Gallbladder attacks

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Last Monday morning I was finally diagnosed with gallstones after two severe attacks and two A&E trips in the space of three weeks. 

Basically I’m wondering what is normal for the length of an attack to last. So maybe over the last two years I’ve had this pain in my stomach that goes right through to my back which I had on occasion every few months this pain that felt like trapped wind.  The pain never lasted very long 30 minutes and sore enough to cause discomfort. Then most recently in the last few months it became every couple of weeks again for the same length of time. 

Beginning of November however one Friday night into the early hours of Saturday morning the pain started. Top of the stomach right through to the back with a feeling of fullness and like someone was squeezing my stomach tight, straight off this pain was worse. It lasted maybe from midnight right through to 4/5am until I eventually fell asleep. When I woke up I still had this niggling feeling in my stomach but no pain. But as Saturday went on the pain flared up again, were I couldn’t sit, stand, lie down. I took pain relief and managed to sleep that night. Woke up Sunday morning pretty much the same as Saturday no pain just a weird feeling in my stomach. I had dinner and bam the pain just blew the F up! I was crying with the pain and rolling around the bed and I was up and down all night long. I was bent over the bannister. My husband at this stage around 6am took me to A&E. We got there after bloods taken etc doctor sounded and felt my stomach were I was told by the female doctor that it sounded like I had gallstones. I was given some co-codmaol 30/500mg and sent back out to reception to wait on my bloods... I was still in tears at this stage. When I was called again it was a different doctor the shifts had changed over by this point. When I got up to go see him he stopped me basically in the doorway and bluntly told me my bloods were normal and if it was gallstones it would take a few days to calm down. I just looked at him I was in agony and crying my husband not impressed said to him she’s in agony here. He just replied I’ll give you some pain medication home. So that was my first trip. Mind you when I got home I vomited and the pain just getting worse despite the pain relief. I was sick a few times more that day. Tuesday and Wednesday I was still in pain but the vomiting had stopped. I hadn’t ate from Sunday. Thursday I managed to eat some toast and by Friday the pain had almost gone but I had this pain more now to the side of my stomach and it felt more like I had pulled something. Over the next two weeks I was good until the following Friday the pain flared up quite bad I hadn’t even ate anything that day and it was 4ish in the afternoon but thankfully it only lasted around 30 minutes.   The week that followed I had another short episode on the Tuesday and the Saturday.  Was fine again most of that week until the early hours of Thursday morning where I woke up choking/coughing and it was like pure acid coming up my throat and I was sick then at this stage. The next two days I felt very nauseous but with this I had no pain and I wasn’t sure if it was even related. Saturday I felt ok I had a little pain in my back but I was in town and up and about that day. Sunday I spent that day feeling great had dinner done dishes came up stairs to shower and this almighty pain just came out of no where I was crying almost instantly so badly so my husband who was outside heard me. Hecame inside and as soon as he saw me he just said A&E get dressed.  So Last Sunday evening I went to A&E arrived in tears to a packed reception. I wasn’t long called by the triage nurse and when he was checking my bp and pulse he informed me my heart rate was high and he wanted a heart trace done to check on it. So he got me to follow up to a cubicle where bloods were done and another nurse came to do the trace after this the doctor came. He was lovely and thank god I got him. He listed he really asked as much questions as I think he possibly could he agreed and said it did sound like gall stones and asked if I had been scanned yet which to my reply was no. So he said ok I’m going to go call and see if I can get you in for next week about an hour later he came back and told me they could do Monday (the next morning) at 8:45am I was like yes that will do me. We waited another while until my bloods came back which were normal again. He was happy to send me home. At this stage I felt ok, just had a little discomfort. 

Monday morning I went and I had my ultrasound and I had some mild pain but after having that done the pain seemed to build rapidly. I was told to wait as I would get my results there and then I just had to wait in the doctor. 5 minutes later I was called and then I was confirmed I had gallstones and she said that she was referring me to surgery outpatients and wrote and script for co-codamol 30/500mg to take to the hospital pharmacy before leaving so I had pain relief. By the time I got home I was in a lot of pain again and I took some medication and slept until 2pm where I woke up in pain and took more. After a few more hours of sleeping on and off I vomited and I continued to do so. I also want to mention my urine was orange and burning and staring the toilet paper orange. I was sick for two days didn’t eat until Friday. Now the past weekend I’ve had pain and discomfort that’s been mild. I’m terrified of eating to the point that I don’t want too. 

I’ve been reading a lot and most people seem to have said their flare ups have lasted hours and went. But these of my are days. Someone please tell me I’m not alone in this? I’m sorry for the story time post. It’s been that of a short book. 

1 like, 10 replies

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    To start with I had flare ups every few months then it got to every week and then to the stage it was constant pain and had constant nausea. Was at the doctors every couple of days as was in agony. Ended up admitted to hospital twice in the space of 6 weeks for a week both times. Eventually saw consultant as an outpatient who put me on the waiting list for surgery. Ended up admitted for the second time 2 days later and had the gallbladder out the next week while still in hospital. 

    Have you actually been seen in outpatients yet? That can take forever then the waiting list can be horrendous as well. Any sign of fever or jaundice then I was told to call my doctor straight away or go to A&E if it was out of hours. Hopefully you get it out soon! Xx

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    • Posted

      No I only got referred to outpatients last Monday morning after I had the scan. I know I should go back anytime I’m bad like that the doctor I saw last week who referred me told me too because it may help push things along. I was a little hot the first few days of last week but all seemed to calm down when the orange coloured urine stopped. Read and was told that this was bile being passed in the urine due to it being backed up to a blockage possibly because of a stone. The reason why I ask because I work in a gp surgery as a receptionist and I’m think the doctors I work for and my manger think I’m playing on it a bit and by god I wish I was I’d rather be in work than have this pain. 

      I was off for two weeks the first time and was back a week and 3 days and was off sick again on the Thursday and Friday of and all of last week. Planning on having this week off too. I’ve no idea what causes my flare ups they just seem to happen in my eyes. 

      But yes unfortunately I know it can take months for an appointment at outpatients and then whatever after I’m seen there if they decide surgery. 

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    • Posted

      I have a gallbladder full of stones have done for 20 years make sure they don't fob you off and tell them you want it removed, like me and lieft it because it will come back and bight you in the A$$ later in life.

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    • Posted

      Yeah I won’t be letting it slide... if I tried my husband definitely wouldn’t. He was so angry after the first time I went to a&e and all the said was it sounded like gallstones and that was it. No scan done or arranged just sent home. 

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    • Posted

      Unless any of them have had gallbladder issues then they have no idea how painful it is. I was off almost 2 weeks with the first flare up too but was misdiagnosed as having a Urine infection. I wasn’t back at work between the hospital admissions as was way too sore and felt way too sick. Work in a hospital so know exactly what you’re going through. Only you know how bad it feels so don’t let work get to you. One of the GP’s sent me up to the surgical unit with cholecystitis and said that I should get bumped up the waiting list with that. Think she must have had gallbladder issues as didn’t patronise me like some had. 

      I ended up taking painkillers constantly and tried loads of different anti sickness medicines to try and feel better enough to work. Never worked though. Don’t hesitate to ask your GP to sign you off! xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Leeann, it may be that your gallbladder isn't working correctly as well hence why your bloods came back as normal. They wouldn't know from an ultrasound and I hope you've been referred to see a gastroenterologist.

    Stick to a plain and simple diet or on foods that don't come back up again. Keep your pain relief up as I'm afraid it generally gets worse until you have your gallbladder removed as in my case. 

    I went through a point that everything I ate came back up and what is right for one person isn't for the next. I lost so much weight and didn't need too either. My diet was simple, jacket potatoes, pasta perhaps a little rice but stay away from high fat, high sugar, spicy and dairy can do it too.

    In my case it was my gallbladder that wasn't functioning and the pain ended up being continuous and various degrees of severity.

    Don't hesitate to go back to a&e but you do need that referral to a gastro so thay can do any further tests. Quite often they do a gastroscopy to check that you haven't any ulcers and they'll take some biopsies to check for other illnesses to rule things out to make sure that it is the gallstone that is causing the pain, as many people live with gallstones and never have any symtoms.

    Let me know how you get on. Take care.

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    • Posted

      I haven’t been referred yet to gastro. Just got a referral last Monday to surgery outpatients. My own gp two weeks ago gave me a script to do a test for helicobacter. Which I haven’t gotten around to doing yet due to being so ill. 

      The ultrasound did show stones but the doctor didn’t go into detail as to size if there was a lot. I’m certainly keeping on top of my pain relief at present. I’ve little appetite at the minute anyway but I don’t know if that’s my body just protecting itself from the evil food haha 

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    • Posted

      Thats good that you've got an appointment, I expect you'll see a gastro then and they'll give you all the details.

      I was the same, I was scared to eat encase I was sick again but try and find something but only eat very small amounts, that is easier for your body to  process.

      Keep me updated on everything. Take care.

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  • Posted

    I know exactly how your feeling I’m due for surgery tomorrow to have my gallbladder removed. I suffer awful with the pains that go on to last days had many trips to a&e even been refered to the surgical ward but each time they just sent me home with co codamol as my bloods where all normal. Finally got my scan date then had a consultation about 3 weeks ago then had the phone call a week later to say that they had had a cancellation and wanted to offer it to me. Hopefully you get sorted soon xx

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