Gallstones...

LizB1212
on 4/28/12 6:34 pm
 Hello--
My husband is just over 4 months out from his Rny.  He's had few issues and has lost very rapidly -- over 100 lbs.  We just got off the phone with the on-call doc from his surgeon's practice.  After lunch today, my husband felt a significant amount of pain -- around his sternum and radiating up to shoulders.  I think he thought something was stuck, though he's not had that happen before and chews very well.  It took about an hour for him to feel better, and we thought that it just might have been some anomaly at lunch.  

Dinner tonight was terrifying.  We went out for Japanese food, and he (as he usually does) made good choices -- some fish that he's tolerated well before as well as some soft stir-fried veggies.  He also had one small piece of a sushi roll with rice.  Within about 10 minutes of starting dinner, he looked like he was going to die -- not dumping, just severe pain.  We packed up the kids and left the restaurant.  At some point on the drive home, he said he thought he needed to go to the ER - I  honestly thought he was having a heart attack.  He was writhing in the front seat.  He's a pretty tough guy who hates the hospital/doctors -- for him to ask to go to the ER was really telling.

By the time we approached home, he decided he wanted to go try and throw  up -- thought something was stuck.  He couldn't vomit.  I ran to grab the papaya enzyme that everyone talks about.  Then (about 45 mins after the original pain), it seemed to lessen.  

The doctor on call told us that it was most likely his gall bladder, especially given his fairly rapid weight loss.  We live about 75 minutes from the surgeon's office and I'm a little concerned about waiting till Monday to get him seen.  The doctor told him to avoid anything with ANY fat until Monday and to mainly focus on plain food/protein shakes.  He's still pretty uncomfortable (3 hours later).  Will he be ok till Monday?  We have small kids, no one really to help us watch them, and a trip to the ER is really difficult tonight/tomorrow.  The doctor said if the pain persists, not to mess around because he may have a blocked duct or something.  The ER said it's at least a 3 hour wait...hard to know what to do at this point...  

Anyone deal with fast-onset gallbladder issues?  Should I send him to the ER solo tongiht while I stay home with the kids?  
slashes
on 4/28/12 6:39 pm
Geez that sounds so scary. I have never dealt with that, BUT if I were you and he has another attack I would go to the ER regardless of the wait. Why chance waiting until Monday. IF he is comfortable right now then wait, but again if it happens again go go go.
I wish u luck and hope ur hubby is feeling better. I know how scary emergencies can be. Hang in there.

 
  

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lanagirl
on 4/28/12 6:42 pm, edited 4/28/12 6:44 am
Yes, I just dealt with it about a month ago and other than giving me pain meds they didn't do a whole lot at the ER. I was admitted and they put me on IV antibiotics for 5 days along with some anti nausea meds, and anti inflammitory stuff. My surgeon will not take out a gall bladder while you are having an attack. He believes in getting it to calm down with the meds listed above and waiting a month or so. I couldn't wait that long because even after all those meds and oral antibiotics at home for a week I was still in pain so 2 weeks ago he took it out.

As for your husband if the pain is lessoning he can probably wait until Monday but I would stay in close contact with the DR while making that decision. I'm not a Dr and you should follow your instincts but in my case they didn't act like it was life or death. The pain was really the worst part. Just make sure he doesn't get dehydrated because starting an IV is hard if he does. Good luck and please keep us posted.
     
          
poet_kelly
on 4/28/12 6:57 pm - OH
I would do what the doc on call said.  If he feels better, I'd wait.  If he continues to have severe pain, or if he develops other symptoms like a fever, I'd go to the ER. 

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.

 

Barb H.
on 4/28/12 7:03 pm - Kailua-Kona, HI
Revision on 01/25/12
What a thing to have to deal with on a weekend! If he can stay on bland, non-fat foods through Monday or whenever he can get in to see his doctor, this will give hid GB a chance to settle down and reduce the inflammation. I would also encourage him to drink as much fluids as possible. I'm so sorry he's going through this. I had mine removed 6 months after my first surgery but didn't have the pain he is having. But if he has another flare up, I would recommend he goes to the ER. His symptoms are pretty intense and could evolve into something more serious if not addressed.

On a positive note, how awesome it is that he's done do well! He's about a month further out than me and has lost twice as much as I have! I am very happy for him!
Lap band 03/09; revised to RNY 01/12
Read about my journey at www.journeyofafatwoman.wordpress.com
   
(deactivated member)
on 4/28/12 7:04 pm
RNY on 04/18/12 with
I had a gall bladder attack in 1992.  I thought I was having a heart attack!  Since I didn't know what the heck it was, I was taken to the ER and admitted to the cardiac care unit.  After a bunch of tests, I had an ultrasound that showed a gall bladder full of stones.  I was put on medication and had surgery a few weeks later.

Please do what the on-call doctor says.  If the pain persists, get him to the ER.  If the pain has subsided, keep a watchful eye on him and get him in as soon as possible Monday.

It's a shame these things always seem to happen on the weekend.  Good luck to you both and I wish for the very best outcome for you all.
LizB1212
on 4/28/12 7:05 pm
 Thanks everyone.  He's feeling a bit better -- he seems to be sore from clenching his chest and abdominal muscles during the worst of it.  We'll watch for the fever, too.  I think he's going to go to bed and we'll stay close to home tomorrow and keep him on very plain food and his protein shakes till Monday.  Now, I'm stressed about what seems to be the very real possibility of another surgery and a recovery.  His Rny was open...  it looks like most gallbladder surgeries are laparoscopic.  

Lanagirl -- did I read your message right?  Were you really in the hospital for 1-2 weeks before they took out the gallbladder?  
poet_kelly
on 4/28/12 7:21 pm - OH
Most gall bladder surgeries are lap, yeah.  But if he needed open RNY, he might need his gall bladder done open, too.  I don't know.

My gall bladder surgery was really, really easy.  I took one dose of pain meds that night.  Felt fine the day after surgery.  I was amazed how easy it was.  I know that's not the case for everyone, though.

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.

 

lanagirl
on 4/28/12 7:46 pm
I was in the hospital for 5 days then sent home on antibiotics for 5 more. I was at home for 2 weeks after getting out then I had the surgery. My Dr really wanted to wait a month but I was just in too much pain. He thought it would calm down more the longer we waited but it was so infected that it would not get better. He took it out laproscopicly but said after it was very difficult because it was so tough and thick. I still have pain in my belly button and it's been 2+ weeks and I'm now dealing with some fluid issues. Not fun. I think I may have prefered to have the surgery open. If your husbands is infected like mine was it will not matter what he eats. My pain never came and went, it came and stayed until the antibiotics helped fight the infection but it never really went away until it was out. If it is an attack it will come and go and he can wait to see the Dr. I was very very sick when I went in and I did not have a fever and my white blood cell count was only slightly raised, but when they scanned my gall bladder is was very enlarged and angry, so looking for the fever may not be enough. If the pain is not tolerable go to the ER. My pain was worse than natural childbirth.
     
          
LizB1212
on 4/28/12 7:12 pm
 Barb, thanks for your been-there note as well.  He does seem to be losing weight very quickly -- and it's fun for everyone when his shorts fall off in the kitchen.  (:  

Usually, the kids just throw up (or need stitches) on weekend evenings...  sigh.  
LizB1212
on 4/29/12 1:51 pm
 Thanks again everyone.  So... he actually was worried enough to go to the ER this afternoon and get an ultrasound.  They said they had some difficulty imaging his gallbladder, but also said they didn't seen any stones.  So.  They suggested he might have "gas" or "may have eaten something that didn't agree with him."  His bloodwork showed nothing abnormal, either.  

Seriously, what else could this be?   It's really distressing.  He's terrified to have that pain again.  The surgeon is out of town, so his on-call person will see him tomorrow.  I'm assuming they'll probably send him for an endoscopy.  

In addition to a protein shake, he sliced turkey breast with a little lowfat mayo and a slice of cheese for lunch with a 1/4 of a banana.  He's been ok since.