Friday, July 27, 2012

the joys of (not) having a gall bladder

a picture of me back when i had a gall bladder (i.e. every day of my life up until july 23rd)
caleb's head is resting right about where my gall bladder used to be. awww. 

I'm still in a drug-induced haze, so we'll see how this blog even turns out. Here's the diet coke version (heh, I picked that up from my Spanish professor. But not anything Spanish-related...)

Starting last Monday, the 16th, I was going about my regular bidnez (work, exercise, eat, sleep, read, shower, blah blah). I had just eaten a loverly dinner of chicken and rice with broccoli. Normally I don't go into that much detail but it's important that you know what my last meal was before all this nonsense went down. Right in the middle of FHE, I felt a strange pain in my side, like I was being stabbed. Ugh! I've had weird stomach problems for who knows how long, but had never felt anything like this. I've been off of gluten, dairy, sugar, you know, the works. Nothing helped. My body refused to cooperate. I became a food snob, went on stupid diets, worked out like a crazy person. And yet, not too much changed.

So back to this epic stomachache. I took some medication and tried to lay down so the pain would leave, because I figured it was just a dumb stomachache. But it got worse, and then I couldn't breathe. What the junk?! This was not a regular stomachache. I asked my dad for a blessing, after which I promptly threw up three times. Awesome. I figured that would be all. Just to be safe, I called in sick the next day. For the next few days I didn't eat much besides saltines, applesauce, apple juice. Just fyi, saltines aren't food. They are simply the color beige plus a little salt on top. Not. Food. So of course I was starving, but everything else made my stomach hurt like hades.

On Friday morning, I was at work for one hour and started to feel pukey again. "I knew I shouldn't have eaten that toast!" Word to my homefries: if a piece of toast is upsetting your stomach, you've got problems.  I couldn't sit without being in excruciating pain. Guess what, I sit all day long at work. So I decided to go home yet again and see if I could sleep it off. The pain steadily got worse. We went to urgent care, and the doctor there said I wasn't showing any "classic symptoms" for any one thing. Earlier in the week I had googled my symptoms and had a hunch it was something to do with my gall bladder. He told me it might be that but my blood test wouldn't come back 'til Monday. I took some more medicine and went to sleep. Then when I woke up I did a really dumb thing and ate some food, which induced yet another painful episode.

Cue some more throwing up, more pain, and prayers that it would just be over. When the doctor asks you what your pain is on a scale from 1-10, and you say "ten," that's a go to the hospital. I didn't know this. I thought I could endure it, but Saturday was the straw that broke this redheaded camel's back (whoa, weird image, am I right?). When I got to the E.R., I was in a weird state. I was in so much pain that it was almost like an out of body experience...I can't really explain it, but I knew I was in trouble. They asked me my pain level, and I think I mumbled "eight," but I didn't want them panicking on me. Hello, McFrenzy, this is the E.R. People get paid to go into panic mode here. Again, the pain was distorting everything.

I remember them putting me on a hospital bed and sticking me with an I.V. Usually I don't like getting poked with needles but by this point it felt like I was getting hugged by a Care Bear compared to the pain in my stomach. Then the most glorious thing ever happened! They gave me pain medication (apparently ten times stronger than morphine, boo-ya). I don't condone drugs, people, but after the pain I'd experienced, it was celestial. Ok, maybe I shouldn't compare pain medication to the celestial kingdom...but GUYS. I will always remember that moment when the pain went away. I know I did embarrassing things and I know I was reduced to a cavewoman (in terms of my speech), but I couldn't feel the pain anymore! YESSS!

For the next few days, I sat in my hospital bed and waited patiently for the doctor to say they would take out my gall bladder, which they did! On Monday morning they told me I was going in for surgery. The last thing I remember was them saying, "Okay, we're going to give you some Valium first..." which made me dizzy, but not totally asleep, and then they said, "We're putting this oxygen mask on your face, okay?" BAM. Lights out.

Other things to note: hospital gowns are never, ever flattering on anybody; chicken broth can be the best meal in the world when you haven't eaten for three days; popsicles are great for sore throats; the cooking channel and the food network are sadistic things to watch when you can't eat anything; you shouldn't invite your friends to come visit you because they'll laugh at everything you do (drugs=bad); if you start to feel any pain the nurse will inject you with that 10x stronger than morphine stuff (drugs=good); scars can be cool; people are actually very good; Priesthood blessings are the bee's knees; God really does answer your prayers but it's His timing that counts; showering with an I.V. is awkward; drugs make your dreams even more psycho; remote-controlled beds are overrated; fireworks are only fun if you can see them, otherwise they are really scary; getting an ultrasound when you're heavily medicated is like being in the Willy Wonka movie from the 60's.

Thus concludes the life of my crazy gall bladder. May you rest in peace.


Em said...

Oh KENZ! That WAS dramatic.
If my pain is ever at an 8 or 10 I'm going to the hospital. I'm glad you are okay and though I'm sad it happened, I really enjoyed the retelling. :)

Jessica said...

that's so crazy! I wish I had known and we would have come visit you :( I'm so glad that you're okay! What happens now that you are gall bladder-less?

Anonymous said...

Oh kenz! I am so sorry about the pain that you went through but oh how I love reading your blog about it. I hope you are feeling better!!

Scott Livingston said...

It has been a wild couple of weeks - so glad you are back home and feeling better.

Jen said...

WHOA! WHOA! crazy! Glad you are back to telling stories! love you!

Amy said...

Like a hug from a Care Bear!!!! And.....she's back! So glad you made it through that Kenz. Love you.