In the three weeks since my last post, things have been a bit wild around here. In fact, the situation has been completely non-conducive to writing of any sort. Lily Ruth's Daddy worked through his two-week-notice, and started out in practice with a friend. Things are going very well for them, but start-ups on this scale border on terrifying... especially when you are the one who sits down to pay the bills...
Also, I have gallstones. I know, right? Sadly, I should have (and sort-of did) see this coming. When I had my annual lady exam this year, I complained of feeling like there were tiny baby toes under my ribs on my right side. My midwife told me in no uncertain terms to get it checked out as it was probably my gallbladder. My mother vehemently seconded this as she had her gallbladder taken out only after it reached a crisis state, and it was NOT fun for her. Well, I meant to do it, just like I meant to have all of my 'I'm almost 40' tests done this year; but I forgot... because it stopped hurting.
Well, it started hurting again big time. Two weeks ago, I thought that I had strained a muscle (or twenty) in my back, but everything that I did to relieve it either didn't help, or made it worse. By the next morning, I was having trouble taking in a decent breath and I was afraid that my diaphragm was somehow involved/compromised. Then it hit me - it was probably my damn gallbladder. I dropped Lily Ruth off at Parent's Day Out, and headed for the minor emergency clinic. Seven hours and an ultrasound of my gallbladder later, I had my diagnosis. Definitely gallstones. Swelling was present, but no inflamed tissue. So it was the famous Clear Liquid Diet for a few days plus pain pills, muscle relaxants and anti-nausea tablets.
Here's the rub, you guys: that sucker's gonna have to come out. Not maybe, definitely. Apparently, you can have gallstones for ages before they present any sort of problem, but once symptoms present, it's a downhill slide... with no set timetable because everybody is different :-/ It doesn't have to come out today, because it's not currently irritated or inflamed, but if it does reach that point, it has to come out immediately. Why not have it taken out now, before it becomes a crisis? Good question, friend. THIS is why:
For those of you feeling like 2 ultrasounds this early on is a bit much - after all, aren't I using midwives who believe that pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes and not medical emergencies? - you're right on. BUT, a woman of (get this) Advanced Maternal Age (dammit) and my history of loss gets a bit more of the medical side of stuff weather she wants it or not :-/ I must admit that the glimpses of our tiny bean are so reassuring that I'll gladly submit to whatever they want to do along with the imaging.
Back to my gallbladder - focus, people! For now, I have to understand the signs of an acute attack, and manage the rest with diet and pain medication in moderation. My diet went from 'um, fairly healthy' to '5g or less of fat per day' overnight. It's scary and frustrating to make a change that big while in pain. I'm feeling better every day, though, and it turns out that my morning sickness was mostly gallbladder sickness - so that's pretty great!
This is a very strange time, friends. Full of all kinds of new things and challenges both wonderful and not so great. I am ready to celebrate this pregnancy and shed my fear. Pray for me, guys. We should have an answer by Wednesday.
So, there you have it. Joy and Pain... Like Sunshine and Rain (what else... :-P) *whew* That dance break got out of hand FAST. But if you don't have a dance break every now and then, what do you have, really? Not enough, that's for sure. Keep on dancing!