Surgery Is Scheduled

Surgery Is Scheduled - Gallbladder Surgery

After my gallbladder attack I did a lot of research. Research on the foods I could and couldn’t eat, research on surgery, and research on the effects the surgery would have on my life.

My biggest concern, however, had nothing to do with me, but with Norah.

She still isn’t taking a bottle very well when I’m out and for the most part I can’t leave for longer than 2 hours without her becoming upset and sometimes unconsolable. Especially at night.

So I needed to know that having her with me at the hospital would be OK. And nursing wouldn’t be an issue after surgery. Except I’m getting conflicting responses and information.

I met with my surgeon today to discuss everything. How long the procedure would be (1-2 hours tops), what my diet would be like after the surgery, and then I talked about Norah. And the fact that she won’t take a bottle and my concerns about not being able to nurse.

Surgery Is Scheduled - Gallbladder

He said that the only thing he would have any concern with is the anesthesia in my system. Not to worry about the meds because they could work around that. And he said that I could discuss the type of anesthesia used with the anesthesiologist beforehand so that we use something they’d use on an infant if an infant was being put under.

I felt better. I felt like this wasn’t going to be a problem. And I was ready to schedule my surgery knowing that my little one would be able to be with me and nurse before and after surgery. Until his nurse came in to schedule the date of the surgery.

And she… well she told me differently. She mentioned that most doctors recommend pumping and dumping 24-48 hours after surgery. And then she went on to give me tips on how to get Norah to take my milk. Spoon feeding, using a nursing bra over the bottle to give her a familiar scent, etc. She told me a story of how she had to go to the hospital after one of her little ones was born and dealt with the same thing. And she got me worried all over again.

I did a few internet searches – yes, I know this is NOT the same as my doctor’s word – and from what I can tell I should be fine to nurse after surgery. KellyMom and Anesthesia Web shared research to back up their answers and stories from LaLecheLeague also confirmed that I should be able to nurse after surgery just fine.

For now I won’t stress about it. I’ll go by what my surgeon has said and will wait to talk to my anesthesiologist a few days before surgery. I’ll also still continue to give Norah to daddy on the weekends to try a bottle and will have pumped milk ready for them before surgery next month. Just in case.

As for the actual surgery… That seems easy enough.

Surgery Is Scheduled - laparoscopic surgery

That Time I Thought I Was Going To Die

That Time I Thought I Was Going To Die

Saturday mornings are a mundane routine that I look forward to every week. My middle child always seems to wake up at 6:30 and takes it upon herself to wake me and the baby up because, you know, she wants to start her day. So we make our way into the living room and I make some coffee as she entertains her sister. Fun and laughter ensue as I grab a bowl of cereal for her and me as the baby plays with a spoon. The baby would much rather have our cereal but Honey Nut Chex isn’t really baby friendly.

Then my son comes wandering in. Messy bed head, pjs dishevelled, thumb in his mouth and other thumb clutching onto his manhood making sure it’s still there. He curls up onto the couch near me and grabs a pillow as he watches whatever’s on Disney Junior or PBS Kids. We’re all relaxed in our various states of wakefullness as my husband comes out fully rested (after sleeping with my daughter’s foot in his back). He asks if we’ve gotten the newspaper and one of hte kids always volunteers to run out and grab it since Daddy doesn’t like going outside without his shoes and clothes on (unlike myself who’ll go out in PJs).

I’ll grab another cup of coffee and make my son some eggs for breakfast. Then my husband will enjoy a waffle or two from the freezer batch we made the Sunday before. He’ll eat quickly and hop into the shower so that we can start our day and get on to our first adventure of the weekend.

Last Saturday started like any other Saturday. Except before the husband got into the shower my two oldest started bickering and fighting over one thing or another. And all of a sudden my headache from the night before was back. So he kindly got me some Tylenol and water and then left to take his shower. The kids got distracted by something else and eventually went outside to hunt for bugs. It was just me and baby.

And that’s when it hit. OMG.

With no warning, no explaination, I was suddenly hit by gut wrenching pain in my upper abdomin. It was enough to have me doubled over in pain and wriggling around trying to find a way, a position, anything, to get it to lessen or stop. The baby was looking at me like I was cray-cray. Didn’t understand why I kept going from sitting, to standing, to laying down.

The only thing it reminded me of was when I thought I was dying when I ate calamari for the first time as a young tween. I was maybe 13 or 14 and we were driving home from a friend of my step dad’s house. The only thing I did differently was enjoy the tasty calamari they had made. I was convinced it was food poisoning but after extensive tests at the doctor’s I was told I had a stomach ulcer. That’s right. A stomach ulcer and I wasn’t even 15 yet.

Now 15+ years later I was feeling the same pain in the same spot. So I ran and grabbed a Zantac in hopes that it was an ulcer and I could calm it down. No dice. I told my daugther, who had made her way back inside, that she needed to get her father and bring him to me. He completely ignored her thinking she just wanted to hop into the shower and steal his hot water for herself. So I limped over to him, still doubled over, and banged on the bathroom door, which he locked, screaming at him to get out and get dressed.

I didn’t know where we should go but I knew I needed the pain to stop. I couldn’t handle it. And I’ve carried and birthed 3 kids! Two of which came out naturally and one was unmedicated. So I know a little about pain.

He opened the door and saw my face and quickly went into action. He got dressed, made sure the kids got dressed, as I attempted to get myself ready. I may have brushed my hair but that was about it before I headed to the car with my wallet. Molly followed and got herself buckled up in the back seat as I tried not to cry in the front. I was just praying my husband remembered to grab the diapers. And the baby.

He remembered both and soon he, the baby, and my son were in the car too. But he had no where to go and I was in no condition to help direct him. Definitely another marital challenge to throw in the books. But after a little juggling and frantically wondering which urgent care was closer, then wanting to go to Grossmont hospital when we were already heading west (the opposite direction), he found himself going to the right place and made a quick decision to skip urgent care and take me directly to the ER.

As soon as we pulled up I grabbed my purse and walked in. I had no clue what to do but finally found a check in. As I gave my info, to one person, another asked me questions. One of which was if I had major abdominal surgery recently. I mentioned that I had a c-section but it wasn’t up there. I was down there. Um yeah, that’s kind of obvious. Oy! What pain will make you say.

I finally got fully checked in and sat down in the lobby. I thought that time was moving infinitely slow. Pain was still the same level only while we were in the car it started radiating to my back too. No let up at all.

When my husband and the kids walked in my name was finally called and I started to go back.

I arrived at a bed and was told to change into a gown then pee into a cup. Too bad the curtain at my bed didn’t want to cover the whole area and the gown they gave me had broken straps. I put the gown on backwards (opening in the front) so I could cover myself up enough to ask for a new gown. And the first thing the nurse said to me was that I had it on wrong. I explained why it was on wrong and kindly asked for another gown. This new and improved one actually

Since the kids would be a bit distracting, I tried to message my MIL to see if she could grab the big kids after the nurses got me all settled in with an IV and more info on my situation. Guess my husband had already called her when he parked and she already was on her way. Talk about a speedy reaction time.

The doctor came in and asked me a few more questions about the type of pain, where it was, and if him pushing in certain spots hurt. Yes, yes to it all. He asked if I wanted meds and I explained that I was breastfeeding a kid… I mean a baby… who wouldn’t take a bottle. He really didn’t have any alternatives other than giving me a half dose of morphine in my IV to ease the pain. He also mentioned that he thought it was my gallbladder.

After the doctor’s visit, the student nurse came in to set up my IV and give me the pain meds. By then my husband had come back to find me and once I was all set, Norah joined me in bed. Since it had been about 2 hours since her last feeding, we nursed and she quickly fell asleep in the bed on me. Nursing in that gown was quite awkward. Especially when they had me close it in the back. But we managed. She didn’t seem to mind where we were or what I was doing. She just wanted the comfort of mommy’s milk and a snuggle in my arms.

That Time I Thought I Was Going To Die - napping baby in the ER

About 30 minutes passed when an ultrasound technician came over to take a look inside. I woke Norah up to give her to my husband while the tech did his thing. From his responses and the way he continued to have me move and reposition we knew something was going on in there. After he was done he said he had to consult with the doctor and his boss but the doctor would be in shortly to talk to me.

By then Norah needed a diaper change so Joseph headed off to take care of her. The doctor came back and confirmed that not only did I have gall stones, I had a LOT of gall stones. He was surprised that this was my first attack and went over what my next steps would be. I’d have two options: lifestyle change of cutting out all fat and greasy food in my diet and hope I don’t have another attack any time soon or elective gall bladdder surgery. I was to contact my primary physician and schedule a consult with a surgeon.

In the meantime I’d have to cut out fat and greasy food from my diet. Good thing I didn’t start the LCHF diet I was planning on starting, right? Oy!! Could you imagine the pain I’d be in?

So the plan is to continue trying to eat whole foods while cutting out the fats I love. And that’s a lot! Eggs, salad dressing/oil, avocados, butter. So many things in my normal diet that are being cut out. But now the big question. Once my gallbladder is out, can I start the LCHF diet? We’ll see!

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