Bye Bye Gall Bladder

So about 2 months ago I got incredibly painful pains in my stomach after eating a McDonalds. That was the only thing I ate that day. I saw the Out of hours GP who said that if it happened again I would need a scan to check for gall stones. 1 month later it happened again and the nice Out of hours GP told me off for not getting a scan yet. He gave me some co-codomol and sent me home. 4 days later it happened again, after eating french bread. Theres nothing fatty in french bread and yet there I was at 10pm in hospital begging for pain releif. More co-codomol and an injection of Buscopan to calm the gall bladder down. After that I didn’t eat for 5 days and was stuck in bed for at least 2 with serious pain. I didn’t sleep much either. 

When I was well I saw my GP who suggested I got a scan. We had private medical care and I was able to see a surgeon at the local Bupa hospital and I got a scan within 3 days, rather than 6 weeks with the NHS. Gall stones were confirmed and Dr Masters, my surgeon, arranged the surgery date, September 2nd 2005. This was 3 weeks away and would give my gall bladder a chance to relax and recover. For those 3 weeks I ate rice krispies, toast and healthy eating tesco toffee bars. I drank water and tea. 

So, September 2nd. I must say I was a bit scared but I knew it had to be done. Gall bladders can cause death in some people. 7:30am was the check-in time. 8:30am was the op time. It was all go. I had to shave my chest hair. I got changed into a gown, anti-thrombosis tights (to stop blood clots in my legs), paper knickers (for god only knows what reason), and a paper hat. The anethetist gave me a quick check over and then I was in the trolley on the way to surgery. 

8:30ish I got the injection and went to sleep. I was told it’d be over by 10 am. I awoke in recovery at 12pm. The reason why it took so long was because my gall bladder was in a very serious state. It was quite likely that if I hadn’t had the surgery then that it may have exploded and killed me. Thats pretty much convinced me to always had private medical care. 

On my way back to my room I paniced a bit because my legs felt weird. It turns out they were hooked into a machine to keep them active. When I was able I asked if the keyhole surgery was successful, and thankfully it was. You see there are two types of surgery for removing the gall bladder. One is keyhole, one is open. Keyhole surgery is very precise and means I am out of hospital in 2 days and recovered in 2 weeks. Open is a week recovery in hospital and a further 6 weeks at home. Thankfully I had keyhole. I spent the rest of Friday lying in bed drifting in and out of sleep watching Sky News. I was wearing an oxygen mask, a drip in my arm, and a drain pipe coming out of my stomach to help clean my insides out. 

By Saturday I was feeling better, and I was just about able to get myself out of bed. This was a great relief as on Friday I needed a helping hand to do the most simplest of tasks. Thankfully I was now able to walk around a bit, not much, but enough. For lunch I had mellon and ham sandwhiches. Me eating ham butties! 

This is how bad my situation is now. I cannot go back to just burgers and chips, I have to change my diet considerbly. Bare in mind that its not the burger and chips that caused this in the first place. Gall bladder disease is very rare in young men. Its clearly a genetic disorder and given the state of my gall bladder its been on going for a few years. I’ve been getting heart burn for at least 10 years. You only have to look at other people who are able to eat MacDonalds daily to see that its not a diet thing. But now given that I don’t have a gall bladder to store bile to break down fat, I have to watch what I eat a bit more. This means more fruit and veg, more experimenting to find out what I really like. I’ve lost over 1 and a half stone in the past month, so its not all bad. 

The rest of Saturday was taken up with TV and sleep. I had bought loads of PSP games but I was just too tired to really play them. They said Saturday would be the worst day but they were wrong. Sunday was. Sunday was the day where I had to have my bandages changed, my drip removed, bloods taken, and the drain pipe was removed. This was a very tough morning. The drip wasn’t too bad. A quick bit of pain and done. The drain pipe was horrible. Remember the scene in the Matrix where Neo has that robotic creature implanted in his stomach? It was like that. I had to cough and while I was I felt this thing moving around inside me. Its got to be one of the worst things you can experience. At least I thought so. A bit later on the German Doc arrived to take my blood. He tried and tried and he couldn’t. After 6 goes he got backup. He tried and failed. I have 11 holes in me where they tried to take blood and they just couldn’t. Apparently my veins have no blood in them. That was seriously stressful. But Sunday afternoon arrived and I was able to go home.

I am now at home resting. It is better for me to rest at my PC because the chair keeps my back straight and helps me breath correctly. In front of me I have ham butties on brown bread with some fresh tomatoes to try. For my tea I will probably have baked potatoe. This is my new lifestyle and while my previous diet didn’t contribute to my gall bladder disease it certainly seems like life has knocked me down to make me realise I was doing things the wrong way. 

Change is hard, its worth it but its hard. In a few years I will be thin, healthy and happy. In a few years that is.

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