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Firstly - sorry this first post of mine is so long - I am not thinking straight out of fear and panic, and can't summarise what's in my head, to save my life atm. I guess, the important bit is at the end of the post.
I finally conceed - I am an emotional wreck and desperately need some support, and those around me have 'given up' because I am the only one to decide what to do.
Had a big attack that lasted 10 days, in Feb 09. Scared me witless. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) over being touched and washing, so only went to the Doctor after a week of pain. I had been having Gallstone attacks for about 3 years, and investigated all the symptoms and as the attack occurred, treated each symptom individully with a combo of over the counter meds, and prescription pain-killers. The Doctors on the NHS Direct line were very impressed with my logic and said they couldn't have treated better. However, they reccommended I physically see the GP, which I couldn't because of my OCD.
Anyway, finally gave in, and went to seek help physically. The Doctor seemed nice enough, sent me for a blood test, and a scan. Which showed Multiple stones, and a highly contracted Gallbladder. I have been in mild discomfort at all the times since Feb, but I have been in bed a lot(lost my job a week before the attact cos cutbacks) with little energy and depression over the gallbladder issue, and so if lying in certain positions I am completely painfree, but must admit am afraid to get up much, let alone leave the house much in case I get massive pain. So this is as much about fear as about living I guess. However I can always feel my gallbladder as a niggle which gets sore, if I am upright for too long.
In the interim, in order to calm the panic of the OCD, I did investigations, found a surgery type that my OCD considered ok, found the surgeon, and spoke to him on the phone. And from there....it kinda went lopsided. Surgeon said \"You can have a completely normal life after, no worries\". He also did not understand OCD. This makes it difficult for me, as it is a mental health issue, that resulted from a car crash, being handled badly as I was cut out the car, talked about badly as I was then 19stones, and then put in a dirty hospital bed and being unable to get out of it for a long time. Anyway - he brushed off the condition cheerily as if it were nothing, even though I tried to explain, \"when you get your head round it, give me a call, we will see you and have it done within 24hours if you are private\". I am going Private with him, although he does NHS, as the OCD will kill me with mental pain, if I have to wait and wait. So even though I in no way trust the surgeon because of the OCD issue, I planned June 18th-ish, in my head, as a surgical time for me, as I hate my birthday anyway, one more stress on that date won't make a difference, but at the same time, I wanted to investigate my options.
Good ole internet! As I was reading about Gallstone Flushes, though have heard it is NOT suitable for Highly Contracted Gallbladders as complications can in some cases occur, and I started also reading about people's bad experiences after surgery. The disorder was called Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome. The number of posts all over the web saying \"Worst thing I ever did\" sent me into tailspin panics, and this is where I am now.
You see the problem is, I spent my life as a child with constant gut pain, diarreoha to the point of soiling myself, and therefore in school being beaten up because of the smell, and IBS and allergies, etc. Then about 8years ago, I found out about how bad the diet Artificial Sweeteners were, and so cut them out. I also ate more fruit, and changed my diet a little (admittedly still not the healthiest), and 5years ago was completely pain free. I actually started living. It has been amazing! And I relished it. Then 3yrs ago - the first attack. Having seen my mum in agony with stones, and how her surgery went, I immediately low fat dieted myself, and also cut out refined sugars, and a lot of bread. I learnt my trigger foods, and was coping, albeit I missed the treats.
Gallstones were actually good for me. I have ZERO discipline when walking around supermarkets, and so they were a bit like Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy, meaning I was being trained by my body NOT to eat the foods I enjoyed. LOL. And obviously there was weight loss. ?It was a win/win thing for a while - even if an agonising win.
The problem now is that, having been filled with stories of pain and suffering as a result of surgery, I am petrified of being the pain-ridden, bed-ridden, no social life, afraid of soiling myself, and having gripping gut pains, little girl again. It scares me soooo much. And I also eat red meat a lot, something which people keep saying is a no-no after surgery, and they also say no dairy. At the moment, I can still eat a natural grilled lean steak - as I always have done, and a little cheese. These I used to react badly off when I was younger, and it scares me that I am going to be back on the clear soup and fruit and only a couple of vegetables bland diet I used to be on as a kid. It made me hate food, afraid to eat out, and worry about meeting friends in case they wanted to eat out.
It didn't help that the surgeon was soooo positive about it all. If he'd have said from the start that there can be issues, I'd have not been so good at the negatives of surgery research. I'm a fool unto myself.
So here I am. In bed, bawling my eyes out, and uncomfortable but not unbearably so in the gallbladder area, not knowing what to do.
The doctor said I have multiple stones in a highly contracted Gallbladder, and can wait till the next attack, or be referred. He said I have no inflammation or infection in my Gallbladder, no Liver function impairment, no high blood Cholestral levels, or other problems, and all stones are in the Gallbladder. It's up to me. Although he did not know that Gallstones are Cholestral related, or the difference between a contracted or distended gallbladder! However, going self paying, privately, if I do the op route, things will move very fast now as I've already had all the tests.
Half of me says as my body is in a relatively good state now, have it done to avoid emergency surgery and a possible longer hospital stay, and have my limited control, have it done now and hope the recovery is a little quicker because of my 'well' state now, and at least the mental battle changes to a different one. And yet the other half of me screams loudly - you will be in pain and suffering for the rest of your life, on a non-entity diet, which will make your body go into the agonising spasms that you had as a child. On the other hand, look at me now - home-bound by fear of pain, and not exactly living, but rotting in bed, thinking and thinking and thinking, and reading more and more bad stuff about it all on the web!
I don't know what to do. Im just so very scared of the future and the pain and diareohha, and stuck in a pit of indecision on what to do next.
Any thoughts greatfully received.
So very very sorry that the post is so long. I can't think straight at the moment.
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