Monday, December 21, 2009

Do not ignore the pain...

Well, it's easy for me to say that now!  For three weeks I had been experiencing some pretty significant pain.  I didn't blog about it because I thought "TMI" and that nobody would want to hear about it.  But then I realized that I really SHOULD blog about it so that everyone realizes that this process isn't always sunshine and rainbows, and that it definitely ISN'T the "easy way out" like so many seem to think.

At first I thought the pain was due to constipation which has been an issue from the beginning.  When you're eating so little, and most of that is dense protein, you're going to have issues.  Miralax is my new best friend, and I have to use it at least three times a week just to stay regular.  When the pain I've been experiencing didn't go away even after good "results", I knew it was something else.

It is common for someone with rapid weight loss to experience problems with their gall bladder.  I knew this, but guess I was in denial.  I didn't want to have to admit I needed another surgery and would have to miss more work.  So I put off going to the doctor.  I did call my surgeon last week to get my 3 month follow-up moved up so he could see me.  I never made it to the appointment.

On Thursday (Dec 17th) I went to school as usual even though I was in considerable pain.  It was so bad that I didn't eat anything even knowing that I HAVE to eat.  I just had a protein shake.  I managed to make it through 2 classes but couldn't fool my sister (she's the teacher for period 3) who insisted I go to the ER.  I'm so glad we work together.  If she hadn't made me, I'd probably still be suffering through this.  So she had me call mom and I drove as far as TI to meet dad.  He took me on up to Wilson.  Paul met us there.

Well, seems everyone in the triple cities needed the ER that day, so we sat there from 10:30 to 3:00 before I even saw a nurse.  Then another 2 hours and finally saw a doctor.  I asked them to consult Dr. Tvetenstrand, and then things finally started moving along.  Dr. T admitted me and ordered a hidascan (I think that's how you spell it... it's a nuclear imaging test anyway).  He said I had the classic symptoms of a bad gall bladder and would most likely remove it Friday afternoon.

So off I go to spend the night in the hospital.  THANK GOD for pain medication!  You never realize just how much you hurt until the pain is no longer there!

The next morning around 10 am they take me down for the scan.  It took 1 1/2 hours.  I have to admit I was really nervous that they wouldn't find anything wrong since the pain meds were working.  I thought for sure the scan would come back negative.  I had nothing to worry about though, because Dr. T said when he came in later that my scan was "very abnormal" and that he was taking me to the OR.  So at 4pm on Friday I had my gall bladder removed.  After I was back in my room Dr. T came in to discuss the procedure and said I didn't have any stones, but it was full of very tiny crystals.  He said he didn't know how I managed to function as long as I did with the obvious pain I must have been in.  Told y'all I have a high pain tolerance and when I say it hurts, it HURTS!

Funny how having surgery for something like that didn't make me nearly as nervous as the bypass itself.  The only thing I felt was relief that my pain would soon be over.

The surgery went well, and I spent an additional night in the hospital.  Came home at 4 pm on Saturday.  I do have to say that I am pretty sore from the procedure.  Maybe it's because I don't have as much fat padding my insides and the instruments bruised me more.  Not sure but it HURTS.  I can't lay flat in bed yet, something I was really proud of myself for after the bypass.  But then again, this is the second major surgery in 3 months and my body has changed a lot over that time.

Each day gets a little better as far as pain goes, so I'm sure by the time school starts again after Christmas break I'll be more than ready to go back.  It was actually pretty good timing.  I'll only miss 5 days of school, and got it taken care of before the huge increase in out of pocket insurance expenses with Paul's "new" insurance plan.  Gotta love Corporate and their "it will be better in the long run" approach... better for them maybe, but I can't even imagine what our bills are going to be like if anything major happens next year....

 I just went back and looked at my last few entries and realized that I didn't post recent pics!  These are from 12/12/09 at my hubby's Christmas party.  I'm down 102lbs since my high weight (I've gained back 4 of that post op, but mostly fluid and swelling... should be gone by next week)..

Also, Devan and I were in a car accident on 12/4/09.  We're both ok, obviously, but my "Flower Power" van is no more.  I do want to share a pic with you though that shows just how durable the Decor Elements are!  She (the person who hit me) wiped out the entire driver side of my van, but didn't rip the decor element!


  1. Hi Tina :)
    I too have had bypass surgery. It will be 2 years in February. To date I have lost 132#. I still have about 20 to go but am haveing a real hard taking anymore off. But on the positive side....I am much lighter and healthier than I have ever been! If you ever need to "talk" please drop me a line.

  2. Oh I remember the gall bladder!! Yikes, that is some horrific pain... had mine out 10 months after wls. Hope you are doing better, and you look great!

  3. Hi Tina,
    I am a fellow stamper who had bypass surgery in July 09. So far I have loss 95lbs!
    It is so nice to find other people like us and a stamper to boot!!