Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gallstones - How I Deal with the Pain

Yesterday, at work, I suffered through a gallstone attack that I was unprepared for.  I was surprised by it because I have been working on healing my gallbladder naturally and have been pain free for about 3 weeks.  Bam! Out of nowhere the pain returns.  I'm pretty sure that my boss would not be impressed to see me bent over my chair, a sweaty mess and eyeing the nearest wastebasket in case the nausea gets the best of me.  I needed to deal with the pain.

I've been wanting to write for some time about how I deal with the painful attacks.  When I was first diagnosed and doing research, I found a lot of information about what a gallstone is, the function of the gallbladder, surgery and even how to flush it naturally, but I found very little about how to deal with pain.

Here is a breakdown of my personal experience only.  I'm not offering any kind medical knowledge that I didn't find on google.

What worked for me:

1.  Apple juice and cider - Apple juice is my best friend forever.  Seriously the juice has been my surgery saver.  Apparently the acid in the apples will soften the stones and help them to pass through with less pain.  I know that when I keep up with drinking a daily glass, I feel much better.  Apple cider vinegar is suppose to work as well, but when I'm hurting, I don't feel like dealing with the bite of the acid.  I typically drink at least 8 oz a day and during an attack I will drink twice that at room temperature or warmer.  My husband, the hero, did bring me some juice yesterday and an hour later I was feeling much better. 

2.  Movement - One day at work, I was having a pretty bad episode and freaking out because following work I had to go get my BLS certification.  I could not imagine getting down on the floor and practicing CPR on the dummies in such pain.  Funny thing is, after 15 minutes of the class, the sharp pain disappeared and I was able to finish the class with out a problem.  Getting up and moving around can help the stone wiggle out of the bile duct. Now I make myself get up and move during an attack, even though all I really want to do is sink into my bed and whimper.

3.  Gallbladder and Liver Flush - This take some effort to get ready for and I plan to write about my experience in another post.  I did an emergency flush last night after my painful attack.  It wasn't well planned but still effective.  Here are a few pictures of the results.  Typically a flush will expel about 300 such stones from me.  This time I only had about 100 come out and no big whoppers but any stone I can get out I count as a victory!  You can see in the pictures how the apple juice start to deform the stones and break them apart.

Typical size

I put a penny in there to compare size.  I do believe the larger one on top would have caused pain at some point

4.  Prayer - I always turn to prayer in my need for peace of mind and to give God the opportunity to heal.  Sometimes my prayer is just as simple as asking for Him to take away the pain but I find it more effective to pray for others.  No matter how much pain I am in, I know so many others that are facing much worse circumstances.  I usually fall asleep while praying and wake up hours later pain free.

Some things that I haven't tried yet:

1.  Heating pad - I believe this would help but haven't dug out my heating pad.  If you don't want buy an heating pad, you can fill an old sock with white rice and heat it up in the microwave.  The heat should soften the stones and help them pass.

2.  Lying on your right or left side.  I've read that if you lie on your left side it may help the stone to fall out.  I've also read that lying on your right side will help with the pain.  I haven't really tried either of them to know if it helps or not.

What didn't work for me:

1.  Diet restrictions - I never could pin down any safe foods or foods to avoid, except hamburger.  For awhile all I would eat was cream of wheat, but one day that didn't work.  It is logical that high fat foods would be the culprit but other than hamburger, I couldn't figure it out.  Believe me if could just cut some foods out of my diet and avoid pain, I would do that in a heartbeat.

2.  Massage - I read that you can help the stone to move if you massage the gallbladder area.  I tried it a few times but it only caused more pain.

I'm hoping that this will help someone out there.  Please feel free to ask questions.

Lovin' life but not my gallstones.

No comments:

Post a Comment