The Final Post

December 15, 2009

I am going to discontinue this blog.  I have had no real problems since my surgery, and am not gaining weight or having other related issues.  Thank you all for reading.  I hope the information in this blog has helped some of you with your own gallbladder issues.  I wish you all luck!

Signs of Trouble?

October 11, 2009

Well, I am having my first issues of possible trouble with the gallbladder removal.  I can eat mostly what I want, but there are a few things that seem to set me off.  Soda, or I’m guessing any carbonated beverage, seems to set me to burping and starts the bloating.  There’s no pain, but there is a feeling of being uncomfortably full.  In addition to the soda, eating too much or too much junk gives me a general digestive system discomfort and a weird awareness of the area where the pain used to present in an attack.  I haven’t had any pain though or anything close to what I could call an attack. 

I’m still very glad that I had the surgery.  Plus the side effects, so far anyway, are actually somewhat beneficial in that they will keep me from falling back into the old eating habits that caused the stones and the ridiculous weight gain I’d had since my daughter was born 6 years ago. 

Overall, I think it’s probably just still recovery issues and lack of sleep due to the baby not sleeping through the night adding stress to my body.  However, if you are having symptoms after having your gallbladder removed, be sure to ask your doctor about post-cholecystectomy syndrome also called PCS.

Still Feeling Good

October 2, 2009

I’m still feeling good post surgery.  I seem to be a little burpy, but they are “normal” burps not “gallbladder” burps.  There is a definite difference in the tone.  I have also eaten a little junkier than I had been before the surgery just out of the sheer joy of it.  Hooray for chocolate brownies!!!

I have my follow-up on Monday.  After that I am planning on resuming the yoga I was doing for my liver and gallbladder if the doctor says it is okay.  I am also hoping to be okayed to swim laps again.  This is my main source of exercise and my zen time away from the kids.  Hopefully that will continue for me. 

I think I mentioned in a previous blog that I worked last Monday.  It was a sitting position (I’m an usher at a local arena), and I seemed to have no problem.  Joy of joys, I was even able to eat the cheeseburger that was on the lunch menu.  It’s so nice to not be scared of food anymore; I can’t even begin to explain it to someone who hasn’t experienced it.  I just need to watch that I don’t gain all the weight back.

I’ll continue to update every few days as things move along post-surgery.  Thanks for reading!

What a Girl Eats

September 27, 2009

It has now been 5 days since my surgery.  I am feeling fine so far aside from some abdominal discomfort that I am sure stems from just having had surgery.  I am down to taking a couple of ibuprofen and one acetamenaphin every 6 hours or so from the 1-2 Vicodin every 4 hours and 3 ibuprofen every 6 hours.  I had a little trouble with the Vicodin making me nauseaus, but otherwise have fared well.

My daughter had her 6th birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese yesterday.  I was able to have 2 pieces of pepperoni pizza and a piece of chocolate cake with no problem.  I have also eaten string cheese, spaghetti with meat sauce, and a salami sandwich with no ill effects so far.  I am taking some supplements to aid with digestion.  They are the closet versions the local health food store had to what is in the After Gallbladder Removal Kit on  So far so good.  I’ll continue to update you on how the recovery and diet go from here.

Surgery a Success!!

September 24, 2009

My surgery went very smoothly and I am home and recovering well.  I’m still taking the Vicodin and a boatload of ibuprofen, but feeling better than I have in months.  I hadn’t realized how tight I was through the chest and abdomen until the tightness was gone after the surgery.  I am very glad that I had the surgery.  I also know it’s early, but I haven’t had any side effects yet.  That may change as I add more foods back in, but for now I’m loving it.

I went in to the hospital at 7:30 and checked in for surgery.  There was a short wait, and then I did some paperwork with my husband.  When that was done, we went down to the Same Day Surgery lounge.  I waited, rather impatiently I’m afraid, for about 30 minutes for them to call me back.  We had been a little early with our check-in so the wait wasn’t inordinately long.  Still, it was hard because I was nervous about the surgery.

Once they called me back to the exam rooms, things started moving more quickly.  I had my blood pressure, temp, etc. taken.  They went over again what I was having done, my medical history, and if I ever felt “threatened in my home”.  Typical doctor questions.  After the history, I was given a gown and booties to put on.  The booties were what my husband called “idiot proof” – socks with grip treads on the top and bottom so that you can’t possibly put them on wrong.  The gown had a number of vent attachments so they could blow warm air onto me to keep me from getting chilly before the surgery.  At this point I also saw my surgeon briefly to discuss again what was going on and to see if I had any questions.  I also met the anesthesiologist and fessed up to being worried about the possibility of becoming a bad TV movie statistic; you know the ones where the patient wakes up partway through the surgery or doesn’t wake up at all.  I knew intellectually that it was silly, but it still felt good to admit it to the doctor. 

When I got into the OR, I was asked to put on a paper cap and take off my glasses.  At that point I was blind as a bat.  I could see that there were a lot of people around but couldn’t have said whether they were men or women.  For perspective, I can’t read the big E on the chart at the optometrist’s office.  Once I got up on the operating table, they started an IV.  This was how they administered the anesthsia.  After a few seconds, I started to feel drowsy but wasn’t yet asleep.  The next thing I new, I was waking up in the recovery room.

I am always hard hit by medications, so it was no surprise that I took a little longer than normal to come out of the anesthesia.  When I did wake up, I was very, very groggy for a while.  I wanted them to take the oxygen mask off of me, but I couldn’t form the words to say that or move my arm enough to take it off.  It was like a bad dream where you are moving in slow motion.  I did eventually get the mask off, although I am not sure if it was because I was asking for that or because it was just time to take it off.  I drifted in and out for another 30 minutes or so in the recovery room.

At that point they brought me in to a private room to sit with my husband.  I was awake but not very alert.  I was still sleepy and having some trouble focusing.  The nurse gave us the care instructions and some papers with the same information on them.  This was good because I was still pretty high from the drugs and my husband was sleep deprived from the baby care he’d been doing in the middle of the night.  Then my hubby went to get the car.  I was wheeled out to the car in a wheelchair. 

When we got home I was up for about 30 – 45 minutes and then I took a good long nap.  After waking up, I felt much better.  The anesthesia had finally worn off.  I was amazed at how good I felt.  I still am.  I have some soreness, obviously, but overall I feel better than I have in a long time.  The hardest things for me to deal with are not picking up my son yet and the shoulder pain.  The pain is from the CO2 gas they use to help inflate your abdomen during the surgery.  It’s fairly common and should go away in a few days.  It’s more of an annoyance and discomfort than an actual pain, so it’s pretty manageable.

Today I get to shower and change my band-aids.  It seems bizarre that I had surgery and the band-aids are just like the ones you’d buy at any drugstore.  There are only three of them and that’s it.  I can feel the morning’s Vicodin kicking in and making me a little loopy, so I’ll post more later.  See you on the flip side!

T-1 Day Until Surgery

September 21, 2009

Well, I have made it through until the surgery with no attacks (so far, knock wood).  I am nervous about the procedure tomorrow, but I also am more than ready to try this next step in my healing process.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be in the 60% that have no problems after removal.  And quite frankly, I’ve had enough of a diarrhea problem with the stones that if that’s my only symptom I’ll deal quite nicely with it.

The pre-op exam proved to be less invasive than a yearly physical.  Essentially the doctor just asked me if I had any major problems that they weren’t aware of, took my weight and temperature, and listened to my breathing.  The main thing they asked was about family or personal history of bleeding disorders or problems with anesthesia.  I don’t have any problems in my history, and since I was adopted I don’t know my family history.  I don’t expect any problems though.

The prep for the surgery is also pretty easy.  I’m supposed to take a shower tonight and tomorrow morning using antiseptic soap, basically Dial Anti-bacterial.  I also cannot eat or drink anything after midnight tonight.  The one exception would be taking a few sips of water in the morning to swallow my daily medications.  I figure that’s no worse than the not being able to drink (or eat) anything for almost 3 days before my son was born due to gallbladder attacks.

I will post again in a few days.  The surgery is at 9:30 tomorrow morning.  Wish me luck!

Enough is Enough

September 16, 2009

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  It’s been a rough few days.  I had an attack on Sunday night after my last post.  It was pretty bad.  I was really hoping that eating vegan would make a difference.  I’ve also had burping every night since Sunday.

I finally decided that enough is enough.  I am scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday, September 22.  It is due to be a laparoscopic procedure, and they say I should be up and about in about 5 days.  I’m hoping that will be how it actually goes for me.  I know there are many risks of side effects after the surgery, including pain, diarrhea, digestion troubles, and more.  It has become intolerable however to go on as I have.  So at this point, I am trading the known evil for the unknown and hoping for the best.

I will post again Thursday after my pre-op exam to let you all know what that is like.  Then I will probably not post again until after the surgery, most likely the 23rd or 24th. 

After waiting a few months to ensure that I am healed completely from the surgery I intend to continue with the liver flushes to make sure my liver is in the best possible shape.  I will also continue with the yoga and the original “gallbladder diet” that I was on, mostly veggies with small amounts of lean meat and limited refined carbs.  This is perhaps even more important now that I will be missing an organ vital to my digestion.  I will continue blogging from a post-cholecystectomy perspective.

Wish me luck!

Attack Free and Lovin’ It

September 13, 2009

Since going vegan a week or so ago, I have had no attacks.  I have a new appreciation for the versitility of tofu as well.  It’s amazing how they can make it taste like salami.  I have also been very closely watching the amount of refined carbs that I eat.  Those two changes along with continuing portion control seem to have made a huge difference for me.  There have been a couple times that I’ve gotten a little burpy, but one dose of Phos Drops and a little yoga or relaxtion later, and I’ve been fine.

The yoga continues to go well and be helpful.  I am doing a Yin yoga sequence that works the liver/gallbladder meridian.  I have yet to add the Yang yoga in, but plan to do so in the next few weeks.  Right now I’m just more focused on fixing the liver/gallbladder problem.

I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Wedding Blues Follow-up

September 9, 2009

I had a great, attack-free time at my brother’s wedding!  YEAH!!!  I’m so happy that things went well.  I was really worried about it the night before the wedding. 

I did have to bring my own food, and it sucked not having any wedding cake, but overall things went well.  There was one point in the ceremony when I started to stress out a little because the baby started fussing.  I nursed him a little though, and he quieted right down.  The night was a huge success for me.

I have also been doing yoga for the last half a week or so and that seems to be helping a lot.  I have the book Insight Yoga which shows poses specific to the health of the liver and gallbladder.  I definitely enjoy the yoga and have not had an attack since I started the sessions in the book.  Hopefully that will keep up.

I haven’t had a chance to look at the meditation yet.  My daughter started her school year on Tuesday.  Since we homeschool, that means my job is harder now.  But so far so good.  Now if we could just get the baby to sleep.

I will also be doing another liver/gallbladder flush on October 2nd or 3rd.  It’s a little more than a month since my last flush, but scheduling wise it’s what works for me.  It’s hard to do a flush and a birthday party for a 6 yr old girl on the same day!

I’ll try to post at least every other day to let you all know how the yoga and vegan diet are going.  Wish me luck!

Wedding Blues

September 6, 2009

I was at the rehearsal dinner last night for my brother’s wedding later today.  I was good food wise, with my worst digression being about 12 Townhouse crackers.  Otherwise, I ate fresh fruit and stuff I had brought from home.  I had a great time and thought I was in the clear.

On the way home, I started to think about all the stuff I had to do today.  I started to get a little stressed out about it, and I began to be burpy and tight in the chest.  By the time we got home about 30 minutes later, I was in a bad way.  I took a Phos Drops and a Beet Recipe immediately.  Then I went in the bathroom and had a rather large bowel movement.  I still was feeling tight and so I did a yoga workout for liver and gallbladder health out of the book Insight Yoga.  I also brewed myself a cup of dandelion tea with lemon.  I took another Phos Drops at this point.  I was still feeling pretty tight and burpy, so I took my tea into the bathroom.  I took a sip of the tea and had a dozen or big gallbladder burps, and the tightness lessened.    At this point, I decided a hot bath would be good.  So I relaxed in the tub with my dandelion tea and a good book.  I went to bed and was fine.

The moral of the story here is that I really, really need to watch my stress levels.  This the A number one thing that seems to set off my attacks.  I plan to continue the yoga and get more into meditation in the coming weeks.  And of course, near the end of September, I’ll be doing my third liver flush.  It’s a hard row to hoe, but I’m getting there.