This is Buster -
On the Sunday after Buster arrived, I woke in the morning not feeling great. Still had my breakfast and tried to ignore my painful belly. By late morning, I was nauseous. By early afternoon, no amount of fingers down the throat could make me throw anything up except yucky foamy looking clear stuff. I had a pain in my chest that went straight through to my back. Mike kept saying 'I'll take you down to the medical centre' and I kept saying 'no, no, it'll go away, I'm sure'. By about half three in the afternoon, I was flat on my back in my bed with the electric blanket full bore on my back and a hot wheat bag on my chest. It was becoming quite difficult to breathe - the time had arrived for action to be taken. Once in the car on the way to the hospital, the pain really took hold. We arrived at Accident and Emergency at Windsor and because I had chest pains, I was taken in quite quickly, but not before I had another session of retching in the loo with all the other customers in the waiting room watching on. I was taken in and an ECG quickly ordered. This action coincided with a young guy who had fallen from his motor bike and knocked himself out arriving in the bed across the room. As they tried to subdue him, his screamed obscenities deafened out my moans of pain, I could not lie still on the bed but even in the commotion, I could hear my heart beating inside my head and I knew I wasn't having the heart attack they were testing me for.
An injection of morphine was ordered, then another. I have no idea how long it took but the pain kind of eased. The same doctor who poked my broken leg and said 'does that hurt?' last time I was there now poked my belly and once again asked the same question. He could tell by my face what the answer was. Off I went to the x-ray machine and once back in A&E, I could watch as my pictures were displayed on the light box amid much pointing and discussion.
At about 1.30am I was transferred to the ward, given more painkillers and told that an ultrasound in the morning would probably confirm their suspicions that my gall bladder was playing up. Surprisingly, I slept quite well.
Monday morning came and the breakfast trolleys went right by my room - I was signposted 'Nil by Mouth'. The ultrasound was duly done and then I waited for some results. I was extremely tired, slept on and off all day, then had a visit from a Hospital Doctor who confirmed that, indeed, I had a stone lodged in my gall bladder, and that the surgeon looking after me would be reviewing my ultrasound and a decision would be made. Some needed to come out quickly, some could be treated with antibiotics until they settled somewhat and an operation performed some time later, usually around 6 weeks after the first attack. I would have to wait for the decision.
I didn't sleep too well that night, I dreamed of cups of tea, and my mouth was getting drier by the hour. I kept having to donate little tubes of blood which were being extracted from veins which were getting harder and harder to find.
Tuesday morning and the breakfast trolleys went by again. At about 10am the surgeon came and said that seeing my pain was still quite intense, she thought it best that the offending organ be removed that day. I was having a great problem with shortness of breath and had developed quite a rattle in my chest. Coughing was murder.
So they prepped me for the upcoming operation, which entailed giving me a lovely pair of paper undies, a gown which, of course, meant my butt was exposed if I got out of bed and a paper shower cap which I designated as my fascinator seeing that it was Melbourne Cup Day and such things are worn on that day. Then I waited, and listened as the morning tea trolley went by, and the lunch trolley went by, and the afternoon tea trolley went by, until about 4.30 when I was wheeled out to the operating theatre. The clock on the wall said one minute to 5 as I was taken in.
I woke in recovery at 6.40. I was surprisingly in very little pain and felt so much better. About an hour or two later, the pain relief wore off and I knew I was alive.
Back in the ward, I was offered my long awaited cup of tea, but the gross taste in my mouth didn't let me enjoy it greatly.
Wednesday morning and the breakfast trolley stopped at my door. Great! But I could hardly eat a thing.
The surgeon came to see me about 9.30am and said she was very pleased that they hadn't decided to wait as the ultrasound had not shown quite the extent of the problem. The gall bladder was full of pus, which was leaked out and created a raft of pus sitting under my diaphragm and the gall bladder itself was partially gangrenous.
But I could go home that afternoon, although by the time I got here, I seriously doubted that it was a good idea. I was just so sore. My kidneys basically stopped working and over the next three or four days, I swelled up with so much fluid that I could scarcely bend my knees and the skin on my legs was as tight as a drum. Not a great way to get rid of your cellulite!
Anyway, over the last 6 days or so, I have made much improvement. Still a little sore.
The surgeon told me the day after the operation that the long term effects of gall bladder removal can be many and varied. Best case scenario, there may be very little change in what I can eat, worst case scenario, there could be chronic diarrhoea for the rest of life. I guess even chronic diarrhoea has some semblance of predictability, better than the surprise diarrhoea that I'm suffering from at the minute!
So since June this year, I have had a dose of pneumonia, a broken leg and now removal of my gall bladder. That'll just about do me for this year, thanks all the same.