STORIES OF HOPE: "Having my gallbladder taken out was a big mistake"
Updated: Jan 26
Hi! My name is Teri I’m 54 and have been married for 23 years and have two amazing sons 22 and 20 that I’m super proud of. My oldest has autism and loves everything animals. My youngest is a junior at Montana State and loves to sing. I was 30 when I was told that I needed to have my gallbladder out. Doesn’t that happen to older people? Just 2 months prior to that I had a miscarriage so I was still dealing with that loss. Little did I know that having my gallbladder taken out that it would end up being a big mistake. They said I could take meds to dissolve the gall stones, but they most likely would come back. There was no google back then to research it and at the time all I could think about was that I didn’t want to have another one of those attacks again. I was getting married in 3 months and was afraid I would have a gallbladder attack on my wedding day. I didn’t want to risk it. Everything seemed fine for awhile after the surgery. I was told that I could eat whatever I wanted now. So I did! Yay me, so I thought. Fast forward 3yrs and 2 kids later. After my youngest son was born I continued to have the heartburn that you normally get while pregnant, it just never went away and 5 months later I started having panic attacks and was diagnosed with Depression(did not feel depressed), Anxiety/Panic Disorder GERD and IBS. So antidepressants and acid reflux meds were prescribed, but never really took the antidepressants. I was so happy being a new Mom to my boys I just didn’t feel depressed. Plus I HATE taking pills! Over the course of time I kept having digestive issues. Doctors really didn’t say much. I had 2 colonoscopies one in 2000 and one in 2008 along with an endoscopy that showed all the inflammation I have in my stomach, colon and esophagus. I was diagnosed in 2008 with esophagitis. I also suffered with H Pylori as well around that time. In 2016 I had another endoscopy done and they found a ton of inflammation and multiple polyps in my stomach due to all the PPI’s I’ve been on for the last 20 yrs or so. That’s when I started wondering if I should even be on this medication anymore. I never really complained to doctors much about the distress in my gut. I thought it was normal for me. Sometimes it would go away and sometimes it wouldn’t come back again for another 2 weeks to a month. All I would ever hear is to loose the weight. Sounds easy, but it wasn’t for me. I never follow through with anything and I give up too easily because I get too overwhelmed so I end up doing nothing. In 2018 I discovered that I had a DVT in my leg 9 months after having a vein procedure. I knew I had to do something about my health, but I just felt lost. I started searching about Proton Pump Inhibitors and realized that I don’t want to be on these meds anymore because of the long term affects it can have and I knew I would have to change my diet. The question is how do I do that? I didn’t even know all my food triggers because everything gave me heartburn. I’ve been on these meds for 20 yrs!!! I started to wonder if maybe not having a gallbladder was partially to blame for my digestive issues. In the last few years it felt like things were getting worse especially if I ate dairy rich foods or high fats. Being in menopause doesn’t help either. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving! Now it’s February 2020 and I’m feeling my worst, almost a full blown diabetic and weighing my heaviest. I literally cried out to God for help. The very next day I kid you not, a video about Acid Reflux Disease and PPI’s appeared on my Facebook feed and it was Melissa Homner from Sagebrush Wellness! I was a bit of a skeptic because, well you know I found this on Facebook after all and who knows if this is a real program? I didn’t even think I could afford such a thing anyway, but I kept thinking WOW I really need to meet this woman! The great thing is, is that her office is right in my hometown! So I scheduled a consult. And actually I almost canceled that appointment because I was feeling so sick because of something I ate. I didn’t even think I could drive there, but I knew if I didn’t keep the appointment there was a chance I wouldn’t go at all so I sucked it up. I’m so glad I did because the day I walked in that office changed my life!!! Through this program I learned so much about my body that I didn’t know before. I learned that because I don’t have a gallbladder that I should have been taking digestive enzymes and bile salts all this time. Not one doctor has told me that in the 23 years since having my gallbladder taken out. I also learned that my health is worth it regardless of what the obstacle is. I needed to put ME first and deal with the rest later. A great thing about this program and one of my favorite tools and one of the most important tools is the diagnostic testing that Sagebrush Wellness does to help find out the WHY. I never thought I would be this excited about bloodwork, but not nearly as excited about it as Melissa! You should see her face light up!!! During the beginning of me starting this program my doctor called me with a concern of fatty liver disease. I was supposed to get an ultrasound, but Covid prevented that. I thought I was gonna loose my mind! I let Melissa know right away and she reassured me that we would be working on this together and we did! She really put my mind at ease and I was ready to get to work on fixing this. I’ve been in this program now for 9-10 mos and I’m happy to say that I have been able to reverse the fatty liver, diabetes, high blood pressure, a lot of my inflammation AND I lost 40 lbs!!! I never made the focus be my weight either. I just focused on feeding my body healthy food and figuring out what foods that caused me grief. I found out that I have food sensitivities to white potatoes, green olives, egg yolks and Cinnamon to name a few. Really?! Cinnamon?!?!? It’s one of my very favorite things! I might be still in denial tho lol. My tummy issues aren’t completely gone yet, but I do feel so much better than I did. I’m off my blood pressure meds and the acid reflux meds!!!! Woo hoo!!! Pain in my knees are very minimal now. I have way more energy and can do regular chores without being out of breath. My doctor is very proud!!! Another great thing about this program is it’s nice just having a person in your corner, a cheerleader, a health coach. Having someone who is so genuine with her words, someone who really cares, someone who is non judgmental, someone who is willing to hold your hand along the way and someone to hold you accountable. This was something that I needed that I didn’t know I needed until I started. I never once felt like I was doing this alone ever nor did I feel overwhelmed! We took things slow. Melissa genuinely cares about each and every client. She helped me get my life back. Sometimes I feel like I have energy like I did when I was in my late 20’s! I can now keep up the pace with my husband. Before he would always have to stop and wait for me to catch up. And just the other day I was just showing my friend how I can now run around in the snow!!! There’s not enough words on the planet that expresses the gratitude I have for everything that Melissa has shown me. I will never be able to thank her enough. I thank God for her and her people everyday that make this program possible. If you’re feeling like you’ve lost hope or if you know you need to make some changes then I HIGHLY recommend you give Functional Medicine a try!!!