These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Friday, June 30, 2006

what gall!

it's been a rough couple of days. asmany of you know, dawn had surgery to have her gall bladder removed wednesday. it was unexpected but necessary. she's fine now,whihcis remarkable, since it's been only 30 hours since the surgery.

i got home tuesday night from work. she wasn'tfeeling well. she'd eaten some yummy cajun fries a few hours before andit did the trick. the pain inher stomach worsened as thehours dragged on. i kept her company but it was difficult to see her in pain. there was nothing i could do. she upchucked countless times but to no avail.

she'd been this way before, where some food upset her stomach and she got sharp pain. but it had never lasted this long.

finally at 3 in the morning, she said she wanted to go to the hospital. i called up her mom to drive us and off we went to hollandhospital.

the emergency was empty and it helped. we got toa room. some minor drugs were administered. blood work showed high levels of something. an ultrasound would pinpoint the problem. we decided to go for the ultrasound. that would be at 6:30.

whiledawn was given this sedative, her mom and i sat in wooden chairs in the room with blankets wrapped around us. we barely slept.

the ultrasound revealed her gall bladder (whichstores bile secreted from the liver andused wheneating fattyfood orcarbs) was enflamed. later we found out she had gall stones.

we could wait for another day to operate or do itthat day. wewent for it. they got her intoa room around noon. the sedatives kicked in andshespent a drowsy afternoon in and out of sleep. they gotherin at 5and she was in recovery by 6.

i spent the night with her in the hospital on a sleeper chair.itwas quiteuncomfortable. nurses kept comingin and outand every time the IV drip was low, it would beep. wewere up by 6:30 thursday. after some walking aroundand breakfast, she was out. we were back homeby 10:30.

she's doingremarkablewell. she never gotnauseous due to the anesthesia or anything. recovery is aobut a week. all she hasto show for the surgery are three smallincisions and a larger one. the smaller ones are areas where small cameras were inserted to look around. the larger one (right belowthe belly button) is where the instruments wentin to cut out the gall bladder and pull it out through.

it turned out dawn had many small stones in there and one large one (two centimeters long). this big one was blocking the bile from being excreted. every time thegall bladder contracted to try and release bile, it caused pain since it couldn't releaseany bile.

even though it was pretty minor surgery (compared to what, say, my dad has gone through), it was still pretty scaryand tense. i guess because it all happened so fast tuesday night. i'll admit that while i was calmoutwardly, inside i was a bundle ofnerves. i had visions of dawn not coming out of theanesthesia (i watch too much tv). so it wasa relief when the doctorcame out and said it had all gone well.

good job, doc. he was a nice guy, very thorough and precise with information.

now, without the gall bladder, bile will still be released, exceptitwill not be stored in a sac and just simply go into the system.

it's getting really late and i do need sleep. good night all.