The Gallbladder Saga: Part Two
I suppose I can continue The Gallbladder Saga. I should warn readers that it’s not a pretty story, it is humorous (now), and the pictures are real but gory. Or maybe they’re gory because it was my stomach? Either way, sit back, buckle up, and set down the popcorn. Seriously, put the food down before you read this. If you are smart, you’ll read the first part of the saga here so you actually understand where I’m picking up the story.
After initial doctor’s appointments, the ultrasound, and the diagnosis of gallstones, I was sent home and told to eat a bland diet until my appointment with the surgeon. So I did. And I continued to have what I now knew were gallstone attacks. All I could think was “Why are the gallstones attacking me? Did I invade their country without knowledge? Did I leak internal secrets without permission?” Or did my gallbladder simply have an attitude problem? No matter, I dealt with the attacks and continued on my I-don’t-care-about-anything way. Until the night I suffered through a 17 hour gallstone attack. If I haven’t mentioned, not only did I suffer through extreme pain during these attacks, but also intense nausea and vomiting. This latest attack left me completely drained and I ended up at the ER of one of 2 main hospitals in the city. I was given a boatload of pain pills, saline drips, and told I could eat chicken broth, saltines, and jello. That’s it. As you can see in the picture, I was a happy fucking camper by the time they got done with me.
After the ER experience, my appointment with the surgeon was up. He let me know the gallbladder had to come out but I had to wait for insurance approval, which would take 45-90 days. That statement about broke the last bit of courage/strength/humanity I had left. There was no way in hell I could wait that long, not if I was going to have 17-hour gallstone attacks. Luckily, he told me the ‘loophole.’ The next time I went to the ER with a gallstone attack, and I would, tell them he was my surgeon and get admitted to the hospital. So I plotted and I planned. I paid all my bills in advance, waited until the weekend was over, and I set myself up for a majorly painful gallstone attack. It was fried, greasy, and breaded foods. Everything I was NOT supposed to eat. A few hours later, it was time to head to the ER. It was at the other hospital and the difference was immense. Instead of a lovely greeter who brought me a wheelchair (when the attacks hit I cannot walk) I sat in an uncomfortable chair surrounded by a young teen who had overdosed, an old man in a wheelchair parked over piss, and an RN who came out of a room, announced everyone had to give a urine sample, and when I told him in my tearfully painful voice that I couldn’t, THREW the urine cup at my back. Yep, that bastard threw a urine cup at me. He’s lucky as hell I was in pain, because if I had been my old self or my newly found self, I’d have shoved that urine cup directly up his ass.
Finally I was admitted to the hospital and surgery scheduled for the next day. Now, all throughout my Facebook postings of this gallbladder removal thing, everyone kept telling me what an easy, in and out procedure it would be. For now I’ll just call them all lying bastards and keep it at that. The next day, when I was wheeled down to the operating waiting room, I was entertained by the nurses having a blast. They were making jokes about the lack of sex life a certain doctor had, the fact that the anesthesiologist had no sense of humor, and that my surgeon is always running late. I remember getting wheeled into the operating room by two nurses who were still laughing. The next thing I remember, I was in my hospital room, very dizzy, nauseous, in pain, and just out of it. I do remember TH and my teens being there, but that’s about it.
After keeping me doped up, they kept telling me I had to walk THE LOOP. Or as I like to call it, THE LOOP OF DOOM. It was up my hallway, around the corner, and back down. So I did it. I also pissed like a Chinese racehorse. I don’t know if they piss every five minutes, but I did. The next day I had an ‘oopsie’ moment. I was laying in bed and felt wet. But I had just peed!! Dammit. So I moved the blanket and it was blood, not pee. I personally felt like it was an enormous amount, but of course it wasn’t.
My nurse came in, added some more gauze, and rebandaged me up. Then she made me do the walk again. I was feeling even dizzier, but I did it because I wanted to go home. As I was walking, two nurses in the hallway stopped talking and started running/walking fast towards me, telling me to stop moving. Apparently I was bleeding out again because I was dripping blood down my gown, my legs, and the hallway. When I turned around to look, it was like a scene from some horror movie where the stupid chick follows the blood path. Idiot. My surgeon came to see me and had to add 4 more staples to the hole created in my belly button. So now I had 7 staples in the belly button, two on my chest, and two more in between. What really, really bothered me about these? None of them were in line with the others. I felt crooked and it drove me nuts.
At the same time this was going on, my nurse noticed extra bruising below the belly incision. She grabbed this Sharpie from her pocket and literally drew a smile (okay, in my drug induced state it sure as hell looked like a smile) on my stomach and said if the bruising went below the line, I had problems. So she wanted to track it. Little did I know that the little smile mark was going to turn from a slight issue to a mega issue in just 2 days. She never got the chance to track it as I was released just 3 hours later. I didn’t care, I was just happy to be going home. It didn’t matter to me that I hadn’t had a bowel movement like you’re supposed to. I had a fart. Granted, it was a weak fart. More like a whisper of air. But it was my fart. And it got me home.
I went home on November 6th, one day after my gallbladder removal. I was proud. I did it. I survived. I was extremely bloated with CO2 from surgery, but I was still home. Oh what an ignorant fool I was. Stay tuned for part 3 of The Gallbladder Saga.