Feature Writer Lynne Tatum – It Galls Me

Some time ago I awoke in the early morning with excruciating pains in my abdomen–specifically on the right side. It marked the first time I’d ever missed a teaching session. Our competent tutors took over and I was back the following day, but it was a debilitating, unforgettable experience.

With the exception of chronic hypertension, for which I take medication, I consider myself a fairly healthy person. I walk good distances, tandem bike ride, and lift free weights. However, an insidious, albeit common, disease was waiting to strike and it galls me that I have to announce that I’ve been diagnosed with an annoying gallstone. The question is not whether or not to undergo surgery, but when.

The last time I went under the knife was to try to fix a problem with my ailing eyeball. The surgery was marginally successful. But the one thing I recall was waking up while they were doing the deed and feeling the heat. It was bizarre, to say the very least. I think I made some noise to let them know. Even stranger was the smiling photo my surgeon insisted I take before leaving the operating room. Things will be a lot different this time. For one thing, I absolutely do not want to come out of anesthesia as they’re working on my innards.

The gallstone was caught on film during my first-ever sonogram. I must say that I was in and out of that medical imaging office in about half an hour and the technician was very humorous and helpful (No thanks to the semi-conscious taxi driver who dropped us off in front of a parking garage rather than the entrance to the office). Additionally, I can’t help but relate that a good friend mockingly asked if I were having a sonogram because I thought I might be pregnant. Ironically, he was actually in line with my doctor who had also recently asked (I’m certain, in jest) if I planned to become pregnant. The answer on both accounts was a resounding, “No!” Not at the rather advanced age of 49. I know there are many women out there who would jump at the chance, but I intend to remain firmly rooted to the ground.

Not pretending even one iota of bravery, I’ll admit to being terrified even though I’ve researched the treatment and know that this is a very common procedure. It is not common for me and I now have the added concern of paying for the recommended surgeon, who aggravatingly, does not participate in any healthcare insurance. I’m considering finding another surgeon who is equally competent and cooperative. Decisions, decisions!

Here’s some information on this very painful topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qGK2CAXbvk

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