Health Update

I just wanted to warn my regular readers that if my posting becomes slow or erratic over the next several weeks, it is because I am having some health problems that may require surgery.

For the past week, I have been having chronic sharp pains in the upper right quadrant of my abdomen and in the center of my back and under my right shoulder blade. Yesterday, I finally went to an urgent care facility because my regular GP couldn’t see me until this coming Monday, and the doctor is pretty certain that I have gallstones. I had several x-rays and some bloodwork to confirm the diagnosis at the hospital last night.

After I talk with the doctor on Monday, he is probably going to refer me to the surgeon, and we’ll go from there. I will probably be able to have the gallbladder removed through laproscopic surgery, which means tiny incisions and quicker healing. If there is a complication, then it is the old fashioned, big incision surgery for me and a long post-op healing period.

Not fun.

In the meantime, I am eating lots of whole grains, low fat dairy products, vegetables and fruits.

And soup.

And rice.

Thank God for rice!

Update to the update:

I went to my regular doctor this morning, and brought along the report from the x-rays and the blood work. The x-rays came back all normal; no gallstones showed up, no swellings in the organs, nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, both my regular doctor and the Express care doctor I saw on Friday (and whom I spoke with this morning) said that an ultrasound was called for, because the symptoms show a classic case of gallstones.

My blood work is fine–no raised white cell count, no signs of infection and the liver function is coming back normal. That is great news.

So, now I have an appointment for an ultrasound on the 9th of October and an appointment with the surgeon on the 11th.

In the meantime, on Wednesday, we are going to Baltimore so Kat and Zak’s Grandpa, who is in his nineties, can visit. He saw her when she was a few months old, but hasn’t since then, and we wanted to make certain he got to see her before heading back to Florida for the winter. We had already planned this trip when the gallbladder started to act up.

So, I will take care to eat low-fat food and just trust that all will be well.


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  1. I hope you’re back on your feet and feeling terrific in no time!

    Comment by Cindy — September 26, 2009 #

  2. My very best wishes for no complications – including the diagnosis! I had the laparoscopic removal in July of ’01. I was permitted to go home that day, and was able to resume driving (because of no heavy duty pain-killers) by the end of the week.

    Comment by Lisa — September 26, 2009 #

  3. My wife just went thru the operation & back up to speed after 6 weeks. Even the laparoscopic is 5 stab wounds so take it easy & let things heal. Up side is she lost 20 lbs & I’m really gung ho on low fat recipes.

    Comment by John — September 26, 2009 #

  4. take care! Love to hear about you and your lovely family, I will be beaming good thoughts from california for you.

    Comment by gizella — September 26, 2009 #

  5. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you! Hope you’re able to get a quick, accurate diagnosis.

    Comment by De in D.C. — September 27, 2009 #

  6. Hope all goes well and you have a speedy recovery Barbara. Will be thinking good thoughts for you.

    Comment by Steph — September 27, 2009 #

  7. hope you feel better soon!

    Comment by Martin — September 27, 2009 #

  8. I hope all goes well and you are back to feeling your old self as soon as possible. Best wishes from BC, Canada.

    Comment by Grace — September 27, 2009 #

  9. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for an easy surgery and no complications, Barbara!

    Comment by Elizabeth Yalkut — September 27, 2009 #

  10. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    Comment by Desert Verdin — September 27, 2009 #

  11. All the best to you Barbara – I have my laproscopic gall bladder removal scheduled on October 16 ! I recognize your symptoms and hope that you get in and feel better soon.

    Aileen in Nova Scotia

    Comment by Aileen — September 27, 2009 #

  12. I’m feeling better–a couple of days of low-fat, no meat seems to have chilled out the pain. The one dose of demerol I took probably helped, too. I’m still a little sore, but none of the insistent sort of stabby kinds of pains anymore. Just sore.

    Though, I cannot imagine ever taking demerol for fun. It just–no. Ick.

    I’ll be talking with doctors tomorrow and will update then.

    Thanks for the good vibes, kind words and wishes and prayers and all of that wonderful stuff. You guys are the best.

    Aileen–I will be thinking of you. I don’t know when mine will be, but I am getting rid of this mess–I cannot imagine either going through it again or becoming a low-fat vegan sort. I’d have to give up cheese. Meat, yeah, I can probably give that up, but cheese? No way.

    Comment by Barbara — September 27, 2009 #

  13. Good luck Barbara – I hope all goes well and you recover quickly.

    Comment by Trig — September 28, 2009 #

  14. Best wishes for a quick recovery!

    Comment by Laura — September 28, 2009 #

  15. I read the first part of your symptoms and thought gallbladder immediately. I had mine out about two years ago, but I was admitted for surgery straight from the ER on Christmas morning, so I didn’t go through the diet modifications prior. With your skills and natural tendency toward healthy food, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for you. The lap. procedure was quick and (relatively) painless and I was back to work a week after and back to 100% after about 3. Good luck and hope you feel better soon.

    Comment by Margaret — September 28, 2009 #

  16. I’ll be here thinking good thoughts for you! Here’s hoping for an easy procedure and an easier recovery.

    Comment by Christine — September 28, 2009 #

  17. I wish you the best! My mother had to have hers removed earlier this year and now she can’t really eat anything with too much fat without having a bad case of the runs, to put it delicately. Doctor said that’s normal, so, that might be something to keep in mind even after you have your surgery.
    Hope you see you well again soon!

    Comment by Kyria — September 28, 2009 #

  18. I wish you well Barbara.

    My mother had gallbladder problems. She refused surgery – that gallbladder was hers and she was going to keep it come hell or high water. No one was going to deprive her of it. She found an old formula that helped her. She mixed lemon juice and olive oil and would sip on that all day. By the time she had passed away at the age of 92 she had lived 45 years after her gallbladder problem had been diagnosed. Whenever she felt a problem coming she got out the lemon juice and olive oil.

    Personally, I would have had it taken out and be done with it. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

    Comment by Maureen — September 28, 2009 #

  19. Fingers crossed for a speedy and painless-as-possible resolution!

    Comment by Lexica — September 28, 2009 #

  20. Get well soon!

    Comment by Jumper — September 28, 2009 #

  21. Hi Barbara,
    I read your blog often and wanted to send you this link:

    I realize that the fats are bothering you now. I had my mother adapt this b/c she too was facing removal of her gall bladder. getting rid of all veggie oils (cept real olive oil from cali) margarine spreads/low fat dairy and replacing them with butter/lard/tallow/whole grassfed milk reversed her pain and her stones dissolved.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Comment by sarah — September 28, 2009 #

  22. Get well soon and welcome to Baltimore!

    Comment by Stephanie — September 29, 2009 #

  23. I hope all goes well and that you are feeling better soon!

    Comment by Amy D. — September 29, 2009 #

  24. Best wishes for a quick recovery! Hope you can enjoy some crabcakes while in Baltimore.

    Comment by Kristin — September 29, 2009 #

  25. Barbara-whether you cook the most fantastic recipes and share them with us or share you trials and triumphs, I think we all just love checking in on your blog- you are such a lovely lady along with your daughters, husband, cats and hometown,GA.
    Eagle, ID wishes you lots of good thoughts and prayers-I think it really works!
    Keep us updated!

    Comment by Peggy — September 29, 2009 #

  26. I hope the trip goes well. Traveling can take a lot out of you when you are sick. Take lots of breaks and try to rest when you can.

    Comment by Diane — October 1, 2009 #

  27. Goodness, Barbara. You’re really having an awful time with this. Wishing you positive energy and, as Lexica said, a quick and painless recovery from Virginia.

    Comment by Nancy — October 4, 2009 #

  28. I had my gallbladder out laporascopically. I was really out for a couple of days, and back 90% within a week. Almost all surgeries nowadays are done laporascopically. Good luck!

    Comment by Heather — October 8, 2009 #

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