Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gall Bladder Surgery

A little over a month ago, while I was getting ready for bed (around 9:30-10pm), I felt this awful pain in my abdomen. The pain was like a dull throb, persistent and intense…painful enough that I decided to drive myself to the ER around midnight.

I sat in the ER waiting to be seen for about 5 1/2 hours and when I was finally taken back, the pain was gone. If I hadn’t had an IV in my hand, I would have left hours before they saw me, but when I asked to have it removed so that I could go, no one would come and do it! I was really pissed! Anyways, the doctor that I (finally!!!) saw said that it sounded like I was having a gall bladder attack, and that I needed to have an ultrasound to verify whether or not there were stones. He then said that if I wanted to have an ultrasound done that morning, it would be a few more hours wait. I told him hell no, I’d make an appointment to get it done in the next few days.

So, a few days later I went and had that ultrasound done, and they confirmed that I did have two stones. Apparently, gallstones are more common in women, and a lot of women experience gall bladder trouble after having children. Lucky us. Not only do we have the childbearing pain, but then other parts of our bodies freak out. Great.

Once I saw the surgeon, he told me that he thought I should go ahead and have my gall bladder removed because the pain would likely come back at some point. He told me that I didn’t need to have the surgery right away, but I should consider having it done within the next year or so…or if I started having the pains more often. I never wanted to experience the pain I’d had that night I went to the ER, so I went ahead and scheduled my surgery.

Yesterday was the day. I was having all kinds of nightmares for the two weeks leading up to my surgery, and yesterday I was extremely nervous about having the procedure done. I’d never had surgery before, and the thought of being put to sleep freaked me out. The only type of anesthesia I’d had in the past were epidurals when I had Landon and Harper and the one I had with Harper was only minimally helpful…so, I had my doubts about the anesthesia working, and that scared me to death!

My surgery was scheduled for 12:15pm, and I was supposed to check in around 10:45am. Tony drove me up there and waited for me to check in and be taken to pre-op, but because he had Harper, he had to leave me there, which I was totally fine with. As nervous as I was the entire morning, some strange calm came over me once they took me back. I ended up watching TV for a few hours since the surgeon was running way behind, and I was finally wheeled back to the OR around 1:45. The last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist telling me “I’m going to give you the funny stuff now”….and then I was waking up to people talking, loud beeping/buzzing machines and my blood pressure cuff squeezing the hell out of my arm. Not the most pleasant way to wake up, but I remember thinking “YES!!! I lived through it!!” The doctor assured me that everything went as planned and that I was doing great, even though I felt like crap.

The nurse attending me asked me how I was feeling, and I told her my side was throbbing and my throat hurt, so she gave me some medicine through my IV. She asked me again a bit later and I was still feeling intense pain, so she gave me a little more…and then a little while later she gave me a third dose and then I fell asleep for a few hours. I would wake up every once in awhile, then drift back off to sleep, and then around 6pm a nurse came in and asked me my name, and when I told her, she told me I had a phone call!?! I looked for a phone, but when I didn’t see one and she walked off, I decided to just go back to sleep! I thought I was hallucinating or something. The next thing I heard was Tony’s voice and I was so happy to see him!

Tony helped me get dressed and the nurse gave me some crackers and ginger ale so that I could take a Percocet before going home, and around 7pm, I was finally on my way home. The ride home sucked, but once I got here and got in bed, I was so thankful. The first question both kids asked me was if this pain was worse than having a baby! I told them it was an entirely different pain, and they couldn’t really be compared.

By 9 o’clock Tony and I were exhausted from the stress of the day and we were out by 9:30 last night. I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep because I’m a stomach sleeper and there’s no way that was going to happen, but fortunately I was able to sleep pretty comfortably on my side.

Lucky for me, I have a very loving husband and kids, and everyone has been helping me out. Poor Harper can’t figure out why I’m not holding him, but Tony puts him next me so I can play with him; I have to watch those little baby legs though because he kicks like crazy and that’s the last thing I need!

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