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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Entry 133: 1979 Getting Ready for Surgery

            I was at Robin and Heidi’s school  program.  I began to have a tummy ache before the program started.  During the program my stomach continued to become more and more painful.  When the program was over instead of going with Robin and Heidi to the refreshment room I asked the girls to get their treats and come to the car.
          We went straight home.  As soon as the three kids were in bed I also went to bed.  During the night I asked Larry to take me to the hospital knowing something was definitely wrong inside me.  The doctor in the emergency room told me to go home and take an antacid. 
I waited for morning to come as the pain got progressively worse.  I was at my doctor’s office when it opened to get checked out.  As I lay on my back the doctor asked me to breathe in and out while he held his hand on my tummy.  He said I had an enlarged gall bladder.
 My next stop was at the surgeon’s office.  The surgeon ordered tests to be done to see my gall bladder in detail.  Following the directions perfectly I ate no oils or fried foods the day before the test.  The test consisted of drinking something, waiting a while, and having X-rays taken to see how the drink was traveling through my gall bladder. 
When none of the drink showed up in my gall bladder the technician very rudely told me I would need to retake the test in two days and the next time I should follow the directions!  When I assured the technician I had followed the directions he treated me as if I were a child scolding me to follow them correctly the next time or I’d be coming back for a third test.  I was furious when I left.
Two days later, after taking the girls to school and Adam to Aunt Wanda’s house, I was back for the test again.  Again, none of the drink entered my gall bladder.  This time a kinder more intelligent technician tested me.  He didn’t tell me the results but did say the test was conclusive and the results would be sent immediately to the surgeon. 
When I saw my surgeon, Dr. Reynolds, the following day he explained my gall bladder was 100% blocked.   That is the reason none of the drink ever got into it.  He was furious too when he learned I’d needed to do the test twice.  When Dr. Reynolds asked if my side hurt I assured him it did not and it had not from the first time I saw my doctor the day after the school program.  Dr. Reynolds said he was amazed I was not in pain and because I wasn’t he would schedule the surgery the following week instead of the following day to allow me time to prepare the kids and schedule their care while I was in the hospital.   
Larry and Wanda figured out a schedule for the kids.  I knew I would be five to seven days in the hospital.  I spent one afternoon in town buying twenty-one little gifts.  I bought one gift for each child for each day.  I remember buying Matchbook cars, sticker books, little dolls, new pajamas, and Tootsie Pop suckers as some of the gifts.  I had never been apart from my kids before.  I anticipated being away from my babies would be much worse than having the surgery.

    The morning I was to check in at the hospital I hid the  presents all over the house.  I gave Larry a list of clues for each day I’d be gone to help the kids find their gifts.  I had to think of seven places no one would look or use while I was gone.  I can’t remember all the places but three of them were my closet, the laundry bin in the bathroom, and the washing machine!


  1. what a beautiful story, well not the part about the pain, I'm sorry about that but what a good mum you are,, I'm catching up again, I love your posts,

  2. Oh Joyce, I'm so glad you alerted me to this post...Goodness to I relate with this. Love what you did for your children, in spite of your pain and preparation for surgery. I'm going now to read the next episode.


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