This morning my body decided to make it loud and clear that I need to take care of myself.
I had a gall bladder attack.
I’ve had those little calcium built up stones for at least 6 years now.
The first time I ever had an attack I thought I was dying. I thought I was having a heart attack and freaked out. Bella was about 18 months old, it was about 5am.
I was home alone with her.
I called an ambulance and waited for them through cold sweats and twisting pain which came from under my right side ribs and spread down my arm and tightened all the muscles in my back into cramps.
By the time the ambulance arrived I couldn’t breathe. I was gasping for breath and couldn’t get enough air into myself. They stuck me in the back and Bella too. She was screaming and screaming.
I couldn’t do a thing for her I was too busy trying to breathe.
I thought I would die.
Then as suddenly as I had awoken from sleep with this pain. It was gone.
Suddenly I could breathe. The pain vanished.
After an ultrasound I was told it was a few little gall stones which float around and sometimes get caught in the opening from the gall bladder which is what causes the pain.
I was told to keep an eye on my diet as fatty, fizzy, and critic foods may set it off.
I’d had plenty of attacks since then. Varying in pain and length. Once I knew what it was I could handle the pain and manage it at home.
I’d do anything I could to distract myself. I’d exercise, breathe deeply, move around, walk it off. And back when I smoked. I smoked through it. (This is not my recommended form of treatment.)
Then one day they stopped happening.
I was 16 weeks pregnant with Sophie when one night after a ham sandwich and an orange for dinner, I began to feel the niggling start to warm up my side.
It became more and more intense.
Previous attacks had varied from and hour in length to 3. I could handle that. The pain was horribly intense but I knew it wouldn’t last forever.
It was getting worse.
When my then partner came home from work at 11.30pm I was ready to die.
The pain was worse than anything I have ever experienced and I’ve given birth to 5 babies, drug free, besides Bella which I’d had pethadine.
I can honestly say the pain was worse than if all 5 births were in one.
The only option I could see in my mind was to be dead. That was all I could process in my mind through it all. When my partner walked through the door I stumbled to him, collapsed in his arms and pleaded him to help me.
I meant shoot me.
I was exhausted and in agony. I couldn’t think rationally through the pain. He managed to get me into the car. Poor Bella carried out to the car to sleep in the back seat. He dropped me at the hospital and left.
I had no care for Bella or my unborn baby or anything at that time.
After pain attempted to put a canular in, finally I was pumped full of morphine.
Copious amounts of morphine.
With that small amount of relief I fell asleep, only to be woken a couple of hours later with terrible pain again. I ended up having daily shots of buscopan. Injected directly into my stomach.
I was in hospital for a total of 9 days, the first 4 of which I couldn’t walk due to the pain. I needed assistance to go to the toilet and have a shower. I was put on a clear liquid diet. My right lung wasn’t being used correctly as sharp pains would almost drop me to the floor when I breathed in deeply. I ended up needing physio to prevent it from collapsing.
They said that my gall bladder was inflamed. The passage had been blocked for too long and my entire gall bladder was infected.
If they couldn’t control it and get it back to a normal state they would have to operate and remove it. Which normally would have been fine, except that I was 16 weeks pregnant. I would have been left with a large scar up my right side.
Once the pain subsided and I began to feel normal I began to panic about my baby. What have I done?
I very rarely take even Panadol when pregnant, and here I’d lived off buscopan, morphine and a liquid diet. I lost 5 kgs the first week.
One I left the hospital it was arranged that I would be booked in to have my gall bladder removed when Sophie was 2 months old.
I never went to get it removed. I don’t like the idea of parts of my body being taken out and thrown in the bin.
I managed it, and I’ve managed it well. The rest of my pregnancy went by without a problem as long as I ate no fatty, citric or fizzy things. I lost 25 kgs that pregnancy which I worried a lot about.
I woke this morning to Buddy grabbing at my hair and nuzzling my neck, I turned over to feed him and then I felt it.
The niggling little ache.
I knew what it was right away.
Finally my body has had enough of my abuse and is taking drastic measures.
I heard you body! Loud and clear and I promise to you that I’ll put in way more effort than I have been to look after you.
Our entire life would fall to bits if I needed to be rushed to hospital. Buddy would immediately become a bottle fed baby. Glen wouldn’t be able to go to work. I doubt Bella would go to school as it would just be too much.
I don’t even want to think about it.
So Thanks again body, like I said, I’ve listened, taken note and acting upon your request for health, I’ll keep an eye on my diet and lifestyle.
The moral to the story??
Look after yourself inside and out because no one else can. If something happens to you as a mum, it affects everyone around you.
Be kind to yourself!