Tag Archives: gallbladder

Friday thoughts…

…staples out.  The only ones that hurt were the 2 that were already pretty red from staples irritation.  And even those…was just a tiny bit of pain when removed.  Even the ones in the navel…didn’t feel a thing.  :: phew ::

….yes, I’ll be watching the Royal Wedding.  But not live.  That’s why God gave us DVR’s.  🙂  (if it wasn’t at about 3-4 am, I might watch live.  But that’s the time here on the west coast and no, not gonna happen.)

….I’m sad this is my last day off work.  At first, of course, I was in the muck of post-surgery.  Then, I was adjusting to time off more than a few days-week.  I actually felt guilty.  Not because of the time now, my body clearly needed it, but guilty about what my time will be like when I’m retired, and poor hubby is still working (even though at home) because he’s 16 years younger than me.  Then he convinced me that I had damned well EARNED the right.  That I didn’t feel I would have to keep myself ‘occupied’…that if I wanted to read, watch some tv, snooze, develop hobbies beyond what I have now, putz on the pc…I had EARNED it.  That no apologies were necessary.  That retirement was MEANT for relaxing and slowing down.  It took me a few days earlier this week to accept that.  It was a good trial run on retirement.

…sickened by yet another school shooting.  I read a great tweet on the subject this morning:  “I was told thoughts and prayers for Santa Fe High School. I prayed and God told me to knock it off and call my legislators and tell them to take action to put an end to gun violence.”

Pretty well sums it up.  I’m trying to stay politics-free here now, but some things just scream to be heard.

Going to my oldest grandson’s delayed 21st birthday party tomorrow at an Italian restaurant.  I have perused the menu.  With luck, and a little help from their kitchen, I’ll be able to get some pasta not covered in oil/butter with some skinless chicken on top of it.  Maybe some bread without butter or oil on it.  If not, I sit and smile.  C’est la vie.  Not upsetting the apple cart to go along with the program.  Just happy that I’ll be able to attend!

Have a glorious weekend!

I was right

They are arresting the bomb victim’s ex-boyfriend/partner.  They found ‘destructive devices’ in his home.  They apparently broke up a month ago, but where still business partners…

Sad, but as I expected.

Today I get my staples out; I can’t wait!  I have one that has gotten a bit red/angry, but from a photo the nurse was sure it was irritation from the staples, not an actual infection.  So it will be good to get them all removed.

Got a late-in-the-day email from my H/R.  They are ‘allowing’ this modified work schedule for two months.  If at that point I still need it, ‘we will need to revisit the modified work schedule. “

Frankly, I don’t understand their interference.  If I’m going back to full time, I would think any work arrangement otherwise would be between my boss and me.  But oh well, out of my control.  Hopefully it will be a non-issue by then.  (but I’ve already had 2 D bouts this past half hour, so it ain’t going away quickly.)  I will be taking a prescribed pain pill for the staples removal; hopefully that will bind me up a tiny bit.  (sorry TMI.)  😉

It’s a glorious day.  It’s wrapped up in the appointment though.  I am going to miss this time off.  It’s given me a nice glimpse of retirement (although I’ve been post surgical recouping mode)…and I LIKE IT.

Hope you are all doing well!  I used some time yesterday visiting a couple of new-to-me blogs, and it was fun!  I’m definitely back in the blogging groove!  When I’m back to work next week, obviously I’ll have less time for this, but it’s back to being a priority of my down time again….because you are all so wonderful!  🙂

job return update

Well, I emailed my boss this morning, (and H/R), and gave them background information on how the body responds to gallbladder removal surgery, how I’m faring, and 3 ‘accommodation’ request options…(a little different from what I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post):

“1.  I work from home 7:30-10:00 am, drive in, and work 10:30-4:30 with a half hour lunch break.  8 hour day. (a bit risky if my issue extends any morning beyond 10 am.)
2.  I work mornings from home, and afternoons in the office.  Same general 7:30-4:30 schedule.  8 hour day. (safer option.)
3.  I work a shortened schedule, 10:30-5:00 in the office, with a half hour lunch break.  6 hour day.  
My preference is #2, #1, #3…in that order. “

I told them that neither I nor doctors had any crystal ball, the situation could last a few days, a few weeks, a few months, forever.

Within a half hour, my boss responded with:

“I am fine with your choice, I don’t see any issue whatsoever. Adjust what works for you.”

I take that to mean I can work from home in the mornings, and come in for the afternoon hours to the office.  I emailed him for confirmation on that, because I’m anal that way.  LOL  Haven’t heard back, so I take that to mean yes, work from home in the mornings, and no time limit put on it.  Adjust what works for me.

ETA:  Boss confirmed yes, #2.  mornings work at home, afternoons work in office.


OH MY GOD YES.

I am so relieved!!!  Doing happy dances in my mind here. 

(and since I’ll be working full time, that ends disability and I don’t think H/R could complain even if they wanted to, since my boss agrees to my request.)  (I’m pretty sure.  I’m not asking.)

yesssssssssssssss

Oddly enough, I did just have a bout…later in the morning than I normally do.  I’ll take it as a one-off; I have a feeling no longer worrying or fretting about this work situation, and my boss being so wonderful about it…will ease my symptoms hopefully a little too.  My UC is as much stress-related as it is to foods that I can’t tolerate.  Less stress means better health.

So, I’m pretty darned thrilled right now.  🙂

retirement musings

Well, last October, I decided I would be retiring the end of 2018.  (totally arbitrary date.)  But I didn’t tell my boss/co-workers until 4/3 this year.  I have to admit, from almost the moment I told them, my attitude at work got (mostly silently) pretty crappy.  I know, ‘short-timer’s syndrome’ and all that.  I started talking to my hubby, did I HAVE to wait until December to retire?  I mean, it was an arbitrary date.  The thing is, very shortly after I retire, we move into the ‘sell the house move to AZ’ phase.  He has things he wants to do here to get it in better shape for selling, and intended to accomplish that all this summer.  He asked me to at least wait until the end of summer to retire.  That seemed more than fair.  I even said, “I’ll try to go to October, but not sure”….

So that’s where he and I stood before my gallbladder revolted last Sunday and got removed.

I had been diagnosed with ‘mild ulcerative colitis’ (UC) -is there such a thing, really?  I mean, sure, compared to serious UC, but no UC is really mild.  ANYHOW, here I am, on  post-surgery day 8 now, and my stomach (internal and external) pains are mostly gone from the surgery, but the D from the liver trying to figure out how to process bile without the gallbladder remains.  Mostly in the morning until about 9:30 am or so.  I might have 1-2 other ‘attack’s throughout the day, but the time varies.  From all that I read, this is common in 10-40% of the women who have their gallbladders removed.  It doesn’t surprise me that at my age with UC, I’m in that group.  For those that have this, it supposedly takes 4-6 weeks for the liver/rest of the body adjust and normalize.  But for some, that never happens.

I don’t know what group I will be in.  I don’t mind having D at work; anyone with UC is used to that.  It’s the fact that the amount of time between I realize it’s coming and when it HITS is less than a minute.  Not a problem at home.  But at work (let alone the 30 minute drive to and from work)…I’m down 2 long hallways from the bathroom.  I really don’t want to have to wear Depends at work, let alone have several D accidents at work in them.  (sorry for the graphic images/detail.)

I go see the surgical nurse on Thursday afternoon to get my staples removed and get my updated release for work.  I need to know the plan prior to that.  I need to contact my H/R department (I think since I’m on short term leave, it has to be through them rather than directly with my boss), and explain this and I have two options for them to choose from:

1.  Let me work from home 7:30 am-9:30 am, drive to work, take only a half hour lunch, and leave at my normal 4:30.  This keeps me at 8 hours per day, normal work hours, but gives me the chance to handle my morning ‘problems’ at home.

2.  Just work a shortened day, 10:00 am-4:30.  That cuts my work schedule down to 6 hours, because by law I’d have to take at least a 30 min. lunch break.  Still keeps me at home during the problem time.

Either works for me, but of course financially we’d prefer # 1 even though #2 would be easier on me.

I am going to let them know tomorrow, because they should have at least a day to talk it over and decide.

The thing is, I have no crystal ball.  I can’t tell my doctor or my employer how long this might be necessary.  It might be a week.  It might be 4 weeks.  It might be forever.

So of course, they have to decide if that is acceptable.  They might think it’s okay for a couple weeks, maybe even a month (as I fall further behind at work)…or they might not.  At which point, I have to decide if I can try it back to 100% normal, or just give up and retire.

I had that discussion with hubby yesterday.  I said it might be out of my hands (when I retire) at this point.  He of course still wants me to make it to early September, but said if either my body or my company won’t cooperate, we can’t control that.  The proverbial ‘it just is what it is.’

So I just don’t know.  Every month we stay here after I retire but before we move to AZ, it’s going to cost us about $1000 more than if we were in AZ.  So of course we don’t want that to go on too long.  But I’m in no condition to help prep for a sell and move to another state at the moment, anyhow.

Again, I just don’t know.  I’m trying to just be chill about it.  It really is out of my control.  C’est la vie.  But for a control freak, it isn’t exactly easy letting go and just letting fate win.

I’m already trying to come to terms with how behind I will be at work.  I’ll have over 500 emails to deal with upon my return, let alone the work itself. (they cut off our access to email when on leave to keep us from checking/doing work.)   It will take me a couple of days (at least) just to catch up on email.  But I can’t stress myself out over it. I can only do the best I can every day and just that’s it.  I get caught up whenever I do, or learn to come to terms that I might not ever be ‘caught up’ there again, and that’s okay too.

Anvilcloud had a great comment to me yesterday:  “Would you consider retiring a few months early and ending that ordeal and just enjoying life as much as possible?”

Little did he know I’d already been contemplating this.  I really need to try my best to get through August, but if my body or my company won’t let me, I’m prepared for that too.  I mean, this might just be a situation for another week or two, and then I’ll be fine the rest of the way until I choose my retirement day.  I’m only considering what happens IF I don’t fully recover digestively…

so, today, I just don’t know.  Tomorrow, I copy a great deal of this post and send it in an email to H/R….and see what happens from there.

Anvil, if it were up to me, I’d cash it in now.  Or one month from now.  But I’m not the only one in this picture, and what hubby is asking for isn’t unreasonable, if my body can handle it.  I don’t begrudge him his request at all; it makes perfect sense in a perfect world.  This isn’t a perfect world, but I’m only Day 8.  It might be a close to perfect world again very soon…

p.s.  I’ve removed my retirement counter on the sidebar.  Because I haven’t a clue when it will happen, except to know that 12/12/18 would be the very last day, at the longest.  🙂

I was wrong

…staying away from blogging.

You are all SO AMAZING.  I’ve been completely non-existent in our blogging world, and you all came rushing to my side yesterday.  I am overwhelmed by your kindness, concern, support.

Seriously.  blown.  away.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

I am a little better every day.  I’ll take baby steps forward.  They are still steps forward.  I’m still losing at a rate of about a pound a day, but I’m a good 30-40 lbs. overweight, so I have that weight to spare.

At 66 1/2 with a recent history of UC, I accept that my liver is now compromised (because it doesn’t have the gallbladder to help it dispose of bile), and probably always will be.  I hope to bounce back better than I am now, but I have already accepted that I won’t be able to go back to the high fat diet I was on.  I accept my love of steaks has been derailed, for months at the very least if not forever.  I accept that chicken, turkey, and fish will be my sources of protein now.  Maybe occasionally a slice of prime rib, but burgers and steaks and loads of butter and cheddar cheese (only dairy I could eat anymore anyhow)…are all but done for me.

I’m okay with that.  I just want to honor my body’s needs.  I just want to be able to quietly enjoy my retirement.  I had a good run with garbage food.  It’s over now.  And it really is okay.

I’m glad my last alcohol ever was the best (two) margaritas I ever had on Cinco de Mayo.  They were supposed to be mango, but they really tasted more like nectarine, and they were heavenly.  Maybe someday I can go back and have the virgin version.  We’ll see.  Again, one’s liver after gallbladder removal has to work overtime to deal with the bile in the body.  With luck, in 60-90% of the cases, (women) …it does.  But again, I have a few strikes against me already (age and health history of UC)…so I don’t intend to push it.  Younger, healthier people can do that.  I feel like how many wake-up calls am I going to get before I just pay attention and accept the situation for what it is, you know?

So I’m okay with that.  Right now, I’m just praying the D slows down enough that I can go back to work a week from Monday.  Because when it hits now, it hits fast and I’m 2 long hallways away from the nearest bathroom at work.  I might have to  ask to go to a shortened work day, to allow for the needs in the morning.  We’ll see.  That’s all I’ll say.  😉

So, the pain is less every day, and I’m adjusting to the diet, (emotionally if not yet physically) and trying not to worry too much, and just let nature take it’s course in healing.  You guys are amazing.  My family has been amazing.  My husband is a complete rock star.

I’m SO thankful!

End of an era

Hi, anyone still reading/checking.

Well, I had an emergency gall bladder removal Sunday night.  (fortunately, it was the laproscopic version, but it’s still major surgery with 4 incision sites and plenty of staples to show for it.)

So, for the next month, at least, almost a zero fat diet.

No beef.

No more than 2 g. of fat per meal.

Meals will consist of:

skinless chicken or turkey
dry bread
rice
baked potato or baked yam
pasta-no sauce
a tiny bit of grape jelly
I tried banana-it was a no go

Yeah, sucks to be me.  I’m off work until at least 5/21, but if my digestive system doesn’t compensate for the lack of the gallbladder soon, I might have to do reduced hours, because as of now, I couldn’t make it out of the house before 9-9:30 am.  We’ll see how I am; I get the staples removed on Thursday afternoon.

So, primal diet is a thing of the past for me.  With luck, I can add beef/fats at SOME point, but I don’t anticipate a steak or hamburgers for months and months, if ever.  Once you’ve had this pain, and learn what your body can do after the organ is gone, hell if you want to tempt fate.

On the plus side, I’ve lost 4 lbs. in 3 days, post op this week.  Not how you want to do it, but it needed to be done.

Once I get a little better, hopefully by next week, I shall be able to venture some small amount of time in my 2nd week off visiting your blogs.  I have missed you.

Word to the wise; easy on fats.  Even the ‘healthy’ ones.  Because you never know if you are susceptible to this; no family history of gallbladder issues, yet here I sit.

Oh well….

thanks for still dropping by!