Johnnie’s Fun-Time Gallbladder Adventure [PHOTOS]
So Stephanie The Corporate Computer Babe has been yelling at me to post the story and photos of my surgery yesterday, so let’s have a little fun with it, eh? By the way, at the end, there are a couple gross photos of them taking out my gallbladder and then cutting it open to show the stone. If this makes you sick, don’t look at them, just enjoy the story of how I got there.
Day 1 – The Attack
So not long ago, I woke up at about 3am with a really bad pain just below my sternum. At first I thought it must be really bad indigestion or something. Since I really haven’t had that often, it made sense. After a few hours of trying to relieve the pressure (even forcing myself to vomit a couple times) and the pain kept growing, I decided to go see a doctor. So about 9am I went to a clinic to see if they could help.
By this time, I was bent over in pain a little and sweating a bit. This concerned the doctors at the clinic and they hooked me up to an ECG to grab a quick look at my heart to make sure I wasn’t having a heart attack.
Luckily, I wasn’t.
They insisted I go to an emergency room and that I let them call an ambulance. I didn’t really feel like paying for an ambulance ride, since at this point I was still thinking it was something really dumb, so I called Steve Kaplowitz to see if he could give me a lift. By the time he got there, I was seriously doubled over in pain. We got to the ER, they took me in a laid me out on a bed. This is when the pain started to get worse.
After some talk with a doc, they hooked me up to an IV and gave me some morphine. I was really hoping for it to kick in and take away the pain, but all I felt was a little warmth up the back of my neck. After about an hour of the morphine not working, they came back and gave me a double-dose of morphine. This also failed to affect the pain. So finally, the nurse got the okay to give me Dilaudid. This worked. My pain dulled down to a bad stomach ache. I was happy the pain was down and was having a nice conversation with my boss when it came time for my Ultrasound.
Right before that, the doctor came in and said my test came back fine, and it was probably just indigestion or something. I said, “For this much pain, it had really be something more than that!”
Ultrasound complete – Gallstones. Or as they write it up, Gallbladder Disease. The good news was that it didn’t seem to be infected, so it wasn’t urgent surgery. They sent me home with some meds, and a surgeon’s name. The next day I noticed a popped blood vessel in my right eye that I could entertain myself with and creep people out.
Skipping forward a bit, I saw the doctor, scheduled the surgery for April 30th and then went in.
Day 2 – Surgery (or not)
So Monday I went in for surgery and they took me to my little room, made me get nekkid and put on this huge fashion statement of a gown, some cool purple socks, and some not-so-cool compression stockings. Was I coming out of this surgery a girl? I began to fret over this. I’d be a really ugly, enormous girl.
Then began the waiting.
And the waiting.
And then, to spice things up, they moved me to another waiting space in pre-op since my nurse was getting off shift. Then I got to wait some more.
It turns out that the lady who went in before me was in worse shape than the scans had shown. They had to call in another surgeon and more doctors to assist in the surgery that began at 10:30am and was still going on when they cut me loose at about 6pm. I asked my surgeon on Tuesday if she was okay, and he said she was doing fine.
Day 3 – The Surgery
So I got to come back and do it all over again…the nekkid, the gown, hose and cool socks. (I have two pair of these now to kick around the house in.) My doctor seemed a little sad that he wasn’t going to get to use the robot to do my surgery, since someone else had it this day. He was very excited about using it.
The docs came in, told me all the prep stuff and promised to take a picture of my stones and then they wheeled me down the longest hallway ever and into the operating room. I moved to the table, the had to find an extension for it so I’d not hang off the end (stupid legs), and then…
I was waking up going to recovery.
Crap! I’d missed the whole thing! And I apparently didn’t even get the fun of being loopy and silly from the anesthesia! The nurses said I just woke up and was fine. If they were just trying to save me embarrassment, then I’m bummed. I was looking forward to hearing about the stupid things I might have said.
But on the upside, the stone didn’t disappoint! It’s suitably large and menacing, and makes me glad. If it had been this tiny little thing, I’d have totally felt like a giant wuss. Now, to make my life complete, I get to wear a girdle for the next two weeks. Yay! Fun!
Now it’s just a bit of rest and back to work! See you guys soon!