Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gallbladder gloom

Saturday night I am innocently sitting in my living room after coming home from a photo shoot. At the shoot, I had dinner, which consisted of some pretty benign foods - but I think it was the mashed potatos that got me. In a couple of hours I was in some pretty awful pain, right in the center of my chest, just below the sternum. I thought I had heartburn, took some Tums. Nope, so then I thought gas? Nope. Then I thought food poisoning, but every other time I've had that, I've thrown up violently so I knew that wasn't it either. By five in the morning I was so miserable I could hardly take a deep breath. I couldn't sit still, couldn't lie down, and would catch myself moaning out loud at times. So I got in my car and drove to the ER, where I work part time, and checked myself in. Hal and Sarah still in their beds at home. I had zero wait at the ER, mostly because I checked in during the dead zone of the day, but I was glad because I didn't know how much longer I could stand that kind of pain.
Before long I found myself in B-18, a room I have been in countless times to check on other patients. It was weird to be there myself, putting on the gown, covering up with the single sheet. Peeing in the cup, getting stabbed with huge needles. They had to give me three doses of morphine before I could tolerate the pain well. Then they came in to do an ultrasound of my gallbladder and lo and behold, there was the problem. Little gallstones lit up the film. I get on the phone and call my family. Six of them have had their gallbladders removed, on my father's side alone. Not a great statistic. Now I need mine out too. The last month has not been a good one for me. Strep throat, some ugly virus, and now gallbladder pain. I think we're beyond what my grandmother would call the meanness coming out...I think I must be exorcising some demons!

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