Gall bladder continued…

The wife still hurts, after all, it was surgery.  Yesterday and today are supposedly the most painful days of recovery.

Going back to the story, we went home from the HIDA scan pretty sure that surgery was our best option, but we had a few days to wait before our appointment to talk with the surgeon.

So we did our internet reading and found out more about the gall bladder, more than we ever thought we’d need to know.

Bile.  Also know as gall, hence the name gall bladder.  This is the fluid that comes up last when repeated vomiting has taken place and there’s nothing else left in the stomach.  Disgusting right?  We are left with a negative impression of bile.

But bile is essential to our digestion, well our digestion of fats.  It is created by the liver and is stored in the gall bladder.  The gall bladder is also referred to as the bile-sac (why not the bile bladder, it sounds better).  When the body realizes that we’ve eaten fat, a hormone, cholecystokinin, is released by the small intestine.

(cholecystokinin  from Greek chole, “bile”; cysto, “sac”; kinin, “move”; hence, move the bile-sac (gallbladder)) is a peptide hormone of the gastrointestinal system responsible for stimulating the digestion of fat and protein)

This causes, or is supposed to cause, the gall bladder to contract, squeezing out the bile.  This contraction, when something is abnormal in the gall bladder, causes pain, possibly a LOT of pain.

The next four days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday,  were spent trying to find tasty non-fat food.  This is a healthier diet anyway, right?  Non-fat Greek yogurt, fruit and vegetables are the best.  Bread products and crackers all have fat, except for a loaf of sourdough bread that we found in the Veggie store.  Very tasty and very expensive.  Of course there is a certain amount of boundary pushing and testing.  The wife decides to try just a little bit of cheese and crackers, resulting in sharp pains in her abdomen.  Good to know there is some consistency here.

Tuesday morning at 8:30 we meet with the surgeon, Dr. C.  He’s very no nonsense and tells us all signs point to the gall bladder and recommends removal.  No surprise right?  He’s a surgeon.  But all of our research has told us the same thing.  When can you do it the wife asks.  Tomorrow if you want the surgeon replies.  We talk it over and decide to do it… we’re going for it!  Scary.

We’re scheduled for a pre-op meeting at noon to finish up paperwork and get any more questions answered, but first the wife needs to have an EKG done.  We head over to the hospital and it is worked out that we can do both at the same time.  The mobile EKG machine is in the office where the pre-op meeting is taking place.  A tech comes in during the briefing and does the EKG, no problem.  Everyone is so nice though all of this so far.

We are scheduled to come in tomorrow at 9 AM.  We go home to prepare.

To be continued…


3 thoughts on “Gall bladder continued…

  1. mightymorgno

    From Tom Lehrer’s intro to In Old Mexico:

    I’m sure you’re all aware that this week is National Gall Bladder Week, and so as sort of an educational feature at this point I thought I would acquaint you with some of the results of my recent researches into the career of the late Doctor Samuel Gall, inventor of the gall bladder, which certainly ranks as one of the more important technological advances since the invention of the joy buzzer and the dribble glass.

    Dr. Gall’s faith in his invention was so dramatically vindicated last year, as you no doubt recall, when, for the first time in history in a nationwide poll, the gall bladder was voted among the top ten organs. His educational career began, interestingly enough, in agricultural school, where he majored in animal husbandry, until they… caught him at it one day… whereupon he switched to the field of medicine, in which field he also won renown as the inventor of gargling, which prior to that time had been practiced only furtively by a remote tribe in the Andes who passed the secret down from father to son as part of their oral tradition.

    He soon became a specialist, specializing in diseases of the rich. He was therefore able to retire at an early age… to the land we all dream about: sunny Mexico, of course, the last part of which is completely irrelevant, as was the whole thing, I guess, except it’s a rather sneaky way of getting into this next type of popular song, which is one of those things about that magic and romantic land south of the border.

    1. PAT Post author

      Haven’t thought about Tom Lehrer in a long time. He’s one of those treasures that most people don’t know about these days.


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