Quick history- March 2012 I started to get INTENSE extreme back/stomach pain, the worst pain I have ever felt in my life and I have a very high pain tolerance. The first time I had a ‘gallbladder attack’ I went to the emergency room thinking I was literally dying from this pain.
From March all the way to October/November ish I thought these GB attacks were back pain/spasms in my muscles. My general practitioner I went to see who specializes in sports injuries was content to label and treat it as back pain without investigation.
That being said the pain just felt too weird for me to fully accept that diagnosis (especially after I went to and completed physical therapy for back pain, yet pain continued).
So after 7 ish months of chronic debilitating scary pain I went to see another doctor. Best decision ever, she said back pain should not be lasting this long for no reason (No injury) and I described the pain to her. Which feels like extreme pain/pressure in the middle of my lower ribs/stomach area, that radiates to my middle slightly upper middle back or left shoulder blade area. She thought it sounded a lot like gallbladder issues and sent me to get an ultrasound of my GB. After that I found out that I do indeed have gall stones (not everyone who has gall stones has pain, or even knows they have them). I was 20 when pain started, 21 now, everyone assumed I was too young to have gall stones.
That being said I have an appointment to see a specialist soon. But I was wondering if anyone with similar issues has this and what you may do to,
1. Relieve pain
2. Reduce how long the pain lasts
3. Prevent pain
Basically when I have pain, I lay flat on my stomach on the floor with a very thin pillow under my head and try to relax as much as possible. Usually my pain lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 or 4 hours. I’ve found focusing on relaxing my muscles and not tightening up helps me to not completely focus on the pain, I usually try to think Zen thoughts. One relaxing image in my mind I frequently think of is a Buddhist monk sitting under a waterfall. I have no idea why, I’m not a Buddhist or anything, but when I think calm it’s what I think of. Basically I cannot breath well because the pain feels like its crushing my lungs, I literally have to think to myself, breath in breath out, or I will stop breathing/hold my breath. I can’t make any noise and I’m too afraid to try to move I don’t think I can, so I’m extremely quiet when this is happening. Have you ever been in pain that is so great you literally cannot cry out in pain because it’s so painful/overwhelming? Like the moment when you get the wind knocked out of you from a kick to the stomach or something, that’s what it is like.
So I literally cannot deal with the pain anymore I almost cry thinking that I will someday get another one, they are quite frequent. They put me on vicodin 10/500mg (they had to up it a few times) for pain, and then as a preventative/when I start feeling strange/achy I take flexural 10mg (muscle relaxer really does help though).
BUT the vicodin takes a long time to get into my system and the flexural is no help once I’m in an attack. Sometimes the vicodin doesn’t completely take all the pain away as well or if I havent eaten(or just did) it hurts my stomach really bad, just adding to my pain. So I’m looking for alternatives to pain relief, I’m open to suggestions. What do you do in an attack?
Also has anyone had a pain reliever medicine that works better for GB attacks? Is there a specialized med? Or faster acting? Probably not, but it’s worth asking.
And preventatives, how do you prevent? I’ve heard stay away from fatty foods as it could irritate your GB.
And has anyone been able to reduce the amount of time they are in pain? How?
I have considered surgery. That won’t be anytime soon though if I do, that’s why I need help now. That is also another question of mine, anyone had theirs removed because of pain? Any side effects to not having a GB? My general doctor said I’d be fine if I got it removed maybe diarrhea for a while but should pass. But she was pretty vague; don’t you need your GB to process certain vitamins or something with bile?
Also good meal ideas that are healthy, and/or what is good to eat?
I know lots of questions
Any help/comments/feedback/anything on this issue is all welcome!