Friday, September 30, 2005

Morphine and gallstones

I had horrible horrible pain last night - like labour type intensity pain. Starting at midnight in upper abdomen. I figured it was gas or something so tried taking some tums and even some zantac, then tried advil and hot water bottles. No luck. I did NOT want to wake up everyone - esp since Allan worked late and had just gone to sleep when the pain started.

When Allan woke up at 6am - he was quite distressed to see me in so much pain. So he decided I HAD to get into the ER. I was saying I did NOT want to go into the ER and "be there all day". I said if he insisted I go in - take me to a clinic. He loaded up the kids and then dropped me off at the ER. But as there were only a couple other people in the waiting room - I didn't complain.

It was a good time to show up - the wait was not that long - less than an hour. They examined me and thought it was my gallbladder athough my non-fat supper of vegetable soup did perplex them - odd thing to have triggered a gall bladder attack. They gave me an injection in my backside of Morphine for pain and gravol for the nausea I get from the Morphine and said they were arranging for an ultrasound to check on the gallbladder and any other organs located in the region of pain.

Allan showed up around now - having taken the M's out for breakfast. I was surprised to see him SOLO - he had charmed the desk nurses into watching our children! He was relieved to hear nothing was life-threatening and that they gave me something for pain. He headed home with the M's to attempt working from home.

Ultrasound had to squeeze me in - so I sat for a LONG time in a wheelchair in the hall. Where the morphine kicked in and I actually dozed off to sleep IN the wheelchair. I'm not the sort to fall asleep anywhere - so that spoke to how tired I was after no sleep the night before and only about 4 hours sleep the preceding night.

The ultrasound turned out I do indeed have gall bladder problems - big gallstones - bigger than 1 cm. Too big to pass. The doctor told me I needed to stick to clear fluids for 48 hours (but NO broths!). Then NO fat at all, no butter, margarine, oil anything cooked with any of those, no dairy at all, no eggs until I can get my gall bladder out. With any luck the pain won't return once the Morphine wears off or it'll be manageable with Advil.

I took a taxi home rather than to have Allan load the kids back up and come get me. For one thing - I didn't think I could stay awake long enough. Once home I went right to bed to sleep off the Morphine - leaving Allan attempting to work while the kids watched DVD's in the living room.

I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday for a referral to a surgeon but the ER Dr said wait lists are about 6 months right now for this. The downside to socialized medicine. None the less I'm glad I wasn't put into surgery right away as Allan leaves this weekend for a work conference that is absolutely required. He can't get out of doing it. So it's for the best that this happened while he was still here.

I will say - Morphine works for pain relief - but I don't react well to it. In addition to nausea - it makes me itch all over! After a few hours sleep - I was awakened by the itching.


Krisanne said...

Oh my gosh ... I can't imagine waiting six months for gallbladder surgery. Once mine was diagnosed I had surgery within a week and a half (one of the few upsides to non-socialized medicine). Then again, it was originally misdiagnosed and I dealt with gallbladder attacks off and on for four years before I finally got properly diagnosed.

Good luck managing the pain till you're able to get surgery!

--Krisanne (Gail's friend)

Sunny said...

Hmmm! I don't like the sounds of that itching. Have you ever reported it? Are you allergic to morphine? Jason is, which has been mighty inconvenient with all the bones he has broken.

LarryandJean said...

HA! That is what Morphine did to me after I had MY gallbladder out - itching all over. I told them to just give me acetaminophen.


Cheryl said...

hmm - I've had morphine several times now - with itching every time. Hate the stuff. The first nurse told me "oh some people get that" but never mentioned I might be allergic to it!

Jo said...

I've always been told that itching is a sign of an allergic reaction, girl. That's what I do when I've been given any of the meds I'm allergic to. I itch and at times break out in a rash.

You take care of yourself and feel better. Hopefully they can get you in sooner than six months. I'd hate for you to wait that long. :(