Hey, it is my first time on a message board. I am just so desperate! I want to start living my life again, instead of it revolving around pain. Hopefully someone out there may have some advice or knowlede that could help me out. It started Feb 21 04. On my way home from a big all you can eat buffet at golden corral. I got a severe pain in my right side back and stomach. Since then, i have been getting it about twice a week, after meals (meals with fat or caffiene or chocolate). I have been to 3 doctors. Have had ultrasound of pelvis and stomach(they found nothing). I have had a HIDA scan with CCK(gallbladder functioning normal). I have had that test where they stick the camera down your throat(they found a hietal hernia, acid reflux and gastritus). I got put on aciphex for 2 months now, and the acid reflux is better, but that was never really a concern for me anyway. The pain i am feeling is not the hernia, i feel that when i pick up things or laugh. The pain is lower, mid abdomen, sometimes down into my pelvis and sometimes even down into my right leg. The doctors just tell me i look fine. Each time i feel it i can only think about going to the hospital, but i know they cant help me. It is becoming an everyday thing, and it is ruing my life. Help!
So sorry to hear of your pain -- have you also had an ultrasound of the gall bladder? You probably have, but even if stones were not seen, it doesn't mean there isn't a problem there. Too much of what you describe sounds like gall bladder to me.
I had one major classic gall bladder attack and several episodes of lesser pains that became chronic but not bad. I did have stones seen on ultrasound though the HIDA scan was fine -- a well functioning gall bladder despite the stones.
Just before deciding on surgery, I had two episodes of what I called really bad right-sided stomach aches -- from upper right quadrant down into the area of appendix. I talked to a gastroenterologist and he said run, don't walk to your surgeon. He said "don't blame your appendix!"
A co-worker of mine and all her family members have had gall bladder removal and all had different symptoms at different times. But when I mentioned pain going into lower right quadrant and even into right leg, my co-worker said "YES!"
If I were you, I would find another doctor for another opinion and make sure that gall bladder situation is checked out very well. With mine, only the stones were obvious. When they took it out, I was told I had scar tissue from "attacks" and the thing was distended. Not good..... Others on this board have similar stories. Good luck to you and keep us informed!
Thanks for replying! I just got back my results for my CT scan and bloodwork. "You seem to be fine" the nurse said. Since Monday afternoon i have been in constant severe pain in my right back, right abdomen and pelvis, down my right leg and shoulder blades. As long as i starve my self im fine, but i have never been really good with that. It used to be only fatty foods set it off, but now it is anything i eat. Dr. said he wants to do a colonoscopy next, but this doesnt seem right. What kind of things do they look for in a colonoscopy? Could it be anything that would give me these symptoms? I dont want to go through a procedure that uncomfortable for nothing. You mentioned scar tissue. I think that is a huge possibility since i had a appendicitis and appendectimy 2 yrs ago. I mentioned this to the nurse today, and told her i think it may still be my gallbladder, even though hida and ultrasound were normal, and she said it is not a possibility. Shows how much they know. I really think it is that. Not to seem negative, but they dont really care what i think it is.
Savannah -- the more you write about this, the more it sounds like possible gall bladder trouble to me! All I can say is that I would definitely go see another gastroenterologist and get a second opinion.
Sometimes even a third opinion is helpful if the second doc agrees with the first. My blood work was always fine, too, and except for the stones shown on ultrasound, absolutely everything was perfect. They had no clue that the GB was distended and there was so much scar tissue from "attacks," apparently many of which I didn't even recognize as actual attacks.
From some of the experts on this Board I have learned that frequently the inside of the gall bladder can be very irritated/diseased yet no stones show up on ultrasound and HIDA scan is fine. Keep searching for the answer. You deserve to feel better and it doesn't sound like this doctor is helping you much.
As an addendum, I would add that I had a colonoscopy last year before ever having a full blown gall bladder attack. I was perfectly fine afterwards and the gastro doc had looked for (but did NOT find): diverticulitis, diverticulosis, microscopic colitis, polyps, you name it. I had it done just because I am over 50 and my primary doc suggested it AND I had experienced some weird bowel changes over several weeks. THAT was probably due to the gall bladder, in hindsight!
Don't be afraid of colonoscopy -- the preparation is annoying and takes about a day and a half but the procedure itself is a breeze IF you are totally knocked out, which is most common. The procedure doesn't take long and there are virtually no after effects. I felt fine, as has everyone I've ever known who went through it, and though I had to have a friend pick me up due to their "rules" I could easily have driven myself home. Trust me, this is not a big deal at all.
If you have a colonoscopy and nothing troublesome is revealed, I would say most definitely, especially since a lot of your pain relates to eating, that your problems may well be gall bladder related.
The Following User Says Thank You to fear of surgery For This Useful Post: minneyshoes (05-20-2011)
Thanks so much FEAR OF SURGERY. You have been wonderful. This past week has been scary. It has been nice to have someone to listen and give wonderful advice. I talked to the doc again, and good news - He is sending me to a surgeon for laproscopy surgery if my colonoscopy comes back normal. No body likes surgery, but if that is what it takes to start living life again, i am all for it. I had laproscopic surgery two years ago, and it wasnt bad at all. I was nervous about making an appointment for the colonoscopy, but after your decription, it doesnt sound so bad. Just one more question for you-have you had digestive problems since you had your gallbladder taken out? What i mean is, without a gallbladder, will i be running to the bathroom everytime i eat something fatty, or can your body handle just fine without one? I will keep you posted on the results. Thanks again.
Sorry I haven't responded to your last questions; didn't go on-line all weekend. Glad my previous comments were helpful to you!
I'm glad you are opting for a lap surgery -- that should solve the problems if any questions remain after colonoscopy. Like I said earlier, it sure sounds like your gall bladder could be the culprit!
Colonoscopy IS easy (make sure they put you "out" totally) and the most annoying part to me was trying to plan around taking the preparatory "drinks" beforehand, and then having to spend time in the bathroom so some TV programs I planned to watch were missed
Anyhow, I am now just one month post-op plus a couple of days from the gall bladder removal, and my digestion is pretty much normal. I have the occasional rogue pain here and there but nothing bad or constant. Doc's office says it takes TIME to heal and give it a few months.
At first after surgery, for more than a week, I was horribly constipated, possibly from the pain killers and anesthesia, which will definitely do that to a person. I had expected a lot of diarrhea (based on what I had read) but once my system started up that really wasn't the case. I wondered when my system would get back on track but everyone warned that it takes TIME so I just tried to be patient.
Finally, very uncomfortable and bloated after 8+ days of little bowel activity, I drank a big glass of prune juice and boy that really did the trick. For about two+ weeks now I have been feeling quite fine and find that bowel action is generally directly related to amount of liquids taken in, and types of foods eaten, and medications taken, just as was the case BEFORE my surgery.
My system was still moving slowly recently so I took to drinking a small glass of prune juice each night and that worked like a charm. I may have overdone it, though, by eating high fiber cereal, salad each day, drinking the prune juice, AND going back to my use of Milk Thistle -- which is a great antioxidant for anyone's liver and virtually the ONLY side affect of it when taken in normal doses is a "slight laxative effect" experienced by some people.
So...I think I can cut back on the prune juice perhaps. Thus far, however, I have not experienced any incidents of the bile salt diarrhea that a few people have after gall bladder removal. From what I read, this usually is experienced very soon after eating so it's fairly easy to tell if that's what it is, or if you've just eaten something that doesn't agree with you. Usually in that case you wouldn't know immediately but would get "sick" a few hours later.
I do know from reading a lot about this that post-gallbladder removal effects can be felt immediately after surgery or sometimes months, years or even decades later! So, everyone just has to see how they react to this but I must say I am VERY glad I had the thing removed with its little stones, scar tissue, etc. The main reason I had the surgery was because I did not want more or worse attacks and didn't want them at any inopportune times, like on vacation, out of town, etc. That's what convinced me to get it done because other than the pains I had suffered and one big attack only, I felt fine in between and never had problems with vomiting, etc., just a little momentary nausea on occasion. The only foods that bothered me before surgery (for about a year) were dairy, i.e., ice cream, and really greasy foods.
If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. Katie G. REALLY knows all about this topic so it's good to see her responses to you as well!
Keep us informed! For the record, I should change my moniker to something OTHER than "Fear of Surgery" now that I have no such fears anymore.... Take care and good luck with the next step!