Recovering After Gallbladder Removal Surgery – Part 1

The Gallbladder isn’t necessarily an organ that you need, it is a small organ under the liver that stores bile after it’s released from the liver and before it’s journey into the intestine. From everything I have read online, there are a certain group of people who are more prone to having a gallbladder attack and I fall into a couple of those categories. 2 of those being that I’m female, and I’m overweight. Sunday, September 19th was just like any other Sunday. Around 7, our nephew, who lives with us, went to Pizza Hut to get pizza and we ate when he and our youngest son got home. Hubby and I went to bed, but didn’t go straight to sleep right after getting into bed, if you get my drift. About 11, when we finally got done talking and everything, I rolled over and started getting a pain in my upper right abdomen, right under my ribs it seemed. I thought at first it was heartburn starting, from the Pizza, but didn’t think anything else of it, because it wasn’t the first time it had happened, and it had always went away after an hour or so before. After tossing and turning, and ending up keeping Hubby awake on and off for about 2 1/2 hours or so, he ended up just taking me to the ER. It was 2am at that time. We got there, immediately got through triage and into a room with a door, which I was thankful for because they don’t allow kids back there normally, and we had no one to watch Rosalie, with out waking up the boys, and I didn’t want to do that because I knew the Nephew had work the next morning (as should have Hubby) and our boys had school.

Shortly after seeing the nurse, I got really nauseous, and ran to the bathroom attached to the room they had me in and absolutely everything came up, to the point I was throwing up stomach bile. It wasn’t long that the doctor came in, pushed around on my belly, ordered an IV and blood work, along with a CT scan/x-ray. After giving me Zofran (for nausea) and Morphine (for pain) in my IV, I was feeling good and ended up dosing off in my room, and I believe Hubby and Rosalie dosed a little too. They came to get me from the room for the CT scan and x-ray, I dosed through most of that, and about an hour later, Hubby and Rosalie decided they were hungry, so they went to the McDonalds that was close to the hospital and got some breakfast and drinks. Before they got back, the doctor came in & said my gallbladder was inflamed but there were no stones, and if I had another attack, to come back in & I would need to have an ultrasound. She prescribed me Hydrocodone and Zofran to get from the pharmacy, however with it just being Rosalie and I at home during the day, I was kind of afraid to even get it filled because I know stuff like that makes me sleepy. So I didn’t get it. I figured I have 500mg Tylenol at home and that should suffice, which it did. She also told me that my colon was pretty backed up, and I needed to get some Miralax and Lemon Lime Gatorade from Walmart and I should be going smoothly again within a day.

Fast forward to Monday the 26th. I still hadn’t had a bowel movement, I hadn’t eaten anything much that day other than a bowl of Oatmeal that morning however, by 5pm I was hurting pretty good, and knew I was having another attack. I went to the ER by myself, so Hubby could get dinner for the kids and everything. Same as before, more morphine, more zofran in an IV, more blood work, however, this time they ordered an ultrasound, which showed a severely inflamed gallbladder with gallstones in it. The Ultrasound technicician said they should have never told me the previous time that I didn’t have gallstones because they can’t tell that from an x-ray/CT scan. The Doctor that I saw that night said my gallbladder was really inflamed, so she called General Surgery to see what they wanted me to do. They didn’t have any openings for the next day so she didn’t admit me, however she told me to call a general surgery place the next day to schedule an appointment for Wednesday to get checked out. She also said that if the pain didn’t subside, to come back and she would see about admitting me. All Tuesday the pain never went away, by 5 Tuesday night I was in tears it was hurting so bad. Hubby took me back up there & dropped me off, the wait was longer, but they immediately got an IV going, the same meds from the previous 2 times and blood work. About 9, the doctor came in & said they were admitting me because my white blood count was elevated quite a bit, so there was a big infection. She also said that the CT Scan/x-ray showed that my gallbladder was 2x the size it should have been. I was taken to my room, given meds, one of their box meals (turkey sandwich, chips, fruit and graham crackers, and water because I was starving and hadn’t eaten since around 8 that morning) and around 7 the next morning, the doctor was making his rounds and said that they would come get me at 8 for pre-op.

I called Hubby to tell him, felt bad because I had to wake him up, then called/texted my mom & Grammie to let them know. I knew Hubby wouldn’t be able to make it to the hospital before they took me back because it was a Wednesday, which was late start Wednesday for the boys & they didn’t leave for school until 9:10, which was after surgery was supposed to be. I hadn’t gotten hardly any sleep the night before because the IV machine kept going off. They had me on fluids, would put the pain meds in through the IV, and had also given me an antibiotic for a UTI. The pre-op ladies came & took me to their area, switched out my IV because they’d put it in my arm bend in the ER, and they switched it to my left hand, which was MUCH easier and less painful since I’m right handed and I could bend both arms with no pain now. Part of the reason the IV machine had been going off the night before was because the IV wire had gotten crooked, and that’s also why it was pretty painful. I had also discovered that I can’t have the narcotic, Dilaudid for pain, because apparently I am allergic to it. I broke out in an awful rash and itching the night before, however, the nurse wasn’t sure whether it was from that or the antibiotic because she didn’t think not to give those to me at the same time (that’s pretty common sense though, right?). So I told her and she gave me Benadryl, which helped. They gave me some kind of medication through my IV while in pre-op and I have no memory after that until I woke up in my room around 1 or so. I do, however, remember being given Dilaudid again because I remember waking up by hearing a nurse say that she’s breaking out in rash, I said, “I break out when I get that D drug.” then that’s it.

Going through my texts is quite funny. I’m not sure when I actually got back to my room, but at 1:14 I texted my aunt, “Put of surgery.” At 1:03, I texted Hubby, “I’mI’m tool.”  then a minute later, “Back in room.”  1:04 was a text to my mom, “Done. Hurting nad.” She asked me what hospital I was at, to let me know when I got my flowers. then to send a picture of them! At around 6, I texed her back and said I was gad I made sense because I didn’t remember much from that day. Long story short, I finally got to come home around 5 Thursday evening. My gallbladder was so inflamed & the stones were so big, they kept me an extra night due to the pain I was in and how out of it I was. This is just the first part of my story. I’ll put Part 2 up later today I think. IF you made it this far, you’re a rock star!

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