So, it’s nothing new for me not to post during the weekend. Saturday’s I really don’t have an excuse other then just lazy I guess. Sunday’s however, I am truly engaged for more then 13 hours doing youth ministry stuff at my church and just don’t really have the time. Ok, fine, I probably do, but it’s just hard and I’m lazy. So..
However, this last week I was quiet for the first three days and as of this post, I have posted 3 things today alone.
So, why so quiet?
In a nutshell, I probably should be dead.
Now, as the events unfolded, that was not the prognosis, so after giving away the ending, I will now go back to the beginning and establish the story in timeline fashion.
November, 2012 (yep, it goes back that far), I went to the ER in the wee hours of the morning because of some serious (pain level of about 8) just under my sternum that radiated to my back. Long story short, took some tests, they gave me some chalky stuff, made me feel much better, then told me to take a purple pill to help with further occurrences.
December, 2012, I’m back at the ER, same issue. My anxiety was telling me it was something much worse and that the original prognosis was completely wrong. They did the same thing, ensured me it wasn’t my heart, chalky stuff, advised I see an GI doctor and get scoped, and sent me home.
Since then, I have had 2 separate mild recurrences and took some more of the purple pills and the symptoms went away. So basically, I had heartburn.
Then, last Wednesday, I was suffering from really bad heartburn, very akin to the first attack. So bad, that it had kept me up all night. It started around 11pm and just progressively got worse as the night went on. The pain was pretty intense and I was lucky if I got more then an hour straight at any point. But about 6am, it faded enough for me to fall asleep for a bit. That morning (Thursday) I took another purple pill and did so on Friday also.
Roll around Saturday. Sometime, around 2pm, the pain started to come back. I think I might have taken the purple pill that day, but don’t remember. As the day wore on, it got a bit worse and more uncomfortable. By about 7pm I was at about a 6 on the pain scale and by 8 I had asked my wife to pick up some over the counter chalky stuff to help because i was bordering a 7 and was looking at another night of sleeplessness.
I went to lay down around 11pm, mildly ok as the chalky stuff was working enough to allow me some mile relief.
3am roles around and the pain is back, increasing.
4am I take a swig of the chalky stuff.
430am the pain is mostly gone, but I have this really intense pain on my right side.
5am I tap my wife, deciding I need to go to the hospital cause, this just isn’t getting better. In the process of deciding I am going and standing up, I went from a 7 to a 9. So bad, that I just couldn’t stand still, mentally yelling at my wife for her slowness.
515am after telling my wife to ignore the speed limit and just get me to the ER, I arrive, still in a constant state of squirm and pain. They check me in, start their tests and send me for a CAT scan. They do an ultrasound on my gallbladder and figure out that there are stones and sludge (no joke, they said sludge) in it and need to take it out. I agree before he is even done.
(The next time frame is from about 6am to about 430pm, but it’s all a blur and mostly related to me by my wife)
I get admitted, hooked up to a morphine button and told hit this when you are in pain. I am told that they are scheduling me for surgery at 3pm, that it will last about an hour, and that I should be out the next day. So, no big worries. However, it’s 6am, the pain is intense, and I hit that button. I sleep. I wake and go ‘ow’, hit the button, sleep, wake and say ‘ow’, hit the button.. you get the pattern.
3pm turns into 330pm. 330pm turns to 4 something, and finally, they come to wheel me down for the procedure. I go in, the mask goes on, they tell me to breath, some other minor instructions, and the next thing I know, I’m awake in the recovery room. I am wheeled back to my room and think “everything went well.”
Except, when I get to my room, I look at the clock and it says 8. I don’t think much about it, but my dad did show up as I was in surgery so I am talking to him and my wife (there might have been other’s, I don’t remember.) A few minutes go my wife leaves me to talk with my dad by myself.
He looks at me and says “You know the lesson to be learned from all this is?” I shake my head and say no. He says “Don’t procrastinate.” I’m dumbfounded, because I didn’t. When the pain got worse and changed, I went to the ER. I tell him as much.
He says “You don’t know? Your wife didn’t tell you?”
“Know what?” I’m perplexed now.
“You were in surgery for 3 hours. Your gallbladder was basically dead inside you, filled with puss. When they went to take it out, it came out in pieces and you have a drain connected to you to pull out any more infection that’s left inside.”
Excuse me, what?
My wife confirmed the story adding that the doctor called her and told her that he was amazed I was still standing. He later told me that my dietary habits won’t be affected as it had been dead for so long. Yeah, those were his words.
So… here I am, playing Ultimate Frisbee, prepping for a GoRuck, strapping 20 plus pounds on my back and making those long treks, all the while I have a dead gallbladder inside me for no idea for how long.
I think to myself that at any point it could have fallen apart or bust open, and I would have gone septic.
And to think I was angry at God for not healing me of the heartburn.
My wife was awesome through this whole thing, there everyday by my side, showing me once again that I totally don’t deserve her. So much blessing from her I could never repay.
Plus, she is like super cute.
(An alternate title was going to be “The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated” or “Not dead yet” but I thought that might be a bit too melodramatic..)