In case you didn’t know, I am the proud owner of an incomplete set of internal organs.
Four years ago this very weekend the pain that had been bugging me like an ongoing bout of intermittent but ugly indigestion finally decided that it would wait no longer for me to visit my doctor.
I went to bed the previous evening largely uncomfortable but in no great distress but the pain was still there in the morning as I got ready for work. This was unusual but was more an irritant rather than a problem, then suddenly the pain intensity accelerated like a bat of hell.
I winced and moaned and groaned as I staggered around our lounge. My wife, now understandably concerned asked if she should call an ambulance and being a man I told her: “Nah, I’ll be fine” before the pain went up another notch and I realized that I was in serious trouble.
It’s funny looking back that I thought I could ‘walk off’ a serious medical condition. Typical bloke – always trying to be the hard man.
My wife got a neighbour to look after or three children as we headed off to the hospital, my first trip in an ambulance, and not one I care to repeat. At A&E I was wheeled in and the staff tried to ascertain what the problem was. I was still ‘with it’ but it was my wife that answered most of the questions.
Then came a question for me: “Do you have a pain in your arm?”
It immediately occurred to me that they thought I was having a heart attack which I was as sure as I could be that I wasn’t. However, I DID have a pain in my arm so I told them which probably delayed a correct diagnosis by a good 10 minutes. It was acute pancreatitis which would eventually necessitate the removal of my gall bladder.
To cut a long story short I was in hospital for a week after being admitted, losing almost a stone in the process. That was a bonus but I can’t say I recommend the acute pancreatitis weight loss plan.
It wasn’t until the following September that I went under the knife. Prior to going into hospital this second time I did a bit of web searching to learn more about the operation even finding a pictorial tour of a laproscopic gall bladder operation but I dare not look at it for obvious reasons!
As I was taken down to the operating theater I was filled with dread, half expecting me to be the one in a million chance of dying or not going under the anesthetic. Fortunately both fears proved unfounded.
When I came round I noticed that the keyhole surgery had left me with four small holes at various points near the offending internal organ. Did they have to attack it from four separate directions or did it take four attempts to find it? Needles to say, I didn’t want the bottle of alarmingly sized gall stones as a souvenir offered later.
I can honestly say that I’m pleased to put the trouble behind me but those two trips didn’t half muck up my social life back then.
The first stay coincided with my father’s 70th birthday party and the whole family went out for a meal while I watched Sunday afternoon TV in hospital. The second meant I missed our company’s 10th birthday party, an international booze up with people from all over Europe.
I’m not a bitter man…