My afternoon in the ER (xp)

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boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984
My afternoon in the ER (xp)

Sad First, everything is okay. Baby is fine, and I'm okay, too.

Apparently, my gall bladder is giving me trouble. On Monday, I was fine. I ate a big salad and some veggie soup for lunch. That afternoon, I ate a bag of cheese popcorn (I thought it was a better choice than chips.....wrong!) Oy!

Within an hour's time, I had pain up under my ribcage and felt like there was a ball in my gut. Not good. I went home, had a small dinner, and went to bed early bc I was so uncomfy. I woke up about 3a and that is when the puking began. I pretty much puked hourly until 3p, when Trey took me to the ER to get some fluids and some relief (at the direction of my mom, a nurse, and my primary care physician.)

They gave me fluids and nausea meds-- and tried to hydrate me (I still didn't pee the entire time I was there....) And took blood to check enzyme levels. I also had an u/s of my liver, gall bladder, kidneys, spleen, and a quick peek at the baby (doing just fine!) Gah.

In the end they said, it *might* be your gall bladder. It sounds like a gall bladder problem, but they are hard to diagnose. Gave me some Zofran and sent me on my way....

Anyone have experience with gall bladders? I've since learned that none of my female relatives have theirs anymore (my mom is one of 4 sisters and they all had theirs did my maternal grandmother and great grandmother.....) And apparently they crap out around age 35 (I'm 34....) And looking back, it seems that some of the "symptoms" I've attributed to this pregnancy, might actually be my GB. This go around I've been waking at night and puking, and get sick in the evenings.....and have been burping a lot....gross.

So for now, I'm okay. I was scared to eat yesterday, and just had a bowl of cereal I'm weak, but back at work. I was really worthless for two days. Thing is, I did this about 4 weeks ago and just assumed it was the pregnancy, now I'm not so sure...

I have to follow-up with my primary care and figure out what the next step is. For now, I'm avoiding fatty stuff, whole grains, leafy greens.....things that are hard to digest. I just don't want to go through the relentless puking again-- that sucked!

sometimes's picture
Joined: 07/08/08
Posts: 900

Yep. Gallbladders suck! I'm sorry you're going through this.

My experience: It started when I was pregnant with DD. I would get bad, bad, BAD burning pain under my ribcage. It was all around my ribs and it hurt so bad. I was literally useless when I was in pain because it was all that I could think of. So we head to L&D after the 3rd time of this happening (I think I was around 21 weeks or so). They tell me I pulled a muscle, go home, take some Tylenol PM, nothing we can do. It happened a few more times before DD came and after I had her it happened once every few months. I was living in fear of these attacks. I went to the ER and they diagnosed gallstones. I had no health insurance so I wasn't able to do anything about it then. I went to a different ER several months later and they told me I was fine. Then it just went away for over two years.. I was fine, didn't even think about it. Well it came back and finally I was able to see a specialist and had it removed in March.

I've read that it happens a LOT during pregnancy. I hope you're able to find some relief... not much ever helped me with the pain, especially during pregnancy. I would take a hot bath and lay on my side that hurt the worst.. that would sometimes help take the edge off. Hugs!

knhoward's picture
Joined: 04/22/08
Posts: 999

*Lurker from May*

I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I had gallbladder issues during my first pregnancy and after my 2nd pregnancy as well. I had my gallbladder removed in Summer 2010 when DS2 was 6 months old. I lived in horrible pain for months, because I was nursing and wanted to make sure DS could make it through the hours that it took for the surgery.

I found during the months I was waiting to have it removed that if I ate an extremely low fat diet it kept the attacks at bay. I religiously read the labels on all the food I ate. I ate a lot of chicken and turkey for protein (and some leaner cuts of pork and beef) I had to basically cook and prepare all my food myself. The only restaurant I could really eat at was Subway. I drank non-fat milk and ate nonfat dairy products.

I'm not sure what is best to do to treat this kind of problem while pregnant. I don't know if it is wise to go really low fat when you are trying to grow another being. I suppose asking a doctor might be helpful.

The surgery to have it removed for me was quite easy. It was day surgery and was done laporascopically. I had 4 very small incisions (one in the center of my belly, just below my breasts, two on my right side about 2 inches from my bellybutton and one in my bellybutton. The recovery was quite easy for me, with a little blip of horrible stomach cramps due to the air they pumped into me escaping. I now have to watch what I eat, fat wise, as some things give me horrible cramps or (TMI!) the runs. But mostly I don't notice it's gone.

Good luck with things. I hope it calms down for you.

ETA: Foods that were total godsends for me during that time
Chicken breast/turkey
fruits and veggies (except avocado!)
cereals (most are pretty low fat)
starbucks coffee drinks with fat free milk (you need some treats right?)
processed lunch meat sandwiches

knhoward's picture
Joined: 04/22/08
Posts: 999

Also, if you have more attacks, I found taking a burning hot shower helped, if I had the water running near my upper back and across my chest, it was temporary, but totally better than nothing. It also helped for me to lay on my tile floor with my back against the cold floor. So I alternated hot and cold. Sometimes my attacks would last 10-12 hours, it's not uncommon.

violetjed's picture
Joined: 05/03/07
Posts: 116

I am so sorry you went though all that :/ Now I feel like a heel because I think it was me that drove you to the cheese popcorn!!

JDBabyHopes's picture
Joined: 02/16/09
Posts: 1149

How scary! I'm so glad baby is fine and you're feeling a bit better!

I don't have personal experience with anything related to the gallbladder, but a close friend of mine did have hers removed a few years ago. I think we were about... 26 or 27 at the time? I know she had a lot of GI issues (diarrhea, etc.) that doctors never related to her gallbladder. In fact, it took her a few years of diarrhea and then insane vomiting episodes like you had for them to finally check it in the ER. Apparently hers was functioning at only 8% or something, so they removed it that night. In hindsight, I think it's ridiculous it took them that long to check it, considering she was just like you in the fact that ALL the women on her mother's side had their gallbladders removed at one time or other!

So I'm glad they're on the right track! I hope you can get some relief! As for diet, I know she stays away from really starchy food, high fats (french fries), eggs, etc. All the PP have given you some wonderful advice!

Good luck!

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I got nothing to add, but support! I'm sorry you are going through this, but I do hope you can get to the bottom of it!

I burp A TON during pregnancy- and I was NEVER a big burper before. Now I'm going to worry.... but I have never thrown up during a pregnancy... sounds like the puking is a definite thing with the gall bladder?

Joined: 07/27/06
Posts: 722

sorry you are going through this! I hope you dont have another attack! Sad