Shortly after having my son (my first baby), I started to get an intense pain in the middle of my back at random times. The pain would come and go, but it was extremely uncomfortable.
About a month and a half later, the pain became unbearable. I tried using an ice pack, and since I was able to fall asleep with ice, I thought I was having a muscle spasm or something. Finally, at about 4 a.m., I woke up with so much pain and nausea. I woke up and we HAD to go to the hospital immediately. We loaded up our newborn and drove to our local Alta View Hospital—which, thankfully, is only a few minutes away.
When I came in, they could see I was in horrendous pain. They immediately took me back, diagnosed the situation, and got me on some pain-killer and anti-nausea medications in an IV. After it kicked in, I started feeling so much better. I felt like I was in excellent hands.
The ER doctor said it sounded like a gallbladder attack. They scheduled an ultrasound for that morning and found a lot of gallstones. The staff educated us on our options and made sure my pain was stabilized before I left. I was supposed to see how it went for the next few days—but if the pain worsened or if I couldn’t keep any food or water down for a few days, then I’d need surgery.
They scheduled an appointment for me that day with a surgeon. I began throwing up and couldn’t stop. I did a lot of research on my own and had the option to schedule the surgery immediately. After not being able to keep anything down for two days in a row and still experiencing a lot of pain, despite being on pain-killers, I scheduled the surgery.
I was able to get in the following day (two days after the attack). Check-in and preparation went very smoothly. I was educated on what they would do. When I was taken back to the operating room, the anesthesiologist and other assistants there were very helpful and friendly. Again, I felt like I was in very good hands.
When I came out of the anesthesia sleep, I was in sooooo much pain. I felt like there was a knife in my back. They were able to get my pain stabilized before I went home.
At home, recovery went fairly well. The first two days were very painful. It was hard not to be able to nurse my son. I just pumped and dumped. It was hard not to be able to hold or carry him. My mom watched him while I recovered. Often she would lay him next to me in bed so I could cuddle with him. It made us both feel better.
I was given great instructions on what to do to get the air out of my belly (they have to inflate your stomach for the surgeon to operate), and in a few days I was almost out of intense pain. I had the phantom gall bladder pain that some people get for about two to three months afterward, but since then I have had no problems.
My surgeon told me not to eat any fat for a month. I stuck to that and had no issues whatsoever with digestion. By sticking to the diet he recommended I didn’t notice any difference with digestion or bowel issues like many gallbladder patients report.
Alta View hospital called me a few times the few days after the surgery to check on me and make sure all was well—which was very thoughtful.
Gallbladder attacks are a very frequent occurrence post pregnancy. I'm glad I was able to get mine taken out and have since been in little to no pain.
I’m a big fan of Intermountain Hospitals, especially Alta View Hospital. Click here for more information on Alta View.
I’ve been to Alta View Hospital when my little sister got into a snowboarding accident and needed stitches. We’ve been to Alta View when my grandma fell and broke her hip. I was just recently there this year when my daughter contracted RSV—a very scary episode. They took good care of us. Shortly after, I went there for a bad mastitis infection. Every time I’ve gone to Alta View Hospital, I’ve been treated quickly and professionally. I can’t recommend them more.