Uncomfortably Numb

After my surgery, I noticed part of my abdomen is numb, no doubt from nerves being severed when they were slicing through my belly.

It’s an annoying feeling, especially coupled with the sensitivity of the healing incision.

Using a pin, I figured out the boundaries of the numb spot, and that’s what’s marked in blue here.

The surgeon said I may regain feeling there, but it may take months. And also it won’t be until after new year’s that the muscle is healed enough for me to do anything but walk around (no lifting over 10 pounds).

Sigh. Hopefully someday I’ll be less broken.

The Bandages are Off

I had intended to go to sleep early last night, to be fully rested for going back to work today.
Instead, I found myself awake, tired but unable to drift off.

I examined my bandages, which are supposed to fall off on their own. Many were pretty close to falling off. I’m not supposed to pull them off, but they were so loose they pretty much just came off.

I got up and took a shower, and tried to get as much of the black gummy bandage residue off my skin as I could. It’s sticky stuff though, I suspect it will be a week or more before I get it all off.

Overall, recovery is going well. I haven’t had any issues with intolerance to fat, or spicy food, or dairy that many people experience after having their gall bladder removed. My theory is that my gall bladder was in such bad shape that I haven’t had a fully working gall bladder in a while, so my body was already somewhat used to getting along without it even before it was removed.

I met with the surgeon, he says everything looks good, but that I should avoid lifting more than 10 pounds for the next 8 weeks, to allow my abdominal muscles time to repair.

For the squeamish, I have put the photo of my healing belly after the link (though it’s pretty tame, no blood or internal organs this time, just a few little scars and one big one):

click here to continue to a photo of my scarred belly


I just got the call from the hospital with my surgery schedule for tomorrow.

  • No food or water after midnight.
  • I have to be at the hospital between 5:30-6:00 am.
  • I go in to surgery at 7:30 am.
  • The surgery itself takes around an hour.
  • After surgery, I get brought into the recovery room for a few hour to make sure I’m ok.
  • If all goes well, I’ll be back home around noon.

Being the weirdo I am, I asked:
a) could I get a recording of the surgery, since it’s laparoscopic and is already being viewed on a video screen, and
b) could I get the gall bladder itself, in a specimen jar or whatever, so I could get a look at the thing first-hand.

Typically, the answer on both was no, though atypically, not a definitive no.

They can probably get still images, since the nurse says those are usually attached to the patient records.
And I can probably get some of the gallstones, so I can at least see what those look like.

organ grinder

I went in to the doctor’s yesterday, to meet with the surgeon. Sarah came with me, to rough them up with her nurse-fu if they gave me any trouble. The surgeon was nice though, and was also curious to see if the flush did anything, so agreed to set up an ultrasound to see.

I scheduled an ultrasound for next week, and the surgery is scheduled for next month.
If the ultrasound shows that the stones were cleared by that herbal flush, then I can cancel the surgery.
If not, then I’ll go in for surgery on Oct. 10th, the operation takes about an hour, and then I’d go home and spend the weekend resting and recuperating.

While I was there, I requested copies of my ultrasounds (which the US technician falsely claimed I wasn’t allowed to have) and I swung by and picked them up this morning.

Here are the “before” ultrasounds, taken about a month ago (note, this is not “before” and “after”, just two different cross-section views from “before” – the “after” ultrasound hasn’t happened yet):

And here are the same images, where I’ve highlighted the important bits:

So a fair number of stones, but not a huge amount – some people have their gall bladder literally packed completely full of stones.