Friday, November 26, 2010

Itty Bitty Pesky Gallbladder

So the troubles with my gallbladder began in February. I didn't know what it was in February, why I was having intense pain and vomiting episodes, but it hurt so badly. An intense kind of pain that I'd never experienced before. Months later we found out it was my gallbladder, in fact, 2 days after learning I was pregnant. The GI doctor said that since I was pregnant, there was nothing that we could do until after the pregnancy. And since medications were controlling the pain and the attacks I was agreeable to this plan.

I had trouble on and off during first and second trimesters, but mostly when I would forget to take my medicines. Ouch. Every time I would swear to myself that I was never going to forget taking that medicine again, but I forgot again many times. My OB doctor said that there are a few surgeons that would remove gallbladders when pregnant and she would refer me to one, if that was what I wanted. She said the best window for removal while pregnant would be the second trimester. I decided that since everything was pretty much under control to just wait it out. That was until I hit the first day of the third trimester, which was last week.

I've had attacks daily, if not multiple times a day now. I called and got the referral to the surgeon and will see him on Monday. I spoke with his nurse on the phone on Wednesday and she was able to look at my gallbladder ultrasound that I'd done several months ago on the computer system at the hospital. She said the report then showed "numerous" stones and that waiting any longer could actually be more of a risk than removal while pregnant.

She was great at explaining everything to me. She said that the first trimester the anesthesia is too much for the developing baby. The third trimester poses a risk for preterm labor. The anesthesia is fine for the baby at this point but in order to reach the gallbladder they have to fill the abdomen full with air and because of the growing uterus, there is just not much room for anything else. This pressure from the air can squeeze the uterus and cause contractions. So I would have to be admitted to the hospital for a few days in order to be on a fetal monitor and watch the baby. And, the second trimester is just perfect time for gallbladder harvesting apparently (the perfect timing during pregnancy that is).

The risk of waiting is that one of those gallstones could get loose and cause ALL kinds of other serious complications, one being pancreatitis, which can be fatal. So, I feel stuck. I don't want to risk pre-term labor, or more complications for myself. I would not forgive myself if the baby was born and there were problems. However, I can't endure the pain anymore. So, if you think of me, please say a prayer that the surgeon is wise and cautious and everything (whatever decision we make, operate or not) goes well.

Oh, and just for the records: gallbladder pain is THE worse pain I've ever experienced in my entire life! EVER, over anything...

No comments: