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I thought I would give a (probably long!) update as I've had quite the week! Very long story short, after 12 months of at least 2/3 attacks per week, I ended up having emergency gallbladder surgery this week.
Last Monday morning I woke at 4am with the excruitiating pain. I ended up in A&E on morphine, which did nothing. They kept me overnight, and the surgeon and his team of junior docs came to see me the next morning around 9am and literally could not get me into surgery quick enough. I was prepped and in surgery by 11.45am, after 31 hours of constant agony. I don't remember them giving me any drugs to fall asleep. I know I got the anti-sickness med and then he had barely put the mask over my face and I was out. I know I got back on the ward at 3.20pm, hooked to the morphine drip (yay, fun times!), and the rest of the day was a blur. I do remember that one of the junior doctors just kept telling me that my gallbladder was huge. Nothing else, just that it was huge!
The next day they explained that my gallbladder had actually ruptured and was exploding bile everywhere inside. Also, it was that inflamed it was at least 3 times the size of what it should have been. He demonstrated the size with his hands (which granted, were bigger than mine!) and mine measures out to 11 inches. He said that they'd had to consider converting to an open surgery, luckily they managed to make the incisions larger to get it out, but it had been a struggle. I ended up spending 3 nights in hospital, and experienced quite a lot of pain in those first few days, and had 48 hours of antibiotics.
I'm hoping not to tempt fate here but so far, so good. I'm still sore and getting tired easily, but I guess that's to be expected after surgery full stop, let alone the craziness that happened. I've only had one bowel movement since the surgery, but it was regular. I'm slowly reintroducing food and mostly just eating whatever my body is craving which seems to be biscuits and chocolate, which is the complete opposite to my usual tastes! I had an Indian takeaway last night, just a chicken korma and naan and was fine. I'm still having the sharp shoulder pains from the gas, I'm guessing, but I've been able to sleep on my side since last night. I'm hoping things stay as smooth as they are going right now.
Apparantly, I've been incredibly lucky, both with the surgeon that I got who is supposedly one of the best in the area and one of the few that would have even attempted keyhole in a situation like mine, and also lucky that they managed to get it out when they did. The first few days were rough, and I imagine the severity of it was why I had a longer hospital stay but other than that, it's just niggly pains that I imagine will settle down once I've recovered.
I just wanted to share my experience so that firstly, anybody who is experiencing the biliary colic (a surgeon confirmed for me!) knows to get to A&E ASAP since it can go south very quickly. But also, there aren't many happy ending stories out here, and while mine hasn't ended yet & I realise things could change at any point, so far it hasn't been as horrific as I expected. I'm mostly ok, people are amazed at how quickly I'm bouncing back and the difference in me after each nap! It's been a rough week but the first thing I really remember thinking when I woke up (after the confusion!) was how grateful I was to have that agony gone. I'm still apprehensive, but right now any pain & niggles I'm having outweigh that pain from the colic any day! Fingers crossed for a continued happy ending!
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