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Old 11-15-2010, 10:48 AM   #1
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Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Hi all -
Yep, another gallbladder thread. Hey! at least it's a new one.

Brief history: about 3 weeks ago I noticed that I was feeling nauseated a lot - even before and AFTER eating; almost like I was hungry but wasn't sure if it was nausea but realized I couldn't be hungry I just ate type feeling. I also noticed that I was getting full and bloated very fast which is not like me. (I'm female, 41, and could stand to loose about 40 lbs); not to mention I love eating - but I really noticed that it wasn't like me to get full so fast. The kicker in all this was when the diarrhea started.

At first I thought I had caught my daughter's stomach virus but realized it wasn't going away and that a pattern had developed. I would eat, get real nauseated, stomach would start rumbling and making all kinds of noises, (and I'm talking REAL nauseated), then about 30-45 minutes later I would have this horrible urge to run to the bathroom - needless to say the bathroom experience was just gross. It was at this time I noticed a pain on my right side under my ribs was going on as well.

It was almost like all the symptoms were there and happening but it took me about two days to put it all together.

So...after realizing this was probably my gallbladder acting up I did an experiment where I took two days off from eating just about anything. The nausea left, the diarrhea left, the pain was gone - I was just hungry. At the end of the second day I purposely ate some fried chicken. The result: the nausea hit with a vengance, about 30 minutes later I could actually feel my gallbladder starting to painfully contract...and then you guessed it, the diarrhea hit.

Now I have NOT had a major gallbladder attack in the middle of the night that made me want to go to the emergency room...yet.

After much research, reading this message board...I decided it was time to make an appt. with my GI Dr. To make this long story short...GI doctor said it sounds like you've sturred up a small stone or the thing is just not functioning like it should.

I had an ultrasound and bloodwork last week. Dr. called this morning to say ultrasound was normal, no signs of a stone, no inflammation, ducts look good; the bloodwork was normal but for a slightly elevated lipase level but that was not a concern to him. He's now recommending the HIDA scan which I agreed with. The HIDA is scheduled for next Wedneday (day before Thanksgiving) at 9am. I'm keeping the appt. for now, but may need to cancel and reschedule since I'm having 30 people at my house for Thanksgiving the next day!! I'm try to keep it, but if my day looks to be too hectic I'll need to reschedule...I'm a single mom and I would need to arrange for a sitter for my daughter - so, we'll see.

Anyway, thanks for reading this far.

I wonder if my gallbladder is messing up the pancreas a little and is causing the lipase to be a little elevated? That's the ONLY thing that came back a little off. The nurse said is was so mildly elevated the Dr. thought nothing of it.

As of right now, my gallbladder has settled down quiet nicely. So much so that I pretty much ate and drank what I wanted this past weekend without any problems. I did have a couple of beers Friday night and woke up that morning with some specific right sided pain in the gallbladder area but it subsided. As of now, I get a little twinge now and then but nothing else; some nausea but the diarrhea is gone. So, we'll see what the HIDA scan says.

Best regards,
Pam

Last edited by Run262; 11-15-2010 at 10:52 AM.

 
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:53 AM   #2
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Quick update. The official ultrasound results does say that NO sludge or wall thickening was seen during the scan. So, I'm wondering if the HIDA scan will also come back normal.

 
Old 11-16-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Not necessarily. Just because there are no stones or sludge does not mean it is functioning properly. There could be damage or infection or it could just stop functioning!

 
Old 11-16-2010, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

That's what I was wondering as well Titchou - if the damn thing just isn't working well?

 
Old 11-16-2010, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

The HIDA will tell you that. Let us know what happens with it.

 
Old 12-09-2010, 09:49 AM   #6
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Gosh, it's been a few weeks since I last posted. My gallbladder settled down, my doctor ordered the HIDA scan, Thanksgiving got in the way of getting the test done, I rescheduled it twice because after Thanksgiving work and my daughter's school activities got a little crazy...LONG story short...

I just got back from having the scan done this morning. The CCK injection produced some horrible nausea and some definite pain. The nausea was worse than the pain and both subsided over the 30 minutes of laying there. Actually the nausea went away quicker and the pain kind of lingered around - both were tolerable you could say. THE WORST PART: laying there for an hour and a half - my back was killing me, the position itself was just not comfortable. I would take an MRI any day over a HIDA scan. At least in an MRI they really prop you up properly with lots of pillows and stuff.

I'm glad it's over - hopefully I'll hear from my Doctor before the weekend, but I'm not gonna hold my breath.

Overall, I would have to say the gallbladder has settled down nicely. I'm eating and drinking just about anything I want - I do get some twinges and "feelings" from time to time. Definitely not in a hurry to get it out of course I know I shouldn't wait for a full blown attack if the HIDA shows it's not functioning properly. Just gotta wait and see.

Last edited by Run262; 12-09-2010 at 09:49 AM.

 
Old 12-09-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Let us know the results.

 
Old 12-10-2010, 07:40 AM   #8
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

The doctor's office just called this morning leaving a message to call and make an appt. to come in and discuss the results from the HIDA scan. We all know what that means: it came back with a low number. When I had the ultrasound they called and gave me the results over the phone because it came back normal.

Anyway...I call the office and have an appt. for Monday at 8:30am; I also talked to the Dr.'s assistant and asked for the ejection fraction percentage, he told me the report said 17% - 20%. So there ya go!!

Looks like I'm headed down the road to getting it out. My only concern is how much is this going to cost me? I have great health insurance but I need to look up the percentage I need to cover and my deductible etc...I don't normall have these figures in my head.

I am off the last two weeks of the this year - so I guess that would be a good time to get this done. Who knows if there's a surgeon who can fit me in. I do want to make sure I have a long discussion with the surgeon and discuss his experiences with gallbladder removal, etc... Lots to think about. I guess one step at a time. First the appt. on Monday to talk with the GI Dr.

More to come.

Oh and I had a brilliant idea the other night to pour me a class of Bailey's and Cream on ice - NOT a good result. Yikes, won't do that again.

 
Old 12-10-2010, 10:59 AM   #9
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Oh dear! Bailey's! Ouch. Well, at least you know now. Hope you can have it out soon. Keep us posted.

 
Old 12-13-2010, 10:33 AM   #10
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Ok Titchou -

What do I do now?

Saw my GI Dr. this morning. He admitted that 17% is below normal but it's not 0%. He said he would feel more comfortable recommending removing the gallbladder if it was at 0% but at 17% he's not quiet so sure it would solve my problems as apparently I'm dealing with the discomfort pretty well.

He described a situation where he believes my gallbladder is inflammed and just isn't contracting as well as it should. So he wants me to try a course of Librax. I've never heard of the medication and after looking it up it's a muscle relaxer for your intestines and is prescribed for IBS patients. He said to take it before every meal (3x a day) and that it's side effect can be like a sedative as it does contain valium type properties. Great - not!!

I'm a single mother, work full time and have NO TIME to be sleepy AT ALL.

I'm not one to take medication either for a problem.

Ugh...I don't know what to do. I could drastically change my diet and see if that calms things down and keeps it manageable. I'll tell you right now, I'm not taking the medication.

Thoughts?

Last edited by Run262; 12-13-2010 at 10:34 AM.

 
Old 12-13-2010, 11:49 AM   #11
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Gosh...well, I wouldn't take the med either. Doesn't sound like a med I'd want. Nor the side effects. I guess in finality the decision is yours. If it was me, knowing what I went thru, I'd have it out. But that's just me. If the diet works and you can put it off for a while, you could try that. But it seems you're headed down the road to having it removed eventually anyway.

 
Old 12-13-2010, 11:53 AM   #12
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Thanks for the reply.
I'm going to go ahead and call the general surgeon I know, the one I'd actually want to do the surgery, and go in and get his opinion. I'm just not happy with my GI Dr.'s road he's wanting me to take. I know that I could call him in a couple of days and tell him I can't take this med, I want the GB out and he would refer me.

It's no problem for me to get the ultrasound and HIDA scan results to take to the surgeon.

So, I'll let you know what happens as well.

You know, I did a search for "Librax and Gallbladder" and found NOT ONE article prescribing this medication for the treatment of gallbladders - I just don't know what my Dr. is thinking on this one. Up until now, I had a lot of faith in him.

 
Old 12-14-2010, 08:40 AM   #13
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Sounds like a plan to me. I know a lot of docs prescribe meds off label because they have worked for others. And it's a way that has found value for some people. Anyway, I think you are making sound decisions. Keep us posted and good luck!

 
Old 12-18-2010, 08:04 AM   #14
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

I saw the surgeon yesterday - he did not hesitate to recommend removal. I had a long conversation with him, about an hour, to review everything leading up to the appt. I like him, nice guy, he did my boyfriend's hernia surgery.

The surgery is scheduled for Monday after Chirstmas, the 27th. He wanted to do it next week but that's just too soon - too much to do before Christmas. I was find scheduling the surgery and everything - walked out there feeling confident.

Now, after 24 hours of thinking about this and reading the horror stories on the internet (yeah, I know, a glutton for punishment), I'm a little leary. I don't want more problems afterwards. Right now, if someone said you have to live with things they way they are I would say, ok. It's not that bad. Really. I had bacon for breakfast this morning about an hour ago, I've got a little discomfort on the right side going towards my back, but nothing to stop me from running my errands and smiling. I just don't know.

I don't have stones, I don't show an inflamed gallbladder, or ducts (that's a good thing) just a low functioning hida scan at 17%. The surgeon's impressions was that at this low a % - it needed to come out - no doubt, no "eh, you could live with this and see what happens."

I guess the whole thing that there are no guarantees and you won't know until it's out, freaks me out. I know in all likelihood, all will be fine.

He described that it would 2-3 weeks before I would start getting back to normal. No driving for the first week. I've heard of quicker recoveries though.

Ugh. I just need some thoughts on this.

At the end of the day, it's my decision, as he said. It's scheduled, but I have a week to really decide.

Surgery itself does not scare me, I've had tons on my shoulder, it's the unknown afterwards - the stupid horror stories I read, the SOD dysfunction pain crap. Blah!!

Someone talk me down.

 
Old 12-18-2010, 11:34 AM   #15
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Re: Gallbladder decline...testing...just looking to share my story.

Just ask around to your friends. You'll be surprised how many have had theirs out and have no problems. We just dont' talk about the ones that go well. They remove over 100,000 gb's a year in the US alone. How bad can that be? My surgeon said only 1% of his patients have problems after. It was good enough for me. I didn't want to keep on like I was. And the closest thing to a certainity to do that was the removal.

Just my 2 cents worth...

 
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