I had my gallbladder surgery right after Thanksgiving and I’m finally really to give you all the details. This is a common surgery and I was shocked when many of my friends, Instagram followers, and blog readers mentioned that they’ve had theirs removed also. I’ve been having GI issues for a while, but for the last 5 years, it’s been different as I’ve had more symptoms and other things happening. I started having acid reflux over 14 years ago, but this was different. Very different. I was kind of relieved when my doctor found ulcers in 2013, but I kept having symptoms and knew that more was going on. Fast forward to more of these episodes happening, but this time closer together and seemingly out of nowhere. My Experience with Emergency Gallbladder Surgery + Recovery Details
By last spring of 2018 I finally started seeing a different gastroentrologist. My mother had seen him and she had a good friend that swore by him. On my first visit, he assured me he was going to find out what was happening and we would treat it. He wasn’t going to give up. I had been feeling better, but after many tests – endoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scan, and MRI (which was the worst of all) – it was confirmed that one of the things they found was gallstones. And it wasn’t going to get better. My doctor recommended I see a surgeon.
At the time, when he suggested that I put it off. School was just starting, then my youngest son was in crisis at school, I deal with my son’s Type 1 Diabetes. I just started a job that I liked. Excuses to put it off. But then I had a gallbladder attack (which is what my episodes were) while I was driving my children to my parents’ house. Thanks to my doctor, I know knew that my nauseous feeling and subsequent pain and vomiting was my galbladder trying to process food and squeezing. The gallbladder sits on top of your stomach – and presses down on it when it’s squeezing — hence my attacks. So I took my dr’s advice and saw a laparoscopic surgeon.
He said I was a great candidate for surgery, but again, I was going to put it off as long as I could. He said to call him if I had another attack and we could discuss surgery. He understood why I was hesitating. He suggested I do a low fat diet for now and that the surgery would be an easy one – I would need around 2 weeks recovery time. Luckily, since August, two things have happened. One, my husband now works out of our home and is on an out of state project. Two, I started a new job in August for a firm that I adored and it was 100% remote. Also, my parents and in-laws live nearby and do help out when I need them.
Fast forward to the Thanksgiving holiday. While I was watching what I eating (eating fat would bring on an attack, even a moderate amount), I still had two attacks over Thanksgiving – one on Thanksgiving night and one that Sunday night. That was the closest I’d had two attacks together in the past 5 years and frankly, I was DONE with my gallbladder. Just done. I knew that it wasn’t going to get better and I was so sick of being sick. I called the surgeon at 8 am that next Monday, explained that I was worried that the attacks were happening way to close together and off to the Emergency Room I went. Luckily I was able to take a couple of days off and get my mom to pick up my kids so my husband could stay with me at the hospital. I had to wait for a while and luckily I didn’t get as sick as I usually would have — but that could’ve been because of the Zofran Anti-nausea IV drip I had in. The nurses took amazing care of me and finally I had my surgery about 2PM or so (I’m not even sure). I woke up very sore, but luckily got to leave around 7PM that night. I hadn’t eaten since the night before but managed to have a little something at the hospital before I left (like juice and a graham cracker) and then soup when I got home. I was on pain meds, so the night was a little fuzzy. Of course my son (with Type 1 Diabetes) had a low blood sugar, but I calmly told my mother how to help him (ie. turn down his insulin pump). That night I also managed to order from an ecommerce website and get my 15% off something that I wanted to buy. I had to call the website to help me with the order and was so tired I kept falling asleep while I was on hold. But 15% off!! I think the pain meds made me do it. The next day I woke up bruised and in pain. I felt like moving my torso was never going to happen again. I had three small incisions, plus another on in my belly button.
My husband took the kids to school and then came back and made me breakfast. I slept most of Tuesday and Wednesday (though I felt a little better on Wednesday and I could do some work from my bed). My in-laws came over on Tuesday and Thursday and brought dinner and helped. By Thursday I felt even better and got on a client call. And no, you never tell a client that you aren’t feeling 100%, it’s just not professional. I think I even showered on Wednesday or Thursday. I still took it easy, but by Sunday I had to get back to some degree of normalcy. Things with my son with Type 1 Diabetes are still hard, but I had to do the management from my couch or bed. I still had to check on him at night and that will never change, but luckily I got my strength back and as my surgeon promised, I felt good by the two week mark and I started driving that week.
Fast forward to now. Unfortunately I do still have my acid reflux and I just had to cut way down on coffee again (sob). I can eat whatever I want, but I am following Weight Watchers (WW), so I stay away from very fatty foods and desserts. All in all, it’s been a HUGE success and I am so grateful to my doctor and surgeon for making sure I got the care I needed. Gallbladder, I don’t miss you one bit. My Experien
ce with Emergency Gallbladder Surgery + Recovery Details