Gall Bladder Surgery: the blog post

I’m now several days removed from getting my gall bladder yanked and the long and the short of it is it wasn’t that bad. You usually have to be at the surgical center at dark thirty, but somehow I caught a break. I didn’t have to be there until 9:45 a.m. Emily and I arrived at  9:42 sharp. I didn’t want to be late. I didn’t want to appear eager either. It was only a short wait until I was called back.

The first thing that happened was I had to take all my clothes off and put on that klunky hospital gown that in theory ties in the back, but in practice doesn’t tie at all. No matter. I was sitting on my rear so that would be covered in any event. I had brought a pair on nice warm white ankle socks to wear, but the nurse told me to put them away. She had a better option. She handed me a pair of those anti-embolus hose and told me to put them on. I’ll tell you what. I gained new respect for the women of the world who wear nylons on a daily basis. It wasn’t the easiest thing to get these hose on and I’m certainly glad no one other than the Almighty was watching. I kept fumbling with the robe to keep it from falling off with one hand while tyring to pull the hose all the way up to the top of my legs with the other.

That hurdle cleared the next thing was the old IV. In the old days, and at primitive medical facilities, they started them without regard to the amount of pain they inflicted. Most of the time, they let some girl right out of nursing school try to start with and after she tried two or three times, leaving you in excruciating pain, then they went and found the charge nurse, who could often start an IV effortlessly and without causing much pain. But since I was in a modern surgical center, and since I have large easily stickable veins, I was spared that barbaric ritual. Now they swab the top of your hand with lidocaine and you don’t feel a thing.

Within a few minutes of the IV being started, a nurse anesthesist came by to talk to me. I listened politely, then asked if they give you anything for anxiety before taking you to the OR. She said that she would if I wanted something. Now Versed is wonderful. If that drug was a girl I’d have pursued her until she married me. In a few short minutes the Versed began flowing into my veins and I began feeling that nice relaxed feeling that all is right with the world. Now the unfortunate thing about Versed is that it also has an amnesiac effect and you are seldom able to remember just how good it makes you feel. But notice I said seldom. I do remember some things. I remember that Emily got to come back not too long after I got the Versed.


This is before surgery but after I got my Versed

And I remember that they made me go to the bathroom. I wasn’t the steadiest on my feet after having that wonderful shot of Versed, so Emily and the nurse helped me walk to the facilities. As with all surgeries, or at least the ones I know of, the rule is nothing to eat or drink after midnight. I had already relieved myself twice that morning. The third time just didn’t come easy and it took running water and about five minutes to get it accomplished. Why am I sharing this part? Well I’m asking myself that right now. Must have something to do with the pain medicine they have me on.

Not too long before they took me back, another nurse anesthesist came by and asked me if I was nervous. I wasn’t in the least, but for some reason I said that I was. I got another shot of Versed. I should have told her I had already had a shot, but I didn’t. That is to my shame.

As they wheeled me back to the OR, I was in bliss. If you didn’t already know this, Versed is closely related to valium. Upon arriving at the OR, I had to transfer beds. I remember scooting onto the surgical gurney without much problem and I remember looking up at the two big lights above me and thinking they were nothing more than big beauty dishes designed to cast soft shadowless lighting. Someone put a mask on my face and told me to breathe in and out a few times. As I was doing that, someone else told me that they were going to put me to sleep now. They pushed the propofol, then there was nothing. No awareness, no consciousness, no dreams until I awoke in the recovery room an indeterminate amount of time later.

My first memory upon waking up was seeing the face of my beautiful wife. Not a bad first thing to see. Then I became aware of being in some pretty excruciating pain. Having already received the Versed twice, the propofol to put me to sleep and no telling what while I was being operated on, I found myself in a state of disconnectedness. I tried to talk and I am not sure the words came out in any sort of understandable form. But it must have because they gave me a demerol tablet for pain.

Not long after that I felt violently sick on my stomach and I was certain I was going to throw up, but a shot of phenegran put a stop to both the feeling of being sick to my stomach and my consciousness for a few minutes. I’m not sure how long I slept that time, but when I woke up, I was still in major pain. This time they called in the heavy hitter. I got a shot of fentanyl. It is supposedly so powerful that I had to have an oxygen mask on while having it in my system. Again I fell asleep and I have vague recollections of waking up a time or two and being aware of some pain, but it was not like I was in pain.


This is post surgery while I was sick on my stomach

I got to come home later that afternoon and slept on and off most of the rest of the day. I did stay awake long enough to watch an episode of JAG with Emily.

Each day since the surgery, there has been less and less pain. But best of all some horrible chest pains that I had been having are entirely gone and I actually burped for the first time in a long time without tasting bile.

I’d recommend gall bladder surgery for anyone. Just remember to ask for the Versed.


6 Responses to “Gall Bladder Surgery: the blog post”

  1. I hope you forgive me that I giggled several times while reading this…

    There’s no telling what you said after you started waking up. After I had my tubes tied, I told my doctor “If I wasn’t married and you weren’t married, I’d marry you.” He chuckled and said “well, we’ll just have to keep seeing each other on the side.” LOL

    I’m glad you’re better and that you have bile-less burp now. Did the gas problem improve? Maybe I should ask Emily…

    PS – I laughed out loud about the beauty dish lights.

  2. Oh my, what druggies we are! 😉

  3. debeyepps Says:

    Versed is a good thing! I remember laughing at everything all the way to the OR after getting my “anti-anxiety” shot. I’m so glad we live in a time in history that we have these wonderful pain meds. Much better than a shot of whiskey and a belt to chomp down on.

    I’m so glad you are feeling much better Mojo!

  4. I’m glad you shared this experience with us all. I’m even happier that you have it behind you! Gall bladder issues are NO fun.

    I’m enjoyed reading your experience and Emily took some great shots for you! 🙂

    Hope you are 100% REAL soon!


  5. Hi there,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your posts and am just wondering if a few years later you are still happy with the results of your gallbladder surgery?

    I am supposed to have it soon and after reading so many forums on the subject am starting to get very concerned at the side effects some people are experiencing. Have you found any issues with weight gain, fatigue, bloating etc?

    Thanks so much!

    • theworldofmojo Says:

      I had a lot of diarrhea for the first year, but that has resolved itself. Now I can’t tell the difference. Weight gain? Not really. Good luck with your surgery. The first two days afterwards are pretty rough, but you’ll begin to feel much better the third day after the surgery.

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