Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So I'm pretty sure aliens stole my gallbladder...

The week before I went on vacation I had two tests done...a brain MRI for the headaches I was having. My doctor said it might be an aneurysm. Really? Who picks that as the first choice?? Give him a choice between a horse and a zebra and this doctor always picks the zebra. But he has been right a majority of the time so I go along.

The other test was a gallbladder ultrasound. I've been having some stomach trouble for a couple of months now and he's convinced it's my gallbladder. I don't care anymore, I just want it to stop. I really really like to cook and eat and I don't like feeling horrible after I do. He said if the ultrasound came back negative, he wanted to do a fluoroscopy. Mmmmk. So I had my tests and I went on vacation. And I forgot to call and get the results. I figured if it was anything serious, they'd call me. So last week, after getting back and settling in I called the Doctor's office. And it went like this~

Me~ Hi *nurse*, it's *me*, I had a brain MRI and a gallbladder ultrasound two weeks ago and I was just calling for the results because I haven't heard anything.

Nurse~ um. OK. when did you have those?

Me~ February 4th.

Nurse~ okay. Let me see here. Give me a minute. Can you hold?

Me~ sure. (I'm smart enough to use the 800 number when I call so it's free.) Lalalalalala. (insert some humming, some talking to Sean)

Nurse~ okay. I have them. I'm looking at the MRI. Did you have an appointment to discuss these results with him?

Me~ um. no. that's why I'm calling to get them. (Duh?)

Nurse~ oh. well. I'm going to have to call you back.

Me~ um. ok.

I hang up and pretty much begin freaking out. Why does she have to call me back. What's up with that MRI. Do I really have an aneurysm?? Have I been walking around with a ticking time bomb in my head for two weeks??! Why didn't they call me?!
The nurse calls back~

Nurse~ Okay, I talked to the doctor and the results of both the brain MRI and the gallbladder ultrasound are normal.

Me~ (WTF?!! You had to talk to the doctor to tell me that?! I worried for 20 minutes that my head might explode because you couldn't tell me it was fine??!) Um. Ok.

Nurse~ So is there anything else?

Me~ Well he said if the gallbladder thing was normal he wanted to do some radioactive xray.

Nurse~ huh. Well I'll have to talk to him and call you back.

Me~ Of course you will. Ok.

I'm a little perturbed. Really? Is it that hard to get all your eggs in one basket before you call the patient? Aren't all my records on the computer anyway? And why didn't they send me the "your tests were all normal" letter in the first place?? She calls back~

Nurse~ Okay. I have to call the hospital to set this up, can you hold while I have them on the other line?

Me~ sure. (She clicks over. I stare at the walls.)

Nurse~ oh hey, do you still have your gallbladder?

Me~ (omigod. Did she just for real ask me that?? Seriously? She just gave me the results of my gallbladder ultrasound ten minutes ago. This whole test is for your gallbladder. WTF?) um. pretty sure that's why we're doing this test...

Nurse~ okay. (she clicks back over)

Me~ (to Sean) Dude!! She for real just asked if I still had my gallbladder!

Sean~ No way! She just gave you the results of your gallbladder test!

Me~ I know right??! This is not instilling confidence in me.

Nurse~ Okay, so we set it up for next Tuesday morning at 8am. I'm going to give you the list of instructions, so write it down.

Me~ okay. (I'm so not writing this down)

Nurse~ you can't have anything to eat or drink 6 hours before.

Me~ no snacks after 2am. got it.

Nurse~ bring a list of all your current meds.

Me~ uh huh.

Nurse~ you can't have any retained barium...

Me~ (the hell is that?? waiting for her to continue. Long silence...) Are you still there?

Nurse~ yes. I was waiting for you to say okay.

Me~ I don't even know what that is.

Nurse~ Like if you'd had a barium xray the day before or anything.

Me~ (wouldn't you have been the one to schedule that?? Is that even an issue??) Mmmm...okay. No barium for breakfast. Got it.

Nurse~ No Demerol, nubain, or morphine for five hours before. I don't think you're on any of that...

Me~ um no. Pretty sure those are mostly pain shots given at the hospital...

Then she makes me repeat the list back to her. Which I can do perfectly because it's sooo bizarre!! The whole conversation has been bizarre. I'm wondering if she's on medication.

So today was the fluoroscopy. I got there at 8am. They called me back and I hopped up on one of those flat metal xray tables. The tech started and IV and explained that they would be giving me an injection of radioactive isotopes. These would show up on the camera. First they'd highlight my liver, then drain into the gallbladder and small bowel. There were a series of pictures every five minutes for the first hour. Then they would start an IV of meds that would cause the gallbladder to contract and empty the isotopes completely into the small bowel. That would take continuous pictures for thirty minutes. I began to wonder what I got myself into.

She gave me the injection and I felt nothing. I watched the lights coalesce on the screen. She pointed out my liver. Then she pointed out the small bowel. The gallbladder was taking it's time getting to the party. After about twenty minutes she asked~

Tech~ Do you still have your gallbladder?

Me~ (omg. for real?? Did another person just ask me that??! Why the hell would I be here if I didn't?!) Um. Yeah. Unless the aliens stole it.

She looked at me like I'd lost my mind. But seriously, if one more person asks me that, somebody's getting decked. I just have to wonder if there are actually people who've scheduled this test and didn't have a gallbladder??! Finally my uncooperative gallbladder showed up to the party. But not as well as they wanted so I had to roll on my right side so hopefully the isotopes would drain into it. She left for fifteen minutes. I dozed off. She scared the shit out of me when she woke me up.

At last we got to the second part. She warned me that some people said the meds made their gallbladder hurt. Just to try to lay still. By this time, I couldn't move anyway. My hip joints and back don't take kindly to two hours on a metal table. It didn't hurt, but it did make me pretty nauseous. My gallbladder continued to glow. Now that it had the stuff, it seemed reluctant to give it up. Way to go gallbladder. You keep the glowing stuff all to yourself. Selfish bastard.

Finally we were done. Apparently my doctor's office will call me with the results. Yeah, right. I'll hold my breath. My body protested the journey off the table. I was stiff and sore, I'm sure I looked like a little old lady hobbling along. The tech took the IV port out and had some trouble with the bleeding. Apparently, my blood was thin today. She bandaged it and let me put my sweatshirt back on and leave. As I walked out, I could feel blood dribbling down my arm so I hightailed it to the nearest bathroom. Sure enough it was a mess. Quite possibly that sweatshirt is ruined forever. I got it stopped, got cleaned up and hit the grocery store before heading home. Guess we'll see what the results are. I'd like it to be something simple like the gallbladder. But remember my intense fear of surgery. ANY surgery. And how I never heal right?? Maybe, I can just stop eating. Then I'd lose weight. That's a win/win right? So, just to prove all this really happened...here's a photo of the amazing bruise the IV left on my arm. I'm sure tomorrow the colors will be even better. Lol.

And thank you to everyone for the amazing outpouring of support and friendship and love yesterday. You have no idea how much it means to me. I feel so blessed. I wasn't feeling so hot after the test today so Sean and I are going up to get CJ tomorrow. I can't wait.


  1. Now - ARE YOU SURE you still have your gallbladder? Furrealz?

    You are a laugh ... the medical profession makes me nearvous. Sheesh!

    Hopefully the test was the worst part :)


  2. Your story made me laugh. Loudly. My son came down stairs and asked me what was wrong. I tried to explain fashionably late gallbladders. He just looked at me.

    That bruise is a beaut!

  3. Yes, DO you have your gallbladder. What a strange question!

    I hate when I am put on hold. Especially when I start to sing along to the song playing and then the person clicks back on the line and hears me singing off key to an old Britney Spears song.

  4. No but really, do you still have your gallbladder?

  5. You might have your gallbladder but i'm pretty sure that nurse doesn't have her brain. geez louise, how does she still have her job?!?
    Hope all goes well...you know, your test is normal and they actually call to tell you so. and ps, very glad you don't have an aneurysm.

  6. Don't you just love the incompetency?! Once after I had surgery, my doctore prescribed codeine which I am allergic to. I had to show the nurse the allergy to codeine on my wrist band. Then she wouldn't give me pain meds until the dr. called back with new orders. Yeah, I had to wait hours for pain meds after surgery! Do they not read patients medical charts?! I hope all is ok, but I know it's miserable not knowing what is going on.What a bruise! Enjoy your visit with CJ.

  7. Blech, needles. My mom once convinced an entire wedding party that I had TB. People were either consoling me or keeping their distance for fear of contracting the disease. Then Mom got all, "She just pees a lot!" TB = tiny bladder. Lovely.

    PS, I still have my gall bladder. *high five*

  8. I think there must be an international syndicate of gall bladder pirates. That's the only possible explanation.

    Also, why did they give your gall bladder an ultrasound? Did they think it might have a baby? That would be awesome. Almost as awesome as my understanding of the human body.

  9. So...um...DO you have your gall bladder with you on your person? OR could you bring it in so we may conduct these tests?
    That bruise looks nasty...owwweee!

  10. Hey you are radioactive like me!! Awwwhh!

    But thankfully mine was by pill not IV. I was on that table about an hour and a half lying perfectly still. My guy gave me lots of blankies and pillows. He was a sweetheart.

    Praying they get you fixed up without surgery!! ( surely those were not Fruedian slips? Or whatever it'd be called coming from them - ha)

  11. Nearly peed my pants reading this - - "selfish bastard"...OH, I love you, Spot!!!!

    I am sorry, though, that you're going through all this crap. I was 24 when I had my gallbladder out. They did all sorts of tests, and every test came back normal. BUT I WAS IN PAIN! Finally, one doctor took me into surgery. I was in surgery for over 2 hours, my gallbladder was that infected and everything. Why it never showed up? I don't know.

    But I am sure you'll be okay! Even if they keep asking if you have one. (Or just get Mulder and Scully on the case.)

  12. If they ask you again if you have your gallbladder, I would calmly look them in the eye and explain that yes indeed,it is in your purse, mind passing it over here.

  13. Yowzah! That subdermal hematoma is a beauty!

  14. Oh, God! That is one HELL of a bruise! You poor thing....I know this was a pain for you, but it was absolutely hysterical for me!

    "No barium for breakfast" should be the name of your first book, sweetie.

    You ROCK!

  15. Hi Spot. I've seen you post on other blogs, so I thought I would stop by and say hello. I'm sorry you are going through this, but I'm glad you have a good sense of humor to help you cope. I'm sorry I had to laugh at the conversations with the nurse and the tech regarding your gallbladder. Here's you sign!

  16. Alright, that totally sucks. All of it. But, do you still have your gallbladder? That wasn't very clear... =)

  17. Oh crap! I forgot to tell you that I borrowed you gallbladder the other night for my date! I promise I'll have it dry cleaned. Sorry about the glowing stuff. It was a new shot they passed around at the bar! Tell Mike,"Nice bruise!"

  18. I think you need to have the doctor check the nurses degree just to be sure!

    I hope the test comes out okay.

  19. I am seriously concerned about the training of medical professionals these days....duh.

    BTW: I borrowed your gall bladder. Sorry.

  20. I managed to read this at work the other day but couldn't comment. Now, I hope you're feeling better, the bruising is gone and all is well with CJ.

  21. Dani~ seriously? I'm beginning to wonder where my gall bladder is. When I find it? Yeah, it's f'ing grounded!

    Eyvi~ haha. Glad you got a good giggle!

    WW~ happens to me all the time! At least they can't see me dancing. Thank goodness for small favors.

    Carolyn~ that seems to be the 64 million dollar question...

    DfG~ I'm pretty glad about the anuerysm too. Lol. And yeah, that nurse?? No idea...

    suzicate~ unfortunately, that does not suprise me. I'm constantly reminding them of the meds I'm allergic to. If it was left up to them...I'd probably die.

    Elly Lou~ that story is priceless. I think our moms might be friends. *high five*

    Kurt~ Um. O.M.G!!! That's how I feel about someone of your celebrity commenting me. Almost as excited as when I get a new Stephen King book. I think your theory might be spot on. And yes, my gall bladder was pregnant. That's why it wasn't there...it stepped out to use the potty.

    Brite~ the bruise got even better! I think I should have patted my pockets and been like "where did I put that thing?".

    Angelia~ yay! We glow together! I did get a blankie but that was it. And I got to watch the screen, which looked like someone went crazy with a lite brite.

    UnA~ that's what finally happened with my sister in law too. They finally just took it out and found out it was filled with sludge. And now she's skinny. Amazing that the tests aren't always accurate!

    AA~ brilliant answer!! She already thought I was crazy anyway. Lol.

    C~ oh it got bigger and prettier!

    Kathryn~ I think "no barium for breakfast" should be the name of my autobiography. =]

    Hadassah~ thanks for stopping by! Glad you came on a funny day!! They were funny, frustrating, but funny!

    Mindy~ I know right?! I'm beginning to wonder...

    Hildi~ damnit girl!! You have to stop borrowing without asking first! LMAO.

    Heather~ Indeed! Thanks!

    TpTwo~ Not you too?! Geez my gall bladder gets around!

    Tina~ well thanks for coming back to comment! Cj was wonderful. And I feel ok. =]