Hello, hello, hello. I rode my new bike again today, and got in a really nice ride about 10 minutes before it started raining! So happy about that.
My legs got quite the workout, and it was a lot of fun. I am still getting the hang of turning and using the foot brakes. I used my feet on the ground a few times, and no, that is not a good thing to do. I think one of the best parts, though, is that I know I got more of a workout than just jogging/walking. Once I build up my abilities a bit, I will definitely have to figure out a way to get the bike to the local park.
Random fact: My brother, who is 10 years older than me, taught me how to ride a bike. I remember it very well, and he did the classic “I won’t let go!” and “I’m still holding onto the bike!” Yeah, he let go and wasn’t holding onto the bike, hahaha. But it worked, of course. I learned it right outside my house where I live now. So sweet.
So, onto more health stuff. As I mentioned in a previous post a while back, I had emergency gall bladder surgery about 10 years ago. I had suffered from pain for about seven years or so before finally doing something about it. It’s amazing how long one will forego a doctor’s visit when it costs so much.
I had only figured out what was wrong with me a few weeks before the surgery. Since I couldn’t afford to go to a doctor, Dr. Google diagnosed me. I guess I don’t really recommend that route, but I use it to at least get an idea of what’s going on. And, hey, a doctor’s visit costs at least a copay, plus whatever the insurance decides not to cover. So, do I pay my rent or go to the doctor?
Anyway, the pain started out really mild. I thought it was indigestion or heartburn, and I really didn’t think much about it. But slowly it got worse and worse, but I didn’t really notice because of how slow it was. I went from having mild pain to having pain so bad that I had to sleep sitting up on the couch almost every night. Sometimes the pain would be so bad that the only thing that helped was throwing up. This went on for too many years.
Then one day the pain was so bad that I did the Google search. And there it was, every symptom I had. Definitely gall bladder. So, I told my family, who, in turn, told me that so many people in my family no longer had their gall bladders. So, I knew what it was, at least. And I tried to stick to a diet that would combat it.
But then, on the night of the Super Bowl in I can’t remember exactly which year, I was working, and a co-worker ordered Pizza Hut pizza with pepperoni. For those of you who know about gall bladder issues, that should make you cringe. I ate some.
And then, maybe an hour later, I was in AGONY. I felt so horrible. I was handling the front page at the time (I worked at a newspaper in Johnson City, Tenn.), and I did as much as humanly possible. Then I told my co-worker that I felt terrible, and he didn’t question it at all, because apparently I looked like death. So, I clocked out and went to my car.
And I proceeded to cry. I was in SO MUCH pain. I knew it was my gall bladder. I called my parents, and my dad answered the phone. He told me to pack, and that he would come and pick me up. It was probably 9 or 10 at night, and my dad drove from 45 minutes away to pick me up and take me to my parents’ house. I will never ever forget that.
So, I 100 percent knew it was my gall bladder, and I just knew I was going to have to have surgery to get it out. I knew I would probably be out for a week at work. So, I packed up as though I would be gone for a week — and I packed up my XBox 360. I still think it’s so funny that I packed my gaming console.
And when I got to my parents’ house, they asked if I should go to the hospital now or wait until morning. Well, my insurance would make me pay a $100 copay if I went straight to the emergency room without a doctor’s referral, so I waited until morning. The health system sucks, just saying. It was a looooooong night.
So, the moment the doctor’s office was open, we called, got the referral and rushed to the hospital. They took me in for an ultrasound, and it confirmed what I knew. It was totally my gall bladder. The man doing the ultrasound said my gall bladder was “full of sludge.” Lovely. And there was a gall stone that was jammed in the exit tube (I don’t know what else to call it). The stone was the shape of the tube, so it was 100 percent blocked.
I had the choice of staying the night and having surgery the next day or waiting a couple days and not staying the night. Well, at this point, I was kind of scared to even leave the hospital. So, I stayed the night and had the surgery the next day.
The best part was that the hospital decided to serve me a meal that I definitely should not have been served: fried fish. Yeah, fried food is NOT good for gall bladder problems. But I thought “This is a hospital, and they know what they’re doing.” So I ate it. Dumb dumb dumb. I was in a massive amount of pain that night, so much so that I had to beg for pain medication. The nurse was hesitant to give me any because of the upcoming surgery, but she ended up giving me a little bit.
So, I got my gall bladder out. And I was SO EXCITED about it. The pain after the surgery was absolutely NOTHING compared to those last two gall bladder attacks. Those attacks, especially the pizza one, is tied for first in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Note: If you have pain in your chest that feels like you swallowed a softball, you may have gall bladder issues. I am not a doctor, I just wanted to point it out. I’ve heard others talk about that pain, and I’ve suggested that as a source, and it turned out to be right.
So, on a side note: I do actually suffer from phantom gall bladder pain. It’s nothing compared to the pain before, but it’s weird and triggered by too much grease or garlic powder. I know how to control it now, though, and it’s not really been an issue in a few years.
Well, I think I’ve “talked” waaaay too long today. Until next time!