Tuesday, December 28, 2010

One Less Body Part to Worry About

Good riddance to my gallbladder. I never had anything against it or even gave a moment's thought to its function or existence.

Well, it reared its ugly head a week ago with an intensely punishing several hour episode. I had no idea what caused the terrible pain and made me to lose everything I had eaten that day. The next 3 days were routinely normal.

But on Christmas Eve once again the pain and purging returned with a vengeance. I chalked it up to bad heartburn. When it returned again on Christmas Steven took me to the ER at St. V's. Something was very wrong. After a few hours of tests to rule out heart and other stuff, the nurse said he'd seen my pathology report and I wasn't going home that night. That gave me a few minutes to consider the really unpleasant possibilities--pancreatic or lung cancer, liver trouble, etc.  At first the doc thought it was hepatitis, and it was a great relief when the doc pronounced it gallbladder; that I could handle.

On Sunday the gall stone causing the immediate problem was removed and on Monday the gallbladder surgery was successful; the doc saw lots more stones queued up waiting their turn to cause mayhem in my system.  Laproscopic surgery is a modern miracle.  I have not taken any pain pills since the surgery and the interior tube was removed 24 hours after surgery.  

Besides the pain it was hard not eating or drinking anything for nearly 72 hours.  This morning I was allowed to eat Cream of Wheat (blah) and yogurt and tonight a friend brought over some delicious broth.  In 2 days I can eat regular food so my  first stop will be Burgerville for their classic hamburger made from organic grain-fed beef and secret sauce, then a stop at Pasta Pronto for their Washington County Blue Ribbon Salad and fresh Italian bread, and on the way home we'll swing by the Stockpot Broiler for a juicy steak.  Mmmm, I can't wait.

On my dresser I now have an expensive piece of grit that probably cost $30,000 to remove!
St. Vincent Hospital, Portland Oregon


  1. It's about the size of 6 or 7 grains of sand a pyramidal shaped. And hard as a rock.