August 28, 2009

My Cholelithiasis Story Part I

Cholelithiasis is the presence of one or more gallstones in the gallbladder. Typical symptom is pain which begins in the right upper quadrant but may occur elsewhere in the abdomen. The pain may radiate into the back or down the arm. Episodes begin suddenly, become intense within 15 mins to 1 hour, remain at a steady intensity (not colicky) for up to 12 hours (not less than 6 hours), and then gradually disappear over 30 to 90 minutes, leaving a dull ache. The pain is usually severe enough to send patients to the emergency department for relief. (from Merck Manuals Online Medical Library)

So my journey with my Cholelithiasis began July 12, 2009. I woke up feeling pain on my upper back. Thinking it was because of my sleeping position, I gladly turned over and tried to sleep on my stomach. I haven't even drifted back to sleep yet when I was wracked with pain on my upper abdomen. The pain steadily increased intensity in about 10 to 15 minutes. It was unbearable and I was writhing in pain.

The husbo got scared because I was already pale from the pain so he decided to bring me to the nearest emergency room for treatment. I was given some pain relievers (which took away the pain instantly) and was advised that it was acid related. I was discharged with some medicines for the acid and told to stay away from caffeinated drinks (good bye coffee! sniff! sniff!).

July 31, 2009 - Got home from my shift. My stomach felt kind of weird so I took some antacids for fear I might get another attack. I slept praying I won't get the same episode. What do you know? I woke up around noon, in pain again. This time the pain doubled and I was vomiting like crazy.

I gathered strength to call up the husbo and asked him to come home and bring me to the ER again. The pain was so excruciating already I couldn't even stand up anymore. I felt so bad because I was tired from my shift and I haven't had decent sleep yet. So as soon as the husbo arrived we went straight the the same hospital.

After some questions, the doctor immediately ordered to give me IV as I was already dehydrated from all the vomiting. Pain reliever was given to me but it didn't work. After 10 minutes the pain intensified. The husbo called the nurse's attention. They gave me another round of pain killers, this time stronger than the one given to me earlier. Oh my goodness! I never thought the pain could get any worse but it did! I told the nurse that on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the highest, the pain is now at 15! That got them scampering to my side because when they checked my blood pressure, it was now at 190/120 (and I came in with 120/90)!

ECG was done and the doctor explained the increase in blood pressure was because of the pain. He immediately asked the nurse to give me Demerol. How much I couldn't remember but as soon as the medicine flowed into my veins I felt instant relief. Whew! The husbo was talking to me but the Demerol got me groggy so I couldn't understand. Turns out the doctor was asking him to get me admitted in the hospital already so they can do more tests. I guess it baffled them so much (which I found wierd) that my blood, urine and lipase tests returned with normal results and yet I was in so much pain.

Part II up next. My first hospital confinement.

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