Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sabbatical Interuptus: Of All the Gall!

Well so much for going to forget.

Went to bed last night, feeling simply fine after a simple quiet night at home with the Husband.

At some point I began having this dream where we were travelling in a motorhomes (yes, many motorhomes) and we found ourselves sitting down to dinner with a middle eastern family.  The food was wonderful, and then there was the exchange of gifts, but the more gifts we exchanged the fuller I felt.  Really, uncomfortably full, in fact.

It was at this point that I woke up and found myself in a lot of pain.  I thought I was having a terrific case of indigestion.  So I shuffled to the bathroom, downed a hand full of Mylanta tablets and went back to bed.

This was a mistake, because when I went to rollover to my right hand side the pain increased and the indigestion turned into what I thought was a heart attack.

So, up got the husband, and off we went at 7:30AM to the closest hospital (with a decent ER - which is like a mini hospital itself) and thats when the fun began.

If you have an infected toe, they let you fester in the witing room.  If you think you are having a heart attack, they take you right in.  The EKG came back normal, but my pulse was elevated as the pain increased.  So back I went to a "room" and nurse, in her late 50s, wearing a black uniform came in.  Was this a portend of things to come?

As she jammed the thermometer into my mouth she said "I know what you're thinking, but no. Black uniforms are just cheaper than the bright colors, and don't you think it makes me look slimmer?"  She looked at the thermometer.  "You're going live."  She winked. I love it when you meet someone who possesses that sense of sarcasm and cynicism that builds instant raporte, especially when its your nurse.  Knowing I was in good hands I let her do to me as she wanted.

X-rays were taken - and then retaken as I evidently have very long lung lobes. I was hooked to the heart monitor, blood oxygen sensor to go with the IV shunt I was given earlier.  Blood was drawn and happily the first bit of good news came forth: my heart is strong and the tests all came back normal.  All of this was done in my room as everything is pretty portable.  The doctor came in and he too had a terrific sense of humor, in a quick fashion that I find attractive because stupid people can't pull off that type of skewed look at the world.

So then they thought that it was gastritis from the PF Chang's dinner I had the night before.  So I was given a magic elixir of Maalox and Lidocaine to swallow and left to stew for a about 45 minutes, the pain began to diminish, and then the pain was coming back, this time on right side, under my rib cage.  And coming back with a fury.

So Sue, my nurse asked if anyone in my family have gallbladder problems.  Well, the husband had a terrific bout and she said no, you family history and I said no because to my knowledge my people tend to have heart issues.

So then the doctor ordered an ultra-sound.  The way down the hall on the gurney I went to the ultrasound lab and I told the tech that the Husband would be jealous if I had my gallbladder removed before he got his taken out (the insurance comany refused to pay for it).

So she jellies me up, rubs the wand over me, and says "That man of yours just might be psychic."

Fifteen minutes after that I got the diagnosis: Biliary Colic.  Translated - a gall bladder packed to over full with gallstones, and one in the duct.  And teh gallbladder was all - and I love this medical term - "scrunched up".  I told the doctor that my gall bladder had never bothered me before.  "Well, it is now," said the doctor. Good point.

He said that I could kept over night and I said that I barely knew him. I said that I would rather suffer at home, but we could have dinner at a different date if he was up to it.  So I was given a shot of big boy Motrin, given scripts for more Motrin and Vicodan.  And I was given a script with a surgeon's name who I will call tomorrow.  I would prefer to get this out soon, because its a laproscopic procedure.  But if it gets infected, then they fillet you.  I don't want to be fillet'd.

I did tell him that I have my great grandmother's gall stones in a box from 1922, and that they are HUGE.  "That is both gross and something that is very cool.  But we won't let you have your gallstones if we take them out."  Spoilsport - he probably wants them for his own collection.  (NOTE: See the image below - its my great grandmother's gall stones, circa 1922.  They are amazingly HUGE.)

When we were leaving, I asked the doctor "Can I drive today?" and he said "Could you drive before today?" He's a cheeky little monkey - and thats why I liked him.

SO I am going to live. I am going to work in the morning.  AND I am going back on Sabbatical, damn it!

This is a really very macabre that I have these, and its very cool as well.  Come to our house and you can see them - I keep them in a box in the china cupboard.  Rest assured that I won't make you fondle them, unless you want to.  Keep in mind that great grandmother's gravel is the size of large gall stones in an average person.  Those big suckers up there weigh several ounces.  And all of this came out of a woman who was 5'1" in 1922!


  1. Those stones are amazing. They would make a great necklace!
    I think you should insist on getting your stones-like getting your old car parts back. Legally they are yours, right?

  2. holy shit!

    well, i'm glad they figured this all out quickly....hopefully the surgery will go well & down time will be at a minimum.

    as far as grandma's stones are concerned, i have no problem with them. i have a kidney stone about the size of gram's biggest that came out of my german shephard, mina in the 60s.

    keep us posted darling!!

  3. my friend marcia swears by a 'gallbladder flush' she involves drinking down a quantity of olive oil followed by grapefruit juice and apparently out they come...she saves hers too.

  4. These are wonderful. I love how you have them displayed. Keep up the personal.

  5. I hope you're feeling better, darling, and isn't it great to have had Mary Wickes as your nurse??