ultaviolet730: (Get out made by marinwood)
[personal profile] ultaviolet730
I've been out of commission for a few weeks. No, I didn't get arrested for trafficking in illegal BBM DVDs. I was felled by something I usually savor - bile! That's right, folks, I may no longer have the wherewithal to snark.

Three weeks ago, I was awoken at 5AM by a severe, stabbing, sickening pain in my abdomen. My sister told me it was probably my gall bladder. After suffering for a few hours and finally puking, I went to the emergency room. After a not-so-horrible wait, I was told that it was, indeed, my gall bladder and that I would, in due course, have to have it removed. But they insisted they did not want to do it "emergently." (Due to a desire not to antagonize people who might hold my life, or gall bladder, in their hands, I refrained from screaming that they weren't using that word properly.)

They sent me home with instructions to see my PCP, see a surgeon and see them in about six weeks or so. And with a prescription for Percocet! I felt pretty confident. Despite a few snafus in the ER, I had been treated at the second-best hospital in this medical capital - and the Number 12 hospital in the country!

After being home for not more than five minutes, I got a call from one of the "Emergent" Room doctors, telling me to immediately return to the hospital to be admitted. Turns out that they didn't bother reading one of my tests until after I left, and my lipase level was "off the charts," indicating acute pancreatitis, something I associated with excessive alcohol consumption. After hours of telling doctors that I hardly ever drink, I was convinced they'd think I was a lying lush! Turns out that gall stones are one of the two most common causes of pancreatitis. And the treatment is hospital admission, and no eating or drinking - anything - until order is restored. Without treatment, it could have been curtains!

So I had no choice but to go back to the hospital, where I remained for four and a half days while they went back and forth on what procedures to perform and when. Ironically, I experienced no pain and no symptoms in my entire hospital stay. My vital signs were all perfect, my blood work all came down to normal very quickly. But because of the severity of the attack, they kept insisting they wanted to do something. But they never actually did anything.

Finally, after what my sister called "a week at a very Spartan spa," I was released, with the name of the hospital's best surgeon for what I needed (laparoscopic gall bladder removal). Finally, on Tuesday, I underwent the surgery. Since then, I've been recuperating. I'm still sore and a bit dizzy, but I stopped taking the painkillers. I have no idea how anyone could get hooked on Percocet. Without increasing the TMI factor of this post, let's just say the side effects are not worth the narcotic bliss.

Despite some alarming mistakes, I have to applaud the staff of the Brigham, especially the nurses and aides. They were all incredibly kind and gentle, reassuring and skillful. As were most of the doctors...

Anyway, I'm slowly getting back to normal life, but I can't seem to stop sleeping. (I know it's 4:30AM as I type this, but I slept all afternoon. I did at least get to take a long walk on this beautiful day.)

So, that is the very long, very boring story of "How I spent my early spring." I will try to achieve the same levels of snark and sarcasm I managed before the removal of all that gall! I'll trust my f-list to provide the requisite support.

I hope you are all enjoying better times. I'll try not to be such a stranger : )

ps Thanks to Stark for spreading the word for me. And hello to all the SZ newcomers on my f-list.
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January 2009

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