Gall Bladder Surgery

My husband, Danny’s, chest had been hurting since Monday. This has happened from time to time when he gets stressed out. He was also having some trouble breathing. It was now Thursday and I came home from work and saw him propped up in the recliner sleeping with his head bent down. He then awoke and told me he had been sleeping like that most of the day. He said he still had alot of pain so I decided we were going to the after hours clinic at our doctor’s office. We figured it was an acid reflux type problem. The doctor gave him what was called a G.I. cocktail. This contained three kinds of medication. One of them would numb his throat so the pain would go away. We waited and the pain and his struggle in breathing didn’t end. Then they did an EKG and it turned out normal. But the doctor still knew something was wrong so she sent us to an emergency room.


In the emergency room, they drew blood, hooked up an IV and oxygen and put him on a heart monitor. They would also give him some nitroglycerin spray from time to time to open up his heart valves. Meanwhile Danny was still hurting, trying to figure out how to breathe without pain. He would alter leaning to one side and then the other and then he would stand up and pace. When he was in the hospital bed he wanted to be propped up. After awhile I needed to leave for a bit to make a phone call to Danny’s dad about our children and use the restroom.
When I came back to the room Danny was laying flat on the hospital bed like he was sleeping. I thought this is much different than when I left him. It worried me because he had been struggling to breathe even when he was sitting up. So I asked them if they gave him a sedative and were they running tests on him. Then I heard a guy who was a nurse in the corner talking about giving Danny a nitroglycerin dose and then he started turning blue. His heart had suddenly sped up in six quick beats and then his pulse and blood pressure started going down. They were in the process of moving him to an ICU room after I returned.
After we were in the new room they took him to do a CT scan of his chest. The images said his heart was fine. Thank God!! When Danny first came to his new room he woke up and saw some small chain hooks hanging from the ceiling (used for IVs) He asked if this is where they turn you into a robot. (Ha! In his first waking moment after the big scare he had to make a joke!) Then while he was still alert I was afraid something scary might happen again, so I told him I loved him. He said uh-huh like he always does. A few minutes later I asked him if he loved me (because I wanted to make sure he said it to me too.) and he said yes.
About an hour later a doctor with a computer came and did an ultrasound. The doctor said his gall bladder appears to have a stone in it and then showed it to us. Later when the laboratory results came back the doctor said Danny has elevated enzyme levels in his liver. And then said this could be related to his gall bladder problem. Then the doctor said he would need to have his gall baldder removed. They would probably do a laproscopic procedure that would only leave three small incisions on his stomach. When I called and told my father-in-law the news he said he was glad there was nothing wrong with his heart. I agreed.
While I was waiting in our room after all the excitement I heard a familiar sound. Danny was snoring a contented snore! He sounded rested probably from the pain medication dripping through his IV. And then I remembered a story he once told me. In an old Dear Abby column a woman wrote in complaining and asking what to do about her husband’s snoring. Abby replied with another letter from a woman who was a new widow and had described her husband’s snoring as one of the sweetest sounds she had ever heard.

1 Comment

  1. Aimee

    September 8, 2006 at 11:48 am

    Mrs. Carlton,
    Hi Linda,
    Tell Danny to get better soon! I had my gall bladder out in jan 06 and that was painful. I got the five inch scar version.
    After the gall bladder was gone – everything felt better.
    All the Best,
    Aimee

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