Yesterday at around 1pm I had gallbladder surgery, or in medical terms, a Laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This surgery happened because 3 months ago I had a gallbladder attack that sent me to the emergency room. Now I already knew that I had gallstones as when I had my appendectomy in 2007, the doctor said that I had gallstones but since I was asymptomatic, he chose not to remove it as I would already be recovering from an open appendectomy. Even before I knew I had gallstones I did have what I called "my weird stomach aches" under my rib cage after my second son was born so I am sure that I have been dealing with this for years.
I walked into ambulatory as calm as I could be, but once I was in my gown and had my I.V. set up, I started to get nervous so after the anesthesiologist came in, they gave me a sedative, or as Dr. Gosslin, my surgeon called it, the happy juice. I don't know what it was, but it was some good stuff. The only thing was that I was so sedated and happy, I forgot to ask Dr. Gosslin if I could keep the stones to look at later. Oh well!
It's all kind of a blur after that as it's in bits and pieces. I must have fell asleep because the next thing I remember I am in the hall going towards the operating room but had to quickly turn around to reach out for Larry. Then I was in the OR and they were asking me to move to the other bed. They said I would have a little pain as they put in my anesthesia (which I later found out was propofol, the same stuff Michael Jackson OD'ed on). They weren't kidding. That stuff HURT...the second time it stung me I started to whimper, but the OR nurse put a mask over my face and said, "It's ok...breathe deep...you won't feel anymore.....". I am guessing she said pain because I was out that fast.
Next thing I know, the recovery nurse is waking me telling me it's all over and I went, "Huh?" I thought I was still getting ready. So much for my fear of being aware during surgery. The breathing tube left my throat a little sore and swollen feeling and I got a nasty case of the shakes that were brought under control by Demerol, sweet Demerol. I say that because honestly I think coming out of the anesthesia was the worst part of the surgery. Those shakes were a bitch.
I remember that the clock on the wall said 2:35pm when I came out of the anesthesia. I got up, sat on a recliner, drank some ginger ale, slept some because I was still groggy, and went to the bathroom. I was asked if I wanted to change into my clothes, which I did. The nurses asked if was ok, that they didn't want me to feel rushed and I didn't. I just wanted to get home. I was back in my chair at home by 5:00pm.
Everything is great so far. I had some toast and some chicken broth with crackers. I also had a couple cups of tea and some Sprite. I haven't had to take one pain pill and I slept fairly good last night. I am a little sore right now and my throat hurts from the anesthesia, but I am surprised at how good I feel.
Some things I highly recommend for anyone getting this surgery....
1. If you have time before your surgery, try to keep your gallbladder under control with low fat foods and lots of fluids. No high fat or fried foods as it only inflames the gallbladder. If it's not inflamed, it lessens the chance of complications.
2. Get up and move as soon as you can, but don't overdo it. This advice was given to my by the preop nurse. The quicker you get up, the less the gas pain of when they inflated your belly is. I got up quite a bit yesterday and let out quite a few unladylike belches, but at least I didn't have some of those grueling gas bubble pains I read about.
I have ended this post with a picture of my incisions. If you are queasy or don't want to see a hellacious case of stretch marks, feel free to quickly scroll past it. I am just posting it for anyone getting this surgery to know what is expected.