I have been sick for most of my life. As far back as I can remember, I have dealt with stomach issues. My parents have told me that I had problems digesting milk from the very beginning. Thankfully the wonders of the soy bean had been discovered long before my arrival. All of that to say that recently I become sick of being sick. So, at a friends suggestion, I sought out a gastroentrologist in an effort to delve into the secrets of my gut.

About the same time I was pursuing the gastroentrologist, I started to experience pain in my right and left sides. A sonogram and a HIDA scan later, my doctor concluded that I was having gallbladder problems. I then had an appointment with a surgeon who told me that I was a prime candidate for gallbladder removal. Woo hoo!

October 6th, I arrived at the hospital for check-in. I was nervous. After having lower back surgery earlier this year, memories of my pain and recovery were still too fresh. The last thing I wanted was to be put under again. The near-constant pain in my right side said otherwise, however. Prepping for surgery, I consistently had a sense of deja-vu.  I kept thinking that I recognized different nurses and orderlies. Thankfully all the pre-op stuff went well. Having the IV put in was no big deal. What was a big deal was seeing the needle for the blood thinning medication. The needle was huge! The nurse gave me the choice of having it inserted into my abdomen or my thigh. I quickly chose my thigh (leave my stomach alone!). With pre-op stuff completed, I was soon wheeled back into the pre-op holding area.

Back when I had my back surgery in January, the pre-op room I was in was for kids. By this I mean that there were prints of colorful animals all over the walls. I remember the wall decorations as being somewhat creepy and not soothing for an adult. This time though, I was placed in a normal white-walled holding room. My wife and I talked and I gave her permission to remarry in 20 years. I also told her that I wanted a 15 minute guitar solo at my funeral.

Being wheeled into surgery, my memory starts to get fuzzy here. The last thing I remember were the operating table lights. I was literally asleep in what had to be minutes. Praise God!

When I woke up, I noted that it was 1pm on the wall. My surgery had been at 10:45am. I had no clue how long I had been laying there. What I do remember though was the nurse telling me to stop moaning. She said that it wasn’t helping anything. Sure, tell a drugged person to knock it off. I fell asleep shortly after that.

Waking up, my wife was by my side. She would later tell me that I had not been too nice to the recovery nurse. Apparently I just wanted to be left alone. Who can blame me? By 4pm the doctor cleared me to go home. Thanks to the miracle of medicine, I don’t remember too much of the drive home or the rest of that day for that matter. Hmm.

Recovery has been slow but good. Nothing like my back surgery. Worst thing that has happened is some sort of allergic reaction that I’ve had. My incision points look like welts and I’ve developed a rash that itches like none other. I also have occasional pain and can’t eat too much. I think I’m actually losing weight. Which isn’t a bad thing.

12 days since surgery and I am going strong. I have even been able to eat yogurt, which is something I haven’t had in years. So yummy! So yeah, I’m back. Hope you didn’t miss me too much. I am hoping that this surgery marks the end of my surgical year. Anymore and I might as well become a doctor and operate on myself.

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