I try to plan ahead with my blog posts. Some days, like Labor Day, a blog post is fairly easy, I have a ready made topic at hand… Other days, I have to really think about them. Not because I don’t have lots of ideas, but because I have to research or think really hard about them.
However, it’s Tuesday September 4th and I am hopeful that I am prepping blog posts for another reason… Because I have an appointment with a surgeon to discuss removing my gallbladder this afternoon and I desperately want it gone.
Yes, I’ve bitched about it a lot lately, but until you’ve had to deal with it, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like because no matter how much I avoid the foods that are supposed to make me sick with gallbladder disease, the foods that are supposed to be good for it, also make me sick.
And sorry folks, we aren’t just talking about vomiting. I get a pain near my upper right abdomen that feels like a firecracker has gone off inside my body on that side. That’s a really bad sign for me. Normally it hurts, it feels like I have been bruised from the inside there. But that firecracker feeling is coupled with vomiting, a burning sensation on that side, and brutal intestinal cramps as my body attempts to evacuate everything I have ever eaten along with everything my mother ate while I was still in the womb. It is nearly as good at cleaning out the digestive system as the junk they make you drink for a colonoscopy prep. Possibly better. And how can one have serious diarrhea and constipation in the same week? That just seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
And the heart burn. Good lord. When it hits, I spend time debating is it heart burn, a panic attack, or a heart attack? My chest feels tight. It hurts to breathe. The miserable sensation in my esophagus makes me wonder if I drank drain cleaner. I have found nothing that makes it better. However, milk, Pepto Bismal, and lying down all make it significantly worse and I’m taking 40mgs of Prilosec a day along with Zofran. These things are supposed to prevent these symptoms.
Plus, my gallbladder now feels hard to the touch. The ER nurse couldn’t find it on Friday morning (she kept pushing on my ribs and telling me they were my ribs – yep, I do know that’s where my ribs are), but I sure could feel it Friday after lunch, Saturday night, and then I was reminded of it’s presence on Sunday night when I was so sick it was 4:30 in the morning before I even considered going to bed.
The list of things that cause my symptoms to get worse is random and seems to change often. I have been given the “eat bland food” and “no fat” lecture so many times I want to scream. However, I try. Friday afternoon for lunch after the ER discharged me with a diagnosis of a UTI, I had plain white rice cooked in my rice cooker (I love gadgets and sticky rice). That was it. I didn’t put anything on it. I didn’t eat anything with it. I didn’t fry it. Nothing. Plain white rice and it was Sunday night before I was able to get food down again. I had oatmeal, plain oatmeal, made with water – not milk – which is just awful. And I was up until 4:30 in the morning because the oatmeal made me sick.
I go days between meals because I get so sick on the foods they recommend. I am so done with this organ. There are days my gallbladder hurts nearly as much as my hip, which is just freaking insane.
Quite frankly, I’d rather die than go to the ER for it again. I only went Friday because my mom and J were very insistent that I get it checked since it had become hard and they could see the lump where it is located through my skin. My mom got to watch first hand as I was ignored. She called the ER nurse beyond useless. And the Physician’s Assistant that handled my care was no different. She kept pushing on my liver and gallbladder and asking if it hurt. Which it did and I kept telling her that and she said “well, your white cells are normal, so it can’t be infected, it has to be because a urinary tract infection can make symptoms of gallbladder disease worse. Take these antibiotics I’m giving you and eat bland foods.” Uh huh. Sure. She didn’t even care that it had been 3 days since my last meal. She was more concerned about the fact that my bowels had not evacuated in those 3 days. No food in, no waste out… We learned that in science when I was in elementary school.
And I did not complain about pain. However, the nurse informed me that the ER doctor on call wouldn’t prescribe pain meds since I was getting them from my pain management doctor. Ok. I don’t want pain meds… I’m not here because I’m in pain. I went in and told them it felt like my gallbladder had hardened. The nurse pushed on my ribs and my small intestines and told me the hardness I was feeling was my ribs, not my gallbladder. Look, I know I’m not a trained medical professional, but I still think I know the difference between my ribs and my organs. I tried to guide her hands to where I had felt the hard lump and could see it and when her hand got to the right spot, she told me I couldn’t have a hard spot there and went back up two inches and pressed on my ribs again.
This is why my editor who had gallbladder problems for several years before they finally took hers out, asked if it was staffed by incompetent’s that couldn’t get jobs anywhere else. Now, I get to argue my case with the surgeon on why my gallbladder should be removed. Cross your fingers. And if you pray send a little something up for me regarding this matter. And hopefully my blog post prepping is because I’m going to be recovering from surgery soon.