I was admitted to the emergency room on Sunday, September 20th at 7pm after suffering from excruciating stomach pain for five hours. It didn’t take long before I was given a room and they began to poke, prod, administer blood tests and scans to determine the cause of my pain.
This went on until Tuesday morning. Results showed my white blood cell count was high, but scans were inconclusive as to the exact problem. It could be my gall bladder, an ulcer, diverticulosis, or something else. The meds they gave me to control pain helped for about three hours, but another dose couldn’t come for five hours. I hadn’t ate (ok, since I had no appetite) or drank (I would have loved some water) since Sunday afternoon. The reason for no food or water was in case I needed to be rushed to surgery.
I met with my doctor who said that they couldn’t determine the exact cause of the issue but were leaning towards the gallbladder. There were two courses of action to consider: 1) Continue to bring down the infection and control the pain through medication. When appropriate I would be released to go home to continue with the meds. I would follow-up regularly with his office and then when things were clear we would move forward to remove the gallbladder. 2) Go in now and remove the gallbladder.
He was leaning towards the first option but wanted to consult with a colleague with more experience.
When my doctor returned from his consultation his opinion had changed. Due to the intense pain, white blood count, etc., it was probably best to go ahead and remove the gallbladder. I was all for it. The doctor said that since the scans didn’t show any trouble spots things should go smoothly. If they did, the surgery would be done arthroscopy and take about one and a half hours.
A little over three hours later I came out of surgery. When the doctor got in he discovered that my gallbladder had basically exploded, That was why nothing was showing up on the scans! Gangrene had set in. That is why the surgery took so long. He said he had done over 500 gallbladder operations and mine was in the top three worst.
I seemed to be on a fairly quick road to recovery once out of surgery. My white blood cell count returned to normal and the pain was what you’d expect from surgery.
I’m home now and feeling better day by day. I’ve got a drainage tube in my side and there is still discomfort from movement. I can’t sleep in my bed and it’s hard to get comfortable but those are minor complaints compared to where I was. I return to the doctor for a check-up on Thursday and I’ll keep you posted.
Thank each of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers.