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If theres anyone new here that is still trying to get your hear around gallbladders and gallstones i hope my story will be able to help you.
Im currently 21 years old, healthy as the average person, exercise daily with my job. And finally figured out that theres a long family history of gallstones.
It started 5 years ago, i had the worst pain ever around the bottom of my rib cage. Stabbing, aching, all the different pain you could imagine. I remember being at my grandmas writhing in agony, crying for hours. There was no comfy postion that would ease the pain and no amount of painkillers would even remotely help. I went straight to the doctors who on examination put it down Chostochondritis. She told me it was where the cartilidge around the ribs would become inflamed for no apparent reason. It was common in young adults and would sort itself out in 6-8 weeks. They put me on codine which was then swapped for co-codamol as i was being sick. Then naproxen, but pain killers worked better than anti inflamatories for me.
The doctor refused to send me for a scan as she said because the pain always kept coming and going there was no guarentee the imflamation would should up on the scan and it would be a waste of time (looking back i really should of put my foot down!).
So 8 weeks past and i was still in agony. The pain was reducing but i was still on prescription painkillers. 1 year went on and still pain. Then 2. Then i gave up going to my GP as they wouldnt help. They didn't have a clue unfortunatly.
I learned to live with the pain, it would come and go in waves, mostly hitting me on my right side i would feel it and know nothing would be done so i chose to try and ignore it and get on with life. I struggled, it was horrible, but i felt like i was getting on everyones nerves.
Fast forward to 21st November 2016. A week before i had told my family my ribs were starting to flare up again. It hadn't happened in a few months so i knew this episode might be quite painful. But on that night the pain was excruciating and i decided to drive myself to an urgent care centre. (At the time i thought i was over reacting if i went to A&E). They were concerned with my heart so they took bloods and an ECG and some painkillers. (please roll your eyes, we all know simple painkillers dont help at all!). They didn't have a clue what was wrong with me as normal but by chance and a little bit of luck my bloods came back abnormal, and by procedure they had to keep me in overnight to moniter me.
This is where i met the brilliant doctor who took his time and explored the different possibilites of where the pain could be coming from. He identified that the pain wasnt coming from my ribs but actually below and immediately sent me for an ultrasound and xray. I was FINALLY told that i had a 3cm gallstone and my gallbladder was incredibly thick. They Ultrasound lady recommended i have it out as soon as to stop all this pain. They gave me liquid morphine and i was in bliss for the first time in 5 years.
Unfortunatly living in the UK we have to rely on the NHS, which i love, but can be very unreliable with scheduled operations. Fortunatly i have private health care with work so i decided to follow that route to get this sucker out. I recently had an Endoscopy as they wanted to make sure it was just the gallbladder making me ill... it wasnt! I also have a Hiatus Hernia! :-(
Im finally scheduled in for my operation next week (22nd Feb!) and i have my pre-op today. I'm absolutly terrified but after reading this back i think surgery is going to be the best option!
If you're having pain that you think is to do with your gallbladder and your symptoms fit, dont ignore it just because a doctor says no. You know your body, you want to get better!
Good luck to everyone!
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