Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm All Sludgy

I had my ultrasound Thursday. No gallstones (yay!), lots of "sludge" (boo!). I won't hear from the doc until the radiologist looks at the ultrasound, writes a report and sends it to my doctor, but the ultrasound tech said my gallbladder looked sickly and she thinks they'll want to take it out. I realize that's the typical course of action, but I've also read that if you have your gallbladder out and there aren't any stones, you're more likely to continue having symptoms after the gallbladder's out (i.e. it was never the gallbladder causing the problems). I looked up some research articles specific to sludge, pregnancy and treatment options. I never had any problems with the right-sided pain before this last pregnancy, so I think that's a key factor to consider. What I found is that it's fairly common (somewhere around 30%) to develop sludge in the gallbladder during pregnancy and it's actually more common in women who aren't overweight, for some reason. I also found that it's fairly common for the sludge to go away on it's own in the postpartum period (one study I read looked at women between 1 and 10 months postpartum and 71% of them didn't have the sludge anymore even though they hadn't been treated). Also, sludge contains itty bitty stones and if it forms during pregnancy, those stones tend to be cholesterol stones, which can be dissolved with medication. The kicker for me is that my symptoms aren't necessarily gallbladder pain (a lot of people have sludge and even all out gallstones without any symptoms or problems, ever) and I'd sure hate to take on the risks and side effects of surgery and not fix anything (or possibly make it worse, if the problem is bile reflux, because that can be exacerbated by removing the gallbladder). I suspect I'll end up talking to the doctor, but right now I'm thinking I want to wait it out or possibly try the medication (I've looked it up in my Meds and Mom's Milk book and I'm comfortable with taking it while nursing). Pretty sure that means I'm off red meat and carbonated beverages for the next few months, but I've stopped craving both, so that's fine. That's the diatribe on me!

In other news, the weather has been warming up a little here. We actually stayed above freezing for a few days. And then we got some sun! We usually keep the back room closed off because it's really cold back there, but with the sun shining through, it really warmed up (there are a lot of windows). I'm sure we're all vitamin D deficient, so when I noticed we had sun and the room was actually warm, I undressed Secora and sat with her in the sun for a little while. The big girls came to check it out and were so thrilled to see some natural light and hang out in a warm room!

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