Wednesday, I went to the surgeon and had gallbladder surgery. I thought, hallelujah, I will finally be out of pain. But maybe I was just naïve and had no idea what I was getting myself into.
We arrived at the hospital at 9 a.m. and I was scheduled for surgery at 10:30 a.m. Yes, I told them I needed an early appointment because I get hangry. They happily obliged. In fact, once I arrived, they took me straight back and prepped me for surgery. I was just excited to not feel like I was dying.
Not going to lie, I was a little terrified about gallbladder surgery.
A few weird things happened 1) my great aunt who is almost 90 called me the night before practically in tears to tell me she was praying for me. This is the same woman who is just patiently waiting for her own heart to give out. 2) My neighbor who is in her 60’s and falling apart before our very eyes asked, “Aren’t you nervous?” (Well, I wasn’t until she asked me.) 3) The Silkwood baths that I was demanded to take the night before and the morning of my surgery. I felt uncertain.
As soon as I got into my gown, my surgeon and anesthesiologist showed up. They were ready early. Everything got fast tracked. Cool, I thought, maybe I could be home by lunch. No such luck.
We went back to surgery and, for the first time ever, I went unconscious from the IV pain meds before they even got the chance to tell me to count backwards from 10. When I woke up in recovery, I was in lots of pain, completely groggy and somehow had lost 3 hours. I was supposed to be home, but instead I was still on a gurney and feeling completely out of sorts and in extreme pain.
The worst and most unexpected was the trapped air pain. Oh me, oh my! I knew that during surgery they were going to pump my stomach full of air to make navigating the laproscope easier but I had no expectation of the pain that would accompany that trapped air. I fell unconscious when I came home, only to be awoken by a searing pain in my shoulder so fierce that it made childbirth feel like a splinter. I was screaming and crying in pain. I begged the Big Guy to call the surgeon, only to find out that it was normal and expected. I didn’t sign up for that shit. No one told me about that, so I’m warning you!
Another fun surprise, I found out the my gallbladder was not located where it is supposed to be. Your gallbladder is supposed to be tucked up under your liver, mine somehow had migrated to the middle of my chest. Was I born deformed? Had it moved during one of my pregnancies? Was it twisted? All I know is that even the surgeon was grossed out by it. Things didn’t go as planned or expected.
Today, we are 5 days post op and it’s been a doozy of a weekend. The surgeon put a transdermal scop patch behind my ear to stop the projectile vomiting. That was nice of him since coughing, projectile barfing, sneezing and hiccupping after having your gallbladder removed, it’s a little excruciating. Only, one problem, I had to take it off after 72 hours. That was a good thing too because the damn thing was making me blind. Seriously, on top of being sore like I had done 1 million sit ups and higher than a kite on pain pills, I couldn’t even read Facebook. My vision was so blurry that I couldn’t read my phone.
I removed the patch and then my nausea came back with a vengeance. I’m not sure if it’s from the anesthesia, the pain pills or just the change in my digestion from the removal of the gallbladder. All I know is that Zofran was powerless against it so I did what any desperately nauseated person would do, I sent the Big Guy to Walgreens for some motion sickness bands. Thankfully, I’m feeling a little less nauseated and a little more normal. I’m hoping this means that my health is on the upswing and soon, I won’t have to worry about things like nausea and the label on every single piece of food that I put in my mouth.
Gallbladder Surgery Changed my life
There is one other unexpected side effect, as the tape has begun to come apart from the incision on my belly button, I realized that I did not leave the hospital with the same belly button as I went in with. To be honest, I used to have this adorable little belly button and now, it’s hideous. It may be the swelling but as it stands, I may have to take this ugly thing and go into witness protection; at the very least, I certainly need to take my belly button and go into hiding.
It’s swollen, much larger than it was and, at the risk of being too graphic, it looks like a piece of exposed meat in there. I think some glue has come loose. I’m freaking out. All joking aside, I’m calling my surgeon tomorrow and asking him to take a look because I really don’t think this is what my belly button is supposed to look like after gallbladder surgery.