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Gallbadder news! (or lack thereof)

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by , November 14th, 2012 at 12:57 PM (1006 Views)
Hello All!

This will be a lone post for awhile. I don't have much to report and who really cares about my daily belly button update (except chowsh!)

I had my gallbladder removed!!

On Halloween at 2:45pm as I was sitting in primo location in carpool line doing my black belt sudoku, I felt a pain in my diaphragm area. It very quickly got so bad I was nearly in shock! I was sweating profusely and my hands were curling up. I was almost blacking out from the pain. It was as bad as labor pains, except it never stopped and I certainly wasn't going to have a baby.

I managed to move the car and call my husband to come and get me and the kids. I unlocked the car doors in case I passed out, then I quickly ripped open the bag of Halloween candy and ate a Smarties, just in case it was my last! I was really pretty out of it as I was thinking, there's a pack of candy corn in my eye. I think I had falled over onto the bag of candy and yes, there was a packet of candy corn right there in my eye. This was no time for dignity. I didn't want bean sprouts to have been my last meal on earth.

We got to the emergency room at about 3:30 and they did an EKG and then ordered up the chest x-rays and a sonogram. The ER doctor got really interested when I said my sis had GB surgery; Maybe bad GBs are hereditary! Once the results came back, they said it was indeed my GB and the pains I had were classic GB case. So I got checked in that night and had the surgery the next day around noon. They do 4 incisions in your abdomen, with one of them thru your belly button. They also have to blow you up with gas I guess to have more room inside of you. So afterwards, your entire abdomen is just completely shocked.

It may be a relatively common procedure, but recovery is slow. They did just take out an organ! So I'll be out of the water for about a month but I'm actually looking forward to doing limited physical stuff for a change. I look at it as "active recovery" period, about a month or so! The belly button incision was quite annoying. At first you feel like your guts are going to spill out your belly button and you have to walk around with a pillow pressed against it. Luckily, we have an arsenal of choices, and an ugly doll works quite well. My daughter has like, 6, so I can color coordinate my ugly doll and sweat outfits. But now I am much better and just taking it easy. Time has really flown and it's already been nearly 2 weeks. I may even stay out of the water longer, not having any desire to use those core muscles right now!

It's not really the getting old factor, but just when your GB has hit the skids. In my case, I could eat food but the extreme pain was from not having the bile squirt out and thus it caused the organs to swell, press up against the nerves and the feeling was in the diaphragm area muscles. Wowie did it ever hurt!

On a positive note, everyone from the ER room to nurses and doctors were amazed at my low resting heart rate, which is just about at 50. When it would dip under 50, it would beep really loud, usually as I was just about to doze off and wake me up. I guess that is a warning for them to look in on me like my heart is stopping or something. So Id wiggle my toes around to keep my heart rate at 50 and over so that stupid machine would shut up.

Timeline? I can do all the hard core exercises at week 4, and that is right after Thanksgiving. Now that I think about it, I may need to excersize off that holiday meal and leftovers! I do not plan on swimming any meets the rest of this year, so no SCM and no xmas relay fun meet. I will likely just go back into normal workout routine with all my usual bad habits in the new year. I think I will swim our Feb meet and the zone meet in Austin in April/May. I don't plan on going to nationals.

It is funny what a brush with death (or what you thought might be death) can do. Most people suddenly find the God of Exericse/Nutrition and start eating healthy and running a marathon or something like that. I am just the opposite. I have no competitive drive right now and no desire to get back to working out. I do enjoying spending lots of time in the ladies' locker room, drying my hair, and taking naps at the time of my workouts. I also was tentative with my nutritional intake at first, but now have gone back entirely to my old ways. So far, my body can handle all the foods it did before. This week, I feel strong enough and looking forward to Golden Corral on Friday. Since my belly button is back to an inny, I am really in the mood for a multi-plate meal.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy rest of 2012 and SCM season!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Comments

  1. qbrain's Avatar
    LOL, congrats on your gall bladder removal chomi! Sorry I will miss you at Baylor (which I need to register for).

    Enjoy your time off.
  2. The Fortress's Avatar
    So glad the procedure went well! No shame in enjoying some quasi leisure time. Probably good for the body as well. I may take some time out of the pool next summer when we are moving. Missing long course season is appealing.
  3. ekw's Avatar
    Get well soon! I admire your quick thinking in the face of adversity - I hope that, were I in the same position, I would have the presence of mind to go for the candy.

    My brother (a hardcore triathlete) kept freaking out the OR staff during an operation to repair his shoulder (cycling accident) because of how low his resting heart rate is.

    An all you can eat baked potato bar sounds pretty delicious right now.
  4. knelson's Avatar
    That takes some gall!
  5. ourswimmer's Avatar
    How terrible! So glad you are on the mend.
  6. aztimm's Avatar
    Sorry to hear about all of this, and happening so suddenly. But I'm very glad to hear that you got this all taken care of. You'll be back to workouts soon enough, there's usually a lapse anyway around the holidays.

    Maybe you'll be able to come out here for an AZ SCY meet and visit your sister. There's some new outlets getting built near Ahwatukee (beteeen there and the casino) maybe they'll be open by then .
  7. Celestial's Avatar
    Michelle - I'm so glad you were able to maneuver the car safely to the side when everything hit you! Glad they were able to get it out ASAP as now you can look forward to never having to deal with that again! A little time of from swimming is good for the psyche - just think how hungry you'll be to work hard when you get back at it! Best wishes & hope you have a quick recovery!
  8. Water Rat's Avatar
    Michelle, thanks for the laugh at your expense. I love Smarties (especially the white ones) so I can relate. Please blog about your "active rest" and adventures to Golden Corral. It's a very welcome change of pace.
  9. jaadams1's Avatar
    then I quickly ripped open the bag of Halloween candy and ate a Smarties, just in case it was my last!
    I love it!

    I also was tentative with my nutritional intake at first, but now have gone back entirely to my old ways. So far, my body can handle all the foods it did before. This week, I feel strong enough and looking forward to Golden Corral on Friday. Since my belly button is back to an inny, I am really in the mood for a multi-plate meal.
    And if that doesn't work, you can always return to the dollar menu!


    All kidding aside, I'm glad things are working out well for you. Both my wife and my mother in law had their gall bladders removed in the past couple of years. They began having the same pains, but more of a slower process that they got checked by the doctor, and actually scheduled the surgeries. The biggest things to watch are really high-fatty foods, mostly a lot of homemade hispanic meals where they use more oil than food in some cases. This is probably the case for my mother in law and my wife from their prior history with cooking practices, and have now toned it down a bit. My wife pretty much eats "American" now. But it's nice to get some fresh [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pupusa"]Pupusas[/ame] (from their country) every now and then too. Mmmmmmmm...
  10. That Guy's Avatar
    Glad to hear you're mending well chowmi! That Bride had her gall bladder removed a few months after That Boy was born. The nurses told us that many of the gall bladder patients they see fit that profile. High-fat foods cause her problems now too, particularly when combined with stress. Example: get up crazy-early for a morning flight --> go to airport --> deal with TSA --> eat fast-food breakfast while waiting at gate --> guaranteed indigestion.
  11. jaadams1's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy
    Example: get up crazy-early for a morning flight --> go to airport --> deal with TSA --> eat fast-food breakfast while waiting at gate --> guaranteed indigestion.
    Speak for yourself! That's the best part of the whole thing.
  12. Kurt Dickson's Avatar
    Get well soon...
  13. chowmi's Avatar
    Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes!

    I am enjoying my time off from swimming. I usually take a nap during noon workout, except that this has caused just a bit of unintended passive aggressive behavior at home. It is usually my husband's lunch hour nap and for some reason we can't both take a nap at the same time, even though we sleep perfectly fine in the same bed at night. So (S)He Who Rushes Home First and Claims Bed wins the noon nap hour. Otherwise, you are banished to the guest room Adjust-a-Bed.

    I started walking at the club and doing light stretching. But I basically wear my athletic street clothing since I don't work up a sweat. No reason to change clothes and lug extra shoes! I "workout" about 15 minutes then hit the ladies room.

    So far I am able to eat just about everything! I did have a slight discomfort yesterday, but I think it was because I ate an entire pack of these fancy grapes. I'm not sure what they were, like champagne grapes or something. They have a big seed in them, so they are hard to eat. And thick skin, for being slightly larger than raisinette sized. But the meat is like eating a gummy candy! I must have really eaten too many as my teeth were a bit sensitive. Like eating too many sour patch kids and burning the roof of your mouth.

    I have been eating McDonald's, and i'm sure JA would be disappointed in me for straying from the dollar menu, but I have been splurging on the LARGE $2.99 500 calorie and of course getting the large coke, since every size is $1.00. Mandating that the calories must be posted does absolutely nothing at all. I think they should make Starbucks post their calories in McDonald's units. That would shock people how many calories are really in the big sweet drinks!

    I hope everyone is swimming well and having fun training! I don't feel like i'm missing anything, which is odd. Perhaps this means I really am not physically ready to come back yet, which is a good thing if my body really isn't up to it.