Thursday, 25 April 2013

Yeah, gallstones gone :-) ...

Yeah, gallstones gone :-) ...

Leaving early in our hire car from Bugbrooke we made it back into Birmingham in good time. The traffic reports are always mentioning the M6 approaching Birmingham on radio 2's early morning broadcasts and I would have preferred been early rather than late. The last thing I would have wanted was to suffer the wrath of my surgeon by turning up late!

It was Sandwell hospital that I had to go to not Birmingham city's A&E department that I was admitted to way back in September last year. Since the few weeks of really (REALLY) bad attacks last year, that had marred my stay in the city,  the old gallbladder hadn't been playing up for a while and a nagging voice in the back of my head was saying 'do you really need to go through all that hassle?' I had decided that I had been lucky for a couple of months and couldn't face the likely hood that sooner or later, and no doubt happening in a really inconvenient place, I would have another major attack. 

The drips and antibiotics would cure the infections and the morphine would again numb the pain but there could be more complications. I've heard of infected gallbladders starting to rot parts of the liver, damaging the pancreas and welding themselves to the bowel. So whilst mine wasn't causing any problems now was the time to get it took out. 

Check-in on the ward was efficient and my allocated bed had my name and my surgeons name in black market on a white board above it. On the end of the bed day the obligatory gown, I checked that all the tags were in place on the back, always organised, and was as happy as could be expected. By 08.15 I was starting the never ending paperwork and waiting for my interview with the anesthetist. By 09.00 I was in the queue and Deb had been removed from the ward to wander the lonely paths of the hospital. I settled down with a book and got out my headphones to catch up on my favorite podcasts on my phone. Everyone round me looked at me as if to say 'I won't need that, I was told to be here for my opp by 08.00'. By lunchtime they were looking at my book with a jealous rage. 

Afternoon visiting time came and nearly went before I was summoned. The walking wounded grab a pillow and make their way through the ward shepherded by a nurse, some clutching at parts of gowns where tags once were. I'm glad I'm organised. The warmth of the ward soon dissipated as the lift went down to the theatres below. 

The scene down there was one of rushed disorganisation, one of my consultants sidekicks said there was a bit of a backlog and offered me a cold plastic chair in their office/store room to wait on whilst he went through the same sets of questions that I had answered several times already. Theatres and offices/storerooms are temperature controlled for the benefit of the surgeons not the unconscious clients. I shivered into the operating room and took my place on a black plastic slab. 

The cannula was inserted to administer the sleeping draft, I wondered how long sleep would take. 'Will I start to get drowsy or just zonk out' I thought, well the first injection was just a saline flush so that wasn't going to do much! I started to regret the last conversation I had had with the doc's moments ago. It sort of went, narrowboat - retired at 42 - estate agent, followed by 'strewth mate (she wasn't a brumie) you musthav done some pretty dodgy deals maybe I should've done that instead of all those years in med school eh... Right this won't hurt a bit'....SSSHhittttt......ZONK

An hour and a half after I should have come out I was being wheeled back to the ward by one of the team explaining that 'everything went as planned, we just managed to nick the gallbladder a incey little bit and spill all the contents into your abdomen, luckily the cleaner was still down there so we got her VAX rammed it through your belly button and gave you a good swill out - oh and have you lots and lots of antibiotics, you may feel a little discomfort :-) '

As I went in for surgery quite late there was no way they were letting me out until the next day which I was quite glad about as I wasn't really in the mood for the sixty mile drive back to Bugbrooke. Deb left on her own and I continued to unpack my overnight bag to the icy stares of the less fortunate and less organised. 

Recovering back on LJ is a doodle with everything so close to hand, Deb has even arranged an appointment with the Bugbrooke GP to take my stitches out next week. 

Thanks for all the well wishes from family and friends as well as all the offers for help :-) 

Some of the little buggers!


  1. Pleased all went well with op and you have got rid of those stones.
    Wishing you speedy recovery
    Bob June and Phoenix.
    Nb Autumn Myst

    1. Cheers Bob and June, feeling much better today thanks. Looking forward to getting the stitches out and getting back to normal :-)

  2. You call those gallstones little! And if they were 'some' how many more did you have? My brother also had gallstones and he said it was the worse pain he had ever experienced. Glad that your op went okay and are now well on the way to recovery.


    1. Hi Irene, hope you're both well. There was those couple of bigger stones and about twenty or so smaller ones. Sadly not enough to make any difference to the scales :-)