What Has Caused my Gallstones?
This week after 3 years of symptoms, tests, operations booked, operations cancelled, A&E visits and a lot more pain, my doctor has told me my gallstones mean I need to have my gallbladder removed. I tried to argue it, I asked did my C-section cause it, did my pregnancies cause it?
Um no gallstones are common is women, who are getting older who are over-weight (FFF female, forty, fat). Oh my word. I am not even 40, but yep definitely female and yep I have been overweight my entire life. A sudden sense of impending age and me not looking after my health hits me hard.
The Pain & Diagnosis
Around 3 years ago I ended up in A&E. I had the worst stomach cramps, equivalent to 8cm dilated labour pains but constant. At least contractions come and go. And just to let you know I have a VERY low pain threshold.
Eventually the pain stopped after about 6 hours and off I toddled to maybe 5 different consultations, scans, tests to investigate the problem. I was working at EE then, and I had private health care so everything was done very quickly. Eventually the doctors worked out I had small gallstones and this was the cause of the pain.
I was booked in for the gall bladder removal April 2014. The date they gave me clashed with a big holiday and I had just got a new job at work. The operation was 6 weeks off work and holiday cancellation, so I postponed it.
And you know what the pain stopped. Through the whole of 2014 and 2015 I was fine. In 2015 I left EE, lost 2 ½ stone of weight and then the pain started again with a vengeance.
A memorable attack was on holiday in Las Vegas this year in April. I had a raging hangover on day 2 of the holiday and all I needed was caffeine and food. I had a breakfast burrito with eggs and strong coffee with cream. This made me feel very full but better.
We headed out that morning to a very exciting helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon. We flew to the skyline walkway and gave myself a panic attack walking over a glass bottomed bridge 1000 ft. over the Grand Canyon.
We arrive back at the heliport at lunchtime and the pain started. Crippling cramps. I downed a litre of water, no effect. I walked around, I rubbed and rubbed the pain. No effect. I took paracetamol, Nexium, no effect. I went to the juice bar in our hotel and showed them my stomach, now distended to 6-month pregnant look. They advised ginger and beetroot. No effect. All I could do was moan, cry and lie in bed in Las Vegas of all places. A little pain filled sleep helped.
Dinner that night was one the nicest steak restaurants in the world. I felt slightly better 7 hours later, the long walk from Aria to Palazzo helped. But I couldn’t drink and I couldn’t eat much. My $70 steak ended up being eaten by hubby.
So when back in the UK I went back to the doctors and told him I couldn’t cope. I had had 3 attacks in the space of 1 month. Blood tests were done to check it wasn’t something more sinister, all was fine…taking us up to the appointment on Thursday. Gall bladder to be removed.
Since then everything I eat is causing pain from porridge made with semi-skimmed milk to a gluten free fruit & nut bars to red wine to fruit smoothies. This is not good so this morning I have a meeting with my yoga guru and nutritionist friend Helena to help me out.
I will be waiting at least 3-months for this operation (no more private health-care now I am self-employed) so I have to know what to eat without causing me pain. I’ll let you know how I get on.