Friday, 9 May 2014

Gallstone's In Pregnancy

I have been meaning to write this post for a while now as ever since i suffered from gallstone's people have been asking me about it. I will start at the beginning when i was 32 week's and 2 days pregnant with Sophia in march 2013 i suffered my very first gallstone attack.

I had been to hospital for a routine 32 week growth scan earlier that day and baby was fine and healthy we stopped off for some lunch on the way home and i made the most of being able to eat for two while pregnant and had burger and chips covered in mayo ( mayo was one of my pregnancy craving's) after lunch we had planned on doing some last minute baby shopping but i felt really uncomfortable like i was winded and just wanted to get home, i felt a bit uncomfortable for the rest of the afternoon but just thought it was down to being heavily pregnant.

I went to bed that night feeling fine but i had only been in bed about a hour when i was woken up with a sharp pain under my right ribs and i just could not comfy so i came downstairs thinking baby was just lying on a nerve but the pain started getting worse it was spreading right around my back and over my bump and felt like a tight band. I could not get comfortable at all and i was even finding it hard to breath as i felt so uncomfortable, i tried painkillers but they didn't even touch the pain so i got in the bath thinking that would help but the pain was just getting worse.

I have never felt pain like it and i have giving birth twice once was a painful induction, but this pain was a lot worse then labour. I couldn't move , i started being sick, i was struggling to breath. I honestly thought i was going to die. The other half was begging me to go to hospital as he thought i was in  premature labour , but i knew this wasn't labour pains they were constant and nothing like contractions. But i just couldn't leave the house to go to hospital i was in too much pain and just wanted to stay curled up near the toilet being sick. Eventually after about 5 hours of non stop pain it started to ease off , under my ribs felt tender but other then that i felt fine so i went to bed as i was so tired.

 When i woke up i felt great and back to normal so again i just thought the pain had been something to do with the way baby had been lying. I made some toast as i was starving and about an hour after eating the pains started again but they were not as bad as the last time but i was being sick, this time i knew i had to go to hospital as something was wrong. The journey there was awful i was crying in pain i arrived at a&e and they sent me to the maternity assessment unit where i was seen straight away and hooked up to monitors to check baby and i had my urine, blood pressure and bloods checked. Thankfully baby was fine but the doctor thought i had the start of pre-eclampsia as i had protein in my urine, high blood pressure and my blood enzyme levels were elevated but as the pain was wearing off he sent me home and asked me to come back in two days to check my blood again.

 So i went home and i felt fine i had no more pain however on the day i was due to go back into hospital i ate some cheesecake and within ten minutes of eating it the pain started and it was horrendous the other half was at work it was good Friday and i couldn't get a taxi so i got the bus to the hospital it was the longest worst bus journey of my life i don't no how i managed it i was in agony.

 I arrived at the hospital in tears begging for pain relief to take the pain away, they give me codeine but it didn't even touch the pain. They checked my blood pressure and it was dangerously high so they give me blood pressure tablets and hooked me up to monitors to check baby's heartbeat but i just couldn't sit down as the pain was so bad and i started to feel really ill i was burning up my skin was tingling i felt light headed and then i fainted as the blood pressure medication had dropped my blood pressure to much. The doctors came to see me and give me medication and i was told i needed to be admitted to the ante natal ward to find out what was going on.

 I was admitted to the antenatal ward where i spent five days and they didn't no what was wrong at first they thought i had pre-eclampsia but i had no swelling and my blood pressure kept returning to normal so they ruled that out then i was tested for obstetric cholestasis a pregnancy liver disease as my liver enzymes were 280 and a normal persons is under 40 but i wasn't itching so they ruled that out.

 I was in pain and being sick every night and begging the doctors for pain relief but due to being pregnant they couldn't give me much in the form of pain relief i ended up on a mixture of paracetamol, codeine and tramadol which made me feel like i was very drunk and totally spaced out.

Being in hospital was horrible i was giving blood clotting and anti sickness injections every day i had to wear uncomfortable surgical stockings and was bed bound and bored. I couldn't sleep as all you could hear was helipcopters landing on the hospital roof and women screaming in the birthing centre below.

 During all this baby started showing signs of distress and i was hooked up to heart trace monitors for hours every day as they couldn't get a clear reading as she was kicking and moving non stop. I really thought i was going to lose her and there was even talk of her being born early at 32 weeks by emergency c-section.

I was so scared and upset and in so much pain eventually after begging the doctors to just kill me as i couldn't take the pain any more (how embarrassing) i was sent for an emergency ultrasound scan as they thought i had something wrong with my liver. They would have done it sooner but because it was Easter bank holiday weekend everywhere was shut and they only had scans available for emergency cases. When i had my scan they found out i had lots of little gallstones and some of them must have came lose and been stuck in my bile duct and that had been what had caused me pain .And my liver was slightly inflammed.

I was sent back to the ward but i wasn't told anything about gallstones other then don't eat any fat and there was nothing they can do when i was pregnant and i would have to wait until baby was born to see what they would do about my gallstones. I was sent home the next day non the wiser to what gallstones were, when i was younger i remember my mum saying her brother and some of her sisters had there gallbladders removed (she was one of 8 children) and i knew someone who had gallstones and someone who had just had there gallbladder removed but i still didn't no what they were.

 I searched the Internet for hours to find out what i could and found it is really common in pregnancy or in the first few months after you have a baby due to pregnancy hormones aggravating the conditions and it also runs in family's and women are more likely to get it then men and gallstones attack happen after eating fatty foods.

I was so scared to eat in case i ended up in pain i actually lost a stone while i was in hospital which is crazy in such a short space of time. I searched on the Internet and found that anything less then 5% fat was normally ok to eat , i followed this and thankfully never had another gallstone attack during my pregnancy.

 It was really hard not eating much when pregnant,so much for eating for two and indulging in pregnancy cravings i lived on salad ,chicken and fruit but i only gained 7lb while pregnant and when Sophia was two weeks old i actually weighed over 2 stone less then before i got pregnant so on the plus side having gallstones is a brilliant diet.

Thankfully after everything i had been through Sophia was fine and healthy and weighed 8lb2oz so it never harmed her at all and i had a normal labour.

I suffered another gallstone attack which also lasted a week when Sophia was two weeks old and when she was four months old i had my gallbladder removed through keyhole surgery. I was so scared to have the surgery to remove it but I'm so glad i had it as i was in and out of hospital that day and i only have four small scars on my tummy and i can now eat whatever i want again and best of all i will never experience that awful pain ever again.

the day after my surgery - only tiny scars

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting I read and reply to every single one.