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Old 11-16-2004, 11:14 AM   #1
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surfboar HB User
Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

I need some advise from the gallbladder folks out there. I was diagnosed with gallbladder problems last week after a HIDA scan came back at 17.7%. I have actually had the various pains under my ribs for years now..... maybe 6 years, but never diagnosed..... just doctors telling me it was IBS and to suck it up.

Anyways, I have a cruise next week in the Caribbean. My wife and I have been planning this trip for years now and she is so excited. And now this gall bladder diagnosis. The doc says that it has to be removed to stop the pain, but refuses to advise me about whether it is safe to go on the cruise next week.

So........ am I risking my life here? Can a gallbladder attack after a fatty meal kill you? It is painful and uncomfortable, but I can gut that out. Everything I read says that surgery is recommended to relieve the pain..... but I haven't seen it say anywhere that surgery is neccesary to keep from dying.

Any advice or ideas?

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Old 11-16-2004, 11:39 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2004
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MX62 HB User
Re: Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

Hi, Can yo explain to me your symptoms? What, when and where the pain is? Or anything else. I think I may have the same problem.

Old 11-16-2004, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

Well, I have been having pains that are generally up under my right rib cage and then travelling to the left under the rib cage. I also have constipation and various pains that bounce around my colon.

I have had this problem for 7 years now and the doctors have called it IBS and also costochondritis (which is inflammation of the inter rib cartilage)

Old 11-16-2004, 02:12 PM   #4
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Re: Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

I would definately ask your doctor again before going on the cruise. I know there is always a doctor on board the cruise ship if anything should happen.

Old 11-16-2004, 04:06 PM   #5
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Re: Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

Hi Surfboar,

I had my gallbladder out in August. I had the same thing happen - pain similar to yours and they told me it was IBS too!

From what you said, you can handle the pain, so I think it would be okay for you to go, maybe just watch what you eat a little bit when it comes to fat? I got mine out because I was constantly nauseous, the pain was bad but not as bad as the nausea, and what's sad is I'm still nauseous now! But the pain is gone. So surgery will help, but I would go on the cruise unless you feel too sick, and do the surgery when you get back. Do you know if your gallbladder is inflammed at all or if you have stones in the common bile duct? As long as you don't have either of those you are probably safe to put it off for a little while.

Let me know if I can do anything to help. Good luck!

Old 11-16-2004, 08:34 PM   #6
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Re: Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

Sorry about your troubles! I don't have any advice about this because I don't know much about gallstones BUT I was going to say that if you've lived with it for 7 years I'm sure you'll be able to get through the cruise alive!! I hope you have fun!!

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Old 11-16-2004, 09:05 PM   #7
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Re: Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

Thanks for the encouragement guys. This is like a second honeymoon for my wife and I and I just can't spoil it for her. I have gotten pretty good at smiling and laughing my way through the pain.

This might seem odd but ever since the diagnosis a couple of weeks ago, I have been paying close attention to what I eat and how I react. One day I had a caesar salad with chicken for lunch and 30 minutes later, I was in pain. But then we went to a friend's last sunday and had BBQ ribs and beer and I was fine.

The HIDA scan came back at 17.7% ....not good, but the ultrasound was relatively clear except for "sludge". No stones of measurable size, bile duct not enlarged and the gallbladder looked ok size wise.

I am rambling, sorry. So as of today, I am going to go for it!!!

Old 11-17-2004, 01:03 PM   #8
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cheer up HB User
Re: Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

My advice is to go ahead with the cruise. You can probably control any attacks by not eating fatty, greasy foods. There's plenty of other good stuff to eat and you will do fine.

Last fall I was to go to Maui for a week but had recently been diagnosed with gallstones. The gastroenterologist was gung ho to refer me to a surgeon immediately but my internist said "don't worry, it won't kill you, go on the trip!" She said "they've got a nice hospital in Maui if you need it, but you most likely won't."

Well, I went, had a fabulous time, never felt bad one day, and came back and FINALLY had the GB removed 5 months later. No big deal...

Yes, all cruise ships have ER doctors on board. They have the meds you would need to quiet any pains from a stone attack, and they would give you an antibiotic to prevent infection. That's pretty much what would happen if you were home and went to your local ER with a bad GB attack. Unless it's an absolute emergency, which is rather rare, you wouldn't be operated on immediately.

So I say GO, enjoy your trip, just watch your diet a little bit, and then make up your mind when you get home. And HAVE FUN!!

Old 11-17-2004, 05:21 PM   #9
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Re: Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

Cheer Up,

Thanks for the encouragement....... I can already feel the stress leaving my body as it gets closer and I am convinced that stress is a major contributor to the attacks.

Old 11-28-2004, 04:36 PM   #10
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Re: Diagnosed w/ gallstones and cruise next week :(

I am back and I survived Had a few episodes, none too bad and just tried to keep a positive attitude. Now I am still concerned and everything, but at least I was able to keep our anniversary cruise date

I am going to post another question to the board, but I wanted to thank everyone again for the advice and concern.

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