Romy Shiller

Archive for March, 2015|Monthly archive page

My Gallbladder Surgery – A Review

In About, General, review on March 19, 2015 at 9:09 am


Well, this is self-indulgent. On March 13 I had the surgical removal of the gallbladder. This is called a cholecystectomy. My symptoms went way beyond the gallstones they found. I won’t disgust you with tales of nausea and vomiting nor will I scare you with late night emergency ambulance rides… I ended up not being able to eat oil, mayonnaise, margarine etc. No alcohol either – so no beer, wine or champagne for me! *sigh*

The challenge of being creative with fruits and vegetables wore off – quickly. Actually, I might write a cookbook now. I am a non-dairy vegetarian so I was severely restricted. I also do not eat tomatoes or tomato-sauce because I have acid-reflux. I can’t be the only one limited generally though… I’m almost a Vegan but with other limitations. My veggie stews and soups rock.

It was more than simply inconvenient to keep my gallbladder – it was dangerous. The threat of infection and another attack was ominous. I mean sure it was hard to give up cooking with oil and no mayo sandwiches but it could be done. I am not a fan of general anesthesia at all but the serious nature of my condition became apparent.

I was superstitiously worried that my surgery was scheduled for a Friday the 13th so I took to Facebook where many friends mentioned that the number 13 was very lucky for me. *phew* Sometimes social-media kicks butt.

So, about a week before my surgery I found lung-expanding exercises on-line and I started using ye old stationary bike. If it weren’t for this gallbladder thing I’d be in wicked shape! If I had to do anesthesia, I’d be prepared. They had wanted to do emergency surgery when I went to the hospital in late January – I would not let them. Now I could be physically and mentally ready. Maybe it was foolish to wait but I’m glad that I did. For me it was in keeping with who I was. [I am not advocating my personal choice for anyone else.]

At the pre-op clinic I was able to discuss my surgery with a nurse, a doctor and an anesthesiologist. I had done the physical tests when I was hospitalized in January so it was relatively quick. I was given the ‘all-clear’ for surgery.

At the pre-op clinic I was given a booklet, which included what to bring to the hospital. I checked what I already had like toothpaste, and went to a pharmacy.

There was a suspenseful nature to the whole thing. They would only know if I would have laparoscopic surgery or open surgery once they started. Yikes. Open Surgery would be much more painful afterwards and take longer to recover from. Laparoscopic surgery might be too complicated because I have a brain shunt threaded into an abdominal cavity. Crapcrapcrap. After much doctor deliberation I had laparoscopic surgery.

I had to get to the hospital 2 hours before my surgery.

My surgery was delayed for 10 hours because they had to deal with an emergency. I had no breakfast, lunch or dinner because when you have general anesthesia you’re not allowed to eat and initially I stopped eating for my planned hour. My blood sugar fell, they had to give me intravenous fluids and I was going to go home but they were suddenly ready for me.

They wheeled me into the operating room. I was not apprehensive in the least. As a matter of fact, when my stretcher rolled past my parents I told THEM not to worry.

After the operation I woke up in a postoperative ward where they took my vital signs… I was discharged 2 days later and haven’t felt this good in years.

*I’d like to thank Arleen Solomon Rotchin for the idea for this article.