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I recently had an ultrasound that confirmed what i thought was wrong with me. The Doctor said i had a solitary gallstone (over 2 cm). I have had to postpone my surgery due to being laid off from work (no insurance). I hate to have to do it, but i am going to have to apply for Medicaid to have the surgery. I am a single mother. The pain has beome much more frequent in the last 6 months, and it's always in the back of my mind when i eat dinner. The pain usually starts at 2 or 3 in the morning and has lasted until 1 or 2 in the afternoon. always in the center of my chest, and radiates straight through to my back. (no right side pain like ive read). My question: Is there anything i can do to alleviate the pain? I hate to say it, but the doctor i have seems set against presribing me any pain medicine even though i've never had a dependency before. I understand alot of people abuse painkillers, but i am in genuine need of them. The attacks are usually only a week or two apart. Please advise me on what to do. Thanks so much. Hendi Shedd
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First Helper JasperJ

replied March 3rd, 2009
Managing gallstone pain
First, I'm sorry you're in pain and that you have to postpone surgery and deal with the Medicaid application. Pain in the butt. =(

I just had my gallbladder removed a week ago but before that was in pain that just wouldn't end unless I could sleep on it. Woke up with it, went to sleep with it. Bad. Sounds like yours is more meal-related, at least for now. Here is what helped me pre-surgery:

Cut down on dairy.
Cut down on caffeine if you can't remove it entirely.
Avoid high fat food and eat low fat alternatives, like lowfat cottage cheese and lowfat or lite cheese. Avoid butter on toast -- have jam instead.
Avoid chocolate. Yeah, I know, but it has to go.
Avoid red meat and eat only lean chicken and turkey, eat fish.
Eat lots of green leafy veggies like spinach and kale. Avoid eating gas-producing foods like pinto beans, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts.
Avoid garlic and onions. They often trigger attacks.
Eat more beets -- not the pickled kind, but plain old roasted or cooked beets. Beets are good for cleansing the liver and gallbladder.
Organic apple juice is good, too.
Eat several small meals a day instead of 3 big ones. Graze. Snack.
Finish your last meal of the day/dinner 3-4 hours before going to bed. Do not eat even the smallest thing after that.
Take a hot shower then a bath when in pain. It helped me a little, at least for a little while, and after surgery you can't soak in the tub for a while so do it while you can.
I also found that sleeping with the head of the bed elevated about 4-5" and sleeping w/ 3 pillows and mostly sitting up helped, but then I got acid reflux that was made worse by the gallbladder. Have you been checked out for reflux and gastritis? They can be made worse by gallstone problems and vice-versa.
Sometimes what helped was sometimes just taking a break and having chicken broth and apple juice for a day then slowly adding solid food back.
I didn't take pain meds for the most part either. Some people recommend acupuncture, but I'd try that and totally avoid herbs and liver/gallbladder flushes because they could launch that stone into your common bile duct, cause LOTS of SEVERE pain, lead to rupture and infection and require emergency surgery. You don't want to do that. =/

Hope this helps at least somewhat.
I hope you feel better soon!
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replied March 9th, 2013
gallstones not covered by medicaid
I was told medicaid considers gallstone treatment voluntary and they won't cover it. I have a gallstone that is over an inch long and it can be incredibly painful! If I end up in the ER with enflamatory gallbladder disease is it still voluntary?? I'm so confused!
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