Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Long Awaited Update, TTT Style!

I know, I'm a terrible blogger. I've kept you all in the dark and waiting for the update on my gallbladder situation. I've just been so frustrated, I haven't even wanted to write about it. So here's what I know...

1. I went for my MRI last week. I'm not claustrophobic at all, but man that tube was tiny! My doc wanted me to have the test done on a very specific machine, and let me tell you, it was a tight fit. I had to go in with my hands over my head, and once inside I couldn't move. Both arms were touching the sides of the machine. My shoulders fell asleep! I had to ask to be pulled out half way through the test so that I could stretch them out. I had muscle spasms for 2 days after the test.

2. On Thursday the surgeon called to tell me that, once again, the radiologist couldn't find any sign of a gallbladder. Are you freaking kidding me?
What the hell...did aliens come down and take it back to the mother ship?

3. I called the imaging place and asked to speak the the Radiologist directly. Do you know how hard that is? I was told that Radiologists don't normally have patient contact. They work doctor to doctor. Must be nice to be paid loads of money and not have to deal with patients EVER. Well, I complained enough that he called me back.
Would you believe the douche asked me if I was sure I'd never had my gallbladder removed?
Ummmm, wouldn't that leave a scar? Yeah, you'd have scars from that.
Well, then NO, I never had my damn gallbladder removed because I have no scars!

4. My primary doc called to say he got the results of the scan as well. He's baffled. I asked if it was possible that I'd been born without a gallbladder. Yes, possible, but not probable. It's very rare. I likely would have had symptoms long ago when I had a fatty diet.
He wants me to have a blood test to see if my liver enzymes are OK.  *sigh*

5. Primary doc also told me what the Radiologist prick wouldn't.
I do have a very small, non-cancerous tumor on my liver. It's nothing to worry about, and they're very common. Many people have them and never know about it because they don't get the kind of scan I just had. Good to know.

6. I was supposed to see my band surgeon on Friday. I figure since I wasn't having surgery (because the aliens already have my gallbladder), he could fit me in for yet another un-fill, in hopes of some relief.
He actually gave me his cell phone # and asked that I call him when I'm in town so he could tell me where to meet him. Super nice.
BUT, when I called, he didn't answer. A while later his secretary called to tell me the doc was out of town for one of his kids sporting events. Apparently he forgot about it.
I'm losing faith in doctors these days.

7. I decided that I need to slowly, and very carefully start adding food back into my diet. I can't live on liquids forever.
I started with a gluten free/dairy free frozen mac and cheese dinner thingy. It was freaking delicious! Probably because I hadn't eaten anything warm in a month, but man, I could have eaten a vat of that stuff.
It's almost $5 a serving. And it's 500 calories. And way too many carbs. But it was good while it lasted.
No pain after eating it was worth the $5.

8. Since the mac and cheese experiment, I've also had good luck with plain hummus, soy yogurt, and very ripe avocado. Tonight I might try oatmeal. Such an exciting life I lead.

9. During this awful, and painful time, I have discovered that I'm severely lactose intolerant. Be careful what you ask for people, because I used to say I wish I didn't like pudding and chocolate so much. Now I can't even have so much as a chocolate chip without it causing vomiting.
I'm beginning to think this is how it all started. I had a bad reaction to dairy and it just snowballed from there.
I'm now dairy free and the last time I had pain was Sunday.
I'm being very careful and reading every label. I'll do anything to avoid getting sick like that again.

10. Homeostasis is a jerk. The human body will do whatever it can to maintain balance, and get back to where it feels it belongs. Since adding small amounts of food back into my diet I've already gained 3 pounds. My body wants to be at 160, not 157. It will fight me every step of the way to get there.
Big Ole Jerk!

That's about all I know for now. I'm trying not to focus too much on the negative at this point. I'm sure some day it'll all get figured out. For now I'm doing what I can to keep things under control and be pain free.
I'll get the blood test done next week.

Have a great weekend folks.
Be well!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

An Update While I Vent

Allow me to fill you in on what's been going on, while I vent...because if I don't, I just might sit here and cry.

On Wednesday I finally had my ultrasound appointment that was supposed to show if my gallbladder had crapped the bed on me or not. I couldn't wait for this day to arrive. I was ready for some answers!

I was in there for over an hour. The technician took a bunch of pics, left the room, and came back only to do it all over again.
She told me the Radiologist was unable to see what he needed to see.
She took all the shots again, and some more for good measure, and sent me on my way. She told me they would be in touch.

The next day I get a call from my SURGEON...HE actually called me his cute self, and not a secretary or nurse.
He told me he spoke to the radiologist and he was NOT HAPPY.
Um, what's up?
Apparently, this Radiologist claims that he was completely unable to find the gallbladder!
My docs exact words...

"In all my years of practicing, I have never heard of not being able to find the gallbladder, unless of course it had already been surgically removed!".

Being that my surgeon is in Illinois, and I am now in Wisconsin, he's frustrated. He knows all the Radiologists in his area, and obviously doesn't know what kind of quacks he's dealing with here, only receiving information over the phone.
He cannot in good faith just go in and remove my gallbladder without a definitive diagnosis. Even though I'm exhibiting all the symptoms, he needs to see what's going on in there.

I need more tests.

He wants me to go for a very fancy pants (and very expensive) MRI, done on a special machine, with contrast dye.
OF COURSE, that sort of scan can only be done at certain times, and at a specific location, so once again I have to wait.
They can't get me in until Wednesday.

Have I mentioned that I haven't eaten solid food in almost a month? 

Yeah, that's fun.

I will be back in Illinois next weekend so my surgeon is holding a spot on his schedule for Friday morning, assuming I need surgery. That means those results better be ready and faxed immediately if I have any hopes of getting this thing out of me!

I'm tired. I want answers. I want food!
I haven't eaten red meat in more than 20 years but right now I'd eat a burger if I could.

Mother's day is going to suck.
I can't eat. The family wants to take me out. Where the hell could I go?
"Um, could you just bring me a bowl of chicken broth please?". I don't think so.
I've requested a Mother's Day do-over once things are back to normal. I wonder if things will ever be back to normal. Will I ever eat again?

All this waiting is causing more distress because now I sit here thinking about things like...If it isn't my gallbladder, then what could it be? Cancer?
Gah!

So, that's what has been going on in my life lately. Sorry to be Debbie Downer here.
I'll keep you posted about the MRI as soon as I know the results.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's LIke Nesting

You know when you're almost ready to have a baby and you start to do everything around the house to prepare for the little bundle and everyone says "You're nesting!"?

That's me. Only I'm not having a baby. I'm preparing in case of emergency surgery.

Yesterday was pretty brutal. I spent the entire morning in bed, just trying to sleep. I felt so unbelievably exhausted.
Then, in the afternoon I got a burst of energy. It was at that time when I realized I need to do lots of stuff in preparation of being out of commission for a week.
I did laundry and cleaned up as much as possible. I put clothes away and vacuumed.

This morning I wasn't exhausted like yesterday so I ran a load of laundry and the dish washer. I swept the kitchen.
I keep thinking I gotta' get it all done because I'll be down and out from surgery, and hubby will be busy enough just trying to keep 2 kids busy and on schedule.

Now, I say all this without even having an official diagnosis, but hey, I'm a planner!

The good news is that the awful heartburn/reflux seems to be gone. No more nasty taste in the back of my throat. Now I'm just dealing with this awful dizziness and of course, the continued inability to eat solid food.
I'm living on protein shakes and Lactaid ice cream.
This sucks!

So, one more day of this craziness until I find out what's going on in there.
In the meantime, I'll be cleaning my house!

More info. to come.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

An Update

Things are getting worse, almost by the minute.

I have an appointment for the gallbladder ultrasound on Wednesday am. I'm on the cancellation list in hopes of getting in sooner.
Last night was horrible. The pain went from the rib cage area and wrapped around to the middle of my back. I tried the heating pad, I tried tea, nothing helped until I threw up the contents of my stomach. Then, sweet relief.

Today no rib cage pain and no back ache, but that's likely because I haven't eaten much in the way of solid food. I'm afraid of another attack so I'm keeping to the liquids like a good patient.

Today the issue is different. Today I'm exhausted beyond belief. I've never felt like this before. Not even after having babies. Not even after my band surgery. It's awful.

I actually woke up feeling OK. I hurried up and did some dishes and laundry, knowing my energy level wouldn't last. I took my daughter to pick out a leotard for dance class. As soon as we got home I had to take a nap, despite sleeping soundly all night.

After my nap we took the kids outside in the yard. I tried to dig around in the garden a little, trying to be at least a little productive. Each time I stood up I was so dizzy I thought I would pass out on the spot.
My husband kept telling me to go sit down and take it easy.
I'm not exactly the 'take it easy' type of girl.
I'm the girl who continued to clean the house and weed the garden after getting a concussion.
I'm the girl who sweeps and mops the floors after a C-section, ignoring the doctors orders to not over-do it.

This taking it easy stuff is for the birds!

All I can think about is putting the laundry away, and how I'm going to get through the Sunday school lesson tomorrow (God forbid I find a sub!).
I'm thinking about how I can get through the work day on Monday, and if I can work out on Tuesday. Wondering if I should cancel my volunteer shift at the school on Tuesday afternoon.

My mind does not rest.

I took a second nap this afternoon, and still feel like I need to be in bed.

I've already told my husband that if they tell me there's nothing wrong with my gallbladder on Wednesday, just take me to the hospital and leave me there. There's something wrong with me.

I'll update as I know  more.
In the meantime, if any of my readers have had their gallbladder out, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ten Things Thursday!

OK people, it's Thursday, and we all know what that means.
Let's get to the randomness...

1. I admit I blame Phil (the band) for everything. I don't trust him. I don't think I ever have. So, every time something goes wrong, like I'm sick, can't eat, have heartburn, etc...I blame Phil.
I guess having a foreign object in your body will do that to a person.
When I went in for my Upper GI and the surgeon told me everything looked great, perfect in fact, I was shocked. I felt like saying "You're kidding me? How can that be?".
It's my constant distrust of Good ole Phil.

Well, it has recently come to my attention that what has been happening to me is NOT band related. Well, it sort of is, in a very round about way.

You see, I'm apparently having gallbladder issues.

Remember about a month ago when I was having so much pain I thought I was in labor and had food poisoning all at the same time? I blamed lactose intolerance, and Phil.
I went in and got an un-fill, which gave me very temporary relief.
The truth is, the pain and vomiting has come back on and off since then. I kept blaming my food choices, lactose intolerance, and of course, Phil!
A friend at work mentioned her gallbladder issues, so I looked it up.

Hello! I have all the freaking symptoms on the list!

I emailed the nurse at my surgeons office, with a list of my symptoms. She called me today and said yup, sure sounds like gallbladder. Let's get an ultrasound to be sure.
Although I won't be happy to be having yet another surgery, I'll sure be jumping for joy to get to the bottom of these tummy troubles, and be back to normal again!

And, the round about way that this is still sort of Phil's fault? Well, weight loss surgery patients quite often end up having the gallbladder removed. Especially women.
Sorry Phil. I had to go there!

2. Do you eat all your colors?


My kids doctor is really big on the whole 'eat 5 colors a week' thing. So, I made them a chart so we could have fun keeping track. Today I bought little stickers so they can put one on their chart each time they eat a color. I doubt this will encourage them to eat broccoli, but who knows. Worth a try.

3. We live in a pretty rural area. Not exactly 'po-dunk' but let's put it this way...we have more farms than stores, and there's nothing within walking distance from our house.
That means we get loads of wildlife in our yard.

I only got 7 in this pic. There were 2 more off to the left.

Yesterday we saw NINE deer. It was the whole fam damily. 7 adults and 2 babies. It made me happy to know that 2 babies were born out back during this harsh winter, and they survived. So sweet.
You can click on the pic to make it bigger.

4. Oh loose skin, how I loathe you.



5. There's a Goldfinch who keeps throwing himself against my sun room window. What the heck does he want? There's nothing in here for him. Go away little freak bird!

6. What the What?! When did this happen?

"small"
OK, truth be told, I am NOT a small in anything but t-shirts, and I can't even believe that's possible.
I was telling the hubs the other day that all my t-shirts are too big in the neck and shoulders and it really bugs me. I'm severely lacking in the 'ta-ta' department as well, so there's nothing to hold the shirts up where they belong.

His suggestion? Buy a small.
Um, this is ME you're talking about. I can't be a small.
Helloooooo...if your Mediums are too big in the neck and shoulders, doesn't it make sense that you should try a small?

So I did it. I went into the dressing room with a couple smalls and a couple mediums.
Lo and behold the smalls fit right where they're supposed to in the neck and shoulders, and don't fall down in front.
Well, duh! Took me long enough to figure that one out. Body image issues much?
Nobody ever accused me of being a genius.

7. While in the process of cleaning out my closet yesterday and changing things over for summer weather, I discovered I have 5 pair of denim capris. FIVE. Who needs 5 pair of essentially the same thing?
I do believe I just may be in a fashion rut.
If anyone wants the job of my stylist, I'm currently taking applications.

8. We normally go out for ice cream for my birthday and Mother's Day. We can't do that this year since I can't have dairy, unless I feel like puking for the 4 hours following the ice cream. So...I bought all the fixings to make sundaes at home.
I bought the kids 2 kinds of frozen yogurt, and Lactaid ice cream for me.
Not as fun as going out for something really ooey gooey, and naughty, but it'll have to do for now.

9. It's raining like a monsoon out there now. The Goldfinch has finally left, presumably to take cover.
'Bout time.

10. Right now I'm having cramps and feel like I'm going to lose my tea. I hate my gallbladder. Good times.

Have a great night people.
Stay well!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Things I Know For Sure

I remember back when Oprah started her column about "What I know for Sure". I thought it was pretty cool.
Now I have a few things I know for sure, and I'd like to share them wtih you...

1. You can't take several months off from kick boxing and then think you can go back like some bad ass fitness expert and pick up where you left off.
No siree!
Last Tuesday I went back to Body Combat for the first time in months. I kicked some serious butt in that class, mostly my own. The next day I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. Twice. Oh, the pain.
Lesson learned. Keep at it and don't go soft!

2. Rapid weight loss without the benefit of proper nutrition and consistent exercise is the perfect recipe for loose skin.
When I went through that horrible bout of sickness and not being able to eat for almost 2 weeks, I lost weight quickly and was not consistently going to the gym. I still did my cardio every day but it wasn't enough.
The loose skin on my arms is atrotious. I've never seen anything like it. When I'm punching in my combat class, things are flapping around so much it's actually embarrassing.
I am now the not so proud owner of Granny Arms. Pictures will have to be later, since I'm at work today.

3. Exercise Matters.
Ah, we all know it. We've heard it time and again. Exercise is an important part of the journey, right? Well, yesterday I dragged out all my summer clothes to begin the process of changing the closet over.
I tried on several pair of capris and shorts from last year.
I actually weigh a couple of pounds less than I did last year but my clothes don't seem to fit right. Everything feels tight at the waist.
What's different this year?
Well, last year at this time the hubby and I had been doing Insanity almost every day. We followed the program from March untill June. My abs were tight! Not this year.
I still work out almost daily, but I'm doing different stuff, and like I said in #2, I've done less in recent months.
Time to kick it up a notch because Myrtle Beach is one month away!

So there you have my 3 pearls of wisdom for the day.
I hope you're able to get out and enjoy some nice weather today!