Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ok. Ok. OK.
The gallstones.

Well, here is where I stand on this issue as of today (and please keep in mind that my life's credo is: Everything is subject to change based on new information). But for now...

* I have spoken to whoooole bunch of people who have had their gallbladders removed, and I am clear that if I have to have mine removed, I will be just fine.

* I do not know exactly how many stones I have or what size they are. The problem with an ultrasound is that it is basically a flat, frontal image of an organ that is a sack. Think of it like taking a photo of a bag of marbles. You really can't tell how many there are in there.

* I do not have any of the symptoms that indicate I have an infection or a blocked duct.

* I personally do not buy into the logic that the gallbladder is "not a necessary organ". Seems like if we didn't need it, we wouldn't have one.

* I personally do not buy into the logic that one gallbladder attack warrants a surgery that would remove the entire organ, especially when subsequent attacks can very likely be kept at bay by making dietary changes.

* I am already missing enough body parts, as far as I am concerned, and I'm not too keen on losing one more...unless required.

* This one is big: I am probably not a candidate for laproscopic surgery. I have a huge scar from the car accident (well, I have many), but I have this very long one that runs vertically from sternum to pubic bone. The surgeon would start off laproscopically, but it is highly likely that the scar tissue would prevent proper inflation for insertion of the implements. In other words, I could go into the hospital hoping for a simple procedure, a 1 night's stay, and a simple 1 week recovery time. I could wake up with another large scar, a 4-5 night hospital stay, and a 3-4 week recovery time. It's a whole lot more invasive.

* I am willing to make the dietary changes, and I have been doing so.

* I have been educated on what symptoms to watch out for, and of the importance of high-tailing my arse to back to the ER if they show themselves.

* As "granola" as I have been known to be, you will not be seeing me doing some sort flush that involves drinking olive oil or whatever. I have not found one yet that has not been debunked.

* I am open to non-surgical options though, and I am researching now. I am also open to surgery if the situation warrants it. I do not think this moment is the situation quite yet, though.

And so there you have it.

I am good. I am fine. I am feeling much better. I am researching. I am eating less fat, and just for kicks a giggles, less gluten, too (I am not going gluten free, I'm just replacing most of the bread and pasta with things like rice and quinoa, for example. I like those foods anyhow). I am drinking more water and taking a couple of supplements that may help, but won't hurt (things like more vitamin C). I have eaten a couple of foods (ok, CRAP) that don't agree with me, and I'm just not going to eat them anymore. Period. I know what signs indicate a need for removal. I understand the risks of both keeping it and having it removed, I am ready to go the emergency room if I need to. I am ready to remove the gallbladder if I need to.


The Bon said...

The appendix is totally useless. So are wisdom teeth. So, there ARE organs that we have and don't need. OH! And some people are born with tail nubbins.

That said, I think you're making the right call for yourself. I agree that surgery is always a good thing to avoid.

MonikaRose said...

Hello, I have mine taken out, 3 stones, lots of pain with varies foods. Only four small scars and small recovery, like you mentioned. Just a thought, they are stones and they can block tube, no matter if you have pain or not. It has been 8 years since and I am fine, as you said you read many. Not sure that sort of diet would help, but i do recommend looking into specific foods that reduce the size of stones. I know someone that has kidney stones, ate kiwi fruit (excellent in enzyms) all day every day and the stones reduced in size. I see you are researching, check out the enzyms that will reduce the stone size and eventually get rid of them. I wish I did that years ago, but I was not knowledge in that area, now that I know my life is change. Eat more enzym foods and energized water. I hope this helps. I know what you are going thru and it is not pleasent at times.
Anyways good and positive thoughts always to good recovery.
Cya MonikaROse... :)

jodi said...

Good for you, and good luck with it. You're lucky in that you are already a person with a fairly wide-ranging diet, so the dietary changes necessary to stay healthy and avoid surgery won't be as huge a shift for you as they would, say, for someone stuck in the very narrow meat-and-potatoes range. There is no food so wonderful that it can't be given up to avoid illness.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for deciding what you want to do and keeping your mind open to change if it's warranted. I believe I'd make the same call as you. I had attacks for a couple years before I had my gall bladder removed. I didn't know why I was having the attacks, or I may have considered surgery, but not after just one, frankly. By the time I had it removed, the frequency had increased dramatically and there seemed to be no connection any longer to what I ate. When it was time for me to have the surgery, it was a relatively easy decision.
May you never have another attack!

M-H said...

Mine showed up quite clearly on the U/S - you could see them all lined up in the bile duct, and more in 'the bag' below. And we do have some 'evolutionary dead ends' in our bodies, as other people have pointed out. But good on you for sticking to your guns. It sounds very rational and logical. You are sensible and taking responsibility for your own health.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! I'm so sorry. My true love went through this and ended up having the surgery because he could not stick to the most effective non-surgical option suggested to him, which was adhering to a very strict low-fat diet. No Little Debbies? No chile verde enchiladas? No ma po tofu? Not gonna happen.

Then he was almost killed during surgery at Lahey Clinic. Though this sort of thing is extremely rare for this sort of surgery, I am forced to mention it to you because of my gene pool. As an ethnically Jewish woman, it is my duty as I get older to turn into that aunt who has horror stories for everything and cannot keep them to herself.

Good luck, sweetie.