Surgery, and why Facebook and Pain Meds don’t mix

Life is never dull. I seem to always get those weird medical issues that no one understands yet. Well, in October of 2012, just one month after being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, I started having severe abdominal pain. I’m talking doubled over in pain, screaming, not being able to talk, and shaking kind of pain. It was not fun whatsoever. Mom called a triage nurse, and over the phone the nurse said we needed to get to the ER. Thankfully, the hospital is only 2 minutes from our house. They said everything was fine and sent me back home after a couple of tests.

I posted this on Facebook when we were in the ER. Here's mom's comment.

I posted this on Facebook when we were in the ER. Here’s mom’s comment.

The pain just increased in the months to come. At first we thought it was my liver causing the pain, due to all of the meds I was taking. But, my blood tests came back normal. In April of 2013, the pain became so awful we went back to the ER. Twice actually. Everything came back normal, but we were now suspecting my gall bladder.

Here are some pictures and Facebook statuses to help tell the rest of the story. Now, let me just say, Facebook and pain meds don’t mix well. In fact, they should be kept VERY far away from each other

Representing Captain America, but about to be radioactive like the Hulk.

Representing Captain America, but about to be radioactive like the Hulk.

I had multiple endoscopies with no successful finds. It was getting frustrating, and the pain was unbearable. One facility referred us to a different kind of testing and we showed up only to find that this test was for people without gallbladders. UGH! Very frustrating, and I was kind of disappointed that I wouldn’t get a chance to be radioactive and turn into the Hulk. Such a bummer. I think I would have made a nice Hulk.

My mom's Facebook status about our miracle.

My mom’s Facebook status about our miracle.

In May, we found a new doctor in San Francisco, to see if there was anything else we could do before deciding on surgery. It was a huge miracle that we were able to get an appointment so quickly! I must admit, at that point I was just ready to get the gall bladder yanked out of me. I mean really, I was done with that pain. We would have been in the ER so many times but we knew that they wouldn’t be able to do anything.

My radioactive food. Yum yum.

My radioactive food. Yum yum.

Oh, this is a fun picture. For the last test, they wanted to see how food traveled through me and took pictures every half hour or so after I ate radioactive food. That’s right, radioactive food. Let me tell you, that was the NASTIEST thing I have ever had. I am gagging just thinking about it.

The last day of May we got an appointment with a surgeon because we decided to go the surgery route and put it on the calendar for June 20th. This doctor seemed like the nicest surgeon on the planet. If only we knew what would happen later…

A picture from vacation!

A picture from vacation!

Well, we had a vacation planned for right before surgery and debated for a while whether to go or not because of the pain. We decided to go on the trip because we all needed a break! I’m so glad we went! We had a fantastic time even though I had severe pain for part of the trip.

I should have left the Facebook posting completely to mom. I have no recollection of this though...

I should have left the Facebook posting completely to mom. I have no recollection of this comment though…

A year ago today, on June 20th 2013, I had my gallbladder and appendix removed. The surgeon figured he might as well take out the appendix since they were already in there. Come to find out, he found a random band of tissue wrapped tightly around my gallbladder and intestines. The surgeon said he had never ever seen that before, and he had done over 7000 surgeries!  I am a strange girl. We had planned on me staying overnight in the hospital for that day but then going home. However, because of my Lyme Disease, I don’t heal as well as most people. I feel pain worse and differently, and recovery was brutal. So, I was actually in the hospital for 5 days.

After 5 days,  the doctor said I reached my meds quota and refused to give me anything else. I had  testing done the hour before this news, and had been jostled around in the hospital and actually fell on the floor. I was in a ridiculous amount of pain, so severe that I felt like I was going to die. My mom tried to explain to the surgeon (who hadn’t even seen us in 3 days) about my Lyme and that I really feel pain differently. The surgeon (yes, the nice one) and nurses didn’t understand what the problem was and insinuated that I was just there for more pain meds. They started name calling, while I was screaming because of the pain I was in. Now, my mom never yells. Ever. So, I was surprised when she started yelling at the surgeon. I was even more surprised when he started yelling back at her. It’s incredibly frustrating when mainstream doctors do not understand Lyme whatsoever and then blame the patient for things due to their own lack of understanding.

It’s been a year, and I still get upset when I think of everything that happened. However, I am so thankful to God for getting me through it. There were  many times when I was sure I wasn’t going to be alive 5 minutes from that point. But now I’m starting to see the beautiful things that have come out of this mess. There’s still crazy things happening to us, and I’ll explain that in a few blog posts, but there’s also been good that has appeared. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you continue to follow my story. Have a great weekend!

With love,

Sam

 

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