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Gallbladerless Gal

*** {Warning, Post Op Photo} ***

So somewhere on the way to the weekend I lost my gallbladder. Okay. Well not somewhere. In operating room 4 at Tacoma General. But that’s sorta how I feel.

Started the week out normally. Breakfast and coffee with some friends. And then BAM.

Gallbladder attack.

I was in the ER by Monday evening being diagnosed with gallstones. Before they diagnosed me I did a whole heck of a lot of puking and crying and writhing in pain. In fact, the pain sent me into a full blown panic attack and I lost sensation in my arms, legs and face. Breathe, Kate. Breathe. I did get to hear a guy doing some sort of illegal drug or money deal on the waiting room public phone, though. That was entertaining.

They sent me home with some pain meds and said it would most likely happen again. {So buckle up?} They were right. The pain persisted.

So we went back in to the ER on Thursday morning at 9:30am. They gave me some pain meds and ordered another ultrasound. The results came back by 11:50 and then we sat. And sat. And sat. Our nurse, who was a little too cool for school {and never even introduced himself}, told us at noon that the results were back. It took two hours to get the doctor to read them and the surgeon was never even contacted until we kept pushing.

We finally saw the surgeon at 5:15. He asked, “Why am I just getting this now?” Great question. We fired our nurse and got a new one. He was great even though he was a WSU fan. He got me meds, dinner, water, and happiness. He even told us a story about his grandpa meeting his grandma at a military dance in Boston in 1940 during the war. When his g-pa went back home to WA he sent his lady love a train ticket and asked her to marry him. She came. And she married him! He musta had some mad skillz on the dance floor! I also got to FaceTime and make piggy faces with this little stud muffin:


I digress.

During that time I was given toradol for my nausea and headache. It gave me a horrifying panic attack. Suddenly I felt trapped. I wanted to rip my IV out and run. I felt like I was dropped off at a summer camp I didn’t really want to be at and I couldn’t leave. I felt like my surgery was hours and an eternity away and like I was certainly going to die in the morning. No joke. It was awful. I started crying and Jason was trying to understand, but explaining it made me even more panicked so I just had to close my eyes and pray and try to sleep. Holy crapola.

I woke up feeling a little more calm but still anxious. They finally got us a room upstairs and we were transported there by “The Transporter!” Isn’t that a movie title? Surprisingly the transporter just brought us to a plain looking hospital room and not another dimension. I got situated up there and tried to sleep in between tons of interruptions.

It reminded me a lot of our extended stay at the “Hilton General” when I was pregnant with Liam. How I did that for forty-four days is so far beyond my comprehension and so deeply a testament to God’s amazing grace. Because even one night and I was OVER IT! Nothing like someone “knock-knocking” on your door every few hours in the middle of the night. And why do we say “knock-knock” while simultaneously knock-knocking? Oh to be woken up to have IV’s ripped out of one location and jammed into another at 11:30 pm.

My surgery was supposed to be at 8am. 8 came and went and I started to get anxious that we wouldn’t get a spot. But shortly after 8:30 my beautiful and kind surgeon came in and introduced herself and said we would be going back soon. Some nurses came about a half hour later, got me prepped, waited while Jason prayed over me, and then wheeled me to the OR.

That’s a different world, entirely, isn’t it? So stark and bright and white and cold. My nurse was very sweet. And then I met my anesthesiologist. Sneaky ninja was talking to me about the Dolphins and the Seahawks and then he said, you’ll start feeling your medicine about mid-sentence and then drift off to sleep. “Okay doct-” Zzzzzz.

And then I was with Tracy in the recovery room. Getting Vasoline on my lips and ice chips and talking about Baby Liam and counting down the time until they’d bring me back to Jason. The surgery was laparoscopic, they made four small incisions and I was home by 4pm. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m in some decent pain today so I called the nurses line and they upped my dose. And that’s all she wrote!

Last Saturday I had my gallbladder. This Saturday I am the Gallbladderless Gal. Who knew? Here’s a pic for the not weak of heart {I actually don’t think it’s that bad!}



6 thoughts on “Gallbladerless Gal”

  1. You’re a champ! My sister-in-law had hers out a week ago Friday and I was there with her for that. Glad everything worked out and I pray for a speedy recovery.

  2. Hang in there, Kate! The worst is definitely behind you. Gallbladderless gals are the bomb diggity!

    I had to have my gallbladder removed 10 years ago when my twins were just 9-weeks-old. I developed gallstones at 18 weeks into my twin pregnancy. Nothing I could take and nothing they could do. No pain meds whatsoever due to being pregnant. I had to manage it through a super restrictive diet and just wait and suffer through all the pain and countless attacks for 27 more weeks (yes, 27= 18 more of the pregnancy + 9 weeks after they were born so I could heal from my c-section first). Somehow, I got through it and the recovery was fairly easy. (Although, I must admit, with 9-week-old twins, my brain function and memory were not stellar at that point, so I can’t be certain I’m remembering the easy healing part too well.) 🙂 You will do great from here on out! Positive thoughts and prayers of strength are with you, friend!

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