And the Gallbladder is GONE!

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I highly recommend advocating for what you need with your healthcare providers. Approximately 11 years ago I began to complain of nausea and vomiting after eating a fatty meal. I could handle spicy just fine so I got told “oh just cut back on the fat.” I did and it worked pretty well. I avoided fast food and was okay for about a year. Then I began to eat more salmon and avocados and healthy fats. I got sick again. I went back to the doctor and they ordered a Hyda scan of the Gall bladder. I got so sick during the test. The test injects you with a substance that mimics fat and tricks the Gall Bladder. I got nauseated immediately and was so ill all day after that. The tech joked “Oh- that was bad- I bet you’ll be back here in a week for surgery.” Yet the doc said “my gall bladder was functioning and to go on a Gallbladder diet.” I did and again- was fine for a few years.

What began to stink is when we went out for a special meal and maybe there was cheesecake or a fatty dessert or even salmon as the entree- if I splurged- 3 hrs later I got sick. It was beginning to get old. We moved to IL and I had a Gall Bladder ultrasound- I was NOT doing the hyda scan again. They said “not bad enough to worry about.” So back on the low-fat Gallbladder diet again. I could handle it as the attacks only happened a few times a year. Well fast forward to 2017 and all of a sudden once a month no matter how much fat. Butter, a bit of oil etc- 3 hrs after consumption sick. I began a carb only diet- essentially with some lean protein and I gained  20 lbs. I was so mad. I went to my new doc and she suggested a Gall Bladder Ultrasound followed by a Hyda Scan. I cringed.

I happily got the ultrasound- they found a small Gall Bladder polyp. I skipped the Hyda Scan and made an appointment with a surgeon I trusted. Dr. Aki had done my son’s emergency appendectomy at our local hospital and I knew he did Gall Bladder surgery too. So I skipped the Hyda Scan and went straight to the surgeon. He was shocked I’d been dealing with this for years. He was upset to think that a bad hydascan- even if the Gallbladder appeared to be functional warranted extraction of the Gall Bladder based on symptoms alone. For me- he was more concerned about the polyp. Apparently all polyps in the Gallbladder eventually become cancer. Because it was small- he suspected it would come back as pre-cancerous and with the Gall bladder coming out- no further treatment would be warranted. I had my surgery on Tuesday.

Already- I feel better- in pain mind you as pain meds and I do not get along (I get nauseaus and I’ve had enough nausea for the past 11 yrs I am not going to do that again). But food wise- I already ate refried beans with rice and chicken and NOTHING happened. I had butter on a bagel and NADA. NOTHING. I am in shock. I feel so good. The pain will pass and I’ll be up and around in a few more days so they say. But geesh- it’s gone and I can EAT again.

I hope to get back on my healthy fats diet and less carbs and I hope to lose the 20 lbs I put on since last June. I am beyond excited. The surgeon said “I’m glad you came to me. Patients need to know that it’s ok to skip their doc and go straight to the surgeon. If you have compelling symptoms, any surgeon would have helped you.” I had never been referred to one before so I never talked to anyone but the primary care physicians. I am excited and happy that I finally advocated for myself.

As in all things in life- the squeaky wheel gets the oil and in this case the surgery. I am thankful and grateful and so pleased. And WOW- surgery was at 8am to 9:30am on Tuesday and I was home and in the house by 3pm that day. I’m on day 3 after surgery and I’m a bit sore but functional. No lifting, no driving but I can do laundry if someone takes it out for me. I can load the dishwasher and unload it. I can catch up on bills and online computer work. So it’s all good. All I know is I am so looking forward to going back East and eating Lobster and dipping it in BUTTER!!!

So next time you need something and your gut says you need better answers, seek them. It’s important in this day and age to advocate for yourself. My primary was thrilled the surgeon was in agreement. She only recommended the Hyda Scan as insurance states that is the order you do things. I am glad I skipped it. Bye Gallbladder- I will not miss you!

"These are X-Rays of your operation, and this  is a selfie I took with your gall bladder."

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