Cartoon from iheartguts.com, which I encourage you to take a look at. It's my kind of funny.
Saturday evening treated me to an internal surprise the likes of which I had never before experienced. One minute I was happily minding my own beeswax and the next I was hit with an indescribable pain I could not pinpoint. It started in my upper back, just between the shoulder blades, and quickly spread to my shoulders, chest, rib cage and stomach. I began to feel queasy and panicked and exhausted all at the same time. The pain was unbearable and nothing worked to help it subside.
Allen and I took a little drive to the Instacare where they had us sit and fill out some paperwork and then wait for 15 minutes (which seemed closer to ETERNITY) before calling us back. The doctor asked me to describe my pain, asked a few other questions and determined that I was in excellent health. The doctor asked what my pain was on a scale of 1 to 10, and although I wanted to scream TEN!!TEN!!TEN!! I couldn't help but think of Brian Regan's comedy bit about the pain scale so I settled on an 8. I was immediately sorry I did not give myself a higher number. I was not crying (at least not on the outside) and I worried that this may have been misleading so I calmly told the doctor something along these lines:
It hurts when I stand, it hurts when I sit, it hurts even more when I lay down - and I really, really want to lay down because I am exhausted beyond comprehension. Something is wrong, and I really want to do whatever is possible to make this excruciating, constant pain go away so I can go to sleep and stop feeling like I'm going to throw up. I have had NINE babies, two of them without pain medication, and this hurt I am now experiencing is the worst possible pain I have ever felt. I feel like my entire upper body is in labor pain times INFINITY. If it were possible for me to have an upper-body epidural right now, I would donate a kidney and chop off my left foot for that to happen.
I think he got the gist of what I was saying. He started to press along the bones and muscles in the various areas where I was feeling pain, searching for the central location of it, to no avail... until he pushed beneath the right side of my rib cage: BINGO. It was my gallbladder. Unless I wanted to take a trip to the ER (I did NOT) he said they could give me some medicine for the pain and the nausea and I could get an ultrasound on Sunday morning. I could not fathom there being any possible medication that would reduce the pain enough that I would make it until morning, but I was willing to give anything a try to avoid the dreaded ER.
The medicine was administered via shot (oh, how I hate needles!) along with a dose of stupid, apparently, because as the night progressed I got stupider and stupider. Initially, the pain slowly ceased - enough that I could function normally and foresee eventually falling asleep. Except that my arms and legs were restless, enough so that I could not resist flailing them around every so often. At one point I said something to one of the kids and Allen laughed and asked if I had cotton in my mouth. The stupid was taking effect, and between my blathering nonsense and my body doing the hokey-pokey spontaneously, I had some small understanding of my stupidness so I put myself to bed.
The next morning I went for my ultrasound, feeling pain-free but still extremely exhausted. Nothing out-of-the-ordinary was discovered, except that I had 8 gallstones. The doctor told me that 1/3 of all people would have gallstones if they went for an ultrasound so it was not absolutely necessary to have it removed; however, this was something I should consider in the future. He left the choice entirely up to me.
I chose to keep my gall. (You go, Gall!)
I plan to test myself out. See if it was a fluke or if it happens again. Because I'm not a big fan of removing stuff from my innards that doesn't necessarily have to be removed.
However, I can pretty much guarantee you this... if I have another Attack Of The Gallbladder episode that is anything like the one I had on Saturday, that sucker's history.