The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Monday, October 20, 2014

We Interrupt This Blog for my Gallbladder

You have probably noticed that Frank has been writing a few more articles and responding to more of the comments lately. For the past six weeks, I have been suffering with a dead gallbladder which I will finally get rid of on Wednesday. It has been a difficult month and a half.

I know there must be a lot of gallbladder sufferers out there. I have talked to a number of folks that have had theirs removed and one common thread appears to have happened. It took a while for it to be diagnosed if they didn't have obvious stones that could be seen by an ultra sound.

My problems started with an attack of sorts in the middle of the night that was painful enough to start packing a bag for the emergency room. Luckily the pain subsided somewhat and we stayed home. The next week I had an ultra sound that showed no stones. The next week I had an endoscopy where they looked over the upper part of my digestive tract all the way to the duodenum, or beginning of my small intestines, where the bile from the liver is added to aid in the digestion of fats. The only thing that showed up there was gastritis which I think was brought on by the attack.

Yet another week later I had a HIDA scan. This is a two hour long CT scan of sorts that tests the functioning of the gallbladder. The results were that my gallbladder is only functioning at 18% capacity, which means it is basically non-functional, so I'm calling it dead. They also did a CT scan of the rest of my guts which came back negative for other problems. That was good news. After all the scanning and checking I finally made it to the surgeon's office. I couldn't talk him into doing the surgery today, so Wednesday is the day. After suffering with pain, which is sometimes rather intense, and nausea which has greatly affected my appetite, I cannot wait to have this outpatient surgery.

And yet.....hospitals are not where we want to be right now. Between Enterovirus D68 and Ebola, hospitals are not where we want to be at all. It was interesting to note that the facility where I went to do my pre-surgery lab work was strangely deserted today. The last time we were there a few years ago the place was packed. Today there were few people. We also called another doctor's office to schedule a routine check up. The normal wait time to see this doctor is a couple of months. This time our appointment is in a few weeks. Both of these odd occurrences make us wonder. Is it ObamaCare, Ebola or the economy? Why are there so many fewer patients?

I am truly grateful that I am still able to receive medical attention and have my gallbladder removed. I have gotten sicker and weaker with each passing week since that attack. If a collapse had occurred and I just had to live with this, I don't think I would last very long. I guess that's the way it used to be in the old days. I'm just glad it isn't that way now. We hope to be back up to speed next week. In the meantime, pay attention. There are many indicators that the fragile stability of our society is wobbling ever greater. And like a big, old fashioned, wooden top, one day it will fall over and gradually spin to a halt. Be ready.

Until next time - Fern

31 comments:

  1. Prayers for you and Frank as you go through your surgery that you feel the presence of God and that he guides the surgeon's hands. My mother had her gall bladder out years ago and she has been terrific ever since.

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    1. Mary, thank you for your kind words. It's good that your mother is now terrific. Since Fern will be reading this, I will say that she is terrific everyday. Please excuse my poor grammar. Does that mean that Fern will now be more terrific-er? Thank you again.

      Frank

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  2. Praying that you will recover quickly, Fern, and that you will feel SO much better.

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    1. Thank you for the prayers, Kathi. I can't wait to feel better. It's been a long painful wait. And Frank is starving for some real food! Thanks again.

      Fern

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  3. We will be praying for you! And, of course, Frank. He's gonna have to take care of you for a while. lol. Keep us updated.

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    1. SFG, thank you for your prayers. Prayers are always appreciated.

      Fern

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  4. Had to have my gallbladder removed 3 years ago, gallstones plugged up the duct work. I turned the most creepy shade of yellowish green ( I let it go until I couldn't stand the itching-I'm a man-sue me). Bilirubin count was through the roof. Due to scarring from an episode of head and neck cancer 10 years ago they had to do the surgery the "old fashioned way"--big scar across the belly. I survived, no side effects, wouldn't know it's gone. Back to work 8 weeks later---I'm a heavy truck mechanic. You'll be fine, do as the Doctors say. My Prayers are with you, to the both of you indeed.
    Ken, trapped in the Peoples Republic of Maryland.

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    1. Ken, sounds like you had a rough time with your gallbladder. Thank you for the prayers. I hope mine is the small cut.

      Fern

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  5. Prayers that the surgery staff are clean and that it is a success!

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    1. M.E. I hope everybody is clean, especially from viruses. Thank you for the thoughts.

      Fern

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  6. Boy, this has been a tough year for you guys.

    There's a song I love to hear on the radio. It gives me courage. One line says,

    "When you feel the rain,
    Call His name.
    He'll find you in a hurricane."

    That's my prayer for you today.

    Just Me

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    1. J.M. Yes, it has been a tough year, multiple things for Frank and a few things for me. Our garden has suffered, our pastures have suffered and we have suffered. So does that mean that next year will be better? We sure hope so. But, besides all of that, it's been a good year. Thank you for the prayer.

      Fern

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  7. Respectfully, you have very very low chance of running into either virus. You should be more concerned about catching a staff infection there and those are generally on the decline.

    What you don't want is to put it off and then wait till either you get much worse or....

    A full blown collapse begins with all h*ll breaking loose and you begin this process and then develop complications due to some unforeseen issue. That happened when my dad has his gallbladder removed.

    He ran into problems and his recovery dragged out a couple of months longer than it should have taken. He ended up on more medication, trips to specialists etc etc etc.


    Do you want to risk all this ?.... on top of a full blown collapse or during some national civil unrest or full blown pandemic?

    Don't wait any longer, put this thing to rest and be done with it.

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    1. Hello. We're very thankful that the doctor was able to schedule me so soon. It's been a long time coming. Sorry to hear about your dad's gallbladder issues, it's no fun when things don't go as scheduled. I hope to be home and in my rocking chair by 2:00pm tomorrow afternoon. Thank you for the thoughts and the information.

      Fern

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  8. Had my gallbladder out on Sept. 26. Found the gallstone -1.7" diameter, like a golf ball - when had a chest x-ray prior to having carotid surgery in July. No symptoms until the night before surgery, then an attack so bad I, too, was ready to go to the emergency room. Made sure everyone washed hands or wore & then changed gloves, made sure everyone ID'd themselves and me and the procedure. Never can be too careful. Was back to normal activities 3 days later, no pain meds after 2 days, cleared for most things, not lifting anything over 20 lbs, in a week and completely cleared for everything last week. Would have been sooner but the incision was larger due to the size of the gallstone.
    We have a well-known and respected Infectious Disease doctor in in SW FL. He has started giving lectures to nursing homes, private care facilities and assisting with in-hospital training for Ebola and other pandemics. From him we know that our county already has 52 negative air rooms available - apparently something very important, and more that can easily be put in use. Our county has the second largest senior population in the country so a pandemic would put us in very serious trouble. With the inter-continent travel that is a part of everyday life these days, I don't think we can be too careful. For instance, here in SW FL it is now tourist/snowbird season and we get lots of people from overseas - mainly Europe - but we never know where else they've been and what diseases they may carry or who they've been in contact with. Best to be vigilant.

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    1. Bellen, I hope the carotid surgery went well, but a golf ball sized gallstone? You must have been in intense pain. I agree, you can never be too careful. I also hope to be back to normal soon. What I especially want to do is eat normal food again, like fried okra and fried chicken. Thank you for the other information.

      Fern

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  9. Prayers my friend . For both of you ...

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    1. Prayers to you also, from both of us....

      Fern

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  10. Good heavens...you have had a time of it. Get better soon! And be safe. Frank has been doing well by the way! God Bless you!

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    1. Hi Fiona. Yes, it has been a very interesting year. We have learned a great deal about the human body this year. Sure hope it's over for a while. Thank you for the blessing.

      Fern

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  11. God's blessings upon you to guide the surgeon's hand. Blessings of a speedy recovery be yours as well. My husband suffered from a terrible gallbladder attack one night during a blizzard. The hospital surgeon was 100 miles away! We had to wait until the next day to get him out of there. I felt so helpless to do anything for him.

    In the past few years I have embarked on learning herbal remedies. Two books I have are Dr. Christopher's School of Natural Healing and his Herbal Syllabus. Things such as gallbladder attacks are discussed with what herbs to use to quiet the gallbladder. I suspect if it needs to come out anyway, that God would bless us to make it better or help us find someone to take it out in the event the collapse has come.

    Another book worth having I have found is The Prepared Family Guide to Uncommon Diseases. Outbreaks of things that we normally don't see because they were basically eradicated through vaccine or clean living environment. There are an M.D.'s recommendations/dosages after each one.

    Anyway, didn't mean to be so lengthy but do wish you all the best and thanks for the wonderful site! Get well soon!!!!

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    1. Thank you for the book recommendations, you can never have too many books. A couple of years back I started an herb garden, and each year try to cultivate the plants I have and add a few new species. I'm glad your blizzard wasn't a multi-day one.

      We spent a number of years in very remote, bush Alaska. Getting to the doctor, weather permitting, was always a major chore involving more than one airplane. We've always tried to keep extra medicines around, but when some things go, they just go. Thank you for your recommendations, they are sincerely appreciated.

      Fern

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  12. Best wishes on the surgery & recovery, we'll miss you while you're gone!
    Jan in NWGA

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    1. Jan, thank you very much. I hope tomorrow will change my life sharply.

      Fern

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  13. Healing blessings on you Fern and a steady hand for the docs! Be well soon! ~Sassafras

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    1. Sassafras, thank you for the kind thoughts. I'm coming along quite well, one day later. I'm going to try eating real food today. Thank you again.

      Fern

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  14. Check out this link Fern, the main article in this blog along w/the fudge recipe is a good bit on eating fats AFTER gall bladder removal. ~Sassafras

    http://mariamindbodyhealth.com/sugar-free-maple-nut-fudge/

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    1. Thanks for the information and link, Sassafras.

      Fern

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  15. Hi Fern,
    Glad to hear your surgery went well. I have been putting off having mine removed for a while, but I think the time has come, as I have started to suffer daily pain from it. Could you please share your thoughts about your procedure and recovery and quality of life post op, now that it has been a while since your surgery. (Are ya glad you did it, best thing you ever did, or....any regrets?) Just a little nervous at the thought of surgery, but I know it is probably inevitable!
    Thank you in advance, just recently found your blog and am enjoying reading older post SO MUCH!
    May the Good Lord bless you,
    Bridget

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    1. Bridget, I was so sick for so long with my dead gallbladder that I couldn't wait to have it out. Post op I haven't noticed any difference from my pre-sickness times before my gallbladder died. In fact, I think I feel better than I had in a long time. I must have been having problems for a while and just didn't know it had anything to do with my gallbladder. I know some folks have issues with certain foods, but I haven't found anything that I can't eat.

      Just so you know, I hate hospitals and operations. The ear operations I had as a child increased my hearing loss with each operation, so I have a strong dislike of hospital procedures. But having my gallbladder out was a fairly easy outpatient procedure, and I don't remember any particular issues with the recovery. It did take me awhile to regain my strength since I was very ill for about 6 weeks prior to my surgery and had gotten pretty weak.

      I'm glad you found us and have found some things here you like. We look forward to your comments. I pray all goes well with your surgery and recovery. Let me know how it goes.

      Fern

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  16. Thank you so much Fern for sharing your thoughts and experience, I really appreciate you taking the time! I am so glad you are feeling so much better. I will let you know how it goes.

    Your friend in Christ,
    Bridget

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