It’s been a crazy last few days. A little over a week ago I started having these episodes that I thought were really bad heartburn. I had at least one a day for about a week. Some were more painful than the others but again I passed it off as heartburn or something. I was taking OTC medicines, pepto, rolaids and no relief. This past Friday I had a sales appointment in Mandeville, LA in the morning then headed over to New Orleans around 2pm. About 3 pm I started feeling a little bad. Same thing I had felt earlier in the week. I headed back to Pensacola around 3:30 and the pain was still there. Almost 3 hours into the drive, the pain had not only continued but greatly increased to the point a couple of times I got dizzy and blurry. I called my husband and told him I have to pull off at the next exit and he was going to have to come get me. In the next hour we were in Pensacola at Sacred Heart ER.
After a few hours the verdict was I had gallstones and a couple were stuck in the bile duct going into my stomach. They had to be removed right away and my gallbladder too because I had signs of jaundice. So the problem we faced was not only was it a weekend but it was the weekend before Christmas so they had to find the specialist that was not on vacation. They admitted me and said it would be sometime Saturday morning before anything would be done.
Around 8am Saturday, doctor came in and said they would be removing the gallstones by ERCP, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography. Yes it sounded very scary! During this procedure, an endoscope is inserted through the esophagus, through the stomach and into the duodenum. Then special tools are guided into the endoscope to allow the doctor to break up or remove the gallstones.
If you remember, I had a couple of gallstones stuck in my bile duct. I was put to sleep and this was done. I woke up and felt pretty good. But then later I started running a little fever and they knew they had to go in for the gallbladder. So around 8pm I was taken for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy where the gallbladder is removed through small cuts in the abdomen (tummy), using a surgical technique called keyhole surgery.
It was a good thing they did because the doctor said it was very inflamed and if we had waited any longer he would have had to cut me open, EEKKK!
What causes gallstones you ask??
Gallstones develop when cholesterol and other substances in the bile form crystals that become hard stones in the gallbladder. They can occur when your gallbladder does not empty properly or if you have too much cholesterol in your bile. Too much cholesterol in your bile is not caused by eating too much cholesterol or having high cholesterol (in the blood). This information is from WebMD.
Likely chances of getting gallstones: (I fell into the first two categories)
*Lose weight rapidly (my weight loss wasn’t necessarily rapid, over the past 2 years)
*Get very little or no exercise
*Native American or Hispanic
So now I’m on the road to recovery, 4 WEEKS OF NO RUNNING. (Insert sad face) In the blink of an eye, many things changed. I can not do races I had planned for in January and February. January 13th, First Light Marathon Relay, 19th ZOOMA Half Marathon and February 17th Mercedes-Benz Full Marathon. Am I disappointed, sure, but I’m not going to let this get me down. There are so many more races and marathons I can train for. 2013 may not start off the way I had planned but I know it is going to be a FANTASTIC year!
If you have experienced anything like I did recently, please have it checked!