There’ve been a few lapses in my blogging over the years, but none this long. (TWSS. Didn’t you miss me??) This time I have a really good excuse. The problem has been brewing for a while now but went undiagnosed until a few weeks ago when completely desperate and wracked with pain, I went to the emergency room and found out I had gallstones. While the pain temporarily abated, I saw a surgeon who promised removing my gallbladder would be a breeze. He’d make 3 small incisions and oust the foul organ laparoscopically. I wouldn’t even need to stay in the hospital overnight and the incisions would be glued shut so there wouldn’t be any stitches or staples. I tried to be all cerebral about calmly scheduling surgery at a convenient time but then the pain came back and it was worse than ever. I have a high pain tolerance and when I’m really suffering, I don’t make a huge, dramatic scene but instead retreat inward to handle the agony. Unfortunately this means the folks at the ER don’t take you very seriously. I finally was so undone I made my version of a scene and was immediately admitted. My gallbladder was removed first thing the next morning and the surgeon said he’d never seen one in such bad condition, describing it using the word “rotten.” He also said it contained between 75 and 100 gallstones and that it had stopped functioning a long time ago. All this made the surgery much more complicated than expected. He ended up having to make 5 larger-than-planned incisions and the procedure took twice as long as a regular removal. He also had to staple all my incisions and leave a drain in one to make sure my liver didn’t riot. I ended up spending 3 delightful nights in the hospital. My Dad is having terrible problems with his back so my Mom rushed into town. She made it just in time and was able to be with me before I went under. Since I was under longer than expected, waking up was very confusing and disorienting and for the longest time I thought I was dreaming. The first thing I remember the nurse telling me was that there were some complications and the surgery took longer than expected. In my anesthesia haze, I thought I’d done something wrong so I burst into tears. It was really a proud moment. And since I’m sharing, I’ll also mention that because the doctor didn’t know things were as bad as they were, I wasn’t catheterized because I was only supposed to be under for an hour. Since I ended up being under for 3 hours I happily pissed my pants during surgery, which greatly added to the pride I felt after bursting into tears.
I’ll end with that lovely image and continue the story tomorrow. I have plenty of time since I’m off work for at least another week nursing my wounds and contending with some apparently typical but still very unwelcome post-surgery gastrointestinal distress. Kisses!