Monday, July 21, 2008

To explain my absence

I know that I haven't been as active with my blog since I returned to school. I apologize for that. In the past month, I've also dealt with some health problems that added to my time away from the computer.

One night in late June, my husband and I took Little Man out to dinner while Angel Baby and Monster Man were at VBS. After picking up the kids and returning home, I started feeling some pain in my back. Since I have back problems already, I just figured I had a disk out of place yet again. As the night progressed, however, the pain got worse. Before heading to bed, I took 4 ibuprofen. The pain didn't ease up, and I couldn't get comfortable. My husband put some Icy Hot on my back, but still the pain persisted. I got up and took 2 Tylenol on top of the ibuprofen (something I'd never done before but was told it was safe to try). The pain kept on. I got up and soaked in the tub, but even the heat of the water didn't help with the pain. Somewhere around 2am, when I still hadn't fallen asleep, I took a second bath. Around 4am, I finally decided to try placing an ice pack on my back, hoping it would help me at least be able to sleep for a few minutes. The ice actually helped my back some, but I soon realized the pain wasn't actually in my back. Instead, it was coming from my gallbladder, and it was radiating to the spot directly between my shoulder blades.

I didn't want to wake my husband up and have him take me to the ER. He doesn't do well with being awaken in the middle of the night. Since he has epilepsy, he needs all the sleep he can get. I still hadn't slept at this point, but I decided I could wait it out until morning.

I finally managed 30 minutes of sleep before the alarm went off. I asked my husband to stay home from work that day to take me to the doctor. I still didn't want to spend the money on the ER since I knew I could get into a doctor that day and have a much cheaper co-pay (over $100 cheaper, in fact). It turned out I couldn't get into the doctor until the afternoon, and then I had to wait a couple more days to get in for an ultrasound to check my gallbladder (I'm still kicking myself for not going to the ER, as I would've had a diagnosis much sooner, and I would've been on the road to recovery in way less time).

The ultrasound showed multiple gallstones and that my gallbladder had become thick. I was at the surgeon's office the next day to make an appointment to have it removed. By this time, my stomach had become extremely swollen (I literally looked 9 months pregnant). Unfortunately, I couldn't get in for surgery for almost another week (after the 4th of July).

On July 7, I had the surgery to remove my gallbladder. I've been told my gallbladder was also very infected, and that the doctors think that my gallbladder might have been to blame for over seven years of health problems! I had a hard time coming off the effects of the anesthesia. For the first three days, I could barely stay awake for more than an hour. In fact, the first two days I couldn't even make the hour mark. I'm still healing, but I'm already feeling so much better. I can't wait to see how this change will affect many of the health problems that the doctors think were caused by my gallbladder.

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