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Thread: Gallstones, infection & gallbladder removal

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Default Gallstones, infection & gallbladder removal

    4 days ago (Sunday), I ended up in ED with what I thought (and my GP had told me) was severe reflux pain. They took blood & told me that my gallbladder was "playing up" so off I went for an ultrasound. As it turns out, not only did I have gallstones, they've caused an infection by irritating the gallbladder. I spent Sunday night and most of Monday in hospital with no pain as it had eased by 10pm Sunday night but they wanted to monitor me & make sure I could eat without pain before sending me home. Before coming home, I was given a referral to see the surgeon on Thursday (tomorrow) as surgery was unavoidable due to the irritation.
    Monday afternoon I was sent home. Tuesday I was fine, I ate dinner which consisted of a lamb chop & veg. BIG MISTAKE!! I woke at 6:30am to feed my 6 week old & was in immense pain. Back off to the hospital only to be given pain relief & sent home. I have no pain relief for home as I'm allergic to codeine so they are hesitant about sending me home with much in case I have an allergic reaction. Until I have my surgery I have to be extremely careful about what I eat & how much I eat. If I get pain again at any point before my surgery, I have to go back for morphine injections.
    Now....problem 1....I've NEVER had surgery in my life so I'm kind of freaking out a tad! Either way, I know it has to be done, I'm just hoping my surgeon is a little sympathetic to my case & talks me through every little detail & reassures me that I will be ok.
    Problem 2.....as beautiful & helpful as my DF is, he doesn't wake to my 6 week old during the night so I'm freaking that I won't be able to hand him in hospital with me & that DF won't wake to feed him overnight. My DS1 & DD are old enough to be left with DF though.
    Problem 3......what on earth do I & don't I eat to minimise pain in the mean time. Spending 4+ hours in hospital for pain relief is not an option as that means DF has to take time off work each time for my DS2 (the 6 week old)
    Problem 4.....the ward I would be staying on after my surgery is the last place I want to be on that particular hospital as that's where i farewelled my dad only 15 months ago.
    Any suggestions or even comfort would help right now. Thanks for reading.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Gallstones, infection & gallbladder removal

    Firstly hugs hun!

    I too have Gallstones (7 in fact ) I have never had a really bad attack but I get discomfort every now and then. The thought of surgery absolutely terrifies me so I know how that feels

    As to what to eat avoid fatty foods, dairy, red meat and take aways.

    Hope it's all over with quickly for you.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Default Re: Gallstones, infection & gallbladder removal

    Thanks hun. It's just nice to know I'm not alone, not nice that you have them too
    I've been put on "light" meals by the doctor but I'm not quite sure what that entails. Lol

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Gallstones, infection & gallbladder removal

    I had my gall bladder out 2 years ago. It was an "easy" surgery and recovery. I had a 1 year old at the time and joked to the nurse post op that it was like a holiday I was only in overnight and was back to normal house hold duties fairly quickly! From others who've had the op, I've heard that the worst part is the shoulder tip pain from the leftover gas they use to expand the belly to get to the gall bladder - but I didn't get this.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Gallstones, infection & gallbladder removal

    Hi Kalina - it's a bit of a shock to suddenly find out you need surgery! I'm sorry you've had a painful attack - I had lots of those so I know how awful they can be.

    The lamb chop will be what set it off, too oily. You really need to avoid fat and oil. This means you need to read labels and calculate portions, calorie king can also help working out how much fat/oil is in things. I had a long wait before I had surgery (we moved interstate so I went back to the bottom of the waiting list), so I had plenty of time to find out what I could eat. I found if I kept the fat in any meal well under 10g I was pretty much ok. This mean lots of plain carbs, fruit and veggies, with small portions of very lean meat (mostly chicken breast only, no skin, cooked with no oil) or fish, or an egg, etc. And I weighed all my portions to make sure I wouldn't get an accidental oil overdose. I kept a few weight watcher dinners in the freezer for those times when I'd run out of inspiration but was starving (WW pizzas were a godsend LOL). I used a lot of no-fat marinades to add variety. I switched to lowest no-fat milk with a bit of skim milk powder mixed in (for extra calories) and I also found out I could use a tiny bit of low fat margarine. I found I needed an extra snack after dinner at night, usually fruit and some kind of diet dessert (custard, rice pudding, etc) because I was still BFing and always hungry. Anyway, you will work out pretty quickly what you can and can't eat.

    One option for gallbladder pain relief is Buscopan. I didn't find this out until just before I had my surg, and wished I'd known earlier. Buscopan is an anti-spasmodic, so it calms the squeezing/cramping that causes the attack pain, so definitely talk to your doctor and find out if this is something you can use (you can buy it over the counter). I also vomited a lot with the attacks, so the first step was always to take some maxolon, and if that worked that brought some relief. I found staying upright and sips of hot water or herbal or plain black tea, hot wheat packs, etc also helped a bit.

    I know you said you don't want your DF to come home from work, but if you're having bad attacks, you do need to have some phone-a-friend plans in place. Being careful with my diet helped a lot but I still had random attacks for no reason at weird times of night/day. They would usually last a few hours, and then afterwards I was always insanely sleepy (with or without medication), so I really was not capable of caring for my DD (who was 9 months old when they started).

    After all that, the surgery is a walk in the park. I was quite sore the first day after surg, but after the drain came out, it got better pretty quickly. I don't remember having the shoulder pain at all. Plan on having some help at home for a week or so, good opportunity to put your feet up, watch some movies, etc. Good luck, let us know how you get on.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Gallstones, infection & gallbladder removal

    Kalina, I had to have mine out just 4 weeks after my ds1 was born. I had terrible attacks just after he was born and shunted from pillar to post and ended up in ed where they still misdiagnosed it!
    My breastfeed baby went onto formula although I continued pumping and he went back to 100% breastfeed after a few weeks. DH just coped. He had to. We don't have family around and he's not one to ask for help. He looked after his little boy the best way he could - perhaps it was different to what I would be doing, but he did it his way and they both survived the ordeal! They spent a whole week without me. My surgery was done immediately - firstly an op to break up the stone stuck in my CBD and then secondly, a seperate op to remove the whole gall bladder.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Gallstones, infection & gallbladder removal

    I have had a few of the nasty attacks and they are mighty unpleasant. More often I get the tightening/ache of an attack building up. As soon as I feel the first twinges, I whip off my bra. Then I eat a couple of those Buscopan (aka Gastro-sooth) and if that doesn't settle it then I jump in the shower. The shower helps during an attack too - I have it as hot as I can stand it.



    Don't stress about the childcare etc too much for now - you will work something out, even if DF has to put the cot right next to his side of the bed or whatever. They will survive.

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