So, following surgery to remove my gall bladder, I have been in a bit of pain. Perhaps not very manly to say so. I did find out that my situation was not quite normal. Apparently the last attack (which placed me back in the hospital) caused enough trouble to my organs that even a week later they were swollen and irritated. That explained my gut looking distended, pain when moving around, and feeling bloated. Unfortunately this also resulted in needing the surgical drain and attached grenade. I did not find out until a few days after surgery that the drain was not normally needed, and that my recovery was worse than usual. That knowledge made the not very manly feeling seem more excusable.

I did get lucky from a medication standpoint. Prescription pain killers are normally used, and those cause lots of people to be sick. Like my wife. So along side those, anti-nausea medication is also prescribed. And apparently either or both are frequently ineffective - folks still have plenty pain, and/or they end up sick on their stomach. In my case, the oxycodone did indeed take care of the pain. And it did not make me sick - even when taken on an empty stomach. I attempted Advil, but the pain merely laughed at that and I ended up back on the oxycodone - which worked just fine. When I went too long between doses, the resulting pain provided a quick and obvious reminder. The site where the drain tube entered my abdomen was quite sore, likely because what was externally connected moved around as I did and constantly pulled. The worst of the pain came from the area around my stomach. I assumed that whatever needed draining was in that area.

After a few days, the draining slowed considerably and it was time for the drain to be removed. I went to the surgeon’s office and met with the lovely Jody. My wife and I met her prior to surgery, and both thought she was as nice as she was pretty. But for the past few days, I had been preparing to not like her any more. In my mind, the surgical drain tube was becoming fused with whatever it was touching inside my gut - and that pulling it out would cause pain approaching the actual gall bladder attacks. And with that, Jody would become someone who brought pain. And her pretty smile would have turned evil.

Of course Jody said it would be over in a few seconds, and would not hurt as much as I thought it would. She was right, and she was wrong. It hurt much worse than I thought it would - but it was over quickly. My wife was shocked at just how much of the tube was embedded in my gut, and what came out looked pretty disgusting. But the pain was not the most surprising thing - it did hurt plenty, but in a different place than I was expecting. It hurt and burned in the area of my stomach like I had swallowed a hot coal. I wanted to vomit.

But it was over very quickly, and afterward the nausea disappeared along with the pain. Jody smiled and pressed gauze against the wound. As she pressed, I expected pain - but actually felt relief. Her smile was not at all evil. She patched me up, answered my questions, and sent me on my way. And so I left, still liking her.

My wife and I celebrated by tempting fate - and enjoying a chili-cheese dog from PB’s right around the corner from the surgeon’s office. Then we went home, and I took another dose of oxycodone because I was accustomed to doing so. I think that was the last time I took it. I slept much better that night, and took a few doses of Advil the next day. Just a day after the drain removal, I stopped the Advil as well. I have been a bit nauseated the last 2 days, and slightly light-headed at times, but I have had nearly zero pain and consider myself to be doing very well. My favorite local nurse suggests that the nausea may be the result of my body trying to figure out what it can and cannot deal with from a food perspective, and should not last long.

Overall I am very happy with my situation. Knowing I will not have another debilitating gall bladder attack is well worth the pain brought on by surgery.