Saturday, March 22, 2008

Avoiding Gallstone Surgery

We met with a great G.I. doctor at Riley, Dr. Molleston. She was wonderful. She had already talked with Dr. D in-depth about Bailey's history and had already read her file (well, not all 15 years worth, but let's be reasonable) and knew basically what she was dealing with. From Bailey's description of her pain, it was pretty clear that the cause was the gallstone, but she went through all her medications and looked at everything possible to make sure they weren't missing anything else that could be causing the pain. The options for gallstones is basically to tolerate the pain while eating low-fat foods to minimize the pain, or to surgically remove the gallbladder - I guess they don't "pass" or can be lasered like kidney stones. Bailey's done so well these past 4 months since her last open-heart surgery - they don't want to mess with a good thing and just throw in a surgery if they don't have to. Besides, she's on a blood thinner and they would have to reverse that to be ready for surgery, which would increase the risk of blood clots - and that, of course, wouldn't be good at all. But, Dr. Molleston told us about a drug that came out about 3 years ago called Actigall. It's made from bear bile (thought that was interesting) and it's used to attempt to dissolve gallstones. It's not as successful as they had hoped, but it does work on some stones. So, it's definitely worth a shot if it can help us avoid surgery. They're trying it for 3 months and then Bailey will get an ultrasound to check things out again. She's experiencing relatively little pain and, hopefully, it won't get worse. It's possible that the stone could get wedged in a spot which could cause fever, jaundice, vomiting, etc., in which case they would have to remove it, but we're hoping it doesn't get that far. No one wants her to get sick. So we'll see how the next 3 months go.

Have a beautiful Easter weekend, everybody.

People are often
unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,
people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are honest,
people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness,
people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today
may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end,
it is between you and God.
It never was between you and them anyway.

-Mother Teresa

Love you all,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. WONDERFUL passage from Mother Teresa, one of my heroes, like both of you!


2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just knew there was a "genetic" connection somewhere with me and my daughter (in my heart) and her girls. I'm 50 plus years older than Bailey, but I'm having the same problem with gallstones! Bailey is just more precocious (faster, more artistic, smarter, etc.) than I am so she got her gallstones when she was a lot younger.

Looking forward to seeing ALL of you on Saturday. Love you ALL!


5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear you like Bailey's GI doctor. I bet that's very comforting. I hope you had a blessed Easter.


8:44 PM  

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