A gallbladder is an odd thing, isn’t it? I mean it has a function, a job, a reason to exist everyday, until it becomes a hazard, a source of pain, an annoyance full of stones. THEN it is surgically removed and guess what? All is well, life goes on, no more problems. How is it possible that we have an organ in our bodies that is needed and used until it malfunctions and then we can live fine without it? It’s not like an appendix that never had a use in the first place and can easily be removed and forgotten. And it’s not like a lung that has a spare, so loss of one is not terminal. Nor is it like a heart that is completely necessary to life and health on a daily basis and we can never do without. No, it’s more like . . . well, tonsils. Necessary, but disposable. Strange, isn’t it?
Another strange thing about a gallbladder is that it can develop problems and show no symptoms for years (like me) or it can be a nag and a bother for weeks and months on end (not like me). It can cause a sudden severe pain (like me) or it can cause subtle vague discomfort that is hard to describe (not like me). It can mimic other issues, such as a heart attack (like me) or it can be very specific with no doubt it is a gallbladder attack (not like me).
So, off I went with my sudden severe chest pain of unknown origin to the hospital ER. The ambulance ride exciting, the EMTs cute and very good at their jobs, the rest very scary. Hours later, with all the information gathered, the diagnosis: bad gallbladder. Recommendation: have it removed. Surgeon agrees.
Several weeks later, in Day Surgery, my gallbladder and I separated for good. Sounds like a big deal with a huge incision, much pain and long recovery. Boy have things changed! What I got was four little 1″ entry points, not much pain and about a week of recovery. Basically the organ was removed through my belly button. How weird is that?
Three weeks after now, I’m wondering what really happened. I had surgery after only one episode of pain and nothing else. I have recovered well from the procedure. I’m feeling normal and eating everything I was before. I have four little scars on my torso, so I’m sure something was removed. Other than the fact I’m assured I won’t have the same chest pain again, I can’t tell how my life has changed.
A gallbladder is an odd thing, isn’t it?