Saturday, July 02, 2011


I got sucked into the internet and went to bed after midnight on Thursday. At 2 am Friday morning, I woke up with indigestion. Not typical down-in-the-guts indigestion, though. The pain was up under my ribs.

So I got up and made a herb tea, hoping that would soothe it. Nope. In fact I was sick.

Well, obviously I wasn't going to be able to sleep, and there was no point in waking Carlos, so I stayed downstairs to suffer. I was sick a few more times, and the pain got slightly worse. And worse. And worse.

By about 7 am I'd had enough, and I was beginning to worry that it might possibly be something more serious than plain old gastroenteritis. So I got dressed and Carlos took me to A&E. By that time I was whimpering.

I saw a doctor pretty quickly. Most of the examination was of the:
"Does this hurt?"
variety. Then he said it was probably either pancreatitis or something I didn't understand, but thought might be gall stones. I'd need tests, and they'd give me something for the pain meanwhile.

"Something for the pain" sounded wonderful.

So they put the usual plumbing into my arm, took a couple of blood samples, put me to bed and hooked me up to a drip of painkiller.

It didn't get rid of the pain completely, but it was bloody marvellous. I think effective pain relief has to be one of the crowning glories of our civilization. I only wish that everyone on the planet who needs it could get it.

I dozed for a bit. After a while they took me for an X-ray (on the trolley, since sitting and walking were both uncomfortable), and then back to A&E where I dozed a bit more. The doctor popped in to see how I was doing, and said that I'd need an ultrasound.

It was quite a long wait, so they gave me another lot of painkiller (yay!) and I dozed quite a lot more.

Finally I got my ultrasound. Now, the thing with ultrasound is that they have to press the doohicky into you quite firmly in order to get a good picture. Even in a healthy pregnancy, it can be rather uncomfortable. And this ultrasound mostly consisted in having the doohicky pushed firmly into precisely those places that were very sore indeed. Repeatedly. From lots of different angles.

It wasn't pleasant, but it did make things clear.

I have enough gall stones to pebbledash the house.

Oh all right, I actually have about 15. My gall bladder will have to come out, but it wasn't bad enough for them to whip it out right away. (Holy painkiller, what does "bad enough for an urgent op" feel like?) So they kept me under observation for a few more hours and sent me home with a prescription for anti-inflamatories and a medicine to reduce stomach acid. Oh, and a special diet. Liquid only for 24 hours, and no fried food, pulses or dairy until they take the gall bladder out. Which is a routine op, and they can probably do it with keyhole surgery and a minimal hospital stay.

I'm still sore and sleepy, and a bit scared of eating, but I feel lightyears better than yesterday.

1 comment:

ann said...

Heck! That's a bit proper serious, Sheila. Good luck with everything and don't forget - lots of R & R. (That's probably reading and writing in your case).