Last Thursday, I went in for gallbladder surgery. Nine hours later, after a tough time in recovery, I went home to my parents’ house where I’ve spent the past week taking naps, watching movies, and acting as an architect for Sims 3, thanks to the awesome generosity of one of my brothers.
On Friday, the day after the operation, my mom asked me how I was feeling. I kind of paused and evaluated myself — then, for the first time in two and a half months, I genuinely smiled. I felt great. The only pain I was feeling was from the surgery; the pain and the fog that had persisted, that had drained me of any semblance of myself, was gone.
My mom began to cry with relief; all I could do was hug her, knowing everything my family had gone through with me…
Today, I received a call from the surgeon’s office. When the gallbladder was removed, the surgeon had said that everything looked fine on the outside, so he sent it to pathology to have a look inside. It turns out it had been inflamed; despite scans, x-rays, ultra-sounds, and every other GI test available indicating otherwise, I ended up having what’s called Chronic Cholecystitis.
This was my relief; this was my turn to cry.
Every doctor insisted that there was nothing wrong with me, but still I persisted, knowing my body, knowing me. I was in constant pain, I had to take time off from work and eventually go on short-term disability; I had no social life, I could barely function. There was no way that this was nothing; there was no way I could accept that this was my life from now on — one without smiles, one without teasing and laughter. That’s not a life.
That’s not my life.
So I did my own research — research that ironically kept pointing to this same gallbladder disease — and went to three doctors, including a specialist; I spent long days and nights in four separate ERs five different times before someone finally suggested the tests could be inaccurate or just not showing a possible non-functioning organ, before my family doctor really sat down to go through my records and consult with another doctor, before they concluded that despite the tests, all signs indicated that something was happening with the gallbladder.
Before they pointed me in the direction of a surgeon.
Before that surgery was finally scheduled.
I can’t believe what a difference it has made. I can’t believe that I’m smiling and laughing and joking around with family and friends again. I can’t believe that I can have my life back again.
I’m just…I have no words.
And since I’ve been trying to find the words for a proper written update for a week but have failed miserably, I made a video:
Ok, so maybe the video is also to counter this picture that my dad so kindly took when I was in pre-op.