Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gruesome Gallbladder Grief

It all started with a dull ache in my back as I tossed and turned, trying to find a comfy position that would bring a reprieve to my sleeplessness. No such luck. Three in the morning, I get out of bed and walk into the den with the pain now radiating in my rib cage. At this point, the pain feels hot and a little nagging. Suddenly, I become overwhelmed with nausea and I'm barfing in the foyer bathroom trying not to wake my sleeping husband. Groggy from taking an Ambien, Matthew stumbles out to see what all the commotion is about. I tell him something is wrong.....I'm in a lot of pain, and it hurts most to sit or stretch out, so standing is my only option at this point. He looks at me quizzically and suggests I take a pain killer and come to bed. Didn't you hear me, I scream. I can't lie down! Next, I try to sit comfortably in an oversized chair in the den. Doesn't work and I have to stand. Matthew puts me in the car and rushes me to the ER in my pajamas and no shoes. This is my first experience with "breaking into a cold sweat." I was literally cold to the touch but sweat was pouring from me like I'd just finished a 10-K roadrace in July. The pain was so intense while in the car that I literally fainted on the way. I had to let the window down for a splash of cool air and prayed out loud til we arrived. Matthew carried me in wailing like a half-killed animal, no words, just grunts and moans and screams. Where is everyone, I screamed in a garbled voice when we walked through the glass doors of the ER. The front desk sat empty. I bent myself over the back of a chair writhing in the most unimagineable pain my healthy body has ever experienced; and later I was told the pain is WORSE than labor pains. Well, hell.....I'm definitely adopting if it's anything comparable. Before I knew it I was sat in a wheelchair and brought to the back for an ultrasound. I couldn't lie down for them, so they flooded me with delotid; and suddenly, I felt like I was in Cabo outstretched in a lounge chair right by the pool----only Manuel was nowhere with a margarita, and I wasn't getting a tan. They immediately saw my gallbladder grief and admitted me for surgery. Emergency surgery!

The doctor removed that superfluous, stone-filled, diseased organ that we don't even need anymore (thanks to evolution). Who knew an organ the size of a walnut could wreak so much havoc on your body? And, why do we still have things in our bodies that are left over from the cavemen days, anyway? Another million dollar question for the gurus of human anatomy.

Once I was released the following afternoon, I was thrilled to be in the coziness of home again. (Although, the hospital acommodations weren't bad at all. Nice warm colors decorated the rooms with cherry finished furnishings, and all rooms are was really five star. And the nurses were angels. I've never met a more dedicated team of people). Then, down came the rain. (Brooke Shields was right when she claimed that title to her book about post-partum depression). Figuratively, I mean. Who knew anesthesia would leave me in such a depressed funk? I was crying about everything........insignificant or not. My birthday rolls around three days later and I'm propped up on my back, knees scrunched to chest, blitzed out on pain pills, and bawling my eyes out about everything. Happy freakin' Birthday. Matthew has been the best nursemaid, ever, and friends and family have been overwhelmingly helpful and sweet. My house looks like the inside of a florist's walk-in! And Matthew hasn't missed a meal, either.

In spite of all the gall bladder grief, I've learned a lesson or two. I'm blessed with a caring, beautiful family and an overabundance of nurturing friends (far away and near). It's good to see what you mean to people in the event of a crisis, because during day to day life we tend to get caught up with ourselves and forget to share our purpose with others. Life is great, rich, and a blessing that should be treasured every day and celebrated with the ones you love. So, I guess it's not so bad when God sends you a friendly reminder to keep it real.......... : )

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