You’ve Got A Lot Of Gall But No Bladder

, , , , , , | Related | December 18, 2020

My memory on this is hazy, but I’ll do my best to tell it accurately. A year ago, I was hospitalized and had to have emergency surgery to have my gallbladder removed. I have severe anxiety and a fear of hospitals, so I had a very hard time during my stay, especially when my family wasn’t visiting. The first day was horrible, even though the nurses were so kind. By the second day, I was doing okay, and on the third day, I was given the okay to go home. I gave the hospital permission to share my medical information with my mom.

A month later, my mom is driving me to school when she notices one of her tires losing air quickly and pulls over. We call my dad to ask for help and we talk while we wait. While I’m talking, I notice my mom looking at me strangely.

Me: “Everything okay? You’re looking at me funny.”

Mom: “You really don’t wanna go today, do you?”

Me: “I really don’t, but I know it’s important for me to go.”

Mom: “I can tell from the look on your face. You’re usually excited to go, but you look really tired.”

I’m still getting occasional pains from the surgery, and I’ve been having trouble adjusting to life without a gallbladder since many foods make me sick now. I just don’t have the energy to sit through any of my classes that day. I say this to my mom, and she is quiet for a minute.

Mom: “I need to tell you something.”

Me: “What is it?”

Mom: “You were in a very serious condition the day we brought you to the hospital.”

I’m confused by this. I was in excruciating pain that day, but everyone acted like everything was fine.

Me: “But I was told that I had gallstones.”

Mom: “You did have those, but you also had gallbladder disease and your gallbladder was thickened. You could have died.”

Me: *Pause* “What?”

Mom: “One of the nurses that was with you said your gallbladder was almost septic. You would have been dead within a month if you hadn’t gone to the hospital that day.”

I am so shocked that my mouth is gaping open. At this point, my dad shows up and looks at the tire, but my mom keeps the window up so we can still talk.

Me: “I… Oh, my God. I was that close to dying?”

Mom: “You were, but I thought you could handle knowing it now. Despite what you think of yourself, you’re a h*** of a lot stronger than you think you are.”

I stare at my mom, trying to process what she told me. I am thinking of all that has happened in the past month when my dad knocks on the driver-side window.

Dad: “Hey, does [My Name] need a ride to school?”

Me: “No, I’m gonna stay home, instead. I don’t think I’ll be able to focus today.”

I was so calm that I thought I just didn’t process what I just found out, so I waited for weeks, thinking that at some point it was gonna hit me like a train. But I never had the reaction I thought I would — no panic attack, no crying, nothing. I was shocked, but otherwise, I felt so happy that I was alive and healthier than I was before. I just accepted it and moved on. It seems like Mom was right after all.

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