Emergency Room To The Rescue!
An unplanned detour....
Supper was great! What followed was not, and something similar could happen to you.
The two of us enjoyed a fine supper.
The boneless chuck roast dinner was delicious.
I went upstairs to write an article and by 8 PM I began to feel uncomfortable in the area of my stomach. I thought it was the same bloated feeling I had experienced recently on five different occasions which had not been consecutive.
By midnight I had not been able to go to sleep and the pain was more severe. In addition, this time I had the "cold sweats" and became enough concerned that I drove myself to the local hospital's Emergency Room. I wanted at the very least to be sure I was not experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.
I was checked in rapidly and professionally and found myself wired up to all kinds of systems monitoring my own systems. I was quickly assured that I was not experiencing a heart attack, even though I knew I had a weak aortic valve in my heart and had had it for almost eight years.
When the ER doctor checked my abdomen and pressed in, I winced. He had just pressed the area where my gallbladder is right, front side, just under the bottom right rib.. He asked "Does that hurt?" I said it was a dull pain and had just caught me by surprise.
Blood tests, an ultrasound, chest x-rays, and a check of my kidneys, found everything in good shape, even my heart functon and blood pressure, but the ultrasound showed a gallbladder stone lodged in the lower portion of the gallbladder, and that would call for surgery as soon as I could arrange a consultation with a surgeon and the surgery itself.
As I had just had my annual physical and an updated echocardiogram (ECG) both within the week, I asked the ER doctor to check the ECG results. He did so and came back with his observation that an anesthetist would probably not want to assist in the gallbladder surgery unless I first had the surgery I needed to replace the failing valve on my heart!
There is an added lesson in all this....
I will never mistake that amount of pain for simple indigestion again! And, had my personal physician suspected the symptoms of the first five major discomforts, he probably would have checked my gallbladder during my annual physical. On a scale of 1 to 10, I labeled my pain as an 8, but others who have gone through what I went through could likely label it a 9 or a 10.
One hospital person suggested that it might be like menstrual cramps, but when I told that to a woman who had had her own gallbladder attack, she said that the pain is more like giving birth to a child. (I'm told that Passing a kidney stone is the closest men come to experiencing those pains women usually feel giving birth.)
The added lesson, other than understanding more about the gallbladder, is this: are you prepared today for what a trip to the Emergency Room and follow-on medical appointments and surgeries could do to your daily schedule?
If you are keeping bills paid, have a will and a living will, and routine responsibilities are something you handle promptly and routinely on a current basis, you may be in good shape for such surprises as mine.
If, on the other hand, you have a great many things to do and only you can get them done, it can make you think that procrastinating doing them as soon as possible is not such a good idea after all.
Try to keep up-to-date on your responsibilities. Have an emergency fund that can handle such emergencies and allow for a hospital stay, surgery, or just being laid up for awhile (or laid off!) Have a prepared list of where your important papers are, if someone else should have to access them on your behalf.
If you are at risk for any serious accident or health episode at and around home, get an emergency, monitored contact button you can wear around your neck and activate should you need assistance. They work within a radius of about 600 feet from your home, and cost as little as $10 per month for the added safety and security they provide.
Finally, have someone designated who can act on your behalf should you be unable to act for yourself, someone such as a family member, a close friend, a church leader, etc. We all like to be independent, but that all depends on the sudden circumstances you could easily find yourself in.
© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.