not the relaxing weekend I had hoped for…

24 Mar


Brian was in Arizona this weekend for PJ’s bachelor party (Rachel’s soon to be husband…two more months!!). I had plans to do absolutely nothing all weekend but catch up on trashy television, read, take long baths and host book club at my house. All went according to plan on Friday. I had a fun lunch with Brian’s mama Zina, then I spent the afternoon reading on the balcony before making a big salad for dinner and turning in early. Saturday morning I slept in, then ran around buying stuff for book club (more on that in a later post). After a seriously fun afternoon hanging with the ladies I was beat and turned in early again. The evening took a turn for the worse when I was awoken by the most excruciating pain at two am. It was the worst I’ve ever experienced…it radiated through my back, stomach and chest. It was so intense that I literally couldn’t breath or see straight. I writhed around my bed trying to find a position that gave me some relief. There was no relief. Why was this happening when Brian was out-of-town?? Did I throw my back-out? Is this my appendix? Ectopic Pregnancy? Cyst on my ovaries? What is happening to me?

I stupidly kept thinking maybe it would pass and I could avoid a dramatic evening the hospital if I just waited it out. I also didn’t want to worry anybody in the middle of the night so I kept rolling around in bed and praying for it to end. But after an hour the pain had only intensified and I was now shaking and sobbing from it, so I grabbed my phone. First I called Brian (although I’m not sure what I expected him to do from Arizona? I think calling him first is just habit now), then Rachel & Taline (my two best-girlfriends. They also didn’t pick up…understandably though because who keeps their phone on in the middle of the night?) I thought about driving myself to the ER but quickly realized that was NOT an option considering I couldn’t see straight. Maybe I should call the ambulance, I thought? But I couldn’t bare the idea of being wheeled out of my building on a gurney. So embarrassing.

So I made the call.

Five minutes later my mom was standing at my door. How was it humanly possible to get from Santa Monica to Marina Del Rey in five minutes?? “How the hell did you get here so fast?”, I asked through pathetic tears. She proudly said she ran through every red light. Don’t mess with a parent. I was still on the fence about going to the hospital.  Have I mentioned I hate hospitals? HATE. So I tried to stop crying and stand up straight in the hopes I could convince my mother that we should wait it out a bit longer. But there was no changing Lynn’s mind…we were going to the hospital. She handed me clothes in the dark and soon we were speeding down the street en route for the hospital and I was dressed in mix-matched pajamas that weren’t even buttoned correctly, a super fancy leather jacket and worn slippers.

Ten minutes later I was lying on a gurney at UCLA hospital with an IV in my arm. Two minutes after that I was in a cloudy haze telling my mom over and over again…”I think, I’m high” while giggling. The next few hours were a bit of a fog. There was an ultrasound (totally not an enjoyable experience with the pain), more drugs, a funny and drunk (or crazy) man next door to me trying to convince the doctor that “people” stole his medicine and a sweet nurse who made me laugh. By 9am they diagnosed me with gallbladder stones. Am I eighty now? The good news is, I feel much better today- just achy, sore & tired. The bad news is that once you get gallbladder stones you are prone to getting them again. UGH. Hence why people usually opt to get their gallbladder removed. I’m going to meet with a specialist later this week to talk about options.

Has anybody ever experienced these before??



20 Responses to “not the relaxing weekend I had hoped for…”

  1. paywindow7 March 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    I clicked like and then felt foolish because the post was about you being in such misery, sorry. What I meant was that I could relate to what you wrote because my daughter-in-law had the same experience and they thought her pain was due to gall stones also, but test proved that diagnosis wrong. Further tests have not determined what her problem was. Hope you have better luck.

    • katemcclafferty March 25, 2014 at 8:48 am #

      Your poor daughter-in-law! Sorry she still doesn’t know. That must be so frustrating. Thank you for your well wishes though:)

  2. the usual bliss March 24, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Poor baby! The worst is being sick or in pain when your loved one is gone! I hope you’re on the mend and the doctors have some solid recommendations for you so that it never happens again. Let Frank give you lots of licks. 🙂 xx

    • katemcclafferty March 25, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      Thanks, lady. Frank has been extra cuddly and sweet. How do they know?? 🙂

  3. Maria March 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    That’s awful! I am so sorry you had such a terrible thing happen……I have never had gallbladder stones but I have had kidney stones. I woke up in the middle of the night, just like you described. It was instantaneous and awful. My husband was scared out of his sleep and kept telling me to calm down because our daughters were asleep. I thought my back was out but I was able to stand up out of bed and knew it wasn’t that. Then I thought it had to do with my recent c-section, well it had been 2 months but that was recent enough. It wasn’t that. I was so hysterical that my husband called 911. We woke our neighbors across the street and asked one of them to stay in our house so that when our daughters woke up they wouldn’t be alone and we went to the hospital. It was awful from beginning to end. The paramedics made me walk to and climb in the ambulance. They jabbed me in the kidneys to ascertain it was stones. The ER staff was tired, it was close to 5AM, and they tried to say I was a drug seeker, I kept telling them I had never even taken my medication after my c-section, and finally after the 4 people who tried to give me the IV, the painful ultrasound and the pelvic exam done while I was propped up on a bed pan…..don’t even ask…..they said I had kidney stones that were too small to operate on so they wanted me to pass them myself. It was awful. It turns out, with some detective work and a repeat situation after some Chinese food, that I am allergic to shrimp (which I love!!!!) and even though it is super rare, it can happen. So, no more shrimp and it has been 7 years since the last bout. Hallelujah! I hope you don’t need surgery.

    • katemcclafferty March 25, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      OMG!!!!! That sounds like a HORRIBLE experience!!! I am still in awe that kidney and gallbladder stones can be so painful considering they are so tiny. Shrimp?? How strange! So glad you pinpointed it and were able to put a stop to it happening again. xoxoxo

  4. hunting for bliss March 24, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    Ugh:( I hope you feel better soon!

  5. hunting for bliss March 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Ps: I haven’t experienced what you did, but I did end up going to urgent care because of horrible chest pain. Thought I was dying! Turns out it was freakish acid reflux. I can relate to just how scary it is 😦 especially for a girl with anxiety. xoxo

    • katemcclafferty March 25, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      HA. Yeah my anxiety was not helping the situation:( xoxox

  6. righteousbruin9 March 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    I was worried it may have been your heart. (Yes, even a 30-year-old can have those issues.) Gall stones signal a need to cut way back on sodium. Your mom did what any parent worthy of the name would have done.

    • katemcclafferty March 25, 2014 at 9:00 am #

      Really?? I’m totally cutting back on sodium then! Thanks for sharing that! 🙂

  7. amelie88 March 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    Oh my gosh this sounds terrifying! I am so sorry you were alone but so glad you are now doing better! I’ve never actually been to the ER (knock on wood), probably the worst experience I’ve had was getting my 4 wisdom teeth out. I know, it’s nothing compared to gallbladder stones but that first night was rough since I ended up vomiting and crying hysterically because I didn’t realize I would be in so much pain once the drugs wore off.

    I also get pretty bad menstrual cramps (and I’m not exaggerating about this, they incapacitate me and I cannot move if I don’t take precautions)–bad enough that if I don’t take anything at all, I am screaming, crying, and moaning for a good two hours in the fetal position that if someone didn’t know what was going on, they would probably call 911!

    • katemcclafferty March 25, 2014 at 9:02 am #

      You poor baby! Pain is the worst!! I can’t believe you get cramps that bad. I’ve heard horror stories about that before but never experienced it. I think you need heavier medicine for when it happens! xoxo

  8. mybrightlife March 25, 2014 at 2:27 am #

    So sorry your weekend became challenging! Thank goodness for super mom’s and good healthcare! Hope you feel better soonest.

  9. Danielle March 26, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    Oh my gosh, how scary! Thank god for mother’s though. I hope you’re feeling much, much better.

    Your pup’s cute little bum totally brightened my day 🙂

  10. cravesadventure March 28, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    My mom experienced gall stones and she just opted to have her gall bladder removed – she was 60 something. I have a co-worker whose daughter had her gall bladder removed and she is in her mid-20s. Good Luck – Here’s to Weighing Your Options and Making the Best Decision for You and Your Body:)

  11. domain August 25, 2014 at 5:12 am #

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    Look forward to exploring your web page repeatedly.


  1. gallbladder : end of story | - March 30, 2014

    […] it’s been an interesting week for sure. As I mentioned in a previous post, last Saturday I went to the emergency room with excruciating pain in my stomach. After a few tests […]

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