Thursday, 12 March 2015

Gallbladderless

I have to be honest with you - my lack of understanding about the human anatomy is appalling. Gallbladder? It's a.... A thing that... Has to do with my bladder?! That was my exact thought in the doctors office when it came up. (To be fair, when I tell people I have gallbladder problems it's a 50/50 split of reactions. They either know someone who has had theirs out OR they have no idea what a gallbladder is, so I feel a little less bad about it.) After months of diagnosing, this is what we had landed on. My doctor sketching me a small and strange diagram or what a gallbladder does using a collection of small sticky notes.  It had taken a pretty serious trip to the ER with me gasping for air, bawling my eyes out and clawing at my rib age like something was eating me alive. Of course this wasn't the first time I had experienced this pain, but after almost 9 hours of writhing around it hadn't stopped. Yeash. I wish we had gotten to gallbladder sooner than that. 

I should back up and say that this all came about when I was pregnant with Phoebe. I remember very clearly telling my previous family doctor about a pain I was experiencing and his exact words were "that's pregnancy" which he repeated each time to me I brought up this pain. He had me doubting myself, especially since I had already had a very easy pregnancy with Jack. Ladies, I assure you pregnancy doesn't include radiating pain that is in your upper right abdomen. By the end of my pregnancy the pain would come on so strong I was convinced (twice) it was either labour or serious complications. That's just how it goes, pregnancy is a wonderful and mysterious condition and it is easy for other things to go amiss. I can't blame anyone because multiple nurses and doctors heard my account of what it felt like and no one once mentioned gallbladder. As I said "that's pregnancy" was generally the conclusion.  Even after having her, "that's postpartum" was the diagnosis. 

Anyway, a miserable 8 months after Phoebe was born my gallbladder finally has gotten the boot. Amazingly I lucked into a last minute surgery spot and we pulled together quick to have everything as ready as possible for Mommy to be out of commission. 

My little happy visitor!

It's a funny thing being a Mom. In many ways, I began to believe I was invincible.  Surviving on minutes of sleep, meals that were half eaten as I scrambled to do a million other things and juggling errands, appointments and schedules like I was a PA for some high power executive. Even as my health seriously dipped and I was struggling to get "safe" food into me, most of the time I felt pretty good overall. Kids that are happy, husband who loves me and bent over backwards to do everything for us. Surviving two pregnancies and births, I felt like a "minor surgery" would be a cake walk. I even piled some things in my dresser to "keep busy" while I was recovering. That's how delusional I was about how this would go down. 

This is not a cake walk. I would also like to have them revise the term "minor surgery" to something less misleading. Minor to the medical community - yes! Day surgery they say, and in reality two hours after I was awake I was heading home. So yes, it is minor. Except to the person who had it done and their family lol. Ugh, I am a busybody. I suppose in a way I am a control freak, because I find it very hard to step back and not do my mom job. But more than anything, stopping my life to recover is hard. And it's only been 5 days. The progress I have made in 5 days is huge - I can get up, walk around, eat, and smile. I am so thankful. 

Snuggle friend. Pets are the best 😊

But it really is a fast reminder to cherish my health - because we are so fragile. As I sit awake since 4am in complete silence (the absence of fussing kids at night is odd. I am only ever awake to the sound of distress lol) waiting for the discomfort to pass enough so I can sleep again, I think about how hard it must be for so many people who struggle with pain and poor health every moment of every day. You people are just amazing. Your ability to smile when you feel this way, to carry on like the rest, just shocks me. I do not possess that kind of grace. You. Are. Awesome. 

I am so thankful for the great fortune to be able to have surgery. My health, finances, and family situation all came out unscathed. I waited yes, but not nearly as long as other people. It cost us nothing. The medical community even came up with a better way to do the surgery than slicing me entirely open, so my recovery is shorter and there are less risks of complications. And I have been able to rest and recuperate without the stress of caring for my kids or worrying about getting back to a job. I am certainly blessed. 

Kids are loving their extra time with grandparents and Daddy. 

As the memory of sitting awake at night or having Scott rub my back while I whimper because I'm hurting fade away, and my collections of seemingly arbitrary incisions disappear I will work very hard to remind myself just how great things are. It is so easy to feel the struggles, and see them as the worst. thing. ever. Lines, waits, tantrums, cancellations, mistakes. I do feel all too often I get wrapped up in latest parenting challenge and wonder if it will ever get better. I will certainly try to focus now on just how great it already is. 

Also, focusing on the fact that I will be getting my butt back to The Falcourt Inn and eating a huge slice of their homemade cheesecake is a huge beacon of hope. That cheesecake has haunted me since I had to give up what feels like EVERY food. Combo of ulcer/gallbladder diet is the saddest thing. I just keep mumbling - cheesecake. Cheesecake. Cheesecake. Yum 😊!