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So That's What It Was!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I've been having terrible back pains starting around July 2011 coupled with bloating and tummy discomfort that felt like having an ulcer.  I did not connect the two as being gallstone attacks. I ignored the bloating and occassional tummyache and had physical therapy and later on, accupuncture treatments for my aching back.

Last July, after satisfying a late night craving for corned beef (I ate the whole can), I felt indescribable pain on my stomach and back. No matter what I did, it was excruciating. I wanted to go to the ER but Via had fever that night. The pain started around midnight. I finally drifted off to sleep around 4am. When I woke up, the pain was gone.

I went to a doctor that morning and during the discussion about my health history, I mentioned that gallstones were appearing on my annual physical exam since 2007. Since I wasn't feeling any pain, I was told to leave them alone. Apparently, all the tummy and back pains were from the gallstones culminating in that excruciating gallstone attack after eating corned beef. I was told to have surgery immediately but I hesitated. P was due to arrive within the week and we had a full schedule while he was here. I didn't want to ruin our precious family time. Besides, if I was careful with what I ate, I won't have any more pains (I hoped).

I finally had the surgery, laparoscopic cholecsystectomy, scheduled on the last week of August. I was to have it done at St. Luke's Global City because that's where my doctor was affiliated with. But at the last minute, the surgery was postponed. That would be another post because I realize this post is already several paragraphs and it's only the beginning of the story.

I'll end with information I learned from my experience.

So how do you know if you have gallstones? Well, you don't unless like me it shows up during some other medical exam. You could have it for years and not feel any symptoms.

If you do find that you have gallstones, as long as it's asymptomatic, you don't have to have it removed. What you can do is change your eating habits. Gallstones developed from eating too much fatty food. There are also cleansing diets that some people swear have helped them pass stones naturally. I haven't tried it.

If you've been having gallstone attacks, then doctors urge you to have it removed because it will keep on happening once it starts. Better have it out using laparoscopic surgery than having reached emergency proportions and having open surgery.

With laparoscopic surgery, recovery is much faster. Some people I hear even have it done on out patient basis. It's best to stay in the hospital at least a day though because after the surgery all you want to do is sleep.

I'm glad I finally had it removed. Like magic, all my pains are gone and I'm recovering quite well.


postcardtrail September 6, 2012 at 11:54 PM  

my husband had the same surgery last year. we didn't know about it also until he was vomiting and having stomach aches. once you had this surgery you have to watch what you eat and make sure to that it has fiber in it. get well.

Mom Michelle September 7, 2012 at 12:10 AM  

I have the same problem but I opt to do the cleansing for now. I've been very cautious with what I eat also and I think I'm doing fairly well coz I haven't had serious pain attacks. But if I were to decide for an operation, I'll also choose yours - the laparoscopic.

Thanks for sharing. :-)

Gerilen September 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM  

its so good to know your ok now.. napapaisip tuloy ako, minsan msakit din tyan q na parang ulcer, gotta have to see my doctor soon. thanks for this reminder na rin. :) stay safe!

Bee September 7, 2012 at 11:53 PM  

Naku, ingat ingat na sa pagkain. But it's good to know you're okay, despite having it. My grandma, mom and aunt all have gall stones.

You might wanna join my birthday/blog anniversary giveaway:

Rosemarie- Pinay Singlemom September 8, 2012 at 2:35 AM  

My Nanay experience pain in her lower back and having difficulty when peeing, the test result shows she have UTI, good thing no stones in her kidney..

Nice September 8, 2012 at 7:09 AM  

my mom's friend also had these painful gall stones... you should be careful on what you're eating this time...

Jellybelly,  September 8, 2012 at 4:33 PM  

Yes, it doesn't end here. I have to limit my favorite fatty food :(

Jellybelly,  September 8, 2012 at 4:34 PM  

UTI can be very painful but it's easier to deal with than surgery. I hope your Nanay is better.

anygen September 9, 2012 at 12:34 PM  

sad to know sis... hope everything will be fine with you...

A Walk Through Life September 9, 2012 at 8:24 PM  

Hi sis.. it's been a while since I have visited. I hope all is well after the surgery. Wishing you good health.,  September 10, 2014 at 6:05 AM  

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