Wednesday, April 30, 2008

...and the kitchen sink

In case I hadn't had enough, they just threw in the kitchen sink. I thought I had as much as I could handle on my plate. Then, last night, I developed severe abdominal pains and ended up in the emergency room, where I was diagnosed with gallstones. So I'll most likely need to have my gallbladder removed very soon.

Schedule: This Friday morning, I will have a nuclear cholangiogram to get a better view of the gallstones. Then on Monday, I will consult with a general surgeon, and most likely schedule surgery. Surgery will need to be scheduled sometime next week, because by the following Wednesday, I need to be ready to fly to New York!!! All of this means that my students' piano recital is currently up in the air.

Issues: I hate to say this again but: "Why me?" And no, I don't want an answer. I don't actually believe that there is an answer to that question. I believe that my body is sick, so things go wrong, but no God or fate or master plan has determined that for me. If you are interested in this perspective, please consider reading When Bad Things Happen to Good People. It's a simple book that changed my view on life and the universe.

More issues: More literally...why is this happening? Risk factors for gallstones include: low fiber and high fat in diet, old(er) age, smoking, high body fat, high body weight.

With that in mind: I have been on a strict high fiber, low fat diet ever since I was diagnosed with IBS over a year ago (No IBS is not a risk factor.) I'm only 24. Not many 24 year olds deal with this. I despise cigarettes. I have a low body weight for my height, and my body fat percentage is optimal.

The only possible explanations I've been able to come up with:
One of my many medications has caused this to happen.
Damage to my spinal cord that is contributing to increasing constipation and causes low motility of the intestines could also cause low gallbladder motility, causing a buildup of collected fats and bile.

More rhetorically: why does this have to be happening right now? My life is completely full to the brim for the next few months. Now, I have to find a way to squeeze this in. If I have gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) next week, I will have to change the recital date and miss my friend's wedding. I don't have a lot of friends, so this is huge! This will be immediately followed by my trip to New York to see my neurosurgeons and have tests done (oh, how I love medical tests!). The recital would need to be the next week, followed by my wisdom tooth extraction the following week. I would have a couple weeks to recover (again) before my tethered cord surgery in June. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why did I need something extra right now? Like I didn't have enough. Come on. I know that individually, I could handle any one of these things. But all together, it seems impossible, insurmountable, and just plain unfair.

As a side note, why do I need to wait a week and go through all of these extra steps in order to get my gallbladder removed? Why couldn't they have admitted me last night and removed my gallbladder this morning? It would have been so much easier for me...and more convenient. The doctors don't seem to care that I'm quite uncomfortable right now. Why are they making me wait so long?

I don't want to deal with all of this. It's just so much to take on. And there is so much pain ahead. But for some reason, I feel like if I can just get my schedule on order, I will be able to handle everything. I have so many people supporting me. I know that I can do this. So, I'll persist and persist...and continue to persist!!! What other option do I have?