A Fairly Unreliable Medical Primer

This post was on my friend Kim’s site, All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something. She was out of commission getting her evil gallbladder removed.


The first rule of Gallbladder Club is you don’t talk about Gallbladder Club.  That’s because any talk of gallbladder dysfunction leads to talk of ‘bathroom’ dysfunction, and no one but your gastroenterologist and the internets want to hear about that.

Anyway, Gallbladder Club is a terrible club.  You do NOT want to join, but gallbladders are insidious, and you cannot stop them from their evil plan to keep you away from popcorn at the movies.  (This was one of the things my evil gallbladder tried to deny me.  It did not work.  I’d rather eat popcorn while watching a movie like a normal person and then bitch about the pain later.)

As you may or may not know, dear Kimberly is but one more unwilling member of this club.  She has the added distinction of having a tumor on hers, so she gets a free t-shirt.

No, it is a tumor. God, you never listen.

When I had my gallbladder removed, it was basically the only thing the idiot gastronenterologist could think to do to get me to stop coming to his office.  He had already put my gallbladder through a testing program more vigorous than what they put astronauts through before shooting them into space.  I had of course had an endoscopy (tube down my throat) and a colonoscopy (tube up the other end).  I actually had them both the same day, and I asked the doctor to please do the one in my mouth first, for obvious reasons.  Doctor Asshole told me he found some polyps and just removed them but not to worry.  Okay, sure.  But it still hurt when I ate anything more exotic than white rice.

I had taken medicine for ulcers just in case that was the problem.  It wasn’t.  I had this freaky test where I had to drink approximately 458 gallons of liquid chalk and then some dude watched it inch its way through my digestive system.  The only thing I got out of that one was a broken toilet and a day off work.

My least favorite test was the MRI.  It was actually what I call an Extreme MRI because it required them to shoot nuclear waste (Or something, I wasn’t listening.) into my body via an IV.  My veins are bigger jerks than my gallbladder, so this required multiple stabs before the IV was in place.  Once I was on the table with a needle in my arm about to be shoved into the machine, the nurse tells me that I will have to also hold my breath.  Multiple times.  While not moving and staring at 2 tons of medical equipment hanging over me.  Also?  My arms were strapped down over my head.  Being a somewhat wayward Christian, the only prayer or hymn I could recall was the Our Father, and I said it in my head 210 times until the Extreme MRI was over.  I’m pretty sure Doctor Asshole made up that test because he hated me.

Now, I’m sure Kimberly has asked many questions and is fully prepared for dealing with the aftermath of a gallbladder exorcism.  I did not and was not.  My mother had asked me what would happen after it was removed, and I told her that I’d be able to eat chicken wings and cheesy fries again.  She was skeptical.  And smarter than I.

Turns out your gallbladder is not exactly like your appendix. (Just a little FYI, I don’t have that anymore either.  Some day I’ll tell you a story of how it ended up in a bucket with about five inches of my intestines.)

Here is what WebMD says about your friend the gallbladder:

“The gallbladder is a small pouch that sits just under the liver. The gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver. After meals, the gallbladder is empty and flat, like a deflated balloon. Before a meal, the gallbladder may be full of bile and about the size of a small pear.

In response to signals, the gallbladder squeezes stored bile into the small intestine through a series of tubes called ducts. Bile helps digest fats, but the gallbladder itself is not essential. Removing the gallbladder in an otherwise healthy individual typically causes no observable problems with health or digestion yet there may be a small risk of diarrhea and fat malabsorption.”

Um, how about you change that to a 100% chance?  For six months I lived as I had before, terrified of fatty foods and always on the look-out for the nearest bathroom.  It’s like the ghost of my gallbladder was haunting me.

Eventually I was able to eat a more regular diet and get back to shoveling crap into my gaping pie hole to both celebrate the good and cope with the bad.  I can do this with only twice the normal dosage of antacids, a huge improvement.

I hope this surgery gets Kimberly back on her feet and downing fatty foods again.  I hope she pees fast after the procedure so she can get the catheter out.  I hope they give her good pain meds.  I hope I haven’t cost her more than one or two readers.

So, I was going to wrap this post up with another Fight Club reference, the “I am Jack’s raging bile duct” quote, and a picture of Edward Norton. Then I saw this picture of Ed and got distracted. You’re welcome.


Texas Multi Mamas Episode 3 Recap: “Under The Knife”

And now we welcome a ‘real’ week of school, work and, thankfully, TV.  You know, when we’re not reading the classics or carefully tending to the garden where we grow all our family’s vegetables.

Um, that was the first and last time they used my phone. And the game was educational.

This week is another twofer.  I believe this is the last one, and we will see one episode a week from now on.  Which is good news for my kids and their chances of having me play with them on Wednesdays.

We start with Episode 3: “Under the Knife.”  It starts nice and easy with a dinner for Teryn’s birthday and includes Casey and Candace.  Candace tells us Stephanie is not invited.  (She is also not invited to the birthday party Candace has for her kids.)  One thing the ladies mention that is so true of moms, both Mothers of Multiples and women who don’t like to have as many kids as a dog has puppies, is that you have to work to make the conversations go beyond kids.  This is true with your girlfriends and your husbands.  Spontaneity just isn’t always possible anymore.

Then we move out of nice and easy and hit painful and hard.  As was mentioned on the last episode, Suz’s daughter Savannah needed another surgery on her little kidney.  Suz and Joe’s boys had the flu, so Joe had to stay home with them and miss the surgery.  Luckily, Suz’s parents were there for support, but it’s still a long day for Suz and Savannah.  That little girl is a mini Suz, and has the sweetest little voice.  It was tough to watch Suz have to hold her down for her medicine and then to see the tubes connected to her wee little arm.  Savannah was so brave and so good as they wheeled her away from her momma and into surgery.  (Let me just take this chance to say that pediatric nurses and doctors are a special breed.  God bless them for being able to do what they do with a smile on their face and love in their voice.  I can’t even imagine…)  Savannah does great in surgery and gets a rainbow Popsicle in recovery.  She also has a short pitiful cry that makes me sad even writing about it, but other than that, she is a world champion great kid about it all.  If you would like to see an update on Savannah’s progress, please check out Suz’s website.

Poor, sweet little baby girl. She is looking at ANOTHER surgery in February.

In other, less liable to make you cry surgery news, Stephanie and her husband Jerald get their male dog, Rocky, fixed.  See, Steph is all kinds of done with any new creatures in her house-babies and dogs.  Jerald wants another baby (He’d like to order a boy, please, Baby Giver People.) and feels sorry for poor Rocky losing his manly parts.  I’m with Steph on the dog thing though.  They have a male and female, so they are just asking for trouble if Rocky isn’t firing blanks.  I can’t even bring myself to write about the mess a female dog in heat makes.  Just no.

Also just no?  Taking my kids bowling without the aid of my spouse and/or beer.  Yet, that is exactly what dear Teryn does to help Candace and her triplets celebrate their 4th birthday.  Teryn’s boys just run amuck and make her have panic-face.  Damn it!  Why didn’t she bring in her trusty M&M’s to bribe them??!?!?  Look, if it works for you, do it.  Parental bribery happens.  Don’t act like it isn’t somewhat normal.  Now, I do love Candace’s philosophy of putting in the work at home to help with public behavior, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.  I’m the first to admit that consistency is a toughy for me but also would save me a lot of heartache.  I’m blaming it on my ADD.

Tonia continues to hurt my head with her love life.  She, and Candace of course, head to the Dallas Bridal show.  Tonia is a speaker and is very excited to promote her business but also nervous without her husband there to support her and do manual labor.  My confusion is that she talks about this part of her life on camera, but as we will see in Episode 4, it seems the ladies who are not her besties can’t ask her questions about it.  I understand she wants her exact reasons for divorce kept private.  That is very fair.  I just don’t understand when people are allowed to talk to her about her love life in general and how she’s feeling.  It’s possible that the wound is still so raw that even she isn’t sure.

And finally, we get more sex talk with Teryn’s husband Ryan panting for a private swim suit show and a separate girls’ night out discussion on Stephanie’s current birth control of not letting Jerald even look at her 10 days of the month.  Teens, please don’t try this yourself.  The sexy talk amongst the girls leads to them sexting their spouses and at least three or four of the husbands getting lucky.  TMI for everyone!

This lands us smack dab at the start of Episode 4: “Husbands and Hooters.”   It’s a pretty full episode, so I’m going to make it a separate post again.  Also, I need to get to bed.  And I’m out of good word thingys.  So, tune in tomorrow for my next recap!  Until then, tell me, do you have that one friend who is a cutey that you love to bug about sex because it makes her blush, a-la Teryn?  I do, and she probably has to pray for me after every dinner we have.  Any other thoughts?  Spill it!