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Worst month of my life, thankfully over

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Long story, just wanted to get it out..

 

I had RNY on 11/6/12. I was fine for about 5-6 weeks, then I got very sick with vomiting and diarrhea. I passed it off at first as just eating something that didn't agree, but it still didn't go away after about 10 days. Then I passed out on the train on the way to work. I was taken to the ER where they gave me some fluids and basically said 'you were just dehydrated' and sent me home.

 

I followed up a few days later with  my GP (I should note I did not have surgery in my home city, so going to see the surgeon is a flight away..). My GP basically agreed with the ER, suggested a few diet changes and gave me some anti nausea medication. The following weekend I felt faint again, to the point where I decided to take myself to the ER before I passed out again. I went to a better hospital this time, that also has a  bariatrics program. I got fluids again but this time they gave me a cat scan of my belly and had one of the bariatriac surgeons look at it. They saw no issues with the surgery. They basically again said I'm just dehydrated and had no explanation for the nausea or diarrhea.

 

I talked to my surgeon. He wasn't overly concerned, he said sometimes people do get dehydrated and fluids is all they need. Maybe I didn't convey how bad the situation really was. I actually felt better for a few days after this but then took a turn for the worse again. I was constantly nasueas and pretty  much stopped eating. Just getting up to go to the bathroom made me dizzy and was a huge effort. I really felt like I was dying.

 

Ok, enough, I made an appointment to see the surgeon and made travel arrangements. After about 2 weeks of basically being bedridden I took the flight. When I arrived at the Surgeon's office Monday morning (in a wheelchair) he took one look at me and said 'Im admitting you'.

 

So after some blood tests and an ultrasound it turned out I had pancreatitis apparently due to new stones and sludge in my gallbladder (which was not removed as part of my original surgery and was supposedly healthy). They treated me for a few days to get the pancreas under control and my gallbladder was removed that Thursday. I felt 100 times better immediately after the surgery, and was discharged the following Friday. I stayed with family in the area to recover another week and came home this past weekend.

 

I am still very weak and tired but I think that's mostly from basically being bedridden for the past 6 weeks. I even went back into work yesterday for the first time in weeks (a desk job, nothing too physically taxing), which was exhausting, but felt very good. My stomach symptoms are gone and I've been eating protein just fine.

 

Feels good to get my story out. My recommendation to anyone considering RNY would be to make sure they take your gallbladder out as part of it.. I was happy they didn't need to take it out originally, but boy did I regret it in retrospect.

 

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I'm surprised your liver function tests were ok with pancreatitis! Unfortunately, surgeons can't routinely take out a normal gallbladder-not medically necessary, even though rapid wt loss messes it up! Glad you are feeling better!

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I'm surprised your liver function tests were ok with pancreatitis!

 

Yeah I'm surprised (and dismayed) that I had 2 ER visits plus a visit to my doctor (and blood tests at least 2 out of 3 of those times.. cant recall) and nobody found anything. Then when I saw my surgeon he knew within a few hours what was wrong. I guess the real morale of the story is probably 'follow up with your original surgeon' but unfortunately in my case he is a 3 hour plane trip away so its not so easy.

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Thanks so much for posting this! I have a feeling many of us have not seen how the gall bladder can affect a person after surgery. Excellent information. Sorry you had to go through all that, but I am so the problem was corrected finally.

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I am so relieved your story has a good ending! I'm sure your energy level will return to normal now that you are able to eat again.

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Thank goodness you are feeling better!

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Its good to hear that you are finally on the mend and they figured it out! I still have my gall bladder since it was normal before surgery and has remained ok, so far anyway. Get lots of rest and I hope to see you around here!

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Glad you shared this information, I am so happy that you are feeling much better and please take it easy and get plenty of rest.  I had my gall bladder removed after my first son was born.....Thankful you are recovering fine.  Take care and see you around.

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Oh my... My heart goes out to you. I'm glad that is all behind you now and hopefully soon this is just a faded memory that you can hardly recall. After today, I'm REALLY wishing the protocol for removing a "healthy" gallbladder was different.

 

Hugs to you, and I hope you are feeling fantastic!!!

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What a nightmare. Happy to hear you're feeling better.

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I am waaaayyyy better now. Actually going back to see the surgeon Monday for a follow up. No complaints to report when I get there. :)

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I am so glad to hear that you are doing better. Were you taking a prescription for your gallbladder after surgery? I have been taking a prescription called Actigall but I am wondering if I could have a problem anyway.

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My surgeon typically removes the gallbladder during his surgeries ( I had mine removed already) as a precaution. I am glad you are feeling better and are healthy again!

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That's good that you're feeling better

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So glad they finally figured it out! Scary stuff but it's so important to be your own health care advocate. I'm lucky my surgeon makes it standard that all gastric bypass patients have liver biopsy and gall bladder removed at time of surgery. ...since the chances of gall bladder issues during rapid weight loss is so high. Good luck to you and I hope you continue to feel better.

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Wow! So glad you are much better and I am thankful you shared that piece of very important information! 

 

I am having RNY surgery May 6th and I am soooo glad my gallbladder is already out! It was removed many years ago, so this is good!

 

Glad you are better!

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My doctor gave me Vitamin D and gallbladder medicine when he started me on the pre-op diet.  He said the meds prevent gallstones and gallbladder problems.  I have to take the gallbladder meds twice a day, every day indefinitely.  I'm hoping this will prevent any problems after surgery.

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I am so glad to hear that you are doing better. Were you taking a prescription for your gallbladder after surgery? I have been taking a prescription called Actigall but I am wondering if I could have a problem anyway.

Yep, that's the same med my doctor has me taking.  I'm hoping that will prevent any problems!

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So glad everything turned out okay.  So scarey!

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