Monday, January 16, 2012

New and improved stomach.

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a challenge with my stomach. It really makes me want to hit everyone that told me, "You'll be as good as new once you have your gallbladder out!" While the pros are still outweighing the cons at this point (especially the fact it probably would have ruptured had the docs dragged their feet anymore), it's still requiring some annoying adjustments until my body adapts.

1) No eating 6 to 8 hours after eating.

If I eat a big meal, I have to wait at least six to eight hours before eating again, no matter how hungry I feel. I have a fast metabolism, so it's pretty common for me to be hungry after a few hours. But doing so right now will result in me getting sick. I discovered this the other day after having Cattleman's steak with Ben then Taco Bueno eight hours later. This is when I became aware of the fact that my stomach is digesting as quick as it did, as I revisited with undigested bits of salad, potato and steak later on when my stomach decided it was having quite enough of all this nonsense. Definitely no bueno.

2) Alcohol makes me sick.

Whether it be one beer or a few, one mixed drink or a few, one shot or a few, it sits heavy on my stomach and will make me sick. Plus, I feel like I have a hangover for two days no matter how much I drank. As a result, I'm going to quit drinking. I've been wanting to for awhile anyway, plus Ben and I have talked about it a few times as something good for both of us to do, so now's the time.

3) Spicy food hates my stomach.

Anyone that knows me knows I like spicy food. If it can't take the paint off the side of a barn, it's not hot enough. For awhile there, it was a running joke whenever I would go out for sushi with my friends that "sushi night isn't sushi until Kortnee overdoes it on the wasabi at least once. Well, apparently my cast iron stomach has hung up its hat and said "I'm done". Anything even remotely spicy will send me to the bathroom within a half hour. Even just a small sprinkling of crushed red pepper on pasta will do it. I feel like this is the biggest gyp ever. People told me not to eat spicy food when I started having the gallbladder issues, to stick with bland food. Spicy food didn't bother it at all, it was the bland food that bugged me the worse. Now it has flipped. Bland food loves me, spicy food hates me.

Most of it is easy enough to deal with. I just eat smaller meals more often, sometimes just grazing throughout the day rather than eating a proper meal. I don't drink. I avoid anything that might be hot. (-sob-) But that doesn't make it any less annoying.

The perks of all this?

1) No more pain.

This is the biggie. In the three months it took to get my gallbladder out, from the initial pain to surgery, I hurt all the time. While it was worse after eating (sometimes worse than others), I always hurt in my back under my right shoulder blade. It varied from a steady ache to feeling like someone was stabbing me in the back. I also hurt under the right side of my rib cage, which varied from a steady ache to something akin to what one would think the chest popping scene from Alien might feel like. The night before my surgery, I had the worse gallbladder attack to date. Which was really fun since I had so much to finish for Christmas before my surgery. I alternated between being curled up on my parents bed while trying to wrap presents, curled up in the shower throwing up down the drain, to curled up on the porch with a cigarette, crying and reminding myself suicide wasn't an option because it'd be over soon.

The pain I experienced with gallbladder redefined my concept for pain. After the pain of labor and of kidney stones, I didn't think that was possible. And I'm not one of those lucky bitches that had little to no pain during labor, oh no. I would take labor AND a kidney stone simultaneously over the pain of a gallbladder attack.

Funnily enough, when I talk to women whom have had both and I say its worse than labor, they agree but admit they never thought about it like that. Most women will agree that kidney stones and labor are pretty on par with each other, but no one ever compares the gallbladder. My theory is that a gallbladder attack is so much worse, you automatically rank it in another category without even thinking about it and don't think to compare it to something like labor until someone else points it out. My coworker Sharon is who first clued me in on the comparison when she said, "It's like labor fifty times over but in your stomach."

2) Breakfast is once again edible.

I don't mean breakfast foods, I mean breakfast in general. Ever since I was 16 and started having stomach issues, eating within the first couple of hours after waking up would make my stomach very upset. It started out as a once in awhile thing, depending on what I tried to eat, gradually getting worse over the years until every time I ate within the first two hours of getting up would send me running for the bathroom thirty minutes later. Right before the gallbladder attacks started, even drinking coffee of Dr Pepper was causing this reaction.

Kinda hard to believe that I may have been dealing with my gallbladder for 12 years, I just didn't know it because it didn't present any of your A typical symptoms until last September. Go figure, it is my luck after all.

But yes, that's where I'm at stomach wise.

And did I mention no pain? :D


  1. Gall bladders are weird. When my wife got her's removed the doctor seemed to indicate that it served no function. I wonder what it used to do?

    Have you heard about the A to Z Video Challenge?
    Blogging from A to Z

  2. The gallbladder usually stores bile after it is made by the liver and then ejects it into the stomach when you eat. It's not necessary to keep it, after all they can stop working at any given minute apparently, but they do still have a purpose. Mine was actually still functioning normally with no gallstones. With the pain I was in and the negative test results for everything else, they went ahead and removed it. It was actually the size of a softball at the time of removal, which the doctor said is three times the size it should have been. Apparently that's pretty common too, for it to cause problems for no good reason.