Monday night I went to bed feeling fine. I woke up at 4am on Tuesday morning with the most insane pain right between my boobs. It was unlike anything I'd ever felt before and after rocking back and forth and convincing myself I was in the throws of a heart attack, I woke Chris up and said, "What's right here?" He said, "Your boobs." I said, "No, right in between my boobs. It hurts so badly I can't even lay down or take a deep breath." He convinced me it wasn't a heart attack but since I knew something was wrong, I left him to completely rearrange his schedule and get the kids up and moving and to school while I threw on an old sweatshirt and drove myself to the E.R.
Within 3 minutes of walking in the door at the E.R. I was in a bed and was hooked up. The pain increased and either my nurse was really nice or she was sick of listening to me but the doctor came in to see my fairly quickly. He ordered an ultrasound, seemed pretty convinced it was my gall bladder, and gave me some pain meds. After nearly 4 hours after I woke up in such pain, I was at ease a little bit.
The ultrasound was finished and the results were easy to see - gall stones. Plural. Lots of them. And one little one had fallen and was blocking a bile duct. I was kept doped up for the most part, slept the day away in the E.R. and by 5pm was admitted to the hospital and had my own room.
My friend, Tracy, is such a saint. She came to sit with me and keep me company for the rest of the night in the hospital. I called to see if my mom could come the following day, and I gave Chris permission to stay home and just keep children busy and happy. My surgery was schedule for 3am on Wednesday so I had about 9 hours until then so I asked them to keep me on pain meds since the pain was getting worse and I took my 8th nap of the day.
3am rolled around and they came to get me. As I was being wheeled into the O.R. I said, "How much does a gall bladder weigh?" The nurse said, "I'm unsure, but a few ounces." I said, "Damn, I was hoping to walk out of here a few pounds lighter." I really was disappointed in that. I remember being in the operating room and he told me to take some deep breaths and I thought after my 4th deep breath, "Shit, this stuff totally doesn't_____________" Next thing I knew I was in recovery, sans gall bladder.
I slept until about 7:30am and was feeling super sore, but I wasn't in pain as I'd been for the last 23 hours so it was all good. I had 4 incisions made, the one right above my belly button hurts the most but that's because some muscle was cut. Turns out my gall bladder wasn't only riddled with stones but it was inflamed and infected. Lovely, right? So anyway, I'm glad I didn't go with Chris's diagnosis of that it was just my boobs. I knew something was wrong.
I was discharged from the hospital and honestly I didn't want to leave. That may sound awful to some but for reals, I didn't want to leave. I slept. I was cared for. I was waited on. I could push a button and someone would come in and with a smile would say, "Do you need something Mrs. Peters?" I mean, really? I may have done this whole gall bladder thing earlier if I'd known the perks to being in the hospital were so awesome.
When I came home from the hospital it was about 2 hours before William's preschool end-of-the year performance/graduation. My mom was here so I left Chris and mom to watch the kids ride bikes and make dinner while I took a shower. I got dressed and ready to head to the graduation. I was hobbling and was so sore but felt like it was completely doable. I came home and went to bed and woke up in tears a few hours later. The pain was worse than the original gall bladder pain. Super mom I am NOT and it was crazy to think I could do all that. I am paying the price today as I think I'm in more pain than I should be. Vicodin will be my companion for the next few days, no doubt. I'm all about comfort and no pain and have NO PROBLEM doing what I need to to ensure that.
While I was in the hospital and in the 20 hours since I've been home, I've gotten more emails, texts, and phone calls of people offering to help with the kids, with meals, and with getting the kids to and from school for me. The outreach of people has been overwhelming and I'm not exaggerating. It's so nice to know that when something happens, there are people who rally around our family right away to help. Thank you to every single person who contacted me in any way.
Ok. You knew this couldn't end without a few pictures. Here they are:
This is a bit of, "I cant' believe this is happening" + "I am so not caught up on the laundry and Chris will never find anything for them to wear to school" + "I get to sleep and watch tv and be waited on for the next 24 hours" + "I can't believe this is happening"
I was asked my pain number probably a hundred times. This was my chart.
Is this gross? Sorry if it is. The top thing is my liver - see how healthy that is? I was proud of that. The thing underneath is my gall bladder. It's bigger than it should be. And now my liver doesn't have to share its space with anything anymore!
3 babies, a kidney stone, and now this. I'm done for many, many years I hope. Although I wouldn't mind staying in the hospital for a few nights here and there. I'd rent a room there if I could. Is that weird?