Thank God for My Gallbladder Attack

It was a busy morning on The Day. I hadn’t slept well the night before. Choosing to drink 16 ozzies of water wasn’t the best. I’d had to get up, it seems, a half dozen times and getting back to sleep wasn’t easy. I wanted to have everything done that I could because I figured it would make my initial days easier. Laundry, Twinkle’s cat box, dishes, whatever, I did it. I was to wear comfortable clothes and “comfy socks”.

Picking out and rejecting several different outfits, I prayed and it hit me! I had a dress that is loose and has pockets. It was clean but I hadn’t worn it in months so I put it in the washer to freshen it up. That’s when I learned another feature of my washer. Beside the indicator lights that show which part of the cycle the laundry is on, there’s a little “fast forward” button. I put The Dress through one wash cycle and a spin and then dried it. I was set.

I’d looked out and didn’t see either one of the vans. My cousin had told me not to panic if I didn’t see her van because one of the crew was going to drive it to work. But the other van was gone! I called her cell and she said she’d had to go in, after all, because one of the main men couldn’t be there until later. Never fear! She would be here at the time we’d settled on, and she was.

When we got to the hospital, we sat and waited for a few minutes before I could go in to complete my registration (I’d been pre’d) and get my armband. They had copies of my cards for the pathologist and the anesthesia company so I’d taken them for nothing.

Directed to another waiting area, it wasn’t long before my name was called and we went through several security doors before we got to the surgical wing.

Shown to a little room, there was a chair for my cousin and a recliner for me. I’d told merm no, that I wasn’t going to take my camera and document my “adventure” but I wished I had.

Everyone went out so I could take off all my clothes and slip on a “Bair Paws” gown. The system is really nice. I hadn’t quite finished when they came back in and got me situated. I had compression stockings to worry on, too. I could keep those or throw them away. I’ve kept them.

The room was cold but I was toasty warm in my blanket and stockings. They put a canvas-type blanket over me, too, that my cousin said would make a good drop-cloth.

The nurse came back and this time she had the anesthetist with her. An IV of normal saline was started. We all talked a little and then they left us. My surgery time was moved up from 3 to 2.

Put my cousin and me in a room and we are like a couple of chatterboxes. We never lack for anything to say. She asked if I was nervous and I said no, I was excited. She was skeptical.

Looking at the clock, it was getting close to 2. The zero hour came and went. Cousin went to the bathroom and came back saying the place was deserted. She said it was like the Twilight Zone.

At about 2:45, there was a knock on the door and it was the nurse, anesthetist and the DOCTOR! I introduced him to my cousin and he said we’d begin shortly. I asked if I could have my stones and he indicated he’d work it out.

Putting me on the gurney, they pulled the IV pump along. The anesthetist put the anesthesia in through the IV and, boy! it stung!!

I watched the lights go by, blip blip blip like you see on TV. We went through several doors and not once did they hit anything. Then we came to OR 2.

I looked around and there were several nurses there. One had eyes I thought I recognized but she never looked directly at me so I may have been imagining I knew her. When they started transferring me from the gurney to the operating table, I was out like a light.

The next thing I remembered was being urged to wake up. I didn’t want to! Let me sleep! But I HAD to wake up! Can you sit up? ARE YOU KIDDING?? The nurses sat me up and I fell over. They finally got me balanced sitting but then they wanted me to stand. Mission Impossible. They put me on what were supposed to be my feet but I went down in a heap of jelly. I remember saying I felt like a rag doll.

By and by, they were able to get me “at” myself enough to transfer me from the gurney back to the room where they put me in my beautiful (NOT) dress and then the recliner. THEN they went about really trying to wake me up. They brought strong black coffee. My cousin protested that I don’t “do” caffeine. No matter. I needed to drink it. The nurse had drawn a line on it and it had barely gone down. It was awful. If they had diluted what I drank with a cup of water, it would have still been strong enough to get up and walk out.

Then it was ice water. I don’t “do” ice water, either.

They told me my gallbladder was falling apart when the doctor removed it and two of the smaller stones fell out the side. One said it was “shredded”.

Eventually, I was able to transfer from the recliner to the wheel chair and they took me out to the van. My cousin had already signed the papers. My stuff, including three stones, were gathered up.

Grandaddy and Babies

I had a prescription for pain killers she stopped and had filled. I didn’t offer to go in and shop.

Getting to the house, she pulled as close to the front door as she could and walked me in. She’d called my CIL and he had fixed up the couch with pillows. I had my choice of a bed or the couch but I chose the couch. Her construction partner would have had to be put out of the bedroom and the couch was very comfortable.

My cousin plied me with water and a pain pill. She told me the doctor had told her I was a lucky lady. That if it gone much longer, it would have been gangrenous. This is one time an intense gallbladder attack was a blessing. The Lord does work in mysterious ways to push us to do what we should.

As for what she did during all the excitement, she found people she knew and visited plus she went out to the courtyard and got warm.

I called DD and asked her to email all the relatives and give them an update plus I sent a short message to three of my closest friends (though two of them live very far away).

The first trip to the bathroom was interesting. My cousin had me hold onto her and she said she didn’t want me to fall. I “faked” a stumble and she about had a heart attack.

I’ve probably done more today than was advisable. It isn’t much, though, besides eating, feeding Twinkle and fishing the nuggets out of her litter box. I did wash the few dishes I’d dirtied but that was less than a half dozen.

There’s a “pulling” sensation about two inches south of my belly button. I got in touch with the nurse and she said it was probably a stitch in the muscle but if it got painful to call the doctor so that’s what I’ll do.

I called one of my church friends and asked for prayer this evening. The meeting is due to start any time now.

Old Tough One was going to try to get through without taking any more pain pills. I don’t know if it was the coffee or the pills I took last night but something kept me from sleeping except off and on. I took a long nap this morning and that helped. I gave up and took a pill about an hour ago.

My cousin just called to check on me. She’d walked me over to the house this morning since she had to go to work. Poor Twinkle was all by herself, anyway. She’s been puzzled by my moving so slowly but I’m thankful to be moving at all. It could have had an altogether different outcome if I’d waited.

5 Responses to Thank God for My Gallbladder Attack

  1. Lila September 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    One good thing abou this, other than catching it in time – which of course is the best thing of all – is that it is something you’ll never, ever have to go through again. Tommie, it’s a real blessing they moved patients around to make room for your surgery to be earlier. There is much for which to be thankful, and I am!

    • Tommie September 4, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

      This proves there can be blessings in all things—even ones as miserable as a gallbladder attack. If it hadn’t be as long and as intense, I would have “ridden it out” until it was over. Then I might have been, too.

  2. Mary Jane September 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    All that pain was a blessing in disguise!

  3. Genese September 5, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    It’s terrifying to think you were close to becoming gangrenous! So sorry you had to suffer like that. I hope you discover strength and energy that you haven’t dared to dream of as you recover.

    • Tommie September 5, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Amen, Genese. I feel like I’ve been given a second chance. Sometimes it’s necessary to have to suffer for God to get our attention. And I hope so, too!!

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