I had surgery a little over a month ago. Apparently my gallbladder was at a breaking point and had grown to the size of a stomach from the sheer amount of gallbladder stones. The doctor said he had seen stones as big as mine in 80-year-old men, but never in a person as young as me – I had an overachieving gallbladder, apparently. The picture below tells the story of my stones pretty well…up top is an average size stone (I had about 100 of these babies). Below there are four monster stones that were also partying in my gallbladder. They are literally these big black rocks, bigger than a two-euro coin. They don’t break, they clink when I tap them against the counter…they are quite unbelievable.
Now, if they could only sing "Satisfaction"...
I contemplated shining them and using them as decoration stones. I also thought I could turn them into a necklace. My friend Mike, bless his heart, happily suggested I turn them into anal beads. For now they are happily sitting in a jar on my kitchen shelf.
I lost 10 lbs. the week before my gallbladder surgery because there was enough inflammation to cause extreme pain whenever I ate or drank anything. Since I’ve been gallbladder-free my appetite is back. And it’s back with a vengeance. I gained back the 10 lbs. I lost and I think I might have gained maybe 4-5 lbs. more. It’s quite disconcerting.
This afternoon I put on some white shorts (which is completely appropriate to wear in Greece as we do not celebrate Labor Day), and I noticed parts of my body clumsily extruding from the top of my shorts. It was an extreme muffin top. It was actually a couple of levels worse than a muffin top. I basically looked like an overstuffed sausage.
An exact replica of my current self.
Next post will talk about how I sewed my mouth shut.
What is it about getting older that makes you more squeamish? I remember when I was younger I would have to give blood and I would boldly stare at the needle as the nurse poked it into my vain and drew blood. It was almost satisfying to watch that process. Now when I give blood and I squeeze my eyes shut and look away. You know when you squeeze your eyes really hard you see black and white spots? Yeah, that’s how I roll now.
So imagine how squeamish I got when I had to remove the stitches from my recent gallbladder surgery. Ever had stitches removed from your bellybutton? It’s really not that fun. Let’s just say you can feel your skin being pulled and you can feel that thread moving around. I dreaded the stitch removal more than I dreaded the surgery pain.
To my surprise when I looked down on my bellybutton yesterday I noticed threads still popping out of the partially healed incision. GAH! The doctor had left stitches in. I almost contemplated sniping the protruding ends and leaving it be but thought better of it. Off to the doctor I go again. Really, it wasn’t fun. It was 100 degrees at six in the afternoon, I’m lying on a plastic covered bed in the doctor’s office and I’m literally sweating bullets. At this point I don’t know if the sweat was from the heat of from my nervousness – I like to think it was a little bit of both. All I wanted to do was scream “BE DONE WITH IT! STOP POKING MY BELLYBUTTON!” A cranky baby was trapped inside my head and I literally had to gnash my teeth together to get myself under control. I’m telling you, the older I get, the more I turn into a baby. It was just a couple of stitches after all.
Of course, here’s the beauty of Greek medicine.
“How much do I owe for the visit, doctor?”
“Ok well I’ll tell you 30 euros, yes? It’s not 50 euros like normal, I’ll only take 30 from you, and I’ll have two beers in your health. That’s not too much is it?”
Two stitches = a night of alcohol consumption. Excellent. Next time I’ll fund his dinner too and make it a complete meal.