Ok everyone, I'm trying to figure out (or confirm) what I think is wrong with me, and see what my next step would be. If any of you can share your experience, I'd greatly appreciate it.
4 years ago I went to the ER with intense kidney pain. I thought I had a kidney infection. They did a ct scan and found a kidney stone. Aside from that point, they also told me they saw stones in my gallbladder "but since that's not causing you issues right now, don't worry about it" - the wonders of our medical system when you have no insurance.
Fast forward to this past fall, and a couple of times a month (sometimes twice a week, it varied wildly) I'd get very noticeable pain in my upper right abdomen - about a half hour after eating. It would last sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes a couple of hours... but always passed. Then, about a week after Thanksgiving, in the middle of the night I woke up with STRONG pain in my upper right abdomen, right under my rib cage. It passed after about an hour, and I didn't think much else of it. Then about a week after that, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed the pain starting again. By the time I was laying down in bed, I was near tears it hurt so badly. The only thing I can compare it to is the kidney stone pain I'd felt in the past. (Just, wrong spot for a kidney stone) It lasted over 2 hours, and just about when I was ready to load up the husband, and 3 kids and head to the ER, it slowly improved.
The next day I felt very sore, but ok. Now, ever since that night, nearly every time after I eat I have that pain. Not as intense as it was that one night, but it's doubled me over a few times, and makes me quite cranky.. not good with a 2 year old! LOL I can almost *always* feel it now it seems. But it's just not intense like it was that one night.
I guess my question is - having no insurance and no money, at what point should I go to the ER? I don't have a primary care dr I can tell this to, no one to say hey lets run this test or check that... I basically have to wait until it's really really bad again, I guess?
Have you guys had it go off & on like this for years or anything? Have I reached a point of no return & should I expect it to get that bad again in the near future? Or could it improve?
I know, you guys aren't doctors, and can't tell me what to do - but I just can't waste money & time on an er trip if they are going to tell me I've got to just deal with it.
At least it just helped to talk about it. Thanks for listening if you made it this far!
Sounds like you need to have it out. About the only thing you can do without shelling out for the doctor and surgery is to cut fat out of your diet. Fat is what causes the gb to constrict and cause pain.
The Following User Says Thank You to Titchou For This Useful Post: JustLisa (01-07-2013)
I know at some point they will consider it something that *has* to be done, & remove it, & THEN I can pay it in installments or whatever... I just don't know at what point I'll hit that mark, where it HAS to come out. Does that even make sense? For instance, right now I feel fine - but after I eat lunch that could chance, and I know after dinner it will hurt like it's been doing. I just know if I get that intense pain I had that one night, I'm not going to hesitate and head to the er. But what I wonder is, should I just go anyway one evening when it's hurting - no matter the pain level. It's not like it hurts a little, its a noticeable pain.. I just don't know. I hate I live so far away from the hospital & have no insurance or anyway to get it handled properly.
Thank you for the input - I'd read that about fat, but my diet isn't that fatty as it is these days..
If you can come up with the money for an ultrasound, that would give you more information - how many stones, size, etc. That would help you determine if it needs to come out now - if you in fact have gallstones. Waiting for it to get to the point of emergency surgery could be dangerous and even fatal.
I haven't experienced this personally, but my sister didn't have health insurance while having gallbladder troubles as well. She would keep getting sent home with pain pills and a pat on the back until it got black, infected, and many many stones. They had no choice but to take it out after giving her an ultrasound because it could result in death. What I'm saying is, go to the ER when you have intense pain that way they will give you an ultrasound and you can see how your gallbladder is at the moment. I would suggest trying to get it taken out asap.
The Following User Says Thank You to livingadventure For This Useful Post: JustLisa (01-08-2013)