The Gallbladder Saga: Part Three
If you’ve been following along on this merry adventure called The Gallbladder Saga, you’ll know where I’m at. If not, you’d better go back and read part Two or you’ll just freak out. WARNING: Content and pictures following may be too harsh for sensitive eyes. Then again, you’re on a blog called Nipplelicious. So yeah.
So I was at home. Granted, I had a stomach that looked like I was pregnant with twins, or triplets even, but I was home. I was sore but I had expected that after major surgery. The next day, on the 7th, I began to feel more pain. But once again, I blamed it on the surgery itself. I had a hard time walking, getting up without help, and sleeping. Now if you remember, my stomach was extremely swollen. Which meant I couldn’t see my feet, let alone the underside of my stomach bulge. What I couldn’t see was that the bruising was becoming darker, larger, and had gone way beyond the Sharpie smile. But at the time I wasn’t worried about a little bruising, I was worried about the pain that would not stop. Hours later and it became worse. Suddenly I really was pregnant and I was in labor dammit! Okay, not really, but that’s what it felt like. My daughter wanted to call my best friend, but I just kept saying “It will pass, it will stop.” By 10 pm on the 7th I was in so much pain I was huddled on the floor of the bathroom, unable to walk, unable to stop yelling the words “Ow” and “Ouch.” TH came over, took one look at me, and called an ambulance. There was no way I could make the over 30 mile drive in his truck or my Jeep.
I was screaming OUCH by the time the ambulance finally arrived, and I was basically out of it with pain. Those bastards (four of them) made me walk down my steps. Then I found out they didn’t park in front of my house, oh no. They parked behind and around it. Which meant they had to push and pull the stretcher over rocks, grass, and gravel driveways to get me to the ambulance. I screamed all the way to the hospital. I screamed because they couldn’t give me pain meds due to the fact I was a surgery patient. I screamed because the idiot couldn’t get an IV in me, and finally settled for PUTTING IT IN MY ARMPIT! Who the fuck does that? Oh yeah, the moron EMT who couldn’t come up with a better vein.
I don’t remember much more about the hospital ER that night, other than the pain and people staring at me. Of course they were probably staring because I was screaming. In fact, I really don’t remember much until the next day, when I got a good look at my stomach in the mirror of my hospital room. I was horrified, absolutely horrified.
So I spent 48 hours in the hospital before anyone remembered to tell my surgeon I had been re-admitted. I was also unfortunate to not get the same nurses this time around. On the 2nd day in the hospital, with my armpit IV still in, my surgeon said I needed a cat scan. Unfortunately, my armpit IV decided to burst during the scan, but luckily enough they were able to read it. When I got back to my room, I was then given an IV in my hand this time. The next day, my surgeon came in and told me that I had a bile leak where my gallbladder had been, and that the leak had gone behind my liver. So I had to go back into surgery to get a catheter inserted into my upper stomach for the bile to drain. I have to admit, it was one of the funnier moments when I got into the radiology room. There was a male radiology nurse, and two male radiologists. They were all three trying to argue and decide on how best to keep my modesty because my bandages were right below my breasts, and that’s where they needed to work the catheter in. I finally looked at them (mind you I was drugged up again) and said “Listen guys, I’ve had three kids naturally. I was in teaching hospitals, which meant once I was in labor, my legs were spread, the door was opened, and a bell rung for all to come see. So forget about my modesty, let them hang out for all I care.” Well they didn’t, but they did stop treating me with kid gloves. It hurt when they inserted the catheter, but more than that, it felt weird as all hell. Like someone was pushing aside my insides and invading my body. I immediately began draining bile like crazy, and it was totally disgusting to me. To deal with it better, I named my bag bulb Burt the Baggie and we became fast friends. Which is good, considering none of the day nurses ever came in to drain the bulb and I had to do it myself.
So now I had another hole in my stomach, staples in three areas, and a catheter bag. I really just wanted it all to be done and over. I ended up blowing two more IVs, but it was the third and final one that pissed me off the most. It was two days before I was going home and I had just blown the 2nd IV. I told the nurses that this next IV was going to be my last one, so they’d better get someone in who knew what the fuck they were doing. So they called in the Air Force. Okay, not the Air Force, but the air pilots of the emergency helicopters. There was an older woman, and a young man. The guy looked young enough to be my son, even though it turns out he was the pilot. The only place I had left was in my inner wrist. He warned me it was going to hurt like a bitch because my wrists are small. He didn’t lie. I actually screamed when he did it. I could feel the needle scraping my wrist bone and I was horrified. Turns out so was my body, because I blew that line 2 days later. But it didn’t matter, because I was going home; staples, Burt the Baggie, and all.
There you have it. The final chapter of The Gallbladder Saga. A simple surgery that turned into a 1:100 complication only the Nips could achieve. It’s been a long two years since all this health crap first started, but I’m finally on the road to healing. My stomach has gone down massively:
my scars are healing nicely, and I can get up off the bed without assistance. Next time, I’ll share with you some of the funny/crazy things that happened in the hospital. For now, it’s time to bake more cookies. It’s almost Christmas. Oh, and a Merry, Merry Christmas to all!