Edited , 23 users are following.
What no one tells you about gallbladder surgery..
My name is Tara. I am a Registered Nurse. I would like to tell you my recent story.
I began having debilitating anxiety attacks in 2000. I would say prior to the attacks, I would be classified as a "worrier", but this was very different. Fight or flight at its finest. I, as so many are, was placed on SSRI's and managed the best I could. I also developed acid reflux around this time and noticed that the two went hand and hand in regards to the severity of my attacks. I led a relatively normal life, getting married, having two children, and achieving an Administrative role in a large Cardiology practice. In October of 2016, the bottom fell out.
In October of 2016 I had one isolated, extremely high blood pressure (210/120). I had eaten high fat foods for the two days prior to the HTN episode. I had no previous history of HTN. I was treated with IV Labetalol and started on a PO Beta Blocker. I failed approximately 5 beta blockers, as I did not have any further instances of HTN. For months I underwent cardiac testing, blood work, CT's, Event and Holter monitors, etc. No significant findings. My only symptoms post the hypertensive crisis was a vibration under my right breast. It was present almost immediately after the one episode of HTN and did not cease. I finally asked for a HIDA scan and found that the EF of my gallbladder was 2%. I thought I had finally found out what had been causing all my trouble. It was approximately 5 months after the initial episode of HTN. I never had a gallbladder attack or any other GI symptoms out of the usually IBS like symptoms I have had for as long as I can remember. Over the years, my fight or flight response became more and more sensitive and I could not explain why.
This is when it all fell apart. At the time of my surgery, I was taking Trintellix 10mg for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It seemed to work up until October of 2016, when my anxiety, once again, became out of control. I underwent a lap choley on 3/24/17 and did fine surgically. About 3 weeks post op, I entered into a CONSTANT state of anxiety. It was debilitating and I was very seriously contemplating an inpatient stay somewhere. I had NEVER had feelings like this and was starting to believe it was my new station in life. I was depressed, extremely anxious, detached, became a hypochondriac regarding what could be wrong with me, and truly believed I was going insane. All for having my gallbladder removed. I often wish I would have never had it removed. I still have some physical response to certain foods: headache, bloating, RUQ pain, right arm pain etc... Despite the physical symptoms, the mental changes have been the most overwhelming and devastating.
I sought advice from my PCP (almost weekly) about my condition. She increased my Trintellix and it made all symptoms exponentially worse. I underwent a Head CT, MRI of the Brain, CT of the abdomen-all negative. I was living on Ativan and wondering if I would make it. I was then taken off Trintellix and placed back on Effexor XR which I had taken for 8yrs and only asked to change because of unwanted side effects. I was very hopeful this would help me. The exact opposite happened. It was as if my body was rejecting this medication which I had depended on for so many years. Severe feelings of detachment, feeling like i was going to lose control, constant anxiety and extreme fear. Absolutely no help and certainly no symptoms I had ever experienced before. I asked my Doctor if I could stop the medication and see what happened as I was unbearably miserable. Very very slowly, the symptoms have started to lift. I would not say I am even 70%, but I feel more hopeful than I have in the 10 weeks since my surgery. I have begun taking Prilosec OTC and that has helped, but is not a long-term fix. It is hard to describe, but I feel more intact to my life and much less anxious about things that would have always been a trigger for me.
I have some questions, but am trying desperately to be at peace that there may be no answer. Just that time passes and some of these things resolve.
My gallbladder did not get to 2% overnight. Could this have been the source of my anxiety all these years?
Does feeling so awful now on SSRI's/SNRI's mean my gut could be healing and keep Serotonin regulated as it should be?
What can I continue to do to help my gut heal and restore my neurotransmitters to the appropriate function? I stay hydrated, take a high quality organic multivitamin, try to get enough sleep, practice relaxation and have been working with a counselor using EMDR therapy. I don't know what is helping, but I certainly know it started in my gut.
I am convinced that we are going about this backwards and I feel the past 10 weeks of my life are proof. Your gut has a brain! I am not looking for a diagnosis. I just want my life back
1 like, 37 replies