Health & Wellness

My Gallbladder Surgery and Recovery

I had my gallbladder removed 12/21/2018, while recovering from gallbladder removal surgery I thought I was doing great but had some complications. I was expected to have it taken out and be fine, it’s a common procedure, done daily by surgeons all over the world. It’s easy, take it out, rest, resume eating your normal diet and you’ll be fine.

I call bullshit.

I wasn’t fine. I had my gallbladder removed and rested, took some medication they prescribed and carried on like they said I should. I figured I would be down a few days, no big deal, we got this. My husband is home for the holidays and helping with the kids. I should be back on my feet by the following week, everyone made it sound this was simple. I had it removed on a Friday, don’t remember much of anything that day due to drowsiness from the anesthesia. Saturday I rested, I remember being in a TON of pain. Sunday, I was feeling okay and wanted to help clean up the downstairs since Christmas was approaching in a couple days, I helped a little and got really worn out. I went back to bed. I started eating my “normal” diet, which I don’t recommend. At all. Stick with soft foods and liquid for the first week while your body adjusts, if not longer. The doctors didn’t tell me to do this, they said I could resume my normal diet. I was feeling okay when I ate, so I kept eating, much smaller portions though. I couldn’t wait to have pizza, since that was a typical trigger and we ate it that week. I felt fine, just wasn’t eating alot.

By Friday 12/28/2018, I figured I would try my favorite sub sandwich, I had a bit of heartburn after but didn’t think anything of it. 12/29/2018, I was in pain. So much pain, we called the surgeons office, they said drink more fluids, rest more. So I did. 12/30/2018, still in pain. Not eating, just drinking. Hadn’t had a BM now in a couple days, which is very normal for me so I didn’t think anything of it. (TMI, I know) I also noticed I was looking a little yellow, like Bart Simpson. My husband said my color was a little yellow too, but not extremely noticeable.

12/30/2018, I checked myself into the ER around 7pm. Having no family near, my husband had to drop me off and go home and put our little girls to bed. Waiting for the ER to check me, I started vomiting and continued to vomit for hours. They did an EKG on me, checked my vitals. Everything appeared normal, even though I knew something was wrong. Finally by 9:30 pm, they took me back to a room, drew some blood and took a urine sample. My urine was the color of amber beer (yuck). I was staying hydrated as much as I could but this wasn’t helping.

Still vomiting, they administered some pain relievers, nausea medicine and an IV bag of fluids. The doctor on duty said I wasn’t yellow but they will check the results. I wish I took a picture. I’m pale, always have been, I was yellow in my face and chest. Anywho, once the results came back they saw my white blood counts were high, my liver enzymes were high and since I just had surgery they were going to admit me.

Once admitted, they continued constant fluids and came in to check my vitals often. I was told I would meet the doctor on duty and then they would go from there. He determined I needed to have another endoscopy to see what the problem was and sent me for an MRI and more blood work quickly followed by the endoscopy which was done by a GI doctor, who was very nice.

I had an ERCP with sphincterotomy (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography ) done on 12/31/18. If you click the link it tells you what it is. However, in short the GI surgeon used a small camera that went down my common bile duct and then cut a small slit into the hole that drains my bile duct and common bile duct into my intestines. This allowed the blockage I had to flow freely. The blockage they said I had was due to the inflammation in my body, which could be from the way my body was reacting from the initial surgery or as they put it “who knows what”.

I was sent back to my room to recover and continued to receive fluids, antibiotics along with getting my vitals checked often, and frequent blood counts.

This was NOT how I planned on spending New Years Eve 2018, let alone the start of New Years 2019 in the hospital alone with my husband at home taking care of the two little girls, alone. My husband brought our girls up to the hospital room I was stuck in, to see me (which of course caused a wave of emotions for everyone involved) it was so hard being away from them during the holidays, even if it meant we were going to bed before midnight, like we do every year.

I was stuck in the hospital until 1/3/2019, because they wanted to make sure my liver enzymes went back to normal, my white blood cells went back to the normal range along with being able to keep soft foods down.

Once I was discharged I took the long walk to the car without being wheeled in a wheelchair by an attendant. I had been bed ridden for tooooooo long and I needed to walk and feel “normal”. Once I got home my husband ordered me to bed to rest, which not gonna lie, it was nice to be in my own bed!  First things first I needed a real shower to get the hospital smell off me.

As of now I’m feeling pretty good, still learning what I can and can’t eat without my gallbladder, which means I’m learning what foods don’t send me rushing to the bathroom. I recently started my weight loss journey, you can follow my daily stories on Instagram or check up on my Facebook page too.

If you go through a “typical” surgery and don’t feel well by when the doctors think you should be doing better, trust your gut instincts and get checked out.

I’m not a doctor, just giving my opinions about my own experiences. All opinions expressed are my own.

❤️, Kristi

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