About a week after we got the Boy home, I had an episode where I woke up late at night, with a tight feeling in my ribcage. I felt sick - and was sick - a couple of times. I took some painkillers and went back to bed. I just assumed it was some sort of trapped gas from the section.
Otherwise, I felt pretty good. I lost the pregnancy weight very quickly and recovered from the section well. I didn't think I had anything to worry about.
Then the pain happened once, twice, three times more. Just randomly, not on consecutive nights. Eventually, about six weeks ago, I asked the GP about it. She put me on some meds and said that being pregnant might have damaged my stomach lining. And that to take the meds and that, hopefully, they'd clear it up.
So, I did. I kept forgetting to take the pills, but I did get through the packet. During that time I felt a bit achy during the day a couple of times, and got sick after a pub lunch one day. But I was really hoping that there would be nothing else wrong - I've had my fill of hospitals.
Last night, we had pizza and chips as a treat. And in the middle of the night, at about 4am, I woke up with very bad pains. I couldn't find the painkillers without waking everyone else up. So I sat on the sofa, read, tried to go back to bed, was still in pain and finally, at about 5.30am, the Boy woke up anyway. So I had the paracetamol and went back to bed.
This time I managed to sleep until about half past 8. On previous occasions, the pain had stopped - this time, the painkillers had masked it enough for me to sleep but it was still there.
I swithered about going to A&E but decided it really wasn't that bad. I phoned NHS 24, after answering a few questions, the nurse said she reckoned I have gallstones.
I looked online and everything fits. Gallstones seem to commonly appear after pregnancy and rapid weight loss. Once they're there, episodes of pain often occur after eating fatty foods - and had takeaways at the weekends in the Boy's first few weeks, which was when I was more likely to be afflicted. Thinking back, afternoons where I've felt a bit of low level pain or sickness tended to be after I'd had a bigger than usual lunch. It all fits.
While it's a painful and annoying condition, I don't seem to have it as acutely as other people. Ditching the occasional takeout will help my weight loss efforts - I'm now trying to shift the weight I gained during IVF cycles. So it just forces me to be a bit more healthy for the time being.
I'm almost less enthusiastic about the treatment, which for most people seems to be removing the gall bladder. I won't be able to lift the Boy for a while afterwards, and it gives you a dodgy stomach when you recover, apparently. It almost sound like more hassle that just dealing with the odd bout of stomach pain. But having said that, I can feel an ache in my stomach even 12 hours after I first woke up, and the gall bladder may only get more angry if it's left.
'Angry' is the wrong word, though. Semingly tricky gall bladders are "grumbling"! The thing is sitting in my stomach going "Fuck sake, I tried to tell her not to have pizza. But oh no no. Silly cow did it anyway. And now I'm down here being sluggish. Grumble grumble grumble."
It's funny - after treatment and pregnancy I thought I wouldn't have any more medical appointments for a while. If I do need to get my gall bladder out, it feels like I'll need a season ticket to the operating theatre. And at least I've got a fairly good idea of what clothes to take. I'll just have to wait and see though, maybe it won't come to that.
Maybe Mr Grumbles will perk up a bit if he gets some sushi and stir fries, and start singing "Always look on the bright side of life".