Thursday, 14 January 2016

Gallstones

I’m not one to go to the doctor much because for the past ten years I have always been diagnosed with stress, depression, anxiety and, more recently, menopause and changes in hormone levels. 

I have been suffering for two years. In these two years I went to the doctor twice. On both occasions I was told that my hormone levels were changing. I had heartburn, hiccoughed after eating, and couldn’t eat a lot of food at a time. It always felt as if I had something hard in the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t lose weight; instead, I gained a lot of weight. The worst part was that I wasn’t really eating because I wasn’t feeling well. 

At the end of November 2015, I decided to go to the doctor again. At last, for the first time in years, I was diagnosed with something new: gallstones. I needed to go for a sonar and make sure, though. I made an appointment that same day. I was feeling awful, but got in the car and drove the 54 km to the nearest radiologist. And it was confirmed. My gallbladder was full of gallstones. 

I wasn’t eager to have my gallbladder removed, so I decided to flush my gallbladder. I did this twice in a fortnight. After the second flush, I was so ill. 

Eventually, I went back to the  doctor. I was in pain and couldn’t eat. Surgery seemed the only solution. 

On the 11th of January, I was wheeled into theatre and had laparoscopic surgery to remove the gallbladder. When I saw the gallstones, all 8 of them, and the size of them, I realised that no amount of flushing would ever get them out. Whether there were more, but smaller, I do not know. I never asked. At least, I am consoled into believing that I have done the right thing. 



Now I have to adapt to living without my gallbladder. It’s day 4 of recovery and I still have a lot of pain. I don’t feel well and all I really want is to have my health back. 

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