Yesterday I had a dreaded doctor's appointment. I never look forward to going to the doctor. I'm sure most people can agree with that sentiment. However, I am grateful that many times they can come up with a solution for whatever it is that is making me feel yucky. I love simple solutions like a shot of antibiotics for strep throat or a prescription of antibiotics for a sinus infection (usually all that takes is a phone call - no office visit! Yay!). But this time when I went in with pressure in my chest, frequent nausea, & tenderness in my right side I knew I wasn't going to get off so easy.
After a short discussion of my symptoms, some poking of my belly & an apologetic smile, my doctor let me know that she thought my gall bladder was causing me problems. I already knew that. I am the only female in my mom's entire family that still has her gall bladder. It would seem that the genes in our family just don't develop healthy gall bladders. I kind of just knew this day would come...
So I went in for an ultrasound. That is a test I don't mind in the least. A nice, quiet, warm, dim room - I almost fell asleep. When the results came back I found out that I did not have any gall stones. That's a good thing, no chance that one will get stuck in a duct & make me super sick (happened to my sister - not good!).
The next test was a HIDA scan. I was a little curious about this test b/c it is a nuclear imaging test so the radioactive drug that I was given was compounded in the pharmacy where I work. I drew up some of the doses for the clinic that was doing my test so I marked the labels with a green highlighter to see if I would get a dose that I drew. It didn't work out that way, but it was fun to try to track the dose :-) This test shows how the gall bladder is functioning. It should be performing at a 35-40% level. My test showed that mine was functioning at 21% so the next appointment was with a surgeon.
I had that appointment yesterday afternoon. The surgeon was very nice but also very thorough. He asked me what my symptoms were, asked if I had any pain during the HIDA scan. During part of that test they give you another medicine that causes the gall bladder to contract. He asked if that had hurt me & I answered that it did not. He was looking for it to hurt b/c that would mean that the degree of the gall bladder disease was worse. At this point I was getting a little bit relieved, thinking that he was going to tell me I could wait for it to get worse. I am NOT enjoying the thought of surgery ONE BIT. He began to say that I could just deal with it for a while & not be in a hurry to have the surgery. *relief* Then he asked if I had any questions. I asked what I could do to feel better, any natural remedies, any suggestions? His only suggestion was a low fat diet. I already do that. Shucks. Next question, does it matter if we plan on trying to have a baby sometime in the next year or so? His expression changed & I knew I was in trouble. His response, "We'll go ahead and get you on the schedule then." Evidently, pregnancy can cause all kinds of gall bladder yuckiness (which I already knew b/c of situations my friends have been in). I just wanted to hear it from a doctor, I guess.
Now I am on the schedule to have my gall bladder removed laparoscopically on Monday, February 1st. Make a note to pray for me, please. I have all kinds of stupid fears. Pray for Mike, too. He is an excellent caregiver when I am sick, but I don't think this will be quite the same as holding my hair for me when I get the pukies. I'm so grateful for him & his help - what a guy!
Anything fun on your winter calendar? My dad was laughing with me last night that we don't have any holidays to look forward to right now but we are going to fill the calendar up with something! :-)