Cholecystectomy

I spent most of last week running around like a madman, trying to get tons of things done, because I knew that this week would be primary shot thanks to having my gallbladder removal surgery (aka cholecystectomy) scheduled for Monday, December 15th. It was to be performed laparoscopically, where they slide in the little wires and cameras and perform a limited number of incisions. I’m in favor of less incisions rather than more, of course.

No, thats not my SSN, sorry to disappoint.So, Monday morning, Charlie dropped me off at Virginia Hospital Center. The surgery was scheduled for noon, which meant needing to check in no later than 10am. I was there a little early, but came prepared with my copy of Wuthering Heights, which Brook had told me I really needed to read. Check-in was painless, and I had a very nice nurse quickly get me into my little waiting room. She snapped on my wristband, then left me to my own devices for getting changed. Hospital gown technology hasn’t really advanced since my other hospital surgery back in September 1980 (an appendicetomy), it seems. They’re still ill-fitting and awkward at best. At least I got to get under the blankets after putting it on, and knocked out a good six chapters of the book before the anesthesiologist showed up.

Now, I have to say, the procedure of knocking someone out has certainly improved since 1980. I still remember having the old gas mask being put over my nose and mouth as I was wheeled down the hallway at the tender age of seven. Here, he injected something into my IV, we had a discussion about Wuthering Heights (or at least what I’d read so far), how he had one bad teacher experience dissuade him from an English Lit degree, and then suddenly I was in the recovery room. Well, that was fast. I don’t even recall getting sleepy.

My parents picked me up once I was good enough to leave, and brought me home until Charlie got off of work and headed back over. Since then, I’ve felt incredibly sore from around the bottom of my ribcage to my waist, which is really not that surprising. Percocet has helped a great deal, though, and aside from one unfortunate vomiting incident soon after I got home (but with no solid food in me, it really wasn’t that bad — just water, and no bile at all since my gallbladder is no more) it hasn’t been too bad. Although I must say that I am really glad that my super-hydrated state (I’m guessing from the IV?) has finally ended. It hasn’t been since those early days of marathon training (back when the common practice was to “drink until you slosh”) that I have had the distinct non-joy of having to pee ever thirty minutes. At least by around 3am it had slowed down to every 90 minutes, and finally returned to normality this afternoon.

Today? Just a lot of lying down on the couch, really. There are things I’d like to have done—read some books, played some games—but I’m only just starting to really get my energy back. I did watch a bunch of TV on the DVR, though; mostly shows that didn’t require too much concentration. (I whole-heartedly recommend Trader Joe’s Organic Split Pea soup, incidentally. As canned soups go it’s near the top of the list, and also very healthy to boot.) I was amused that Charlie got sucked into the season finale of Survivor: Gabon when I was watching it last night, though. Hee hee hee.

Best thing of all, though? My mom found this yesterday morning:

My sister Suzanne drew it for me when I was in the hospital back in 1980; she was only four years old at the time. I have it on the fridge, now.

I was originally hoping to be back out exercising and such next week, but now I am thinking that it was a bit of wishful thinking at my end. Hopefully before New Year’s? That would be nice. We shall see. I have a follow-up appointment with my surgeon on the 29th, and I suspect everything will be pretty clear by then one way or another. Right now all I’m focusing on is getting to take a shower tomorrow. That will be quite nice.

One thought on “Cholecystectomy

  1. Matt says:

    Make sure you DO rest up, Greg. And that picture is so cute, I love your curly hair!

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