they did have me go ahead and have my blood work done so that the doc could see the results as soon as I got there. "We're so sorry you feel like total shit. HEY! I know! You can go and have a needle stuck in your arm & three vials of blood drawn! FUN!"

By Thursday, I was unable to eat much more than toast, crackers, plain pasta...pretty much the Anti-Atkins diet. Also, you could FEEL my gallbladder bulging out of my abdomen. Oh, yeah, that was pleasant. My blood work all came back good, so I didn't have a blockage or an infection. Good. The doctor told me that it was probably my gallbladder. (!) And that he would put in a surgical consult. Also, I should head over to radiology and have an ultrasound. Now.

So, I bop on over to radiology (oh, yes I was ALL ABOUT bopping) and walked up to the check in window. I handed the guy my ID (USAF hospital) and said that I was there for an ultrasound. He looked at me funny and said, "We're not doing those today."


I told him that this was rather urgent and he said that I'd have to go to the little office next door and make an appointment because they didn't have a sonographer today. (So glad I wasn't having a heart attack, "Sorry, we're not doing CPR today.") So I signed the sheet and sat down to WAIT to make an appointment for an urgent ultrasound. Finally the appointment lady came back (smoke break?) and said that she could get me in...WEDNESDAY. Um, no. Weeelllll, she could probably squeeze me in early Monday morning but that was it because the sonographer was gone till Monday. If I needed it before then...go to the ER. *sigh*

I spent a fairly miserable weekend at home. Though Saturday, I did manage to get several loads of laundry done that had piled up during the week. Then, Sunday, I was a big crying mess because I hurt so bad. SD took me to the ER. Where they drew more blood and told me that my blood pressure was a little high. No kidding? Pain. Heard of it? The ER doc thought that maybe I had indigestion (seriously) and had me drink the nastiest concoction I have every tasted. Maalox, viscous lidocaine, and some other nasty shit that almost made me throw up just from the horribleness of it. And - no surprise - my gallbladder still hurt. (seriously, why won't these people listen to me? I am always right!) But my digestive tract was numb. Good times. Oh, and he said that he didn't want to give me any more medication than I already had. I could take Fioricet (which I already have) for the pain. Asshole. I think that gallbladder pain deserves at least a little Vicodin. Just in case. Right?

Monday, I had the ultrasound. The nurse called me that afternoon (while I was napping) to tell me that I had gallstones (!) and that some were in my bile duct, so that was why I was having pain. Also, to be sure to keep my appointment with the surgeon. (As. if.) Which I didn't have yet. So...I called the referral fairies (seriously, it's like they are magic or something) and they told me...eventually, that my referral had been sent up to the base surgeon (who is leaving soon) and that he would review it. If he couldn't do it, then he would send it back to them and they would send me off base. I should call back THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK to find out.

Um, no.

I wasn't waiting to have a mole removed. I have an internal organ that is malfunctioning. I need something ASAP. I finally got through to the surgeon yesterday and my appointment is Monday. Seriously. That's the best they could do.

The irony is that right now, I am feeling pretty good, all things considered. I have eaten supper two nights in a row now. And not just toast. REAL food. I had a burger last night and we went out for Italian tonight. I have been SO HUNGRY. I figure, either I finally am not hungry & am okay, or my gallbladder starts to freak out, I have emergency surgery and finally get that fucker out! It's a WIN-WIN!

And if you have lasted through this whole long-winded post YOU deserve some Vicodin, too.

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