As you may remember I posted a few weeks ago about how I've been under the weather lately... and that may be putting it lightly. I missed almost a week of work, could barely eat, and was terribly nauseous. After a trip to Urgent Care, the ER on base (which was horrible for other reasons) and finally my own doctor we may have some progress. My doctor asked about my family history with gallbladder issues and I told her it was extensive. My mom, grandfather and I believe at least two of my aunts had theirs all removed. She scheduled me for an ultrasound that day to see if I had gallstones and fortunately I did not have any.
Just to be sure all was well the doctor sent me for a HIDA scan, basically a nuclear medicine test that checks the function of your gallbladder. The first part of the test I just had to lie there for maybe an hour while they took images of my gallbladder. Then they injected me with something that stimulates the gallbladder to empty it and mark its progress. Some people have zero reactions during this part of the test (which is usually six to eight minutes) and some people get nausea or pain, it just depends on how your body reacts to the dye. Either reaction can mean you're fine (or not) so I was just hoping for no reaction.
Thirty seconds into the dye insertion I felt as sick as I did the first night at work when it all started. I got overheated, horribly nauseous and felt dizzy. Then my stomach felt like it was caving in on itself in pain. The techs had to talk me through breathing normally as tears streamed down my face... and by down my face I mean back into my hair and ears since I was lying down. It was absolute misery. Then, it stopped. It was a long eight minutes though. Afterwards I went and got something to eat from the hospital cafeteria and then went to work being told my doctor would call in the next forty eight hours with the results.
She called me less than six hours later.
I saw it was her and I knew I probably failed the test. Usually when you get a same day call your results are not optimal. Sure enough my gallbladder is barely functioning. You are supposed to have your gallbladder empty at a rate of 35% or higher. Mine was at a measly 8%.
So... we may finally have an answer. I got some bloodwork done this week to rule out any other possiblities, which it did, and now we are waiting for TriCare to process referrals to the gastroenterologist on my PCM's staff and for a surgeon. My doctor said some surgeons won't remove gallbladders without stones present, but with mine functioning at such a low level and the quality of life I've had the past month or so now she cannot see any reason why it wouldn't come out. In the mean time I have four medicines, two of which I take daily and two as needed, and I am eating a very bland diet. No fried foods, now high fibery things, no red meat, no raw vegetables... basically a lot of the things I normally love are a big NO.
But at least it is an answer and hopefully a solution in the near future. Fingers crossed and thanks for sticking with me guys. I haven't blogged much since becomming sick but I am hoping to get back into things again.