So, after seven months of pain and pie-lessness, I finally had my gall bladder removed. It went pretty well, I can say. The only hiccup was my blood pressure. The lovely nurse had to stand me on my head for a little while as the anesthesia was wearing off because my blood pressure was too low. If I remember correctly, and I might not since I was in a drug-induced stupor, it was down to 76/38. I also remember being just freezing when I woke up. The nurse saw my eyes opening, and she asked how I was, and the only word I managed to eke out between my full body violent shivers and my very heavy, woolly feeling tongue was c-c-cooold. She wrapped me up, head and all, in blankets straight from the warmer, and I was a happy camper in my toasty flannel pseudo-womb. I don’t remember much after that until a couple hours later when they sent me home.
I found it interesting that I didn’t make it to the operating room awake. I should have known, when the anesthesiologist was one of the folks wheeling me away, that there would be little chance of remaining conscious for long. He said, “Are you ready?” and I guess he meant it more immediately than I realized. I was out before I hit the hallway.
It’s now been four days since the surgery, and I’m feeling good. I’m still sore, of course, but I now only require ibuprofen instead of pain medication, and apart from the fact that it looks like somebody played “Where’s the gall bladder?” with my incision points (there are four, but there are supposed to be four anyway), I’m none the worse for wear.
I will be glad when I’m no longer sore, though, because it hurts to laugh. With my dearest husband, and my little three year old comedian, it’s a real challenge to remain pain free. On the other hand, I actually got to butter my bread yesterday morning, and that was exciting. It may seem trivial to you that butter is exciting, but when you’re deprived of something so simple for so long, it becomes a monumental event to revel again in glorious butteriness (yes, that’s a word).
It started with the worst spring break in history. My gall bladder decided it had had enough of this life and was ready to give up the ghost. And so began the excruciating pain as one small organ declared war on my digestion. In the beginning, I think it was winning. But… I went to the emergency room and to the surgeon and got myself all psyched up to have surgery. And then I didn’t. I was “not sick enough” to have surgery while pregnant. I don’t begrudge the surgeon for not wanting to operate on a prego, but what’s the real outcome here?
I have a severely limited diet now, 6 grams or less of fat per meal, and yes that’s for the entire meal. Can I push it a little bit sometimes? In short, yes. Will I pay for that in fairly unpleasant ways later? Unfortunately, yes. Now, in some ways, this diet has been really good for me. I’ve lost 15 pounds, and while I would have preferred to not lose it while pregnant, the weight needed to come off anyway. My diet affects everyone around me, though. My dearest husband has lost “sympathy weight” as a result of my low fat cooking, and we rarely get to have any special treats such as ice cream unless it’s more like ‘ice cream’ than real ice cream. Luckily, with a three year old (almost), sorbet still counts as ice cream.
Another good example? Right now my husband and daughter are at the store in search of fat free mayonnaise. I know, not worth eating, right? I mean, is it even considered mayo if it’s fat free? Somehow I doubt it. Who knows what kind of horrid Frankenstein-like engineering had to go into that jar to make it fat free. Why fat free mayonnaise, you ask? Well, we’re having some really good friends over this evening (they have to be good friends because mediocre ones don’t stick around through fat free cooking), and we’re making potato salad. It can’t be good potato salad, mind you, with fat free mayo in it, so, in the end, everybody else gets to enjoy their food a little bit less just so I can eat it in the first place. Cue dramatic sigh.
So, think of me this evening as I try to enjoy my low fat potato salad (eww), and take pity on me as I choke down my fat free turkey dogs (again, eww) while my friends and family enjoy their juicy burgers. At least, in the end, I’ll be able to drown my sorrows in a large bowl of watermelon.