Another Health Update: The Gallbladder is Fine

So, in an odd twist of luck, I had my ultrasound on Friday morning. I woke up after fasting all night, hungry and nauseous as all get-out, and a little bit sore, and went to the hospital, checked in and had the ultrasound done. It was a comprehensive look at the gallbladder, pancreas and liver.

The radiologist looked at it and sent the report to my doctor’s office. I showed up at the office about the time that the report got there, and was told by the nurse that there was nothing wrong with any of them.

The gallbladder was fine–no stones were in evidence. All three organs showed no sign of swellings, tumors or any other abnormalities and the bile ducts were all the correct size and shape.

But, I was still nauseous, and have been up until today. And there are two spots under my ribcage on both sides that are sore and that sometimes hurt before or after I eat. (Usually after.)

So, I am suspecting an ulcer of some sort. I have had ulcers in the past, and while I don’t have an overabundance of stomach acid, I have been burping a lot recently, and have burped up acid a few times, including in the past, an actual reflux of it in my sleep. (That would be a couple of months ago.)

It is quite possible that I got ulcers because of the NSAIDS I took for a long time for my chronic pain issues. (Which has gotten so much better now that I am taking the large doses of Vitamin D that I haven’t been taking pain killers every day for the past several weeks. In fact, this past week, I have taken exactly -no- pain killers.

So, I suspect that I will be having upper-GI scans done and all of that sort of thing to see if we can find what is causing these pains and digestive issues.

At least I don’t have to have surgery, and at least I can eat more types of food again.

I was really missing the cheese!

I want to thank everyone who has sent good wishes, happy thoughts, healing vibes and prayers in my direction. They are appreciated–and hey–it looks like they are working.

I am truly humbled by the support my readers have given me. Thank you all.


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  1. Hi Barbara:
    Great news for you ! I am so happy that you can avoid the surgeon & are able to resume eating a varied diet again. I so enjoy your blog hearing about your family & experiences. But the info you impart so generously regarding the many foods/cusines is second to none. I am married to an Indian man born in Canada so I am very familiar with north Indian cooking & I am constanty amazed with the level of knowledge you have on so many cusines. You really should write a book ! Again, I am very happy you are feeling better & will regularly check this most informative blog 🙂

    Comment by Aileen — October 11, 2009 #

  2. So glad to hear that you got a good report. Hope you can figure out what the problem is and get treating it so you’re back to normal enjoying life again!

    Comment by Kalyn — October 11, 2009 #

  3. I’m having weird mystery pains too and they are thinking gallbladder. I can’t really tell whether food is making a difference with it though, so who knows what’s going on.

    Comment by Zebe912 — October 11, 2009 #

  4. I’m having weird mystery pains too and they are thinking gallbladder. I can’t really tell whether food is making a difference with it though, so who knows what’s going on.

    I’ve heard lots of good things about Vit D supplements recently, but not that it is a pain reliever too. Interesting!

    Comment by Zebe912 — October 11, 2009 #

  5. It’s good to hear from you, and a clean scan of your gallblader and pancreas sounds like good news! I hope the mystery of what ails you is soon solved and resolved, it really can wear at a soul to be feeling unwell. Sending good thoughts for quick diagnosis and good healing your way.

    Comment by Kristi — October 11, 2009 #

  6. I *love* your blog. 🙂 Just sayin’.

    What is considered a “large” dose of Vitamin D? I have chronic back pain, and would be interested in looking into this.


    Comment by kelly — October 11, 2009 #

  7. Kelly–the large dose of vitamin D is by prescription only–something like 50,000 units. I take it once a week. Only once a week, because truthfully, that dose is close to the toxic limit. Yes, too much vitamin D at one time can kill.

    Go to your doctor, and have him or her do a blood test on your vitamin D levels. Your numeric level should be around 35-45. Mine was at 9.

    So, I have been taking the vitamin D for over six months now. I just had the level re-checked, but haven’t heard the result yet. But I will tell you–the chronic pain and fatigue I have had for years has leveled off. I still get tired somewhat easily, but the pain is not bad at all anymore.

    Kristi–it does suck to be sickly. Having an anxiety disorder on top of all of that makes it even more–well, wearying.

    But I will make it!

    Kalyn–I am hoping for normal life, too!

    Aileen–thank you so much for the kind words. I am indeed planning on a book–as well as another creative endeavor–but I am not ready to say in public what that other one will be.

    But I want to be healthier so I can get it all done.

    Zebe–good luck with your ailment. An ultrasound should tell your doctor if it is the gallbladder or not. It is a quick and easy procedure–not painful at all.

    Just do what I did and go on a low-fat, mostly vegetable diet, avoiding gas-producing vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower and sadly, beans. If it is your gallbladder, eating very little fat and lots of vegetables will make you feel better.

    Good luck again!

    And thank you all for the well-wishes!

    Comment by Barbara — October 12, 2009 #

  8. Good luck with everything, and glad to hear you don’t need surgery! I’ve had reflux/stomach issues pretty severely this year also, and I know how frustrating it can be, especially for someone who loves food. Yay for being able to eat cheese again!

    Comment by Kelly — October 12, 2009 #

  9. Great to hear no surgery and less pain! We miss you and hope you feel better soon!

    Comment by Rebecca V. — October 12, 2009 #

  10. Great news. My dad is in for a full set of ultrasound scans (prostate, bladder and surrounding organs) next week. Like you, it’s the thought of not being able to eat freely that scares him most.

    Comment by Trig — October 12, 2009 #

  11. I’m very happy to hear that you won’t be going under the knife, and hope that you get a definitive answer to your GI woes soon. Not fun.

    Comment by Christine — October 12, 2009 #

  12. Glad to hear no surgery is needed – hope you can get an answer on the possible ulcers so you can knock those out too!

    Comment by Cindy — October 12, 2009 #

  13. Glad to hear you can eat cheese again! That’s gotta be a huge relief! I had an ultrasound a few years ago, and it was clear. I just try to eat less fatty foods, and I’m OK. A friend of mine had a negative ultrasound too, but later went to the ER and had an emergency cholecystectomy. There were no stones, but there was “sludge,” which did not show up on the ultrasound. So ya never know.

    Thanks for your input/opinion on my modified boeuf borgignon recipe. Oh, it was delicious!

    Comment by Maria in Oregon — October 12, 2009 #

  14. Barbara – I am delighted to hear you won’t need gallblader surgery. That is such terrific news.

    Vitamin D has become my miracle drug. Not only has many of the ache & pains gone away but my head is so much clearer too. I no longer feel as if I am in a fog bank. My doctor increased my dosage to 50,000 twice a week because the numbers were not rising as they should. The first 6 months it went from 13 to 22. The next 3 months it slowed down and went only to 25.

    Comment by Maureen Hargrave — October 12, 2009 #

  15. good news, hope you get all straight and back to cooking, eating and blogging (and family) I still love this sites awesome recipes!

    Comment by Eugenio — October 12, 2009 #

  16. awesome! so glad to hear it. I love hearing the goings on in your house…i have a little one younger than yours, and its always fun to hear a new perspective on eating for kids.

    and cheeeeeessee..I hope you have all you can stomach very soon

    Comment by gizella — October 13, 2009 #

  17. Oh good luck! I’m glad no surgery…that must be a big relief. I hope things settle down so you can enjoy a broader diet again now.

    Comment by Diane — October 13, 2009 #

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