When Gallbladders Attack

Two weeks ago Saturday evening I got an attack of acid reflux. A thing that happens periodically to me. It’s painful and awful but not particularly frightening. After taking the acid reducers and tums and walking the floor, I started to dry heave. Not a pleasant thing, but it did shift my gastro distress away from the painful acid reflux and I fell asleep. I woke up with pain and bloating in my upper abdomen radiating down the right slide to where my appendix presumably is.. I just tolerated my way through it all day but as these things do, it got worse at night and I began to consider the possibility that it was appendix.

In the morning it continued and I was going to call off work, but another co-workers son was in the ER and so she was off, so I dragged myself in. I lasted 3 hours, made a complete hash of an invoice and left. I contacted the doctor and got a tele-appointment for the following day and that netted an X Ray order. X-ray came back as possible kink in my intestine? Need CT. Go to the ER. By this time it was Friday afternoon. I fully expected the CT would show them something like a broken rib, but nope.

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Inflamed Gallbladder – Cholecystitis for those who like the technical jargon. It sucks. They admitted me. I assumed to yank that damn organ. But apparently it’s not that simple when the gallbladder is so inflamed and the patient has been sick for a week and is therefore severely dehydrated. They put me in ICU, put a drain in the gallbladder and liver and then waited for the infection to get back into a zone that normal people live in. 8 days in the hospital. It’s painful. Its exhausting and most of all it’s inconvenient. The drain will remain for about 8 weeks and then they will pull the drain and the gallbladder out.

Things to know about this – the bile from your gallbladder is DISGUSTING. Utterly disgusting. I know because I have a bag of it hanging off my belly. It has to be drained and measured on the regular, which is doable. I’m considering starting a side hustle where I charge people to watch me empty the disgusting bile. I honestly bet there is money in it. Probably I could be Tik Tok famous in seconds for it.

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While I was in the hospital my sisters cleaned my apartment from floor to ceiling. Which was a gift beyond measure. I am not ever going to get a good housekeeping award, but I generally keep the chaos at bay, if not the dust. But since the pandemic my apartment has slowly devolved into a small cesspool. When I got sick, it turned into an island in the sewage treatment plant. It was awful. And they braved it and fixed it. They’ve been clucking around like mother hens since I got sick and now that I am home they are, if anything more worried. But I’m fine. It’s a small space and I’m pretty secure on my feet.

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I’m thinking I might be able to work from home the first half of the week and shift to the job mid week? I might be being optimistic. I just want my life to go back to normal. How to deal with the drains in the real world is a question. They are much bigger than the surgical drains I’ve had in the past. My sister is making me a pocket on belt that I hope will answer. Picture a mini apron where the apron is just a pocket for the drains. All my tops are tunics, so I think after that it will be OK? We’ll see. I’m pretty sure they will send me home if anyone catches a glimpse of the bags. It might create an uncomfortable environment for my co-workers wondering if the bile bag explodes does that create a bio-hazard?

The cats, at least, are happy I am home. It was nice to have all of them on the bed with me last night. Although, it is not perhaps very clear that they care in the least that I am also in the bed in this pic, since EVERYONE is studiously ignoring Mom acting stupid with her phone again.

7 thoughts on “When Gallbladders Attack

  1. Wow! What a week, and yet the kitties and the apartment look so calm and sunny.

    8 weeks for your gall bladder to de-inflame? I think that seems like a long time to have drains…and then I think of how long we’ve been in lockdown and it doesn’t seem that bad.

    Glad you are okay and hurrah for sisters.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A week. You waited a week. Good grief! Gall bladders attacks are painful sometimes being mistaken for a heart attack. I hope it resolves without flair ups. Good luck with it. At least you have the cats to comfort (?) you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know. I’m stubborn. And my brain isn’t always logical. My apartment being a mess meant I didn’t want my friends and family in it to feed cats while I was gone. My knowledge of the impending debt associated with the ER also made me reluctant since I was still paying for a broken rib ER visit that could have just as well been avoided. But I am paying for it anyway and more because of the extended pain and probably longer hospital stay due to delay. 🤷‍♀️

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oiiii! … pain and agony express! … it can’t be fun getting around with your insides handing on the outside! … hope you truly don’t have to wait for two bloody months before surgery … you have the best sisters! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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