Gall Talk

Sharing recipes, war stories, and advice about gallbladder surgery

Gallbladder surgery, Part 2

If you’ve never been had a hospital stay, it is one of the most terrifying, boring, painful, confusing, humiliating, life-defining things you’ll ever experience. Did I make it sound like a bowl of kittens just now? Oh good.  That’s kind of how it is when being around friends for more than 15 minutes makes you tired, and you are making deals with G-d that sound like, “If you just let me poop by myself, I will donate to charity, read to the blind, and never think a bad thought about my mother again”.

Which, by the way, if you’re extraordinarily lucky, you have the kind of family that brings you chicken broth so you don’t have to eat hospital food, trades off spending days with you so you’re not alone, and braids the hair you haven’t washed in a week. If you’re even luckier, your friends come by with flowers and giant-ass cards and specially printed pajamas, and aren’t upset that one day you tell them not to come because you are so unbelievably in pain from (of all things) being gassy.

On the more medical side, not everyone has the best bedside manner. One of the techs that did a test actually made me cry because he said something like, “Oh, well, they’ll cut you open and take it out, no big deal”. Ahem, that “cut you open” part is a REALLY big deal, buddy. I do have to say that laparoscopic surgery is fantastic.  The recovery time is minimized considerably, to the extent that shortly after surgery I was able to get up and walk to the bathroom by myself. That’s not possible with the regular kind.

The other thing I’ll tell you is that morphine really is the trippiest thing. I would close my eyes because it made me sleepy, but then would feel like the room is rocking back and forth on giant waves. Eventually I figured out that if I fight the sleepiness for 20 minutes, I’ll get the pain-killing benefit without the bad hallucinations.   It’s not fun if you’re not dreaming of unicorns,  bunnies, and Brad Pitt swimming in a bowl of Lucky Charms.


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