Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On staying healthy

One of the other things that I always think about when I let my mind wander to the future and having kids and what that looks like is my health (and my husband's, but this is my blog, so I'm talking about me today).

Overall, I've been a fairly healthy person. Now, that doesn't mean that I've never seen the inside of a hospital, since even though I might be generally healthy I am most definitely a klutz. And that combined with the poor judgment often shown by myself as a child landed me in the doctor's office more than once with various broken bones, bruises and all manner of injuries that always led to the inevitable question, "What on earth were you thinking?" (um, that spinning around and around in the living room with the sharp brick hearth would be a really good idea? 10 stitches later it was proven to me that in fact, it was not.)

As I get older I've been thinking more and more about my health, and more specifically, staying healthy. I am incredibly paranoid and so have always made sure that I've had some sort of health insurance, even when it's been the crappiest individual policy ever because that was all I could afford when I was unemployed. At least it was something. But I've never really had to use it before, except for those annual exams that we all know and love.

Until I started having unexplained pain. Pain that no one could really figure it out. Pain that kept me up for hours at a time at night (causing sleep deprivation, but also time to catch up on tv shows! See, there's always a silver lining somewhere). Finally I was able to figure out the correlation between certain foods and the pain that I had, and match the symptoms to the likely cause. Sure enough, turns out I have gallstones and the primary way to treat that is to remove the gallbladder.

On the one hand, I'm grateful that they've found something that the pain can be attributed to, and there's a way to fix it so I won't hurt anymore.

On the other hand, they're going to be removing an organ. I find that incredibly weird.

In any event, it looks like surgery will be sometime next month as I'm not in massive amounts of pain all the time requiring it to come out immediately. Which is definitely a plus. On the downside, when I do have pain it's the kind where I'm up for several hours during the night just waiting for it to subside. And then I feel like a zombie in the morning from lack of sleep (hey, maybe this is my body's way of preparing me to deal with having a baby? No? Well in that case, quit it!).

I am grateful that this is considered a routine surgery, and that after it's over I should feel much better (heck, my grandfather was performing this surgery when he was a surgeon! Though not laparoscopically as mine will be. "How can you do it right with just a few teeny incisions? You've got to have room to look around!"). Of course, I do wonder about potential complications (because that's how I roll), but I've learned that I need to be more optimistic and not always look for the worse case scenario (I have always argued that if I worry about everything, I can be prepared for it. This isn't true. So I'm attempting to try something new).

I'm also grateful that I have (slightly) better insurance that will help to pay for the surgery. 

And mostly, I'm grateful that even though this part of my body has decided to stop working, I'm still in pretty good health. I need to remember that, and work harder to keep myself healthy. 

On a random note, do they record surgeries for people anymore? I wonder what it would look like. (No, I don't actually want to google videos of surgery. This was more of a rhetorical question. Or something.)


  1. My mom use to get REALLY BAD gallbladder attacks. She doesn't like hospitals or doctors, but the surgery was so worth it to her. Now she doesn't have to worry about what she eats in the evening so that she isn't up all night!

    You'll have to let us know when your surgery is actually scheduled so we can send lots of positive vibes and thoughts your way!

    Oh and on the point about worrying about your husband's health... I just got in an argument with my husband about that. He eats whatever junk he wants and I try to tell him that it gonna catch up with him, but he doesn't listen. I have to sneak vegetables in his food like a child!!

  2. Both my Mom and my Sister had their gallbladders removed and at least one of them has the DVD to show for it. My sister's was an emergency and my Mom's was scheduled. All went well. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you!!

    As I am the last women in my family with a gallbladder- I haven't ruled it out that I'll need surgery some time in my life.

  3. @Jen and @Sugar - As I talk to more people about this I am amazed to find out how many people I know have had their gallbladders removed! I really had no idea how common it was in general and among my family and friends.

    @Sugar - one of the things that a friend told me (who had hers removed) was that pregnancy hormones can exacerbate the issue (which my doctor agreed with). That's one of the reasons that I want to take it out now, rather than to potentially have an emergency situation down the line.

    I'll definitely keep you guys updated on the date about when it happens! Thanks for the good thoughts!

  4. Oh wow - I'm glad they found out the cause of the problem. Good luck with the surgery!


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