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HeroGM
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Ok. Flat out I'm scared.

 

I had pains in my upper right side last week and after an ultrasound they've linked it to gallstones and inflamed pancreas (also my kidney is showing decreased as well). They are talking surgery but for what I'm not sure - I want to talk to the doctor first.

 

Anyone who's gone through any of this - what am I looking at honestly? I feel like I'm about to have a full on break down.

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I have had to deal with illness in the family first with my father having to go on kidney dialysis and then transplant and latterly with my mother having cancer and then a burst bowel in the last two years.

It is traumatic for you and your family but talk to the doctor and go through it. I would still hit the surgeon who called me and was rather jolly about my mother's chances when she was up for the operation and he was talking about her quality of life.

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I know several people who've had gall stones taken out, and some who've even had their whole gall blader removed. I don't believe it's particularly risky.

 

My brother had to have half his pancreas removed. Since then, he's had two dauighters and is otherwise doing great. But he has some dietary restrictions.

 

I'm not much up on kidney stuff, though.

 

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My brother had gall stones and had his gall bladder removed. It's a pretty routine surgery -- he was able to return home the next day. He experienced a couple of weeks of minor pain and had to be careful of lifting heavy weights for several weeks. The gall bladder isn't essential to our functioning. My brother has had to restrict his consumption of fatty foods because the gall bladder helps break those down. Otherwise he's experienced no difficulties.

 

So, if your surgery is limited to the gall bladder, it's not serious. Pancreas and liver, though, would be a bigger matter.

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4 hours ago, HeroGM said:

Ok. Flat out I'm scared.

 

I had pains in my upper right side last week and after an ultrasound they've linked it to gallstones and inflamed pancreas (also my kidney is showing decreased as well). They are talking surgery but for what I'm not sure - I want to talk to the doctor first.

 

Anyone who's gone through any of this - what am I looking at honestly? I feel like I'm about to have a full on break down.

 

 

My wife had her gall bladder out so many years ago that I don't even remember exactly when it was, save that it was sometime before three pregnancies.

 

The only real "effect" she's had from it is that she had to make some minor changes to her diet, as a few of her more typical favorites did not agree with her anymore.  As best I remember, deep fried things caused some upset, but honestly-- it's not like that was a big part of our diet to begin with.

 

1 hour ago, HeroGM said:

Is it possible for some of this to go away on its on to a degree?

 

Medically speaking?

 

 

No.  The stones are composed primarily of bile, minerals, and something they were attempting to break down and finally gave up on.  They are there forever.

 

I _do_ remember that her relief was _immediate_.  Upon coming out of surgery (and waking up) the first thing she commented on was how much better she felt.

 

The liver itself?  It's the fastest-healing organ in your body.  You're poisoning it with backed-up bile because the stones are blocking the ducts.  Getting rid of the bladder stops the backing up.  unfortunately, "deep fried" is one of the things bile digests, so you may have to cut back on that a bit (and honestly, in terms of health in general, we all really should  ;) )

 

 

4 hours ago, HeroGM said:

Ok. Flat out I'm scared.

 

I had pains in my upper right side last week and after an ultrasound they've linked it to gallstones and inflamed pancreas (also my kidney is showing decreased as well). They are talking surgery but for what I'm not sure - I want to talk to the doctor first.

 

Anyone who's gone through any of this - what am I looking at honestly? I feel like I'm about to have a full on break down.

 

 

My wife had her gall bladder out so many years ago that I don't even remember exactly when it was, save that it was sometime before three pregnancies.

 

The only real "effect" she's had from it is that she had to make some minor changes to her diet, as a few of her more typical favorites did not agree with her anymore.  As best I remember, deep fried things caused some upset, but honestly-- it's not like that was a big part of our diet to begin with.

 

1 hour ago, HeroGM said:

Is it possible for some of this to go away on its on to a degree?

 

Medically speaking?

 

 

No.  The stones are composed primarily of bile, minerals, and something they were attempting to break down and finally gave up on.  They are there forever.

 

I _do_ remember that her relief was _immediate_.  Upon coming out of surgery (and waking up) the first thing she commented on was how much better she felt.

 

The liver itself?  It's the fastest-healing organ in your body.  You're poisoning it with backed-up bile because the stones are blocking the ducts.  Getting rid of the bladder stops the backing up.  unfortunately, "deep fried" is one of the things bile digests, so you may have to cut back on that a bit (and honestly, in terms of health in general, we all really should  ;) )

 

 

Oh-- as long as we're trying to tell you the whole truth:  there's a fifty-fifty chance your bathroom habits will change.  If you have a family, invest is poo-pouri and world-class fart sucker fan.

 

Just in case.

 

 

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I have to disagree partially with Duke. Small stones can pass naturally with urination. My brother was prone to them and had several bouts where they eventually passed, with considerable pain. Sometimes larger ones can be broken up inside the body with ultrasound, allowing the smaller fragments to pass. But if you've gotten to the point of inflammation, other organs affected, and your doctors discussing possible surgery, IME it's very unlikely they'll go away on their own. Without some sort of intervention they'll probably get worse.

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Sorry; LL is completely correct about small stone passing.

 

With the mention of liver complications and the discuss of surgery, I assumed you were dealing with a packed gall bladder, and beyond the point of passage.

 

I also assumed you lived in the USA, where your insurance will most likely not cover ultrasonic lithotripsy because of the routine need for more than one treatment, potential for follow treatment needs, and the fact that a cholecystectomy is such a routine laproscopic surgery, the overall price / risk combo at the point of a fully restricted bile duct usually means the surgery.

 

Welcome to the world's wealthiest third world nation.

 

If you find you are a candidate for lithotripsy, then things are looking up (get good pain killers; LL was soft-selling the "unpleasantness" of a moving stone).

 

If you go for the surgery, you will have three small scars on your abdomen, and the biggest discomfort, other than some short(ish) term muscular discomfort in the abdominal wall will be the air pocket from the surgery itself.  (They inflate your belly to get room to work.  It's actually kind of cool!  )

 

Forgive the assumptions; during the course of a day, everyone I talk to lives in the US; the assumption is habituation to living here.  :lol:

 

 

also:

 

If you dont give up the deep fried stuff, your bathroom habits have a much higher chance of changing for the unpleasant: remember that bile is necesary for the efficient breaking down of lipids.  Without it, thw orocess becomes far less effective than it used to be.

 

(No: it will probably not help you lose weight)

 

 

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Yeah I'm homeless and I need to basically go get "omabacare". I know I saw things like apple juice may help in dissolving smaller stones.

 

As part of manic-depressive I've been on Lithium for the past year - that may have to do with the kidney issue as well. I'm trying to keep it together but it's hard.

 

Homeless 

Living in a shelter 

Part time job cleaning streets 

1/3 of my money is being taken for back child support [I have no problem paying, when you get $380 bi-weekly and you pay $200/month rent and $168 child..well...]

 

And now this. If I wasn't a MHMR case before....

 

I do want to thank for all the feedback it's helped. Still scared but with my family history and the word "surgery" (shudders).

 

 

 

 

Oh, that's $168 per check btw, nor month.

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1 hour ago, Duke Bushido said:

Forgive the assumptions; during the course of a day, everyone I talk to lives in the US; the assumption is habituation to living here.  :lol:

 

I'm prone to the same thing under different parameters. Living my whole life in Canada, I sometimes forget not everyone can just go to a doctor when they're sick.

 

1 hour ago, Duke Bushido said:

If you find you are a candidate for lithotripsy, then things are looking up (get good pain killers; LL was soft-selling the "unpleasantness" of a moving stone).

 

And guilty again, although not intentionally. I have a high pain tolerance, but a couple of years ago I had a broken wrist reset while conscious and without pain medication, so my upper threshold for defining "severe pain" went up considerably.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I have to disagree partially with Duke. Small stones can pass naturally with urination. My brother was prone to them and had several bouts where they eventually passed, with considerable pain. Sometimes larger ones can be broken up inside the body with ultrasound, allowing the smaller fragments to pass. But if you've gotten to the point of inflammation, other organs affected, and your doctors discussing possible surgery, IME it's very unlikely they'll go away on their own. Without some sort of intervention they'll probably get worse.

 

Sorry, were we talking about gallstones or kidney stones?  I confess that my medical nollidge is limited.

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My gallbladder tried to murder me back in August. The surgeon told my wife I had a "verrry angry gallbladder." They described it as basically a spiky ball of hardened death. I'd been having abdominal issues for years. Couldn't stand a friendly poke in the belly. Had been diagnosed with everything except gallbladder issues. One weekend, I felt some abdominal pain after eating, as I often did, and wrote it off as gas as I usually did. By day four, I said "Time for an ER visit!" (I have a fairly high pain tolerance, and tend to put things off until they're reaching fatal proportions.) So, they went in and yanked it out. I got not three, but .  . . count 'em . . . five laparoscopy holes.

 

And I felt GREAT afterward. I didn't even take the prescribed painkillers when I was recovering, just some Ibuprofen to help with the swelling once a day. I did have some post-surgical pain and swelling, but barely noticeable after four days of Murder Ball rocking out on my liver.

 

The surgery is one of the most common, if not the most common, performed in the US. My doctor had done so many, that he even removed his own gallbladder! (OK, that last part isn't true.) So, surgery-wise, not too bad, really. Very routine, relatively un-scary.

 

As for the after effects: The doctor said that you can avoid fatty foods afterward if they bother you, but that in the long run, dietary restrictions really didn't matter. Your bile ducts will kind of stretch to expand their capacity and compensate. I haven't had any trouble unless I eat way too much dairy, but other fatty foods don't send me rushing to the bathroom. In fact, I have less issues now than I did before, with the malfunctioning gallbladder intact. I'm not saying that there isn't a possibility of side effects, just that I was told that they were low and that it proved to be the case for me.

 

I can't speak to the other issues, but if the gallbladder has to go, chances are you'll barely miss it.

 

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Both my wife and daughter have had their gall bladder removed. Something of a tradition for women on her side of the family.

 

I was told at the time that it wasn't uncommon for the gall bladder problem to cause secondary infections and that those can sometimes interfere with imaging. So there might not be anything actually wrong with your other organs and all the problems are originating with the gall bladder.

 

My wife's gall bladder was like a sack of stones. The doctor quit counting the stones when he got over 50 and what wasn't stones was like sand.

 

Neither my wife or daughter have had to change their diet or lifestyle to cope with not having a gall bladder. I think my wife was in her 40's when hers was removed and I'm not sure if my daughter had turned 20 yet. I think some people do have to take a prescription medicine to help with their digestion (but couldn't swear to that) and limit their intake of greasy foods (which I know for sure is a recommendation).

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1 hour ago, HeroGM said:

I hate the fact of being cut open. Already done that twice and not looking forward to it again.


    I know very little about this, but my brother had kidney stones and they were able to do micro surgery.  Outpatient work done in the Doctor’s office and he came home that evening.  Keep a good thought, it may not be a worst case scenario.   Here’s hoping for you. Happy whatever Holiday you like.

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Honestly, it's not so bad, you get used to being cut open after a while.  I had a "Major health event" in the summer of 2018, and I am not the same as I was. Right now I am on Kidney Dialysis, and other than the "enforced relaxation of three and a half hours Mondays and Fridays. MY health has improved a bit since 2018. In fact I have to go in for some minor surgery this morning, but it's out patient, where basically my right elbow is going to be sore for a week. But after that "health event" I have been a LOT more attentive to good health and diet. (and losing 50 lbs. was a big help).

 

I have had gallstones in the past, and they were removed. I have had kidney stones in the past, and they were dealt with, back then. It's not how you pay for the medical care that counts, so much it's the quality of the doctors, Nurses and facility that does. Talk to them, deal with them directly if you can, and above all, follow their advice.

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As far as the financial side goes: Explain your situation and see what resources are available. I work at a hospital. We have funds set up to help people in your situation. So, even if it's a bit of an awkward conversation, it's worth having for your health. We're the same age, and I can tell you you aren't going to suddenly have less issues as you age. Take care of yourself, I enjoy your presence in our little community here.

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Lady P had her gall bladder out a few years back. She felt immensely better almost at once, and the only negative effect was a reduced tolerance for greasy foods--and salads.

 

It wasn't even as bad as her pregnancies, which forced her to end her life-long love affair with Pepsi. 

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