On Sunday an old friend asked me when the gall bladder situation might be resolved. I replied that I’d be talking with a surgeon on Tuesday, “but it’s not as though he’s going to say, ‘I have an opening on Thursday’.” My situation wasn’t acute, so I figured it could take weeks to be scheduled.
After discussing the reasons to choose (or opt out of) cholecystectomy, I asked how long it might take for me to get an appointment.
“I’m operating on Thursday,” he said.
As in two days hence.
As in today.
Yep: I’m now living in the gall-bladder-free life. Did you know the procedure is now outpatient?
Deadlines and spit-up bags
After close to another hour of paperwork and instructions in the surgeon’s office (three bus rides away), here’s a rough idea of how I spent the next day and a half:
Got an EKG, picked up a painkiller prescription, stopped to buy antibacterial soap in case the pre-surgical scrub they gave me makes me break out in hives, rode the buses home.
Started a new batch of homemade yogurt (apparently a lot of cholecystectomy patients don’t feel much like eating for a few days afterwards), moved canned soup and peaches from a lower cupboard to one at eye level (might not feel like bending/stooping for a few days, either), boiled some eggs, paid a few bills, handled e-mail, did a bit of work-related social bookmarking, won a few Swagbucks.
Did some laundry. Talked with my dad and my daughter (twice), arranged with my sister for hospital transportation (bless her heart, she agreed to get me there by 6 a.m.), dealt with a ton of comments on my latest article at Get Rich Slowly. Conferred with my editor at MSN Money (more on that later).
Fixed dinner and put together a day-surgery tote that contains a bag of Ricola (for post-op sore throat), all my paperwork, health insurance ID card, photo ID, credit card (gotta love the co-pays), a folded towel (to keep the seat belt from pressing directly on the incisions), the book I’m currently reading (“Carter Beats The Devil” — I was told to bring something to amuse myself while I wait), lip balm (no water after midnight = cracked lips) and a gallon-sized Ziploc bag in case I throw up on the way home (I haven’t had general anesthesia since a tonsillectomy at age 5 — don’t know how I’ll be affected).
Drained the yogurt in batches. (No fires this time.) Carried out the garbage and recyclables. Took some berries out of the freezer and made compote to mix with the yogurt. Scrubbed neck-to-toes with the hospital-strength antibacterial soap the night before and morning of the surgery, heeding the nurse’s advice: “It’s really strong, so don’t let it get anywhere near your eyes — or your private parts.” (Yikes.)
Submitted my proposal to be a speaker at the upcoming Financial Blogger Conference (follow the link to learn how to win one of three conference tickets to be given away). Conferred with MP Dunleavey of The Daily Worth about the newest version of The Money Fix, which I’m delighted to be a part of along with Liz Weston, Jean Chatzky and Kimberly Palmer.
Rest? Who can rest?
Thank goodness those last two items were already written and just needed tweaking/conferencing, because I’m still on the hook for daily posts at Frugal Cool. Since it’s a solo gig, there’s no one to whom to hand off the writing duties. Contractors don’t get sick days, so the editor and I came to these terms: I’d write posts up through next Tuesday and select and embed the videos, and he would make sure one got published each day.
As it turned out, I had time to finish only through Monday. But since I don’t have kids or pets to care for, this deal would give four days of uninterrupted rest. The surgeon had said to plan for up to one work-week off. Even if I were still feeling slightly sub-par on Monday I’d have just Tuesday’s post to write; I don’t have a Get Rich Slowly deadline until March 11 (and that decision to remain a biweekly contributor is looking more prescient all the time).
But since I didn’t want to neglect my own site, I also wrote this piece — the bones of it, anyway — and the post for Friday’s giveaway. If I could do even five minutes at the terminal, I figured, I’d add my post-surgery reactions.
- I’m very glad I wrote this beforehand.
- I’m even gladder that I have a painkiller handy. It beats an old-time cholecystectomy incision but the three little cuts they made aren’t comfortable, either.
All I have to do now is hit “publish” tomorrow for the giveaway post. Signing off for a while so I can get acquainted with oxycodone and Tylenol. Boy, is that an incongruous pairing.
(Anybody want to take bets on whether or not I’ll be approving comments as soon as tomorrow morning?)