I spent the morning in the ER.
Shocked? :) The pain was unbearable when I last posted. On Wednesday I called my doctor's office. Doctor Clark was out of town, so another doctor overlooked my symptoms and prescribed Zantac, thinking it might be an ulcer or just bad reflux. I was grumpy about it, but started taking the zantac. I knew it wasn't reflux. I was skeptical about an ulcer. Thursday night the pain got way worse, and so Friday morning I went to the Instacare so that a doctor would be forced to listen to me. Once again, he seemed immediately convinced it was an ulcer or reflux. I kept saying, "No, this is not acid related!" So, as a last resort, the doctor decided to appease me by doing some blood work. I ran out of time last night to call in about the results (because they told me that the labs might be done by six or seven, but they close at eight...).
This morning Cody was making ebleskivers and I was happily clipping coupons. I had taken one bite when my phone rang and it was the tech from the Instacare. My liver function was poor and they wanted me to go into the ER to get an ultrasound of my liver and gall bladder done. I was supposed to go fasting, so I didn't finish my breakfast and prayed that would be good enough.
Cody and I rapidly got the kids ready and mom and dad graciously allowed us to drop off Lee and Anna. Cody abandoned me at the hospital (not really... he had an appointment, and since I wasn't bleeding from an artery or passed out, we decided together he should just go to his appointment), Matthew and my dad gave me a blessing, and I took Katie with me to the ER so that I could still nurse her. We don't even own a bottle, so me leaving her behind was out of the question.
They admitted me right away and I went to an exam room, where they took my vitals and did another blood draw. I waited and waited and waited. A doctor ordered the necessary ultrasound. More waiting. Katie slept. I decided that Emergency Rooms--at least where I live--aren't nearly as dramatic as television makes them out to be. They finally came and wheeled me back for the ultrasound. I felt very silly in that wheelchair, when I'm perfectly fine with walking.
The ultrasound wasn't very comfortable. He kept making me take deep breaths and hold them for like twenty seconds. But it only was about fifteen minutes. Then I went back to the room and waited some more. I am grateful for the blessing Matthew gave me, and that I was given the calm and comfort I needed. I always get more stressed out about the "what ifs," and it could have been way worse, considering I was alone and all.... anyway. Finally, after about two hours in the ER, the doctor came back and said the ultrasound clearly showed my gall bladder is full of gall stones. He explained the typical symptoms and functions of this issue, and it fits my problem perfectly.
Now, I'm not excited to have gall stones. But I am so thrilled I have a diagnosis that fits the bill and makes sense! The prognosis from now is to go on a very low fat diet, which will hopefully reduce the pain. On Monday I will call a surgeon and then discuss the options. If the stones only pain me every few months, we can leave it be or just manage it with diet. But my gut feeling is that we'll remove my gall bladder. I've had pain every day for a week, and this isn't the first time in my life. I don't want it to continue.
So, that's the update for now. Obviously there will be more after I talk to the surgeon. I am still in pain, but just knowing what the cause is is very comforting. Thank you for all your prayers and love! You know me--if childbirth can't stop me from posting on the blog, a few gall stones won't keep me away either! :)