08 June 2011

And The Answer Is...

The Captain is away on business. This means I have extra time at night, because I am not engaged in the sexy sex. That's why I can blog. Unfortunately, it also means I have to deal with all the children alone, which is why this post is so late. But it will be a fairly short one, because it is the medical update.


I felt like I should let you all know, because I've held you hostage through this journey. I got the results back from the HIDA scan on Friday, and my gallbladder is only excreting at 26%. The gastro guy said when the percentage is less than 35% they recommend surgery to remove that sad sack. He makes no guarantee that my symptoms will disappear, because they can never be completely certain it's all the gallbladder's fault. However, it appears I am a classic gallbladder disease candidate, as described here:

Gender. In medical school, the "five F's" help doctors to remember the usual patient with gallbladder disease: "fair, fat, forty, fertile, and female." Sexist as it sounds, it describes the group most frequently affected by gallbladder disease: overweight middle-aged white women with a history of several pregnancies. Excess estrogen may be implicated, since hormone replacement after menopause increases the likelihood of stones.

Well, we all know I'm fertile. I am also fair, and could be considered overweight, or at least fat-laden. I make no pretense that I am eating anything resembling a healthy diet, and I'm sure that has something to do with my attacks. But I also think the gallbladder, like me, might just be tired. We've been working hard these past few years, and I'm certain many of my body parts would like to shuffle off to Buffalo. Or Miami.

I pitched the idea of decommissioning my uterus to my gynecologist. There is no other part of me more deserving of a champagne toast and caviar dreams. I thought we should relieve Ms. Stretch Armstrong of her monthly commitments, and let the fundus go have some real fun. But the doc wouldn't sign off on it. Something about being thrust into menopause, blah blah blah.

Well, on Thursday I'm going to talk to a surgeon who is more than willing to divest me of my pear-shaped bile repository. I did read some articles about how changing my diet could prevent surgery, but I think that ship has sailed. I honestly believe the gallbladder started failing after I had Boy Three, which is when I first experienced real pain. I think thirteen years is a good run for a hobbled organ.

I'll let you know when I'm going under the knife, or the laser, as the case may be. I hope it's soon, because I would like to feel better for One's graduation, and be at my peak Bettiness for the RWA convention. I'm  relieved to have an answer. Now, on to the it's-not-my-heart pain. Aren't you just on the edge of your seat?


  1. Anonymous8.6.11

    Daniel just got up from a nap (I know, it sounds like I'm talking about a toddler) and I said "tonight's post sucks, it's stupid, I feel like I phoned it in." He went up stairs to make coffee, came back and sat down to peek at what was up in FaceBookLand, then he turns to me and remarks "Megan says hers isn't very interesting either." Huh.
    Good to know.

    Yours is still better than mine. LOL, fabulous writing in fact! IT was WAY better than mine. Glad this can be solved. And my husband is obviously glad too.

  2. I had my gallbladder out at 42. Not necessarily fertile because I've never been PG, but the rest fit. And all my symptoms were later said to be classic for gallbladder attacks but no on identified them during the four months of Hell beforehand. So I ended up in the ER early one morning on morphine and with a tube down my throat (I kept barfing). And I couldn't get surgery until Monday -- 2 days away! But morphine is nice and made the tube perfectly acceptable. :)

  3. Anonymous8.6.11

    Clarification: that guy I live with was obviously NOT awake enough when he read your update, he thought it said that you were not EXCITING enough...*sigh* No wonder we were confused.
    Never mind.
    Julie (and her sleepy Beloved)

  4. @Julie: You guys are funny.

  5. Honey, needing gallbladder surgery is plenty exciting enough. As someone who just did the kidney stone hell, maybe ask for hydromorphone (yes, i have found zee good drugs this may not be a good thing!) post op.

    Wishing you the very easiest surgery and recovery.

    PS I think the mnemonic device of the five f's is totally misogynistic and also part of the reason gallbladders are so frequently removed without necessity where i come from--you couldn't sling a cat in this county without hitting a fat white chick or twenty.

  6. Personally I think the 5 "Fs" are crap (though they did apply to me). I know a lot of my former students now in their 20s, no kids, physically fit, and now gall bladder free. And I'm not entirely sold on the diet issue either. Sometimes an organ is done. I have had two attacks from the time mine was removed: one due to complications and one due to Little Man's gestation. Two attacks in 3 years is much preferable to 3-4 a week. If you need a good laugh, I'd be happy to share my experience. ;)
    I really hope things get better quickly! And I didn't get a chance to say it yesterday: Hurray for 5!

  7. london betty8.6.11

    So glad you got some kind of answer - not knowing is the worst. Having mine out was a great thing - I feel tons better since I did.Fingers crossed it works for you!

  8. Oh good, they figured it out! Unlike the others, I don't have a problem with the five Fs (they apply to me completely, and here I am with no gallbladder). I do have a problem with you thinking that the Fat part somehow applies to you. Because I've seen you. You ain't even close.

    Here's hoping they get you in for surgery quickly. It's not a bad one, one of my easiest. I took Tylenol for the pain afterward. Completely manageable. You'll do great.

  9. I'm glad you have your answer. Hope your surgery is easy and soon.
    As for the five F's they fit me. Which is why when I went to the doctor knowing the problem was liver related, he assumed it was my gall bladder and I had to be a bitch to make him check my liver, too.
    When I went back he told me I was right. How often do you hear a man say that, let alone a doctor? There was nothing wrong with my gb. I had that hepatitis that runs through your system in 6 weeks and it's done.
    In Chinese medicine liver means anger. I knew it was my liver cause at that time you could have told me the sky was blue and I'd have wanted to off you. Not my normal state.

  10. What's with all these sick gall bladders? Should I know a lot of people without gall bladders? Is it because I'm 38 and a lot of my girlfriends are a little younger than me??

    Megan, judging by the anniversary pic and other pictures, you're not fat. &#&$^&@(*#&$(!!! And I'm not saying that To Be Nice. "I'm not fat" should go hand in hand with "I'm a great writer."

  11. @Delia and Mabel:

    Okay, I don't think I'm fat, but I can tell you it's not tofu coursing through my veins. And yes, I AM A GREAT WRITER!


Thanks for reading! Unlike other Diaries, this one isn't private. Feel free to share your thoughts. Politely, of course.