Last Friday was such a weird day. I'd been feeling great for two days and was really looking forward to our employee appreciation party. The kids and I had been cleaning up and anticipating Uncle Tim's hunting visit. They both went down (and fell asleep) for naps early! What a PERFECT day! I got caught up with some things for our Christmas showcase on December 6 just as Tim arrived. Susi had just woke up and had given him a big hug and kiss, and I was telling Tim about some medical tests I was going to have done on Monday which might in turn show I needed gall bladder surgery, but I assured him everything was going great right then.
Then.....less than an hour later.....I was curled up on my bed in some of the worse pain imaginable. Not sure whether to head to the hospital or wait it out, I called Liz to check in with her wonderful hubby Joe who is an ER doctor. He was at the hospital but called as soon as possible (thank you, Joe!) and told me to get to the ER....so Tim dropped me off at the ER on his way with the kids to our party. Tony had been at the Market tearing things down for the winter and was unavailable, although my sister-in-law called her husband who was there and gave Tony the telephone.
At the hospital, they settled me into a semi-private ER room and gave me a "GI cocktail" for my stomach pain which helped settle it down....but then caused nausea. They gave me meds for that, but those didn't really kick in at all. They x-rayed my stomach to make sure there was no blockage, and that came out clear. The doc on call that night is a great customer of ours at the Market and knew I was having some serious problems, so she got on the phone with the surgeon to arrange for a scope of my stomach the next morning and possible surgery on Monday. As soon as Dr. Churchill and later the surgeon, Dr. Smith, saw my HIDA scope from earlier in the week, they both said they were positive it was gall bladder, and the surgeon actually scheduled surgery on Sunday rather than waiting until Monday. He did tell me if something showed up in the stomach, he'd reevaluate, but was pretty sure it was gall bladder.
Saturday in the hospital was pretty comfortable, not really much pain (except from the IV insert), but I was on only liquids...and I was HUNGRY for the first time in months! It got to where the nurse would walk in and just tell me, nope, not even toast, to my pleading eyes! The scope did turn up a very small hyadal (spelling?) hernia, but nothing that was causing the problems I was having. Surgery was proceeding in the morning somewhere around 10:00, they thought.
Turns out, they came and got me at 8:00. I'd just gotten out of the shower and was brushing my wet hair when they whisked me down to surgery and redid my IV (it had stopped working on the way down). I remember being really cold and asking them for another blanket then waking up to them telling me I was back in my room and everything was fine. Well, except that I was soooo out of it! Next thing I knew, Tony, Tim, and the kids were there and all I can remember is telling them I was very, very sleepy then feeling relieved when Tony took the kids home...I didn't want them seeing me like that. Plus, Susi was upset the day before when she saw the "pokey" in my arm and wanted to make sure it wasn't hurting me. I vaguely remember one of our pastors coming in to visit and reading me the beginning of my favorite Psalm, 103, quite appropriate for the occasion! He remembered we had read the psalm at our wedding, too. I remember at some point the anesthesiologist coming in to check on me -- he told me he couldn't give me the official diagnosis, but Dr. Smith had told him to put in the report that my gall bladder was "non functioning."
Thankfully, I was a bit sore but didn't have very bad pain except for one spot. They kept insisting there was no incision there, but then later someone realized that was where the internal incision was where they took out my gall bladder. I was up and walking quite a bit that night, had some cream liquids that tasted good, then had a relatively good night sleep. Dr. Smith told me the next morning that it was good to have my gall bladder out. He described it as very sick with alot of edema (swelling). The nurses assured me I could order anything from the menu for breakfast, so I ordered some toast, tea, scrabbled eggs, and...sausage links.
Take it from me. You do NOT want to order sausage links or anything with fat immediately following gall bladder surgery. The pain! The nausea! The quick dashes! But it showed I was moving, which was good. I settled for half a piece of grilled chicken and bland rice for supper. But I started having more pain on the inside incision and lots of nausea, so they kept me an additional day.
When I got home and Susanna saw my "owies," she immediately went to get the petro carbo! Am I raising a Watkins girl or what? I told her we couldn't use PC yet but assured her she could put it on when we could.
Right now, I'm still dealing with ALOT of nausea and fatigue. I'm on two anti-nausea meds as of last night which seem to be helping. I'm trying to eat small amounts frequently (plain rice and bananas seem to be the only thing that don't cause too many problems right now) with lots of water and lots of walking. Please continue to keep me, and our family, in your prayers. There are so many people worse off, but for those of you who have been there, nausea is not a fun thing to deal with on an ongoing basis. If it continues through the weekend (!!!!), I have to go back in for more tests. I know God will provide help, but I am concerned about after Tim leaves with dealing with the children. There are times I just have to go lay down RIGHT NOW, and having an unsupervised 3 and 4 year old is not the best thing!
I am very thankful for Tim, for Tony, for my in-laws, for Cheryl who dropped off her son yesterday to play with the kids and brought supper over, for Lorelei who is bringing food Monday, and for all of you who are praying. It is amazing how wonderful our bodies were created and how something that doesn't have a huge function, something that can be done without, still has its use and affects the body when it's gone. I'm also thankful the doctors realized what was going on and hopefully have resolved the problems I've been having all summer.
Hopefully my next post will be a more fun one!