Friday, March 19, 2010


Wow. Talk about your lost weekends. Although in this case, it was more like a lost fortnight. Apologies for the complete drop-off-the-face-of-the-earth for the past two weeks. It was completely unplanned.

I know I've mentioned that I think I have been having gallbladder issues for a year or two. The attacks hadn't been frequent enough for me to feel like it was imperative I do anything about it--it would happen every three or four months, last 8-10 hours, then would be okay until the next time. I figured I'd just keep trying to manage it with diet the best I could, and put it off as long as possible. I had an attack on Sunday, two weeks ago, that went away like they all had so far, so I thought I'd dodged the bullet again.

Then on Wednesday morning, the 3rd, I woke up feeling kind of bad. I had a meeting that morning, so I went ahead and got ready and went to that, then afterwards I called in to work and said I wasn't feeling well and was going to go home. That was about 11:00, I think. I went home, and the gallbladder pain started up again. Since I hadn't eaten anything that I felt would have caused it -- since I didn't feel well that morning, but knew I should eat something, I had had a piece of dry toast -- that was kind of scary.

The pain just kept on and kept on, and I tried to figure out what to do. Normally I try to sleep, but that wasn't happening. I looked back in my notes to see if anything had helped in times past; one time Pepto Bismol had seemed to help, so I took some, and I can tell you that me taking Pepto Bismol by choice is one of those things that means I'm really sick. It didn't help. Nothing was helping. I had talked to several people over the past year or so who had had the same issues; I think it was Stefani who said that one time, the pain just didn't stop, which is what sent her to the doctor, so I thought, well, I think I'm at that point.

It was so bad, though, that I knew I couldn't wait to try to get an appointment with someone. I threw on some sweatpants and flipflops--at this point, I was hurting so bad I just wanted it to stop, I didn't care what I looked like--and tried to figure out where to go. I know some of the guys at work don't have regular doctors, and go to urgent care offices, so I thought about that, then thought, screw it, and drove the mile or so to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. I wasn't sure what to expect, never having been to the emergency room before. I talked to (someone who I think was) a volunteer, who asked me what was wrong. I'm always hesitant to self-diagnosis, because I know that can be irritating to people who are, you know, actually doctors, but I said that I thought it was probably gallbladder pain.

The man, an elderly gentleman, said he had had that before, too, and said, "that's really bad, isn't it?" I nodded, and he called someone, and I was immediately whisked off to an examination room. I don't really know how long it took, but I saw a doctor pretty quickly. He was the doctor on call, an internist, and he examined me, ordered an ultrasound, and admitted me. I was kind of surprised at that, but glad, because I definitely didn't feel like going anywhere.

Once I knew what was going on, I called Bob's cell phone and left a message about what was happening and where I was, and called my parents. It was all kind of a blur from that point--I think I saw three or four different doctors, had the ultrasound, had IVs put in, got pain and anti-nausea medication, etc., and was in a room within a matter of a couple of hours. As soon as Bob got my message, he left work and came to the hospital, and I opened my eyes, and there he was.

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Mike Duffy said...

Yikes. I presume, since you're writing, that you're better. Get well(er) soon!

Tish said...

I'm glad you're better.

Joanna said...

Can't wait for part two! I'd be on the edge of my seat if I didn't already know we were gonna get a happy ending! :)

Willa said...

Mike, you must have missed the whole exciting episode on Facebook. ;) Went to the emergency room on the 3rd, found out I had pancreatitis, got scoped on the 5th, had gallbladder surgery on the 7th. Back home now, back to work, mostly okay, just tired still.

Judy said...

Willa, I'm so glad that you're feeling a better. What a scary day for you. I know how bad gallbladder pain can be. I hope you continue to improve every day. Take care of yourself.


Maggie said...

Dear Willa, sorry to hear you've been so sick, and very relieved you're feeling better now.

Hugs from Liverpool


Now you take things easy until you're fully healed.

Jennifer Stumpf said...

what an ordeal. i'm so glad you got some real help with this and are feeling better! big hug!! xo jennifer

Mary in Michigan said...

Like everyone else that posted here, I can't wait for chapter 2 in the life of your gall bladder. Sure do hope all is going well. Please don't keep us waiting to long for the next installment :)

You sure have a mighty handsome hubby. Hi Bob :) take good care of Willa for us readers. But then I know you will.

Mary in Michigan said...

Oh shoot! I should have read all the comments. You answered all the questions and are home safe and healthier than ever. Sooooooo happy to hear the good news. Stay healthy Willa :)

Liora said...

Crap. I am missing a LOT of things like this since deleting Facebook. I am *so glad* you are okay. Scary stuff!