A little history here. I'm 29, 5'2" and now up to 200 lbs. Five years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and four years ago I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary disease. Before the symptoms of the Hashimoto's started I weighed 140lbs and went to the gym five days a week. My food and life habits didn't change, but I put on 60lbs in three months. Once I started my thyroid meds I was able to lose some weight, but I usually bounce back and forth between 170 and 190 depending on activity level. I've never been able to get back under 170.
Back at the beginning of this year I started getting a feeling of fullness even when I hadn't been eating. It was very uncomfortable, and caused me to eat rarely. When I did eat, I'd get sharp pain through my upper right side, just under my rib cage, usually followed by diarrhea. I had just started a new job, so I put off seeing a doctor. Last year I went through a divorce, moved out of state, and was job hunting. My lifestyle changed drastically (I went from having a husband who made quite a bit of money to me making nearly none.) I figured the discomfort was most likely stress related...maybe an ulcer...I made it a point to eat really mild foods (when I did eat) and tried my best to avoid any new stresses. One day on my way to work the pain was so bad (after eating a half a peanut butter sandwich and a bottle of water) that I nearly both passed out and threw up. Instead of going to work I went to the Insta-care. They ran a battery of tests (they said because of the nearly passing out thing) including EKG's and the like. They sent me to another office for an ultrasound. That tech found gallstones. He said they were bad, put me on the phone with the Insta-care doc who said I needed surgery and said I also had a mildy fatty liver. The ultra sound tech walked me to the surgeons office...he said he didn't feel comfortable with me going anywhere alone. The doc scheduled me for a surgery the following Monday (his first open slot) and insisted I have someone come get me...that I couldn't drive myself home.
Monday came, they did the surgery lathroscopically...and I was told everything would be fine. For the first week, I was. I even went back to work the next Monday. (Call center stuff, very sedentary, so I felt safe.) My first day back to work I ate lunch...my first solid food aside from toast...and nearly instantly had to go to the bathroom. I didn't even have time to finish my whole lunch. My bowel movement was filled with bright red blood. Not just a little, like...I didn't see anything but blood in the toilet.
And it's been like that ever since. Instant diarrhea every time I eat, usually accompanied by VERY painful cramping. Enough so that I was in the ER on morphine twice now. In the past four months I've had three solid bowel movements...all included blood. I've been to a gastroenterologist once a week or two for the last three months. He says there's nothing wrong with my intestines...everything looks very normal and healthy...and that the blood is too bright to be related to my gallbladder removal. When he did an enema to do a shallow scope (to check for hemorrhoids) that caused bleeding and inflammation. He's told me I have "intestinal migraines". That apparently have just happened to develop right after my surgery.
This week, my feet and ankles have started swelling. Like...not just a little puffy, but HUGE to the point I can barely rotate my foot, and it's painful to walk.
I've now lost my job...nothing like working in a call center but having to be in the bathroom for an hour or two after every meal...and so also my health insurance. I drink the recommended amount of water every day, (helps to keep me feeling full, and I'm trying to stay hydrated) and I try to be active...but I'm afraid to go more than five feet from a bathroom. I'm tired and constantly feel dizzy...I can't find anything online that specifically mentions side effects like these from gallbladder removal, so I thought I'd ask.
Oh...I should add...though I eat only MAYBE one meal a day (because of the pain/discomfort/constant bathroom need) I have actually gained almost 10 lbs since my surgery.
UTgirl, I don't know if you're still on here, but I would love to talk to you. I have a lot of the same symptoms with a very long story to accompany them. If you're still on, please reply back to me. I would like to hear how things have gone for you since you've posted.
I wanted to cry when reading this!!! I have been feeling alone and crazy for years now..... I could almost mirror your story... I have no answers. If you are still around, please let me know if you've figured anything out. Thank you!! Nickole