Goodbye, Gall Bladder

I really thought I would be over it by now.

But here I am, 10 days out from having my gall bladder removed, and I’m still hurting and woozy. I can’t do the things I want to do.

What, you might ask, does having my gall bladder out have to do with gastric bypass surgery?

Everything. Cuz it’s the loosing 114 pounds in 11 months that brought on the gallstones.

Yeah, I think they may have mentioned that gallstones were a possible side effect, or gastric bypass complication when I was taking my pre-op class. To be honest, I don’t remember. So let me tell you, in case no one else does.

When you lose a lot of weight very quickly, you can get gallstones. Gallstones hurt. Badly.

For me, it actually started all the way back in November or so. I’d lost about 50 or 60 pounds at that point. When I would eat, I’d get this horrible pain at the top of my pouch. Not every time, mind you, but when it did OH. MY. GOD. It hurt! And it seemed like once the pouch was ticked off, it would stay that way for the rest of the day and I couldn’t eat anything.

So, off to the Dr. I went. He listened, then sent me off to have my gall bladder ultra-sounded. (Yeah, I know that’s not really a word, don’t write me about it.)

But after this, the problem went away. I started eating more slowly, being a little more ginger with the pouch, and decided I had just been trying to use old eating habits on a new pouch. I thought the problem was solved.

Then they called me back in to the Dr. He listened as I told him how my problem was solved, that it was just the way I was eating all along. He let me go on for a minute or two and then said, “Actually, you have gallstones. Your gall bladder has to come out.”

I was stunned. I didn’t want to believe him. But he had the proof – ultrasound pics of a stony gall bladder. Bummer.

I put off surgery as long as I could, but around the end of May I had The Attack To End All Gall Bladder Attacks. My stomach burned, and I was in so much pain all I could do was cry. I called the Dr. on call at midnight in tears begging to be let into surgery RIGHT NOW.

Instead, I lived on chicken broth and crackers for two weeks pre-op, and am only now getting to more solid offerings. And did I mention I still feel like crap?

So, beware. If you’re considering a gastric bypass, just have it in your mind that this could happen to you. It’s unpleasant. OK, it downright SUCKS. But, all in all — is it a reason NOT to have weight loss surgery? Only you can make that call.

It may happen, it may not. It may happen but not be as bad for you. I probably could have had surgery much sooner and had less of a problem.

But, even without my gall bladder, and with an added surgery I didn’t really want, I’m still 114 pounds thinner. I’ve gone from a size 24 (sometimes a 26) to a 14 (NOT a plus 14, either – a regular 14!). Other than right now, I feel a lot better than I did then.

As I’ve said elsewhere, there are plusses, there are minuses. You take the good with the bad.

Such is life after gastric bypass surgery.

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One Response to Goodbye, Gall Bladder

  1. Christine Morita

    Greetings! I just came across your blog and found it very informative! I was wondering a nosy question, if you will allow me : After your GB, and before saying goodbye to your gallbladder, did your doctor put you on a regular dose of Actigall to prevent the gallstone formation? ( I am wondering if the Actigall even helps ) Thank you for your time!