Goodbye My Dear Gallbladder

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I had my gallbladder removed a few days ago, so I’ve been laying on my sister’s sofa feeling like I’m not getting anything done. Even right now, I’m typing this blog post because I don’t want to do “responsibilities”. Also, the medicine they gave me makes me kind of dizzy…

For anyone who doesn’t know what a gallbladder is; a gallbladder is a small organ on your right side located just behind your lowest rib. It’s also nestled just under the right side of your liver. Just imagine it like your liver is giving your gallbladder a squishy organ hug.

Position of the Gallbladder
Position of the Gallbladder (aka Organ Buddies!!!!)

Most people know that the liver filters out all the toxic, gross stuff from your body, but have you ever wondered what happens to all that gross stuff? I never thought about it, until I started having a strange pain in my mid-right abdomen. I had the pain for a while, but then one night while my sister and I were eating spaghetti I had my first gallbladder attack (at least that’s what the woman at the surgeon’s office called it).

When I first went to the hospital, they did an ultrasound to see if I had gallstones, kidney stones, or appendix problems and it all came back negative. Then I had an endoscopy (which is were they knock you out and stick a camera down your throat) because they thought it might be an ulcer. Then they did a blood test to see if it was celiac decease (also negative). And the last test they did was a gallbladder scan, in which they inject a radioactive liquid into your veins. I wasn’t allowed to go within 10 feet of children or pregnant women for 3 days and I’m still waiting to develop superpowers…

radioactive 2

After the last test, they found out my gallbladder was operating at “borderline low” without gallstones (which meant it was failing) and I had a decision to make. I could either leave my failing gallbladder and hope it improves later in life, or I could have it removed now. The surgeon suggested that I leave it for two months and if it caused me any pain to just have it removed. It turns out that gallbladder removal is EXTREMELY common (especially among older women).

death of a gallbladder 2

At this point I started talking to my family about my surgery and my sister told me my that our mother had her gallbladder removed. Not only did she have it removed, but she had GIANT gallstones that prevented her from having the surgery laparoscopically (done without being gutted like a fish). She almost died in the surgery because apparently her gallbladder was JUST THAT BAD. A gallbladder is a non-essential organ and healing in my 20s is much easier than healing in my 40s. As I’m getting older I’m starting to realize just how many of my mother’s genetics I really received (compared to my 2 sisters). So I had the surgery. It was a two hour process. I was nervous at first, but after I got there I changed my clothes, was wheeled into the surgery room, passed out, immediately woke up two hours later, and I was back out into the world with 4 fancy new stab wounds held together with hot glue (no, for realz. My flesh is being held together with glue).

 

Artistic Depiction of My Battle Scars
Artistic Depiction of My Battle Scars

I will admit that I threw up pretty bad when they woke me… It’s been about 5 days and I’m starting to feel as good as new. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.

But that’s not the main point of this post. The main point is to preserve the memory of my gallbladder. In this time, we should remember him for all the good he did in this world. Mr. Gallbladder was a good gallbladder. A good gallbladder, indeed.

Mr. Gallbladder

 

 

 

Also, I found this really cool picture of a shark on Tumblr.
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2 thoughts on “Goodbye My Dear Gallbladder

  1. Helooo, I have celiac disease (spelt coeliac from England where I live) and have been through most of those “tests” I was only young (3-ish) so I don’t remember it but my mum said it wasn’t nice, having done when you’re older must have been hard but I’m 13 now (coeliac disease 10 years now) and doing just fine kinda 😀 so I hope all goes well for you. Sophie x English, coeliac/celiac patient XD

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