Monday, September 3, 2018

Insides Out

I finally made it to the gastro doctor. I’ve actually been treated by him before, but wouldn’t have been able to pick him out of a lineup if my life depended on it.
My previous encounters with him were for a colonoscopy. It must be a relief for him to see his patients’ faces once in a while.

          He’s one of the best in his field around here and a busy, busy man. I of course had the AMA-required 20 minute wait past my appointment time in the waiting room, then was ushered into an examining room. After about 10 minutes there, I heard him introduce himself to the patient next door and thought, “Aha! He’ll
be mine soon.” But then the neighboring door closed and footsteps receded. I then had at least 15 minutes more to myself in a room with no magazines and only ominous posters of all the ghastly things your insides can get up to.

          But then, how often are we given such a gift.

Time to just sit.

And stare blankly at the wall across from you.

It can get very Zen.

He did finally sweep in at top speed, but to his credit he sat and answered all my questions and carefully went over my records. Everyone is still up in the air as to why my pancreas decided to have a panic attack and send me to the hospital for four days. I might have another attack or I might not.

I guess I thought he’d send me for more tests, wave shiny reports, drop a lot of medical terms, and then tell me what I should do.

Instead, he put the two options before me:

Wait to see if it happens again

Or have my gallbladder out.

          That simple. It's up to me. 

Addendum - Opinions from the comment section are pretty much all in favor of waiting.  I probably should have added that another attack would mean another surprise trip to the ER and several hours of non-stop excruciating pain. Think childbirth without the blessed breather in between contractions. Can you see which direction I'm leaning?


  1. if it was your pancreas why take out the gallbladder? and I always take a book with me when I have a doctor's appt.

  2. That would be an easy one for me: wait and see. But I'm curious what you think. :-)

  3. I've at least learned a bit more about anatomy through this: The gallbladder and pancreas share a bile duct (flawed design if you ask me) and so if you have a gallstone it will block the pancreas' ability to offload whatever the heck it is that it offloads. (As you can see, my anatomical knowledge only goes so far.)

  4. I had that choice once. I let it slide. I'll be interested to know what you decide.

  5. Looking at your above comment, there are, apparently, many flaws in our design.

  6. I too would adopt the wait and see approach.
    And yes, we do indeed show the signs of a rushed design job.

  7. If you had a blocked duct it was very painful and will most likely happen again...then they will probably have you wait until you feel better to take out your gallbladder. Even after you have your gallbladder out you can get happened to my brother after his gallbladder was removed...then he had to have another surgery...the Doc said he too long to have his gallbladder out. Usually it is a simple laproscopic surgery, I felt so much better after mine was removed:) Just my opinion:)

    1. Thanks. Good to hear from a veteran!

    2. And yes, always bring a book you love, to any meeting with a doctor. Never start a new one, it's too damned hard to concentrate.

  8. Long wait time under those circumstances are not nice.

  9. Oh, I don't deal with pain very well and would probably want to go ahead and do whatever it takes. What Far Side said makes a lot of sense. Sure is hard to know what to do, isn't it? Wish you the very best.

  10. I'd say only you can make that decision, because only you know what it's like to experience the symptoms! I'm sure gallbladder surgery, like most surgeries, is much easier these days than it used to be.

  11. I see which way you are leaning, but if you have the gall bladder out and then have another attack, does that mean the gall bladder was okay and should have stayed? If only we could unzip ourselves and ask "how you doing in there? everyone okay?" I would have thought a few tests were in order, blood test, ultrasound, just to check everything is looking and working as it should.

  12. My inclination, what with surgeries being what they are these days, to go ahead and have the damn thing removed. Two years ago I had a wonky hyperparathyroid thing going on, and had a parathyroidectomy. Very little pain, the IV was the most painful part of it all, and I went home that afternnon.

    At least you will never have to worry about gallstones. There is that.


Thanks for stopping by and I'd love to hear what you think.