Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Gall Bladder Has Gone Fishin'!

I had a lot of trepidation writing this because I honestly did not think anyone would want to read it but after texting my peeps I received an collective WRITE IT so here it goes...

After the Supernatural convention which was a blast, I started feeling ill. I figured maybe it was con sickness or David gave me his cold but this feeling of ickiness was not like any other feeling of ickiness I have ever experienced. Usually with colds and myself, I get stuffed up and sneezy; I take the NyQuil and the cold is gone in a matter of a day. Not this. I had a fever of 101 degrees, chills, and this incredible pain in my right side that went all the way up to my right shoulder and down to my hip. I could not get comfortable in my bed. I was crying all night. My mom gave me some Gas X thinking maybe it was a lot of trapped gas but relief was not in my future. This was all on Tuesday August 7th. I finally found a comfortable position and went to sleep.

Wednesday August 8th I woke up around 10am still in a lot of pain and fever/chills. I called my doctor; Dr. Gary Cardiello; and made an appointment for that day at 3pm. Typical exam but when he went to examine my right side, I nearly jumped out of my skin. He asked me to take a urine test which everything came up negative but then he gave me the news that something might be wrong with my gall bladder; that I might have gallstones and the only way for relief/to feel better would be surgery. I freaked out but took the news as best I could. He scheduled me for an ultrasound on Friday August 10th at 10am and got the results on Monday August 13th -- had gallstones that decided to float to the neck of the bile duct and block the duct so no bile could flow in and out as well as myself not absorbing enough nutrients and fats. How this happened -- I have no clue. I do know that I was taking more than the prescribed dose of fish oils for my joints so that might have cause it or it could be the fried foods I have eaten over the years; again I have no clue. Only thing I know is I would be losing my gall bladder making this surgery #4 for me.

My doctor recommended two surgeons for me. I went with Dr. Jay Stylman out of Kearny, NJ. While he was nice and explained everything he was going to do, his office staff SUCKED. Very rude, very condescending, very bitchy, no personality or any signs of care. Basically you were a dollar sign to them and that was it. While I would recommend the surgeon himself, he needs a new office staff. My surgery was scheduled for Friday at 12pm at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, NJ.

My nerves were shot the rest of the week but I tried my best to hold it together. I went to hospital on Friday at about 930am, was registered, and then went into the holding pen for close to an hour and a half. I met a slew of nurses who were all very nice and patient. I was wheeled into the operating room about 1145am and met some more nurses -- two of which were kinda cute. I was asked my name and my birthday a million times as well as my allergies which are strawberries and Celebrex as well as being lactose intolerant. I then met my anesthesialogist and he explained what he was going to do. I asked everyone how long they have done their jobs -- apparently this was very important to me. An IV was inserted into my hand and three electrode pads on my chest and a blood pressure cuff on my right arm. I asked if I could be localised so I could watch the surgery in which my surgeon told me I would be really uncomfortable but that he would take a photo of what my gall bladder looked like; which was a lie as I never saw a picture. Oxygen mask on my face and 2 minutes later I was in sleepy land.

About an hour later I woke up in the recovery area with a very dry mouth and pain all in my stomach area. I saw that I have three incisions which means my surgeon performed an Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery in which he went in with a scope and other surgical instruments into my stomach to remove my gall bladder. This is the method that you should want as the old method means a longer recovery period. If you want to read more about this procedure, go to this link Laparoscopic Gall Bladder Surgery.

I went down into the main recovery area where I met up with my mother and brother and was instructed to sit in this recliner and just relax/let the anesthesia wear off. I was a chatterbox again, asking everyone about their work, but most of the time I was a big dopey mess. I remember hitting my brother with his shoe over something he said but I do not remember what it was. I finally went to the bathroom, given my aftercare procedures, and went home about 530pm.

It is now Sunday and I am getting better each day. Yesterday I was really sore and I definitely feel that something is missing inside my body but I do feel better. I am still overly gassy which is part of my recovery. I just have to remember to stand up straight so my stomach can heal; even though it is uncomfortable. I should be all ready to go for Dragon Con and for work in two weeks. I am debating about getting a tattoo where my gall bladder used to be. Thought it would be funny. I also have to say goodbye to fried foods and soda but this break up will be for the best.

Thanks to all who helped me through this troubling time, checking up on me and answering any questions I have had.

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