The “hurt now or later” question: I think I answered “later” to this question today, except I was dealing with whether or not I wanted to be in the hospital.
This morning, I went in to drink a bunch of contrast dye (which is actually pretty tasteless now; thank you technology). I got an IV dose of more contrast dye, which makes my throat feels all warm and fuzzy, and I was then exposed to some more radiation, which is always cool. I picked up copies of my imaging records, dropped by my office for about half an hour, and then saw my GP.
Doctor takes a look at me and asks me a couple questions, at which point I figured out he’d been able to see my CT results.
So much for referred pain.
Your gallbladder, if you have one, is shoved up next to a lot of other important organs — as is usually the case with anything in the abdomen, which is why you should usually avoid getting shanked in prison. When your gallbladder decides it wants to get huge and develop a rabid infection that would make a zombie blush, it gets pretty touchy-feely with its neighbors: the pancreas, the stomach, and its favorite, the liver. Do you remember that really clingy boyfriend you had or that aggressively flirtatious drunk girl at that party? That is what the gallbladder is to the liver.
So, my gallbladder was a dick. We’ve been over that already. However, my gallbladder was, apparently, the kind of dick that’s so miserable it just had to make everyone else miserable. The bad apple that ruins the bunch, basically.
When he was pulling bits and pieces of my insides through an incision in my navel, my surgeon noticed that there had been some slight damage to my liver due to the acute cholecystitis he was treating by removing my gallbladder. This isn’t unusual. Most people with collateral damage from a kamikaze gallbladder are pretty much okay after everything’s said and done.
Aaaapparently, this is one of those times when I’m not in the “most” category. The inflammation of my gallbladder literally rubbed my liver the wrong way.
Imagine NASA built a tiny little spaceship (about the size of a Port-a-Potty), and they sent you into space with some fat kid with extremely poor manners and a very low IQ — he also happens to enjoy tumbling down hills covered in poison ivy. Lucky for him, he doesn’t have an allergic reaction to the oil on the leaves — or if he does, he just doesn’t give a shit. Due to the size of your craft and NASA’s tight spacesuit budget, you and Augustus Gloop — who we already know is just a all-around mind-numbing irritating kid — are in constant skin-to-skin contact.
"I'm going to make your life horrible!!!"
Guess who’s not a fat inconsiderate little jerk, but who is going to break out in a horrible itchy rash? Oh, but you happen to go into anaphylactic shock. Problem is, Augustus decides he’s going to go explore space in his underwear, so while he’s freezing and boiling at the same time outside your window, you’re desperately trying to reach mission control as your airway closes up on you.
This is what happened. My liver was irritated by my swollen gallbladder. My gallbladder was full of really horrible bacteria. Horrible bacteria were overcrowding the gallbladder, so they decided to spread out, taking the path of least resistance.
So, I have a hepatic abscess. There’s a balloon of bacteria — probably either E. coli or staph — attached to my liver. It is just small enough where it might be treatable with rest and constantly eating antibiotics. It is just large enough that it could burst and make me go into sepsis.
Numbers on hepatic abscesses with treatment aren’t entirely within my comfort zone, but I keep having Mark remind me why those are all shit. My doctor is letting me take antibiotics and stay on bed rest at home. If I get so much as a stubbed toe, though, I’m off to the hospital. Since I was on a round of antibiotics already for the respiratory infection I had when I left the hospital, I’m not going to start lifting weights and running marathons this week.
I’m not quite sure how I’m taking this, because I think I went “bargaining, anger, depression, denial,” and it’s supposed to go “denial, bargaining, anger, depression.” Since 2, 3, 4, 1 isn’t the same as 1, 2, 3, 4… yeah, I don’t know where I’m going with this.
I will get back to posting music. I’m just not going to make any more promises on a time line for the next week. Bear with me if you can.