The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Tuesday, November 17, 2009]

How Do I Feel?

I don't know how I feel. Confused. I met the surgeon yesterday, and he felt like I was a classic candidate for getting my gallbladder out. That's right, folks, I found a surgeon who wants to do surgery.

I'm pretty cynical about it. I don't know how much of that is my denial talking, though, because my fear is that he will take my gallbladder out and see that it was just fine. I'm afraid that going to a surgeon when you have a problem is like when parents take their child to our local children's hospital wondering if their child has autism (or ADHD, or whatever is on their mind). The child typically gets the label the parent thought they should have. Sometimes you get what you are looking for.

On the other hand, a little part of me is afraid that he will start the procedure laparoscopically, see something big, and maybe open me up. Or just close. Maybe he won't know what to do.

Here's an argument I keep having with myself (um, not aloud):

Maybe it's all in my head, and I don't really have a problem. What if it's just related to my back pain?

Hm, back pain this bad?

Well, no, but pretty darned bad.

Back pain that involves reflux and stomach pain?

The reflux might not be related to the pain. The timing might just be coincidental. And sometimes I don't feel any.

Please, you've seen larynges damaged by painless reflux. So how do you explain the lab results?

The liver enzymes could have been from Accutane.

But Dr. D (derm) said not that high. And Dr. P (surgeon) said that numbers like 72 and 151 like right now are probably Accutane. Not 300s like during the ER visit. And what about the white blood cells?

I don't really have an explanation for that. Maybe I was fighting off a cold at the time.

Yeah, uh-huh.

It doesn't happen in relation to food. Cindy says my symptoms don't sound like hers at all. Except for the mind-numbing pain, but even that is way longer than her 30-45 minute attacks.

Good point, but since when do you do things like everyone else? Dr. P said not everyone has the attacks in conjunction with fatty meals. Some people have a less typical presentation.

If my symptoms are not typical, how can he be so sure he has identified the right problem?

Umm.. well, they are typical in general, just not down to every detail. I think Dr. P said that some people have more reflux instead of the more typical gallbladder attacks following a fatty meal. It was kind of hard to tell with his accent. And Dr. P noted the abdominal tenderness.

Yeah, in the middle. Not on the right side.

Hey, Dr. P and Dr. C (family practice doctor) both said you can have tenderness in the middle with gallbladder problems. Dad said that, too.

I'm not convinced. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. And now the money question: how can he assume it's stones and not a tumor or cyst? Just playing the odds?


Do I hear crickets chirping?

So there you have it. I don't know if I'm in denial or just being a smart health consumer.

I definitely need a blessing. Maybe I'll co-opt Julie's husband. Funny coincidence: a girl I work with turned out to be a member of the church. It's just funny that we don't work at the same schools but we ended up on the Pals team together (the team that services kiddos in private preschools and daycares). Julie's husband gave Laynie a blessing before her CI surgery, because at that time we were going to the Deaf Branch, and Laynie didn't want any of them to know about her CI. Of course, now we're going to a hearing ward, and I do have home teachers... but I don't like one of them. I know it's not his fault that he has ADHD and is kind of Aspergery (no, he's never actually said that he has anything, but it's so obvious), but I'm just not very comfortable with him. Hm. I do LOVE my other home teacher, this Jamaican guy. But I think he is a Priest, not an Elder, so he can't give a blessing. He's still pretty new to the church. Sorry, people who aren't members of the church, I've probably lost you. I'll add a couple of links that might help.

I feel badly for not liking one my home teachers. Sigh.

Oh, I guess I should answer the question of how I actually feel. Not too badly. Easily tired and getting weaker all the time. Sometimes I have a persistent pain in my right side (could be my bra). Fever all morning and afternoon, going down in the evening. I don't understand that, which drives me crazy. Why does it go down in the evening? I like to understand things. Umm... when my fever goes up, I get confused and have some processing problems (word finding, organizing language), but I haven't had that so far this week. I had a minor pain attack Friday night, lasting only an hour or two. The pain didn't get as bad as the first three attacks. I'd say it was an 8 on the old pain scale, which is much better than the big attacks, which were about 97 on a scale of 1-10. Anyway, I'm doing OK. I'm supposed to hear back from the surgeon's office today. They are trying to schedule a laparoscopic cholecystectomy for Monday or Tuesday of next week.


jelly | November 20, 2009 at 9:04 AM

good luck with your decisions, none of this is easy for you, i'm sure.

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