Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bad Gall Bladder Symptoms

The year I was sick, I had a collection of seemingly random symptoms.  Some of the things I went to the Doctor for and some I didn't.  some of the symptoms I had for YEARS.  Some are on lists of gall bladder failure symptoms and some are not.  If someone is going through the same things I did, I would like them to know they are not alone and all of those things DO mean something. Some of them I noticed at the time and some I didn't notice until after my gall bladder was out. Here are the symptoms I had long before I was throwing up every 10 minutes with abdominal cramping.

*  Intense Headaches on the right side of the head
*  Right side of the face swollen disproportionately to the left
*  Right side back pain
*  Right side lung pain
*  Right side lung swelling and causing pleurisy
*  Right side arm pit smelled worse than the left, impervious to deodorant
*  Lactose Intolerance symptoms 
*  Faint pain in the gall bladder area
*  Abnormally greasy skin and hair
*  Faded lip color 
*  Frequent throwing up
*  Frequent Diarrhea

Keep in mind while reading my time line that all of these things were gradual and seemingly random.  It's not until I looked back at all of it that I realized how much sense it made.

When I was in high school, I worked at Wendy's.  I started having sever stomach cramps.  Doctors couldn't figure out why.  They put me on a restrictive diet and gave me muscle relaxers to help with the pain.  I eventually decided that it was lactose intolerance and began avoiding most dairy foods.  That seemed to keep things under control.  

My sophomore year of college I ate Mcdonalds and puked for a week.  Finals week actually, it was horrific.  besides that time, I can think of quite a few times I was prone to puking.  Times like eating pizza.  My friends would eat pizza that had been sitting out but I refused because one time I had pizza sit out for an hour, ate it, and threw up. One time I drank a glass of vitamin D milk with doughnuts, and threw up.   Christmas.  I got sick every Christmas.  Do you know what happens at Christmas?  Lots of eating things with butter and milk and fat fat fat!  I said my stomach didn't have the right bacteria to let food sit out and eat it.  The truth was my gall bladder was crap.

Around 5 years before my gall bladder came out I noticed that my right arm pit was smellier than the other.  I was also starting to notice a faint pain where my gall bladder was.  What is right here?  I would ask people pointing.  They always said there wasn't anything, and I never looked it up.  

4 years before I couldn't keep up with how greasy my hair was.  I couldn't skip a shower or I would look like I hadn't bathed in a week.  My skin was always greasy to touch and my lips were starting to lose their color.  These were all slow gradual things that I really didn't notice how bad they are getting.

The headaches are hard to pinpoint a time frame.  It was definitely in the same 4-5 year time frame.  I get a lot of headaches, I still do.  But the headache I use to have, and that has disappeared since the removal, was horrible.  It was only on the right side of my head and no pain medication touched it.  A doctor gave me migraine medication, but they weren't migraines.  I also could not take the pills frequently enough for them to be of any use.

Then came the last year I had a gall bladder.  It has quite the final performance.  My right lung swelled up, I thought I was having a heart attack because I couldn't breathe and I had chest pains.  They ultimately decided it was pleurisy and put me on steroids.  But it didn't help.  It was still hard to breathe and I was still getting intense lung pain.  They sent me to a lung doctor.  He said it must be asthma, gave me pain medication for constant and intense back lung pain, and sent me on my way.  At most points in 2011 I was on at least 3 pain medications on top of whatever else they happened to have me on.

The right side of my face was swollen.  I looked like a gargoyle.  My mother was the only one who noticed.  I tried to tell people, but they just shrugged me off and said I was being to hard on myself or that I was seeing things.  When I show them pictures now they are amazed they didn't see it.  People are very unobservant. 

June 2011:

June 2012:

 My left side is naturally bigger than my right, I am very lopsided.

So, were where we?  I was ill and no one knew why.  I was on a lot of medication for my symptoms but none of it was really doing anything.  Then, one night, my husband and I got pizza for dinner.  I woke up at 2 am and threw up every 10 minutes.  It didn't stop until I had two of the anti nausea shots.  I was also having intense abdominal cramping, which is why the urgent care sent me to the emergency room.  That would be trip 2 in three months for those of you playing at home.  A multitude of tests later, and at least a month of eating nothing, and I finally got the call I had been waiting a year for.  Something was wrong and I had a test to prove it.  

" Kelly, this is Dr.C.  Your gall bladder is a mess, I am setting up an appointment with a surgeon."

My gall bladder surgery is the best thing I ever did for myself.  It is not with out it's repercussions, but they are completely manageable.  It is a list of side effects I would trade again every time for the list I use to have.

*  Scars
*  Abdominal discomfort at the incision sites with exercise
*  Can not eat straight oil, like salad dressing or dipping your bread in oil.
*  I have to limit oil and fat intake, but not as much as I did pre surgery.

The things that got better?

* Skin tone
* Less greasy
* Better lip color
* Normal Shaped face
* Both arm pits smell the same
* Less headaches
* No throwing up
* Diarrhea only if I over did it on fats or oils
* No more lung pain
* My lung has not recovered fully from 2011 but it has never flared up again.

That was my experience.  No gall stones, just a gall bladder that refused to work and tried to take everything else down with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment