When Things Work Too Well
My gallbladder was removed just before Christmas in 2007 and ever since I have had occasional ongoing pain just as if the gallbladder where still there. I probably had three or so attacks a year and they lasted about ten excruciating minutes. Now in fairness to my GP, he did an ultra sound that showed a slightly enlarged bile duct and told me that if I had another attack I'd need a CT scan. Life got in the way, and I pretty much ignored the pains blaming it on diet, stress etc. Then came the big one. This last attack that happened back in July scared the bejeesus out of me because it lasted nine hours. Steve of course wanted to call an ambulance a number of times and I refused. I could no longer avoid the inevitable. I saw the surgeon just before we left for Greece and she ordered the MRI for when I came home.
That MRI was two weeks ago and surgeon that removed my gallbladder informed me that she had arranged an appointment with a gastroenterologist just about immediately, I was floored. Seems my bile duct is 5 times larger than normal. The cause, that is the question mark but it needs to be dealt with.
I saw the gastro doc and she will do an ERCP next Wednesday and that boys and girls is fast. This test involves sending a flexible camera through my mouth into the small bowel. They will then send a catheter through the bile duct and or the pancreatic duct. Then they throw a little dye down there and x-ray the whole mess. So what are they looking for? A errant gall stone would be the absolute best outcome. Next best would be something call sphincter of odi which is a little teeny weeny muscle that doesn't open and close properly allowing the bile to flow freely. If it's the muscle then they will cut it (sphincterotomy) The really bad one would be a tumor. All three have been discussed.
I have signed the release acknowledging the possible complication of pancreatitis. The test is next Wednesday...keep your fingers crossed, I'm due for a break.