Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mystery Solved and Resolved

Ali before surgery with her stuffed dog they let her bring in with her.

We have FINALLY figured out a huge mystery that has been going on in our family for over two years now and even though it ended up being a little scary for Ali it turned out to be a huge relief and blessing. So Ali has been dealing with these bad stomach pains since she was five. We took her in to the doc over two years ago and they did tests and xrays but could never find anything. Our doc did mention that it could be food related and suggested we try taking her off dairy or wheat. I couldn't even fathom the whole wheat/gluten thing so we decided to try the dairy and started with milk. It seemed to help immediatley and we thought we had figured it out. But over the last two years, despite no milk she would still continue to get these pains but they were so random and varied in length that we could never figure out what she ate or what was causing them. Despite when, they were always very painful and she would usually spend the next one to three days doubled over in pain and keeping her up at night. The poor girls, we would always just say, well try going to the bathroom, or drink some water, or you must have had too much icecream, yadda yadda yadda. Well, about two weeks ago they came really bad and for about five days. She had to miss school and was very misserable. I was so sick of this I decided we were going to get to the bottom of it once and for all. I had never had her officially tested for any food allergies and decided we needed to get it done and figure out what foods were causing the havoc. I called our doc and she said she wanted to take a look at her and do some tests and if they came back with nothing she would send us to the allergy doc. I was a little annoyed because I just wanted to skip this useless step. We had done all these test several times before and they never showed anything. Well I agreed and brought her in and of course she asked all the same questions, is she nervous or anxious at school, does she stress or try to be perfect? No, no, no, she's in second grade!

OK, to try and make this long story not so short the doc basicly had no idea what was going on and of course the blood work came back fine but she did want to do an ultrasound to make sure everything was fine on the inside. Again, I thougt was pointless because she had had xrays done and found nothing, but again I agreed. So Jeff took her in on Thursday, two weeks ago, for the ultrasound and lo and behold they discover she has a HUGE gall stone in her gall bladder. Who would have ever know, but FINALLY! So because she was so young there was no surgeon in Fairbanks who could perform the surgery, she had to have her gall bladder removed, we had to go to Anchorage to a specialized pediatric surgeon. It just so happed that that next week on Tuesday we were going to Anchorage anyways for a conference Jeff had there and the surgeon was able to squeeze us in for our consoltation on Wednesday. At that meeting the surgeon said this was indeed the cause of incredible pain and need to be removed ASAP so he said how about tomorrow. So after some very hectic scambling one of our friends, our heaven sent angel, Leisel, said she could watch the boys and Saige for the entire day while I was in the hospital with Ali. Jeff couldn't miss his conference so he couldn't be of any help. So last Thursday Ali had her gall bladder removed by an amazing surgeon who was fantastic and it went great. It has been almost two weeks now and she has done great. We are just so thankful to finally have this figured out and that it was something that could be fixed with just a minor surgery and not something that she might have to deal with the rest of her life, if it had been a food issue. Every doctor we came across said this is almost unheard of in someone her age, and those that do have it so young she doesn't have any of the conditions that might have caused it. So it was a very freak thing and the poor girl has had to deal with it for over two years before it was finally discovered but to try and make it up to her, as soon as she could, we let her have a big bowl of icecream. Since she's never had an issue with milk this entire time. So whew, there,s our mystery and how thankful we are that it is resolved.

Side note: you can live just fine without a gall bladder!


Karen said...

Wow! So glad you guys figured that out! We hope Ali is doing great. She's probably so glad she won't have to deal with that pain any longer. Looks like she was a brave girl.

We miss you guys sooooo much!


Lizi Bates said...

Wow! Poor lil Ali...so glad they finally figured out what was wrong! She looks so happy in her hospital bed, she must be a tough one like her mama :)

angela said...

Oh my goodness! You never even mentioned all of this. How in the world does a 7 year old get gall stone?!! So glad that they got to the bottom of it and her life will be so much better now!