Friday, May 22, 2009

Spare Parts? I Have a Few

I recently had my gallbladder removed. As recent as Tuesday. Apparently you can live without your gallbladder. You know what is hard to live with? A barely functioning gallbladder. Makes you feel like shit, sometimes literally. So that bugger had to go. Three small cuts later and a big LASER*, and I am gallbladder free.

While I was in the hospital being prepared for this planned surgery, it reminded me of the last time I had some parts removed, namely my appendix. Apparently you do not need that either. In fact, it is so unnecessary the doctor could not even tell me its function. Apparently my appendix's function was to fail. Miserably.

Unlike my current surgery, the appendix was much more emergent. It all started with an attack that I did not recognize until much later that left me in such excruciating pain that I had to have my dad come get me to drive me to the doctor. By the time we got to his office, the pain was gone and all was well. Luckily the next attack waited about 6 months or this surgery would have been performed in the Dominican Republic and more like something from Turistas than something involving a LASER.

The night of my unbeknownst-to-me-surgery, I went to bed feeling fine. Within an hour I felt like crap and it just continued to get worse. Nothing I did made it better. Not trips to the toilet, cool wet rags, lying perfectly still. Of course it took me about 5 hours to realize that the sickness and pain were actually getting worse and were concentrated to the center of my stomach. So, of course, I got up and checked WebMd. Sure enough, sounded like my appendix. I decided it was ER time. In my pain riddled and delusional state, I decided I was going to drive myself. So I woke up B:

Me: Hey, I have to go to the hospital. I will be back later.
B: What?
Me: I am in a lot of pain and it is getting worse. I need to get to the hospital.
B: Do you want me to drive you?
Me: I don't care. I just have to go.
B: Give me 5 minutes.

By the time the 5 minutes were up (and it actually could have been less), I was lying on the living room floor in a ball. Yeah, I wasn't driving anywhere. Off we went to the hospital.

Here is what you need to know from there:
  • We arrived at 4 am. They did not diagnose me until 4 pm. 12 hours later.
  • They gave me stupid tests like a gyno exam
  • They then lost my tests
  • I threw up around 11 and felt 100% better and figured there was nothing wrong with me
  • They didn't go get B from the lobby until around noon
  • B had to rifle through my purse to find money for cookies to eat
  • I ate nothing
  • They did not give me one sip of water during that time (actually worked out well considering surgery).
  • I had just sent B off to work when the doctor told me I needed surgery.
  • I interrupted the doctor to call B back to the hospital. The doctor did not like that
  • After being diagnosed at 4 pm, I did not go into surgery until 8 pm.
The appendix came out without a hitch and within a week I was feeling good. Probably in large part due to Mooch's nursing which involved laying directly on my stomach where the stitches were for three days straight. On day four he left, so I figured I was better.

Other things B and I learned in the hospital:
  • the whole seen in 30 minute rule - yeah, INITIALLY seen. After that it could be hours
  • doctors do really say things like "I have some good news and some bad news"
  • in my case the good news was "we found your tests!" (too bad you didn't tell me you lost them) and the bad news was "we have to remove your appendix"
  • having a catheter inserted is uncomfortable
  • however it is not excruciatingly painful as the girl next to me made it out to be. Not sure how she planned on birthing that baby she was carrying if she could not handle a catheter
  • some people believe that having an ultrasound is so that the baby "floats so you can see it better"
  • some people will wait 3 days before coming to the ER with ALL signs of a heart attack and prior heart issues because their doctor said to "ask for him and he wasn't here"
  • some people will wait until both of their feet are swollen three times their size, purple and falling off before telling the ER there might be a problem

Ahhh...memories. This is also the story I pull out against B every now and then "remember the time you didn't think I needed to go to the hospital?" Because he totally didn't believe that I needed to go and my whole feeling better later did nothing to dissuade him from that belief.

Despite his belief that I may not have needed to go to the hospital, he did take me. That is what you do when you are in love.

Or at least when one of you is curled up on the ball moaning.

*I dont know if a laser is actually involved, but I like to think that it is and say it like Austin Powers LASER. B loves it. Just ask him.

5 important things being said:

Jamie said...

So thats why you were radioactive a while back. I hope the surgery went well. Take care of yourself. Thanks!

Jennifer said...

I am laughing so hard. Good thing B took you to the hospital that morning!

And I am glad you are recovering nicely from the new surgery.

Did you happen to ask what they do with the spare parts they are removing from you?

Andhari said...

WHOA. How could they just LOSE tests like that? Isn;t it illegal?

I'm happy you're recovered though :)

Kacie said...

Yikes! Glad you're ok now. You should go ahead and get those tonsils out before they start bugging you too. I hear they're pointless.

Also, I think catheters are awful.

*~Dani~* said...

Jamie - you are right! I forgot to put that in, but that is why I was radioactive. To discover that my gallbladder was functioning at 2.5%. Lazy thing. It wasnt even trying!

Jenny - I was wondering what they did with the spare parts. I asked B but then he launched into some long sci fi type story that still didnt answer my question. I guess we will never know.

Andhari - since they found the tests, I guess all is good. But, yes, I never would have expected them to lose it. And if they thought I was going to under go another invasive ultrasound, they were nuts.

Kacie - that is so funny. We were talking about the fact that I still have my tonsils despite the fact that they caused me so much grief when I was young and the doctor threatened to take them out every time I got sick. What is even funnier is when they were taking my appendix out, B said that they should just go ahead and take out my gallbladder to "while they are in there." Who knew I would later need to have it removed.

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