Monday, May 14, 2007

Stone Soup

Several days after I had sent that e-mail to the Evil PXE, I found myself in the doctor’s office telling first the nurse and then my physician my symptoms. “It feels like there is a steel stake right through my rib cage,” I finally said, pointing to the middle of my chest. “And I’m not sleeping well.”

After pushing on my stomach (presumably the spot where the gall bladder is located), my doctor agreed to send me for an ultrasound. They’d use this one to compare against the one I had taken previously. Five years ago.

That evening, the scheduling nurse from my doctor’s office called. “I’ll go ahead and call the surgeon on Monday morning.”

“So, I need to have my gall bladder removed?”


Monday I was told to see the surgeon the following Monday. I spent the week trying to be really good with my diet but ended up having two more attacks during the week. This time, they were occurring in the morning and my lack of sleep was beginning to catch up with me. I called my Mom, the Social Butterfly, to see if she could come up when my surgery actually gets scheduled. She assured me she’d be there but I should try not to set it for June 1st or June 5th as she had appointments on those days. “Well, I figure it will be either be at the end of the month or after our vacation in the middle of June. Shouldn’t be a problem."

Monday came and CrafterKat and I left for the early morning meeting with the surgeon. I explained my symptoms to the nurse. Then the Surgeon-In-Training. Then finally the doctor. He came in with an old 50’s textbook with illustrations of the gall bladder and how they would remove the broken organ. “It’s moderately distended and should come out soon. Have you eaten anything today?”

I shook my head. “No.”

“Great. I have an opening at 3pm today.”

Um… Wait… TODAY?

I called my Mom when I got home. “What are you doing today, Mom?”

She paused, piecing the clues together and finally yelled, “Today?! TODAY?!”

I called work and informed my co-worker that I’d be out the rest of the week. My mother arrived a few hours later and drove me to the hospital. When we found Admitting, the nice lady there had me on her list. “What are you here for?”

“Gall bladder.”

“Oh. A mumble-mumble-oscopy?”

“I don’t know… They’re removing my gall bladder.”

“Oh, we get those and colonoscopies all the time. You sure you don’t want one of those, too? A 2-for-1 deal?”

I assured her I didn’t.

Needless to say, the surgery went well but I don’t really remember anything after being wheeled into the operating room and sliding over onto the thin bed. I awoke, curled up on my side, to my Mom’s voice.

I found out later that the surgery had taken longer than expected as I had lots of adhesions and a hazelnut sized stone in one of the ducts. The rest of the week was spent in a Vicadin haze, eating soup and jello, and snuggling cats who couldn’t understand why they couldn’t flob across my tummy as usual.

Thanks to all my friends and family for their kind thoughts, help, and numerous flowers. I’m very happy to be back at work and in good health!