Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hi Again

Oh, it's been a long time since I wrote for you, my lovelies. I hope you've been well. Things have been interesting over here to say the least.

One Month of Selfie Love went really well, I'll post more on that later. The hubby turned 30! Woot! We had a ton of turn over at work, but that seems to be over for now. Oh, and I had major surgery.

I've had tummy troubles for a little while now, but for the most part I was able to control it by watching my diet, until one Sunday morning early this month. My usually tummy troubles got started (nausea, terrible tasting burps, diarrhea, and just generally unpleasantness) but this time it was accompanied by severe pain. The pain was bad enough that I was comparing it to labor and we decided a trip to the ER was in order.

Turns out, I had gallstones, "a whole mess of them", according to the ultrasound, and I was advised to get my gallbladder out as quickly as I could. I met with my PCP and got in to a see a surgeon and began a vegan diet within just a few days. The vegan diet would keep me from having another attack until surgery day and I was told to expect a quick and easy laparoscopic procedure, a few days out of work with some soreness, then no more tummy troubles.

Well, that didn't really happen. The surgeon here in Abilene began the procedure to remove my gallbladder and as part of that inserted dye to ensure that there were no gallstones in the common bile duct. The dye however did not pass through the entirety of the duct. The Abilene surgeon consulted with a surgeon in Dallas and it was decided that he would close and I would be sent to Methodist Dallas Hospital for the surgery.

I was taken to Dallas by helicopter for the emergency surgery that evening in Dallas. The surgeon was able to remove my gallbladder, but also had to remove most of my common bile duct and replace it with a loop of intestine. Bile duct injuries occur in less than 1% of gallbladder removals but can be potentially very dangerous. We were lucky that the Abilene surgeon noticed the problem and sought counsel before proceeding.
A graphic showing the loop of intestine that now serves as my bile duct.

I've recovered fairly well so far. I'm two weeks post-op now and I still have my staples and this glorious JP drain that helps drain out the excess bile. I've slowly been able to be more active and I'm almost getting the hang of what and how much I can eat (too much at once or too much of the wrong stuff and I get very sick very quickly). I see the surgeon again on Monday to get my staples and drain removed and see when I'll be able to go back to work.

One thing that has been incredibly clear through out this process has been the support of our friends and church community. The day I went to the ER, we had a friend come stay with the boys and she not only took excellent care of them, she also cleaned our house while here. Following the surgery, our church started a meal train and has been supplying the majority of our meals since the surgery. Further, they paid for a babysitter to watch the boys on the Saturday that I was in the hospital so that Philip could come visit me. Another friend who was local to the Dallas area brought me a hairbrush and puzzle books while I was there, and trust me, that hairbrush was much needed! It has been such a blessing to know that my family was being loved and cared for when I could not be there, and I know Philip appreciated that help as well.

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