"If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character...Would you slow down? Or speed up?" — Chuck Palahniuk

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Cholecystitis Or This Has Got To Be What It Feels Like To Be Dying!"

I don't know if you ever had it, I sincerely hope you haven't but that has got to be the closest I have ever been to just laying down in the street and letting a truck or something put me out of my misery...Like the nurse said I could never have a baby...I was actually doubled over in my house on Wednesday crying like a baby bitch, but I am getting ahead of myself as usual...Friday went down with no problems...Had two beers and a shot of Crown and chilled...Woke up Saturday felt a little hung over and I thought that strange but just shrugged it off as I was tired from little sleep yada yada...Still had a good day Saturday and hung out with a friend all night...'Bout 2 am I felt this familiar pain that I have been having for the past six months...It starts in the pit of my stomach and radiates out, makes me dizzy and nauseous but then usually fades away...This Sunday it didn't want to go anywhere...


What is cholecystitis?

Cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder wall and nearby abdominal lining. Cholecystitis is usually caused by a gallstone in the cystic duct, the duct that connects the gallbladder to the hepatic duct. Other causes of cholecystitis may include the following:

  • bacterial infection in the bile duct system

    The bile duct system is the drainage system that carries bile from the liver and gallbladder into the area of the small intestine called the duodenum.

  • tumor of the pancreas or liver

  • decreased blood supply to the gallbladder

    This can sometimes occur in persons with diabetes.

  • gallbladder "sludge"

    This "sludge" is a thick material that cannot be absorbed by bile in the gallbladder and most commonly occurs in pregnant women or individuals who have experienced a rapid weight loss.

Cholecystitis can occur suddenly or gradually over many years.

What are the symptoms of cholecystitis?

A typical attack of cholecystitis usually lasts two to three days. The following are the most common symptoms of gallstones. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • intense and sudden pain in the upper right part of the abdomen

  • recurrent painful attacks for several hours after meals

  • pain (often worse with deep breaths and extends to lower part of right shoulder blade)

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • rigid abdominal muscles on right side

  • slight fever

  • chills

  • jaundice - yellowing of the skin and eyes.

  • itching (rare)

  • loose, light-colored bowel movements

  • abdominal bloating....MORE!

Nasty stuff...Because my gall bladder was pretty bad off it had stated an UI infection, so I was actually a lot closer to dying than I actually realized...

So all day Sunday I was laying in the bed trying to find some peace and comfort that never came...The whole time I thinking when is the pain going to pass...You know asking yourself or God or whoever you call out to in those situations, why me, what I do ...?!? It was that last beer...I knew it! I had know idea other than something was really bad inside...On top of the pain the infection was causing, it was also producing a lot of excess gas my body could not handle or expel...That made it twice as worse because it was all this pressure and pain...At times it felt as though I was having a heart attack...Don't really know how but I made it through the night keeping my wife up all night with me thrashing about and moaning and groaning in her ears...Well she was really upset at seeing me in such pain and made me finally get up on Monday and go to the doctors...

This is the part where I normally bash Kaiser for a few minutes, however on this particular day A Kaiser Dr came through with flying colors...She took pictures of my stomach, and took a look at my urine and said I was either passing a kidney stone or trying to pass one...My pressure was really high but I attribute that to the pain I was in and the fact I was a little stressed for getting sick and wanting to fire off a few choice words...But that was a continuing theme throughout this whole ordeal...My blood pressure...

Here's the funny part, well not exactly funny, the ironic part...Dr Kaiser sent me to the hospital and I knew I should have went to GBMC but my stepfather was already over at St. Agnes and I was trying to take care of two birds with one stone...Again bad move going to Agnes...First and foremost they barely managed my pain and they couldn't find anything wrong after being there all day...The only good thing about going to St. Agnes was the fact that while they gave us a lot of worthless prescriptions, the Percocet got me through the night...I do not do pain well!

Wednesday morning was the worse...I had also made up my mind that if the stone hadn't passed or I hadn't I was going back to the hospital...This time to GBMC because Dr Kaiser had the best diagnosis so far...Apparently the wife and I were on the same page...I do remember missing one call from her because of one time the phone dropping on the floor, but apparently I passed out a couple of time because she said she had called several times...When we finally did connect she was like, "I am on my way get dressed..." I was!

An hour later I was being wheeled down into the ultrasound where a slick little tech found the culprit...The Er Doc checked the pictures and then came in and explained them to me told me what my options were...They could relive my pain and make it manageable clean my gall bladder up with antibiotics and send me home to come back in a few months in the same pain or get the gall bladder removed and get on with life...Of course I would never ever want to experience the pain I was in on Tuesday and Wednesday again and chose for the operation...

I had my heart all set for Nilla from Er that pretty actress from "Bend It Like Beckham"...I get her father or could have been grandfather...Dr Vjay I believe...He was ready to cut to...Kaiser is always trying out some new toys at GBMC...When my wife was there getting a procedure done they were using a new piece of equipment and just so happens they were doing the same this time...So all the surgeons wanna get to play with the new toys but Dr Vjay wasn't a Kaiser Dr so he didn't get the go ahead...You know Kaiser gotta have they people come in to make sure it's worth the money for the operation...I ended up staying the night and being admitted until the Kaiser Dr could see me and talk to me...That first night is really murder...

You already know hospitals are not for resting but healing right?! Cause as long as your in pain there is no rest anyway...I love GBMC in this regard...They do not play with your pain! They are first and foremost concerned with how your feeling...I was loving the Toradol...The only thing that was wrong with it was the fact that it could only be taken every 8 hours...But in the meantime I was getting a shot of dilaudid every four hours...The pain still crept through but it was a lot more manageable...That is when I took the saluting pic from the bed...I was high as giraffe ass!

Had a great surgeon, Dr Flowers...He finally came in Thursday morning and explained what was going to be happening how, where and why he was cutting me and doing the operation...Made me feel real at ease about his competence and that things were going to be alright...Ohhh, I didn't tell you this was my first operation or hospital stay?! Very first...I am kind of sad because for 40 years I could say I was a healthy as an Ox never been hospitalized or operated on...Until now! The operation was set for the afternoon...

I got transported to the operating room about 3 pm...Here is the scary part...They can know make you regress in time a few hours with the anesthesia now...I remember folks talking about counting down and passing out...The last thing I remember was getting off my bed unto the hospital table...The whole operating room scene is pretty freaky if you ask me...All these people standing around and it's cold and machines everywhere...All I can think of is they might have implanted a chip in my arm while I was there...But I'm a paranoid writer wannabe who has seen way too many movies so that is kind of understandable...I do know that when they finally took that gall bladder out the pain went away! They used
laparoscopic surgery...The name of my procedure was a laparoscopic cholecystectomy...I have four little holes, two on my right side one over my stomach and one over my belly button....After I went back to my room and slept the last of the anethesia off, I woke up feeling like my old self...Short of the operation pain aka healing pains I felt like I was ready to go...But since Imma old guy and kind of litigious they decided to keep me until Saturday...Make sure I didn't get any infection and make sure the infection I had passed...They pumped me so full of fluids, potassium chloride and antibiotics in particular, I actually squished when I walked...That was the hardest part...Jumping up and down to pee...I hope I can go back on a streak now and not have to go back to the hospital for another 42 years! Keep doing the things I been doing just adding a lot more water to the mix...

In short I guess I have been suffering with and through this for a few years now...I knew it was something wrong when for a stretch of about 6 months everything I ate gave me indigestion...These last 6 months it had culminated into a ever increasing in frequency event...I looked forward to it, got it out of the way and moved on...I was wondering why two drinks were making me throw up violently...I thought I was drinking too much...I probably am/was but it did seem less was having more impact...If you feel any of them symptoms above coming on do not play with it...Save your self some time and pain, go to the hospital tell them to do an ultrasound on ya gall bladder and get it removed...

Universal Healthcare!
The New Defenders Of Freedom!

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