A couple weeks ago, I spent four days in absolutely excruciating pain. Standing up straight required all the effort I could muster, and felt as if I were simultaneously being ripped in half and burned. The more minor symptoms included the feeling of acid reflux, and chronic pain across my upper abdomen. Any pressure whatsoever on the right side just under my ribs was pure agony. With four daughters, two of which want to climb all over me all of the time, I spent a great deal of time in agony. After four days of this, I finally broke down, called the doctors office and begged for an immediate appointment. They were able to get me in, so I went. After a quick exam, the Nurse concluded that it was gallbladder related. So I was scheduled for a sonogram, and given a script for pills that alleviate the acid reflux symptoms. They actually helped.
I went in for the sonogram, and received a call the following day. All looked completely normal. That was very upsetting, because the pain that I was in, there HAD to be something wrong. I had actually gotten a prescription for pain pills, and I hate (read absolutely loathe and despise with an intense passion) to take medicine of any kind, especially pain medicine. But THIS was THAT BAD. So they scheduled me for a gallbladder function test. I went yesterday morning to take the test in which they gave me an IV injection of a radioactive tracer substance which they scanned at different points over an hour. Then, they flushed it with another substance that triggered the gallbladder to empty. Only… mine didn’t.
I guess it’s a good season for surgery in the family… The doctor’s office called me this morning and advised that the tests reveal me to most likely have biliary dyskinesia (malfunction of the gallbladder which prevents it from properly emptying). The “normal” gallbladder will empty 35-40% during the function test, mine emptied only 13%. For that reason, I will likely need a cholocystectomy (gallbladder removal). So, long story short, we now know why I am in constant agony, particularly after eating. We now know how to make it stop. All that’s left is to schedule the surgery and get it over with. It’s fairly straight forward. They make four small incisions in the abdomen (three are for their tools including the scope), fill the cavity with air/carbon dioxide, image for abnormalities, detach and remove the gallbladder, then they vacuum out as much of the air as they can and finally, suture the wounds. I should be able to go home the same day.
It will be sore, but with any luck at all, it will be much less painful than it is at present.