That Took A Lot of Gall

Today will be a departure from the COVID pandemic of disease, information, misinformation, varied projections, confusing advice, and conspiracy theories. Instead, I want to talk about my gallbladder. Hold on there, partner! Don’t skip to the next marvelous insight from the internet because much wisdom came from my encounter with that troublesome little organ.

It’s been a bit over a year now since the surgeon evoked the eviction order on a gall bladder that was more trouble than it was worth. The reason I am giving it its own blog post because I had about as a good of a time as is possible through the whole ordeal.

Here are my random insights.

If you don’t know what a gallbladder attack and a heart attack are like (and most us of do not), they can be easily confused. It was an immense pinpoint pressure in the middle of my chest that would not go away.

Hopefully, you have good insurance and a good nearby hospital. We have good insurance, but people have died in the ER waiting room at our closest hospital and though we live only a block and a half from the state of Wisconsin, our insurance is only good in Illinois. So, our hospital of choice is 30 minutes away and it looks like a huge, beautiful shopping mall, being located in tenth wealthiest town in the nation, Lake Forrest, IL. I wanted Patty to drive faster!

If you want prompt attention in the ER, just say you have chest pain. I was in the triage room in 5 minutes.

When you complain of chest pain and your blood pressure skyrockets, you get a drug called Dilaudid which knocks most people out, but makes me carefree and chatty. While I was in the hospital overnight for tons of tests, I felt great from that moment on. I got tired of lying in bed and sat on that little doctor’s stool spinning around. 

I got great care and was thoroughly convinced no one wanted me die on their watch. That would cause a lot of paperwork. Their goal was to rule out anything big and bad or life- threatening. I had numerous EKG’s, lab work, a cat scan, a stress-echo, and x-rays. That means I got about 30 minutes of sleep that night.

These tests taught me much. The ultra-sound tech, whom I will call Helga, was good at pressing really hard with the ultrasound  probe and telling me to hold my breath, but sometimes forget to tell me it’s okay to breathe. 

If you have a hairy abdomen and have the time to shave it before the tests, do so. They replaced the electrodes on me about 3-4 times in my short stay, which for me was the by far worse pain I experienced after the initial pain was subdued. Don’t laugh. It hurts!

My nurse was a congenial guy who wanted to know my goal so it could write it on the white board in my room. My goal was to be able to eat again which got us talking about restaurants in my neck of the woods. He took notes.

Good news! The heart tests all came back good. With my family history, that is really good news. But I did have to get rid of the gb.

So, a couple of weeks later I went to a same day surgery center and got it out. I was able to eat a cookie and sip a Sierra Mist. So, they told me to put on my pants and go home.

I found out they will not let you go to the bathroom by yourself. So, my young female nurse followed me in and courteously faced the opposite corner. If I would have fallen, she would not have been able to advert it. Just an observation. Of course, you have to take the wheelchair ride down to the main door.

The next day I walked Boyd, The Mighty Chihuahua, around the about three times, maybe a tad much for day 1. Everything was fine until Patty explained how the surgery took way longer than it was supposed to. The gall bladder was discolored so enlarged and that the mesh bag that it is pulled out with broke and it had to be retrieved.

Anyway, it is taken care of. The heart seems to be problem free. And I had a pretty good time…considering. 

All quite trivial compared to a pandemic, but sometimes we think and talk about something else.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply