Tuesday, February 27, 2007

That takes a lot of gall.... bladder!

So I've been having these 20 minute to 2 hour attacks of severe pain in my abdomen every other week or so for the last two months. It all started with an apple pie induced whopper of an attack three days after Christmas, which had been preceded by a series of much milder attacks the week prior.

I went to the emergency room in Las Vegas, and after nonchalantly confirming that my earth shattering agony (from which I was bent over, unable to see straight, or communicate coherently) was not in my chest, the triage nurse bluntly told me to "Have a seat. It'll be a while". Two hours of moaning and groaning later, I was finally admitted, at which point the pain finally had receded. I was so happy to be out of the land of blinding agony, that when I was ultra-sounded and then diagnosed as having gallstones - I was more relieved than worried.

The attacks continued when I got back home, less frequently and less long in length thanks to my low fat diet. But after a particularly more severe episode than normal, it was time to see a doctor in LA. He concurred with the Vegas ER doc and sent me to a surgeon, who also concurred. The gall bladder had to come out.

This is the treatment of choice for such a problem. Not zapping the stones, that's kidneys, not removing the stones, that's old-school. Nope, just pull out the whole organ. Apparently, we don't really need it anyway. At least that's what all three physicians told me. So fine, let's take the sucker out.

I had to wait till after my vacation in Key West with my girls to visit my Dad and his wife, a trip that was absolutely fabulous BTW; good times were had by all despite the rain and colder temperatures than LA. Especially great was to see my grandmother, 87 and sharp as the proverbial whip and mobile to boot, getting to enjoy high quality time with her first great grand child. Also great news, no attacks in Key West, but alas, a doozy of an attack on the plane ride home.

So three days later I was admitted, the procedure knocked me out but good. It was over in less than 20 minutes; four tiny incisions, laproscopic instruments inserted and wa-lah! Gall bladder is history! The surgeon told my wife that the offending organ was indeed inflamed and scarred - the true culprit of my suffering.

Getting put under is totally bizarre. Lying on my back under big lights, the room starts spinning; I close my eyes - a split second later I open my eyes; the operation is long since over, I am in recovery. I promptly throw up and go back to sleep. A deep but normal sleep, not the black timeless abyss of anesthesia. I groggily wake up and crash several more times before regaining coherent thought. My wife is there, everything is fine. But boy do I feel like crap.

Crummy-ness continued for another two days, spent at home in bed, before I started to feel human again. Now here it is, a week later, and I think I'm actually going to be just fine. Still not a hundred percent, but everyone around me seems to think it's going to take a little more time. Glad to be here. The phone calls and concerns mean a lot to me, every last one of them. I Love you all.

1 comment:

Nancy German Osier said...

Wow, santa got you good... glad everything "came out" alright. Aunt Julie had her gall out and I feel a stone pass every now and then, and anticipate that maybe I'll join the out out damn gallbladder joy eventually. Hopefully I inherited the family brainz also. peace