Yo Stomach

Last Saturday we watched The Man with Two brains, one of my favourite movies. We had just enjoyed some pizza, my first in quite some time and Tom and I were planning on having a nice glass of “hey we actually get to spend a Saturday together” wine. That didn’t end up happening. Instead about 3/4 of the way through the movie I found my belly was starting to bloat up really badly and I suddenly felt nauseated and then in pain. I took a Pepcid as I figured I just had some really bad trapped gas. I’ve been suffering of late with some really bizarre intestinal stuff and it isn’t uncommon for me to have some pain. I tried going to the bathroom (nothing!) tried to (ok excuse the crudity) but fart, and NOTHING. I’m thinking ok gas you are REALLY trapped.

I was rocking, wriggling and doing some walking around and nothing helped. The pain was pretty intense and it seemed to be everywhere. Eventually I just gave up and went to bed. It didn’t help much as no position seemed to be comfortable. I was so glad when things seemed to ease up and I went to sleep. The next morning I was feeling a bit tender but otherwise normal. As the week went on I forgot about it.

Until Thursday night sometime between 2 and 3 am. Thursday was Sean’s Birthday dinner. As usual the Birthday Boy (or girl!) gets to choose where we celebrate their birthday and for once we could go out and celebrate on the actual DAY. Sean chose the Keg.
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The Boys at dinner.

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Tom and I, me all happy not knowing what was about to hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’m not a steak person, and I usually have their Creole Chicken but I decided against it because the garlic sometimes upsets my stomach and went with chicken strips and fries. Fairly boring sure, but it sounded good to me at the time.

We all had a nice time and Sean got a video game from Chris and we gave him the dinner and a hundred bucks to spend as he saw fit. We went home, watched CSI and Grey’s and all was well.

At sometime between 2 and 3 am I awoke suddenly and the first thought that came to mind was ” FRIGGIN’ OUCH”. It took a few seconds for my brain to kick into gear and realize that I was experiencing the very same pain as the previous Saturday. I got out of bed and spent the next hour pacing the living room. I tried to go the bathroom, fought the most intense nausea and tried sitting and rocking back and forth. Nothing seemed to help. I went and took another Pepcid and some Ibuprofen and booted up my laptop. I pulled up notepad and started to type what I was feeling so I wouldn’t forget cos one episode I could let slip by, two? Not so much, I knew I was gonna be visiting the doctor.
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I heard Tom’s alarm go off (he was working the early shift) and when he came out I told him what was going on. I was completely exhausted and still wiggling around in pain. I decided to try looking up my symptoms and they pointed to gallstones and really a bunch of kind of scary things. I decided that I was better off NOT looking stuff up on the internet as I swear it is the worst thing you can do sometimes and leave it to the professional.

I was able to get an appointment luckily on Saturday as my Doctor had a cancellation. My Doc is the same one my Mom has. My Mom had gallstones and during her keyhole surgery a few years ago, the gallbladder fell apart inside her and she ended up with not only a full on surgery, she went septic because of the abdominal compromise, was diagnosed with cancer of the gallbladder and spend 3 months in hospital, about 2 of them in intensive care, on a respirator. The minute I started to explain my pain to his wife (who runs the office on the weekend) so she could make notes before he came in she looked at me, opened her mouth, decided better and said “The Doctor can tell you what he thinks it is” and left. When the Doc came in I explained the symptoms and he told me that he did indeed suspect the gallbladder.

He wrote up a requisition for an abdominal ultrasound and some blood tests. The blood tests will look for any signs of infection or anything odd with the other organs which could implicate the gallbladder or any other organ which may be affected.

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While we’re at it he decided to do a full work up on me. Knowing my family history, in fact being VERY familiar with it I guess he wants to be careful. He said that once we can confirm it is indeed the gallbladder it should come out. If I had stones and didn’t have any pain it wouldn’t be an issue, having two attacks I guess makes it a bit more necessary. Whatever, I just don’t want to feel that pain anymore it was pretty bad. It reminded me of labour crossed with a squeezing feeling in my torso, not pleasant at all!

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Being Canada, I have a wait until JUNE 2ND!!! before I can get my ultra sound and another wait to get my surgery (if it’s confirmed I have stones that require it). When I hear people out there talk about Canada’s free health care it drives me nuts. Here in BC it ain’t free unless you’re under the poverty line. We pay premiums (my work pays for half which helps) and sure the premiums aren’t several hundred a month or anything, for two it is around a hundred I think…but there are the dreaded waiting lists, the bane of “social” medicine. Nobody is turned away, but you better be patient and learn to suffer cos it will take a while. The Doc said it could be months. Fun. In the meantime he said to avoid greasy foods and if I get an attack that I can’t self medicate to make my way to the emerg and they can give me a morphine shot. I have a pretty high threshold of pain so if I need morphine it’s gonna be bad. Stupid body!

So now I’m looking at certain foods like they are made of shards of glass. It won’t be a hardship to give up the greasy food as I’ve been pretty good about not eating that stuff lately anyway for the most part. The worst thing will be not knowing when the next episode may hit. There is no guarantee that even if I stuck to the blandest of diets I won’t be suffering again sooner than later. I’m away on business in a couple of weeks and I’m gonna be a bit nervous about having an attack while on the plane. I can’t imagine they would be too happy if I suddenly got up and started pacing the aisle!

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