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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