So, it’s like this.
I’ve been in the hospital. Again. This time, I was supposed to pop in Friday morning and have that pesky gallbladder removed, a 90-minute procedure after which I’d be set free on an unsuspecting food chain to wreak uncontrollable havoc, in the style of Cthulhu left in charge of a daycare. SMORGASBORD!
Cthulhu says WOMEN AND CHIRRUNS FIRST
Guess what? Things didn’t quite work out that way.
The Sister informs me “that’s three for three” in the family, going in for a simple gallbladderectomy and ending up with an aerated colon in the bargain. Must be our genetic heritage of deformed gastrointestinal tracts or something (we coasters have an extra pouch to help us separate out the nutritive particles from the rainwater here). My doctor informs me she’s done over 300 of these operations, and this is the very first time she’s chopped a hole in someone’s colon without meaning to. In any case, she sewed up the hole and I am no longer holey.
As if you couldn’t tell.
That is one angry looking gallbladder
She tells me, additionally, that in her 300-gallbladder career, she’d never seen one as inflamed as mine (and remember, this woman ONLY sees unhealthy gallbladders). It was at least twice the size of an ordinary, inflamed, has-to-be-removed gallbladder. She said she couldn’t imagine how painful my attacks must have been, to which I replied that I reported them as 8/10 on the pain scale only because I’d had a bone marrow biopsy, and that was a 9. I don’t think people remain conscious through a 10.
No, sadly, they do NOT give you your Human Pearls after the operation. Gallstones seem to be a sort of cancer clearinghouse for the entire body, so if there’s cancer anywhere, it shows in your gallstones, so now they give all your lovely Human Pearls to the pathologist to brutally crush and analyze. There goes my business model, dammit.
In any case, after lying in the hospital a few days taking nourishment from a plastic bag and a hose attached through a hole in the back of my hand, getting dosed with superantibiotics (perforated colons have a nasty way of causing the worst possible infections, and are fatal quite frequently) and being bored out of my mind by my charming, sweet, but UNSTOPPABLY CHATTY roommate, I mean, seriously, I’d have my headphones on, she’d wake up, start babbling, notice my earphones were on, say “oh well, let me repeat that so you can hear” and do so, louder. Several times. All. Damn. Day. When they moved her to the physio ward it was sweet, sweet relief, anyway, after all of that they let me go, and not a moment too soon because although they did officially switch me to “solid” food two days before, the kitchen never got that notice and sent nothing but milk, tea (vile brown particle-filled stuff that would strip paint), cream soups, and cream of wheat. I tell you, I would have welcomed the synthetically cheerful jewel tones of Jello like a drowning victim welcomes a life raft. A shiny, wobbly crimson life raft filled with empty calories and pure joy.
Now, let’s back up a little (a phrase which should give one pause, embedded as it is in a blog post about the gastro-intestinal system and catastrophic colon-based events.
This is what a GT looks like, y'all. My blood is AWESOME under a microscope
“GT” is a sort of byword for a car that is sporty, racy, competitive, and stylish. So it was with not a small amount of pride that I noticed while reading my medical chart that according to a blood test from the last time I was in hospital, my “Gamma GT” levels were substantial. They were so awesome they were bolded right there on the chart, along with a whole lot of other terms like “AT” and “conjugated bilirubin” which were also in bold. And decorated with a large letter H, each of them.
And why were my Gamma GT levels bolded and H’d? Because, it turns out, normal Gamma GT levels are 51 or less. Mine?
which rather puts into context my medical team’s remark that, had they not tested my liver enzyme levels both when I was admitted to the hospital in November and when I was released (this figure is from the latter, when it had increased threefold) they would never have clued in that my bile duct was blocked and I had a potentially fatal, potentially SOON, situation underway.
Anyhoodle, that got dealt with. Which brung us to Friday, and from Friday the rest of this post has brung us to here. Which is about all I can think to write at this point, except that my blood is SO WAY COOLER than yours under a microscope, so suck on that while you’re watching your big screen tvs and enjoying all those concert tickets I can’t afford. MY BLOOD IS SO WAY COOLER UNDER A MICROSCOPE. Ha! Take that, Mundanes!