Gall bladder is outta here! and the PEG soon to follow


This should be a snap after the cancer treatment. My husband has been having some pretty significant gall bladder attacks and it's interfering with his ability to eat and put weight back it's coming out. Surgery will be laparoscopic, same day discharge. The hardest part will be getting him to take the sufficient time off work to recover.

When we went for the 9 month CT scan the radiation doc took a hard line and basically told my husband he was using the PEG as a crutch and that it was time to take it out. (I was silently singing the Hallelujah chorus). He got a repreive to leave it in until a week or two after the gall bladder comes out, but that's it. Hooray!. He really can swallow and eat enough IF he puts his mind to it and builds in the time. The rad doctor was right when he told us the Type A personalities are the worst because they just want to get back to work and are not as amenable to taking the time to focus on recovery - that was very true in our case. I'm glad the doctor got to be the heavy and put his foot down - I wasn't succeeding in convincing him it was time to lose the PEG. Next up on the coaching list for me is getting him to consistently do the neck exercises to maintain neck mobility in the face of fibrous neck tissue from radiation. 



  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    You are doing great Barbara, just put your foot down harder.

    Wanting to get back to work is very good. Only if you have recovered. It's not good to try to recover at work. Well, he needs to do most of the recovering before going back. Eating is a big part of it. You can forget how to swallow. Wel,l mine was different as they took my larynx and I never knew how much it did. Only thought it was to talk, but it is how you do swallow as it connects all the muscles needed to swallow and balances the air as we have negative air pressure in our throat so we can swallow and get the food down. The vocal cords close so we block the air and it all works and we never think about it. Well, I do now. In just 9 days of not allowed to swallow anything and not even have an ice chip if I promised not to swallow any, I forgot how to swallow. I had to relearn and partly because everything that helps you swallow is gone. 

    Just keep nudging him in the direction to not use the peg.  His recovery will be faster in getting back to 100%.


  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 617 Member

    Soon you'll have all the loose ends taken care of and can put this chapter of life behind you. The neck exercises are really important. It only takes skipping them for a day or two to feel the tissues get tight. Eating is draining, too. It just takes so long that downing an Ensure becomes a very attractive alternative. Keep up the encouragement. You've been an awesome, supportive partner for your husband!