Gall Bladder Surgery Part 2

No surprise, I didn’t sleep much the night before the surgery.  I don’t know when I was actually up, but I was officially out of bed to shower by 4:30 a.m.  We were off to the hospital, and of course, I forgot to put the meat in the crock pot.  I sent my eldest a text, but even with step-by-step instructions, that was a failed effort.  My youngest did manage to get up and to the bus stop on his own though.  Yay!

I signed in around 6:30, and thankfully they needed a urine sample, so my bodily functions didn’t go to waste.  I watched the news until about 7:00 when they came to get me ready for surgery.  Announcement:  Hospital gowns have progressed.  Mine wasn’t just paper, it was a sturdier paper with a thermal lining to keep me warm/cool as needed.  The perplexity of how to tie one has not changed though.  To my dashing ensemble I also added some very tight white stockings and then fashionable grey socks with tread.

From there I talked to a procession of people–nurse, intern, anesthesiologist, assisting surgeon, my doctor, and probably a few more.  The question of the day was, “Do you know what you’re here for?”  By the time the inquisitors at the end came along, I just had to tease back with “Yes, do you?”  I got an IV without passing out, a minor accomplishment.  I got a head net to capture all my hair.  It’s long and it took some maneuvering with one hand (IV, remember).  Sometime in there I was given a sedative.  Short time now . . . I gave my husband a “see you later” kiss, and then it was off to the surgery room.

The host of questioners and I reunited in the surgery room.  I gracefully (really, it was graceful) slid to the surgical bed.  I listened to them make jokes about having to work with one another.  That was my cue.

“When this is all over will I see everyone?” I asked.

“Probably everyone but me,” said the assisting surgeon.

“I’ve got my favorite knock-knock joke to tell you all then.”

He whined about missing it, and then proceeded to tell my joke.  What!  Wait!  That’s the last thing I remember too.

Next thing I recall was waking up a bit sore in the recovery area.  It wasn’t too long before the troop (Noelle, Curtis, and Lewis) transported me to my room.  Another chance to tell my joke.  My captive audience did their part, but I was still so groggy I couldn’t time the punchline right.  Of course, I made them repeat the line, and got it in that time.  It was even funnier with the fumble.

Noelle and Sadie, my first set of nurses out of the three shifts, were great.  They fussed over me and at me.  Made sure I had what I needed and laughed at my jokes.  Noelle even came in the room at one point and asked, “How is the best patient in the whole hospital?”  I didn’t have a roommate, so I just grinned and thanked her.  They checked on my pain levels and brought me anything I needed.  Brandee (PCA) quietly came and went, checking my blood pressure, pulse and temperature.  If I had a request, whoever was in the room or came to the room was more than happy to help me.

Something else new to hospitals, at least for me, was that they had a menu.  I had no diet restrictions (just take it easy), so I could order what I wanted.  My first meal following surgery was chicken broth, diet ginger ale, and chocolate pudding.  I managed about five spoonfuls of broth, half my drink and only two bites of pudding.  It was all delicious.  I wish that appetite level would stick around, but I was warned it wouldn’t.  The night before I left, I ordered a Philly steak and cheese sandwich and pudding.  It took me about six hours to eat the whole thing, but I did eat every scrumptious bite.

In the evening, Shannon took over as nurse and happily followed the generosity path set by the others.  She told me to let her know if there was anything I wanted–dangerous.

“Hugh Jackman,” I said without hesitation.

Just as quick to respond, she chuckled and said, “That would be good.  I think I’ll get Matthew McConaughey.”

I slept off and on, but when I was awake, I enjoyed visiting with her.

Early that morning, Shannon traded off with the next shift, which I regret to admit I didn’t get their names.  Very sleepy I heard my new PCA come in to take blood pressure and stuff.  I looked up and thought, “Well, he’s not Hugh, but he’s not bad AT ALL.”  Probably a good thing I didn’t get his name.  😉

Around 6:30 the departing procession began.  I saw just about everyone I’d seen the day before, including my doctor.  He said I’d find out the pathology report on the gall bladder next week.  I asked if he’d noticed anything when he removed it, and he said just some car keys.

This was the best hospital, and I was fairly reluctant to come home, knowing I wouldn’t be nearly as pampered and it definitely hasn’t been as peaceful.

Thank you, every staff member, named and unnamed, who made my stay so pleasant and comfortable.  Conversations, surgery, blankets, food, pillows, medicines, smiles…all of it, thank you and bless you.

smiles and laughter — necessary as surgery


About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
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60 Responses to Gall Bladder Surgery Part 2

  1. mareymercy says:

    Hope you are feeling OK!

  2. sanjuktaa says:

    Yousei, it was fun to read about your surgery though i am sure it was not half as fun going through it actually, regardless of how good the doctors and the staff were! But anyways, the main thing is you’re back here all in one piece. Hope you’re going to feel even better very soon! Take care!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Every day is better. Today is the best so far. I’m still sleeping more, but I’ve decided that is just part of the healing process. Thank you for the well wishes, and I’ll see you soon. 🙂

  3. “Just some car keys.” You wicked, wicked poetic rabbit!
    Hope you’re ALL well asap!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Buffalo Gal,
      😉 It was a little too fun in the hospital. Made coming home to “reasonable” care a bit tough. Good to be home and connected though. I’ve really enjoyed your book reviews. I look forward to the next one.

  4. ManicDdaily says:

    Hope you are feeling better. k.

  5. rdl says:

    hope u’re on the mend. glad i had mine out – g-d awful pain – similiar to labor!

  6. ManicDdaily says:

    Hope you are feeling better and get to post new writing soon. k.

  7. CiCi says:

    “Just some car keys” was a good one. Your doctor sounds human! And fun.

    So glad you came through the surgery with your humor intact and are recovering at home now.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Welcome. 🙂 Sorry I haven’t been by to visit lately. My doctor was great. I just realized though, some of that intact feeling probably came from the morphine. 😉 I hate taking medicine, so I’ve been slow to keep up with the pain meds, especially since I wasn’t in pain. Finally taking them again to get some sleep, they help with the discomfort and slight fever. I’m not healing as fast as I’d envisioned, but it’s still progressing well. See you soon. 🙂

  8. Shawna says:

    My goodness, you sound like an excellent patient. Your description of the gown cracked me up: “it was a sturdier paper”

    Going to the hospital is a little bit of a vacation for a mother. Especially if you like hospital food, which I also do. 🙂

    So glad you’re doing well, sweet pea.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I thought I was a pretty nice patient too, but they couldn’t keep me. 😦 Just kidding. The food really was good, not gourmet, just good. That helps a lot, even though I didn’t eat that much. Cream of wheat never tasted so good to me, let me tell you. Thanks for checking on me. 🙂

  9. Luke Prater says:

    very glad to hear you’re OK, my friend

  10. Maria Tatham says:

    It was good to be here again (though I was surprised at the subject matter of your post), and to find you being funny while being pretty sick.
    Hope you get some pampering, and heal really well!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      No better way to deal with these kinds of things than with humor. I was truly pampered in the hospital. At home…a bit here and there. They are all boys, and so their concerns are elsewhere (moving in their direction) most of the time. When they pass by me, they check on me and ask what they can do for me. I’m up and moving around more every day. I’m taking less medicine, so I’m feeling discomfort more…that’s okay as long as I can sleep. Thanks for stopping in. It is really good to see you here. 🙂

  11. rumpydog says:

    I’m glad things went well, and I hope you’re quickly recovered!

  12. Raven says:

    Young lady … we are away for the weekend with all sorts of wonderful dog/cat lovers living in our home. I read this and attempted to reply upon my iPhone but with NO success … and no real 3G availability. I am truly glad that you are up and getting about … and healing.
    Love, Liz

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I know the feeling of being disconnected. I left my phone at home for my visit at the hospital. Even though I slept through a good chunk of that time, I still would have reached for it when I was awake. When I visited my mother last fall, connection was a completely hopeless cause. Thank you for your well wishes. Every day is a bit better and so I look forward to the next one.

  13. hope the pathology report is all clear! hospital care like that is unimaginable in India! I am almost envious. If I ever need to get gall bladder surgery (god forbid) I wish it would be somewhere as pleasant 🙂 🙂 on a serious note…. wish you a speedy recovery!

  14. aloha Yousei Hime – definitely the kind of hospital visit i’d hope for and i’m glad you got it. way cool and get to feeling spunky soon. aloha.

  15. LeahJ says:

    Glad to know you’re well and that hospital gowns are getting better, with thermos to keep us warm. :
    keep healing and tons of Blessings

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Those gowns were a surprise. They did the job though. I don’t think I felt chilled the entire time I was there. A little sticky, but not chilled. 😉

  16. ManicDdaily says:

    Oh dear, feel better soon! Hope recovery is fast. K.

  17. Thomas Davis says:

    I would not have been able to write as gracefully about my recent surgery. This is a gentle, generous tale.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thomas Davis,
      I think all things–people, circumstances, outlook, kind of surgery–enter into that. If I faced your surgery, I’m not sure I could write about it, no matter how kind the hospital people were. I’m glad I could share it with you, and pray you are doing well. 🙂

      • Thomas Davis says:

        I am doing well, Yousei Hime. The doctors have not told me if the treatment I went through has worked yet. They haven’t contacted me at all, and I have not been able to get through to them, but I’m pretty hopeful that if I survived the treatment (which was no fun) I’ll survive the disease.

        • Yousei Hime says:

          Thomas Davis,
          I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well. Those tests take time. My mother experienced some of the same delays following her surgery and treatments (breast cancer). She goes for her annual visit soon, and so far everything is great. I hardly knew she was going through treatment ( being so far away from her) because she rarely talked about it. After it was over she mentioned how miserable it could be. I wish you and your wife the very, very best.

  18. Irene says:

    What a great humorous account of …my, surgery! I hope your appetite returns, which will signal you’re indeed good as new.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I wish it would stay gone, which would make me better than new, neh? Thanks. I’m doing better each day. Loving your writing that I’ve been reading. 🙂

  19. A Walk In My Heart says:

    So happy to find you back in your humorous self. I had the same feeling too the last time I had a neck lipoma removed two years ago – reluctant to go home because I was so pampered and didn’t have to cook or wash the dishes! 😉

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      A Walk In My Heart,
      Makes me feel a bit guilty, but only a bit. It really was great, other than the soreness and necessary surgery. Thanks for the well wishes. I’ll do my best to get better the right way.

  20. Roxie says:

    please take care of yourself…and you’re right, if you have good care in the hospital, home is not as beneficial, most of the time we’re on our own…all the best as you put yourself first, and we appreciate you so much 🙂 be good, take care and be 100%

  21. nonoymanga says:

    Hoping for your early recovery, get well very soon. Nonoy Manga

  22. Jeannie says:

    Oh how nice to be pampered and spoiled when you have to have an “owie”. It makes it all more pleasant. Take it easy! xox

    • Yousei Hime says:

      It definitely makes a difference in how one views the experience. I enjoyed all the pampering and great conversations. Everyone was so polite, cheerful and accommodating. I’ll be bragging on that hospital stay for a while. I’m resting but trying to keep moving. I walked down our long drive today to see how well my husband leveled it. (It really needed it–huge potholes.) I was pooped when I got back, but I was glad to have gotten out and enjoyed the sunshine (and mosquitoes) a bit. Thanks for the wishes and smiles.

  23. Mama Zen says:

    Sounds like you received excellent care!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Mama Zen,
      Almost too good. I really was spoiled and didn’t want to come home. My men stepped up and took good care of me yesterday. Today slid back into the usual pace, but that was alright since I am feeling better. At least I didn’t have to cook. 😉

  24. brian miller says:

    yay i am glad you are on the back side of this…and sounds like you were well taken care of…nice to read your continued progress too in the above comment…hope healing goes well…

    • Yousei Hime says:

      What was that about my back side showing? 😉 I was very well taken care of, back side and all. I continue to get better–less sore today, breathing better and only a slight fever. Enjoyed some barbequed venison steak and fresh fruit for dinner. Not everyone’s choice, but it was super yummy to me. Thanks for your visits and encouragement. 😀

  25. I had mine removed in 1988. They did it the hard way back then. I understand it’s better these days. Glad it’s behind you. I have surgery coming on 6/5/12 and just want to put it behind me as well.

  26. lesliepaints says:

    My goodness! Such good care! Are you up and walking around and about pain free, Yousei? Sorry to hear that you needed to go through all of this but I hope it helps the insomnia go away and keeps you pain free. Speedy recovery!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I am up and walking, relatively pain free. Coughing is still no fun, but the stiffness is almost all gone. I have been running a slight fever, so I’ve been taking my prescribed medicine and doing more lung exercises. The doctor said that the lungs were probably the culprit for the fever. Definitely don’t want to head down that path, so I’m taking lots of long deep breathes. I’ll know next week just how good a decision it was; that’s when the pathology report comes in. Until then, thank you for the smiles and wishes.

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