“I just had my gallbladder out on 3/12. I had been having pain in my back sporadically over the past 6 weeks, only in the middle of the night. In the early hours of 3/12 I not only had pain in my back but also under my ribs towards the right side. I went to the e.r. where they did an x-ray and an ultrasound. My gallbladder was infected and had a few tiny stones in it so they decided to remove it laproscopically, later that afternoon. I spent one night in the hospital and they sent me home the next day with a perscription for an antioboitic and percosets. No one told me what to expect or what was normal pain. I spent the next week attemtpting to recover. My pain was awful. I couldn’t eat, sleep or drink. each night trying to sleep was long and disappointing. I had to be propped up in a 90 degree angle because any attempt at laying down was cause for extreme pain in my right side. My roommate is a nurse and kept telling me to move around. We thought it was the gas bubbles just moving around and causing pain. The pain in my shoulder never subsided and actually jumped from shoulder to shoulder but primarily was in my left shoulder. My follow up appointment was scheduled for 6 day after my surgery, but ended up getting cancelled by the doctor’s office. I went the next day, a week post-op, and told the doctor about my concerns. My stomach felt hard and caused me discomfort in the form of pressure, I still wasn’t eating, sleeping, or drinking more than 5oz of whatever I could force down a day. I asked him if he could prescribe something for sleep and he said the pain meds should be working. I told him I had finished them two days ago. He took my pulse and suddenly seemed concerned. He sent me for bloodwork. I was too exhauseted to get it that day and in too much pain so we went the next morning. My bloodwork came back with horrible numbers and I was sent for a STAT CAT scan. They found I had a bile leak. I had an emergency catheter put into my abdomen to drain the bile, which was horrifyingly painful despite the lydocain and dullauded that was given to me. They drained over 4000 cc’s of bile from my abdomen–7lbs all together. First thing the next morning I had the ERCP done. I spent the next 10 days in the hospital being monitored. The first 6 days I had a 24/7 heart monitor attatched to me, I had blood drawn every morning and vitals taken just about every hour. The catheter was attatched to a bag to drain any more leaked bile. It took the whole 10 days for my leak to close. I still have minor shoulder pain which I’ve had off and on the whole time and was receiving medecine for while staying in the hospital. I was just released yesterday and will have my stent removed in the first week of may. I have another flollow-up appointment in 2 days where i’ll have my staples removed. I still have a prescription of percosets, from the refill I was given the day before I was re-admitted, which I’m taking lightly for the shoulder pain.
If you’re having pain that’s hindering your ability to eat, drink, sleep or walk, make sure you ask your doctor about the possiblity of a bile leak. As soon as the bile was out of my system it was like a miracle cure. Once I recovered the next afternoon from the ansthesia with the ERCP I felt so much better. That poison sitting inside of you is literally just draining you of all strength. If left untreated the leak almost always leads to fatality. Be aware of your symptoms!”