A Volcano of TMI

So, I had my gallbladder removed on January 16th.  Mama’s first surgery under general anesthesia, minus that time I had all four impacted wisdom teeth yanked out in about 10 minutes flat, moments after they dressed me in a shower cap, spatter-shield glasses and draped the rest of me in a tarp. My only request at the time was that I didn’t wake up to find the good doctor standing with feet on the arm-rests of the reclining chair I was sprawled in, yanking at my face with a wrench.

Actually, I’m not even sure they put me out with drugs, they might have just whacked me with a wrench? Chipmunk cheeks, a prescription for Vicodin that made me barfy and had me swearing off The Good Drugs for life and turning to Tylenol and creatively profane complaining when pain must be borne.

For the last year or two, I’ve had periodic “attacks” that involved waking from a dead sleep with a painful, vice-like squeezing of my rib cage that couldn’t be soothed by hot showers, over-the-counter pain meds, Tums, tea, farting (time-honored family remedy) or creative cussing.  I’d be up, pacing the house, trying to find a comfortable position, when laying down was too uncomfortable and sitting down was too uncomfortable.  After about five hours, the pain would usually dissipate enough that I could function, and I’d catch up on sleep the next night or two and everything would be fine.  Sometimes it happened after a particularly greasy meal (pizza, hamburgers…) and sometimes it didn’t.  Sometimes it happened during PMS hellweek, and sometimes it didn’t.

Instead of going to the doctor for it, I just suffered through and went on my way, because I’m stoic and also a bit dumb. Finally, this time, after pacing the floors of my dark house for five hours, I decided to go to the ER to get checked out, because Dr. Google said maybe it was pancreatitis or something equally dire.  I woke my husband, made sure he knew he had kid-duty for drop off, and drove myself to the ER, where I walked in, got checked in right away, had an IV, super-duper antacids that made my tongue numb, an EKG, a chest Xray and a sonogram and visits from several doctors. My husband and mom both showed up in the middle of all this, and we all got the verdict together.  Gallstones. Lots of ’em, getting jammed up in places that they don’t belong.

They had given me some sort of pain med that made me extra dumb at this point, because I kept saying “THE GALL!” Just kidding, I would be saying that even if I wasn’t on the pain meds.

Anyway blah blah blah, before the surgery, I warned the anesthesiologist that I didn’t do well with The Good Drugs and  he gave me something that kept me from getting nauseous after the surgery. After the surgery, I was up and running around within an hour or two, and feeling fine.  Until I got home.

At home, I developed muscle pain in all my large muscle groups that lasted just over 30 hours.  Felt like I’d been dragging around anchors.  Next up was an ER visit for blood pressure that shot through the roof which had me up and pacing around the house again, feeling like I was on the verge of becoming SheHulk. Adjustments to my meds, and back at home, things settled down, and I slept for like 48 hours. The husband cancelled a business trip and stayed close to home to make sure the kids were fed and watered and I didn’t blow up or something.

I went back to work on Wednesday.

I was fine, until I had stabbing shoulder pain that moved around from my collarbone to my right shoulder to my neck at the base of my skull, but not all the time. Just sometimes. Spontaneously. Then that went away, and I was fine some more, but then I had other super TMI things kick up that are probably better left spelled out in this here blog post.  You’re welcome.

Anyway, there’s no actual point to all this, except that maybe, just maybe, if you’ve got pain that you can’t cuss or fart away and it keeps coming back? Ask someone other than Dr. Google and get yourself checked out.


We’re into the Month of Jenny, as I like to call my birthday month, and I’m 42.  Welcome, friends.  Enjoy my month.

We celebrated with Japanese food, a day off from work and sarcastic cards from the kids, including a real gem from my oldest that featured a message spelled out in cat poop and a reminder that I’m now one year closer to being able to join in the skeleton wars.  Don’t ask.

When I turned 41, I told my kids about Yvonne announcing that she was Forty-FUN. And we decided that 42 was Forty-Woo, and 43 was Forty-Whee but all bets were off because 44 is FORTY-WAR.  Look out in two years, is what I’m saying.