Women who have had children have been the best source of perspective for me about the pain that comes from gallbladder problems. Every woman I’ve talked with who has had children and also had gallstones that led to a cholecystectomy tell me that their gallbladder problems were 10 times more painful than any childbirth.
I’ll never be able to make that comparison myself — thank goodness — but I can definitely say that the pain I experienced off and on last month was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt. I’m glad it’s behind me.
Since I’ve gotten several emails over the last week asking how I’m recovering, I’ll give a brief update about how things are going.
It’s been 17 days since surgery and I’m not far from declaring myself back to normal. There was a lot of pain for the first week, but I had pain medication to help me deal with the issues. Believe it or not, one of the worst aspects of the recovery was being unable to sleep on my stomach for about 10 or 12 days. Since that’s primarily how I sleep, it was difficult to get rest on my back.
The only remaining problem is that I get exhausted very easily every day. At my follow-up visit to the surgeon last week, he told me this was normal, especially since I was under general anesthesia for six times longer than had been expected. He said the anesthesia can tend to have lasting effects. A nurse friend told me she figured I’d feel this way for six to eight weeks.
The surgeon told me that I’m in ridiculously good health for someone who hadn’t bothered to take care of his weight.
“Get your weight down and you’ll easily live past 100,” he told me.
Maybe that was hyperbole. Maybe not, but it sounds like a good reason to eat better.
I don’t remember whether I’ve had reason to mention this here, but I was diagnosed with low thyroid function a couple of months before this gallbladder issue showed up. Since doctors were in the middle of adjusting the dosage for the Synthroid I’m taking, it’s possible that some of the tiredness I’m experiencing now is because the dosage still isn’t quite right. Only time will tell.
I still get tired too easily to go back to working my full work schedule, so I’m still losing a lot of work hours, which means my income has been cut pretty significantly.
On the positive side, I’m probably going to be writing an offer for a house for a real estate client Thursday. (I actually had one contract with this couple already, but it fell through on the inspection.) The commission from just one house of this price brings a commission equal to what I’ve been making at both part-time jobs combined — for a couple of months. So after I get two or three such commissions, I hope to leave both part-time jobs behind.
That would give me more time to sell houses — and maybe even more time to make films again.
Overall, the medical situation is much better now and I’m not far from normal — at least in the physical sense. And one side benefit from this whole mess is that I’m down 22 pounds on the scale since five weeks ago. Since I’m eating less food these days, maybe that positive trend can continue.
Thanks so much to those of you who’ve expressed concern and inquired how things are going.