Gallbladders are Evil

Word to the wise – if you have “gas pains” that are behind your belly button and in your right shoulder, don’t take a gas-x and go back to sleep. It’s probably your gallbladder being a huge jackass.

I haven’t been 100% for a while, and I really didn’t know why. Well, the day after Christmas, I woke up in an immense amount of pain. I thought it was bad gas cause, well, I didn’t know what else it could. It was awful, and I had to wake Josh to help rub my back and try and calm everything down. I thought maybe it was the stomach bug that Ellabelle had had on Christmas. I managed to fall back asleep after two hours, and that was the end of it.

Until very early Saturday morning.

I woke up because Ellabelle was crying and I stumbled across the house to her room. I soothed her and went back to my own room. I started to lay back down and the pain hit. It was the same pain as on Tuesday, but this time it was worse. I couldn’t lay down. So I sat. Eventually I couldn’t sit so I stood. Then I couldn’t stand without the pain so after waking poor Josh up multiple times, we decided I needed to go to the ER. Because of the girls, I drove myself. I’m not sure how I made it there, but I did. I sat in the waiting room for what felt like an eternity because I felt like I was ripping apart from the inside before they finally took me back. Everyone I talked to seemed to agree right away that the stomach and shoulder pain meant it was my gallbladder.

FaceTiming with my big girl while in the ER

After a very painful IV start up, and thankfully a dose of morphine, I got to take a ride through a CT scanner. And the scanners don’t look like they do on tv. They look like giant donuts and you lay on a table that rotates through the hole. They also have to send a dye through your veins, and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and like you’re peeing your pants which I kept reminding myself not to do. Turns out, everyone was right. It was my gallbladder! It had multiple stones, was enlarged, and it was thick so it was infected. Stupid little bastard. So out it had to come.


My parents showed up and, after dropping the girls off at his dad’s, so did Josh. I was worried that he wouldn’t make it before I went back since my surgery was scheduled for 11am. They wheeled me into the pre-op area from the ER, and I got the run down of what was going to happen. I said bye to my parents and Josh, and they started wheeling me back to OR. I remember feeling really weird all of a sudden and asked if I had been given my sleeping meds. The guy wheeling back said they had. I don’t remember anything else after that except I kinda remember someone telling me to let them put my oxygen mask on. I think I was fighting against whoever was trying to cover my mouth and nose.
Next thing I know I’m back where I started in pre-op. I’m pretty sure I annoyed the male nurse because I just kept asking, “Where’s Josh?” He told me we’d wait til I woke up a bit more and I dozed in and out for about 20 mins. Well, there was a clock on the wall and my brain seems to remember it only being 20 mins but who knows if my drugged up brain is right. I asked for Josh again (I have no idea how many times I actually asked him. I only remember 3) and I know I irritated him because the female nurse suddenly started taking care of me instead.

Now let me clarify something, this whole thing was a long process. It seems short here in writing, but there was a lot of waiting. I was in the ER from 5:30am-10:30am and then we waited 30 mins for the OR and then the surgery took like 3.5hrs and then I had to wake up. Luckily for me, I was drugged for part of this.


Finally, they let my people come back to see me. The male nurse came out into the lobby and asked who Josh was. I’m telling you, I seriously irritated him with my incessant asking.

They feed me ice chips and then Josh had to feed me water and graham crackers. They explained after care and that was it. Josh dressed me (since I was “surgically naked” which I was very worried about for some reason) and I got wheeled to my mom’s car and she took me home. My dad drove one of our cars and Josh drove the other. My mom was nice enough to stop and get me a milk shake since, luckily, you starting eating normally right away.

I slept for like the next week. I missed the new year arriving. I hardly saw the girls because they like to jump and hug and snuggle which is very problematic when you have four incisions on your belly. The stupid cats kept trying to sleep on me. That wasn’t very fun. My 2017 didn’t start until like January 6th. I missed the first 6 days of the year. I missed the first snow of the year. I missed my life. My gallbladder robbed me of time! They are evil.


I went back to work after a week which was hard, but I’m on week 2 and going strong. I feel almost back to normal. In fact, I actually feel better now then I did before. Pesky gallbladder was messing everything up apparently. I’m just glad it’s over and out and I can move on.


Bye Felicia.

December 2❄️16

I love December. I don’t like the cold and the snow and ice that sometimes appears early in the winter season, but even among the chill that sets in outside, December still always feels warm. There’s people coming together and there’s watching Christmas movies under blankets and hot chocolate and elves popping around everyone’s houses and Christmas light. Yes, Christmas lights are my favorite. They are the best part of December. And they are literally everywhere. And I don’t discriminate. I love them all. Colorful, white, blue, icicle, blinking, musical, strands and shapes – if they glow softly in the night I’m in. I’ve tried very hard to stop and enjoy the lights in our house. I used to love coming home from school, plugging in the tree, turning on some Christmas songs, and doing my homework. I love sitting in the glow. It’s just warms my heart.


And with our December being jammed pack (by my own doing of course), I didn’t stop and enjoy the lights as much as I wish I had, but I did get some basking in.

Our busy, busy month started with an Ellabelle free weekend. She was originally suppose to spend the night at Auntie Ang’s in November, but it got pushed back til the first weekend in December. We dropped her off and headed off to enjoy quiet time (since she never stops talking). We stopped and had lunch at Logan’s to celebrate my promotion.


As we were finishing we got a call from Auntie Ang. Ellabelle had been jumping up and down in excitement and fell and bit her lip. She was bleeding on the inside and out so we paid and headed back. We switched out kids, leaving Matilda with Angie, and took Ellabelle to Children’s Hospital.


Luckily, she hadn’t bitten all the way through the lip. She baffled the doctor and the nurses because she managed to bite the inside and outside of her mouth somehow.


We took her back to Angie’s (which is the only thing EB had been worried about the entire hospital trip) and took Mattie home with us. We went and wrapped presents at Oma’s the next day for her, and Angie dropped Ellabelle off to us there, butttt not til after they went and saw the Christmas trains in their Christmas outfits. Ellabelle had so much fun with Angie, and it makes me so happy that Ellabelle is developing a relationship with her and that Mattie will have the opportunity as she grows as well.

Christmas magic continued when St. Nick came to visit us. He brought lots of fun things (a new Reindeer Bah for Mattie, light up Rudolph slippers for Ellabelle).


And while St. Nick and presents are fun, cookie day was the only thing Ellabelle could talk about since before Thanksgiving. So, I took off a Friday from work, and Oma and I baked cookies, just like we do every year. Our little helper was not as much help as I anticipated, but she still had so much fun. I baked from 7am til 5:30pm. My mom started and ended after me though. We baked so many cookies that I don’t even know how many dozens there were.

I made a Christmas Bucket List for us to complete and Ellabelle wasso excited about it. She would steal my notebook its written in and just look at it.


So, by cookie day, we had completed a few.


And our card this year:

Next on the list was Breakfast with Santa.


We had pancakes and sauage and the girls got to go talk to Santa. Mattie was not exactly convinced, but she held it together. Ellabelle just could not contain herself and poor Santa had no idea what she was rattling off to him.  

I took Ellabelle to see the ballet at Mason High School.


It was only an hour and a half so it kept her attention, and she loved it. She wants to do ballet now. She also squeals and yells when she sees a nutcracker anywhere now.

So, Mattie points and makes all kind of adorable baby noises when she see any sort of Christmas lights (I’ve obviously passed on the Christmas gene to this one). So, we knew she’d love going to see lots of lights.


Josh and I weren’t the impressed because it’s the same display every year, but listening to both girls chatter and point about all the different designs made it so much fun. We also went to visit Santaland afterwards. Mattie hated the puppet show and ran away from the walking talking Christmas tree. (“O! Christmas Me! O! Christmas Me!”) Both girls really liked the elf show especially since they both got to dance.

We went and saw Santa again so I could get a proper picture.

The line was really, really long, but we waited.

Ellabelle made an ornament while we waited. So she was pretty happy.


Once we got up to Santa, Mattie decided she still did not like this guy in the red suit. This time she let us all know. She cried and reached for me the entire time. The Santa was really rude as well and didn’t want to give Mattie a candy cane. However, we all survived and I got a crying kid picture.

Next thing on the bucket list was not Josh approved because, well, Josh is not so into holidays. He was definitely not into sitting on the floor and giving the girls chocolate to spill.


However, since he’s the Grinch married to Buddy the Elf, he was a good sport. The girls both really enjoyed the whole thing.

The weekend before Christmas we went and had our Christmas with Josh’s sisters family. Ellabelle adores her cousin Alex, and Mattie adores a captive audience. We had dinner and opened gifts and the girls passed out before we had hardly left the driveway on the ride home.

Our friend, Amy, graduated this December. She’s honestly amazing because she’s got 4 kids and still managed to rock the whole college thing. I can’t even get laundry put up with only two kids. We went to her graduation party to celebrate, but we didn’t get to stay long because Matilda was just being unruly. She’s getting more and more opinionated which I don’t approve of because she’s always been the sweet one. Ellabelle came out with an attitude, but Mattie has always been so go with the flow. I don’t like her “No!” to everything we say and her tantrums full on the floor. I’m hoping this is just a stage and will pass.

After the longest 5 days EVER, we made it through the work week and it was finally Christmas Eve! I stressed and stressed all week about getting last minute gifts and packing and wrapping and I almost made it not fun. However, Josh gave me a talking to and got me refocused on all the good that is Christmas. Sometimes I just get so caught up in prep and lists that I miss the big picture. And Christmas is all about the big picture.

We spent the day at my parent house so the girls could nap there. Christmas Eve is always at my parents house and it’s one of my favorite days of the year.


My moms side of the family is loud and fun and drinkers. I got a little overexcited and did a few too many shots.

Mattie was really excited about Lexi’s gifts
Josh and Lexi hanging out


Josh intentionally got drunk (“drunk enough I don’t have to help carry up presents [from the basement]”) and passed out well before we got everything upstairs.

 

He was a naughty boy, but at least he only smokes when he drinks.

As usual, we over did it on the gifts. Everyone went to bed around 12:30 and was ready for an exciting morning with the girls.

 

This gift was 100% for my kid. Not for me. Not at all.


Then the stomach bug appeared.

 

The calm before the storm

On the bed. On herself. On poor Auntie Ang. Ellabelle threw up three different times in the bed and used the bathroom on the floor of the bathroom once. Poor thing was so tired and cold and kept getting stripped and thrown in the shower. Mattie slept through most of it

 


but the rest of us were up and running around. Oma kept stripping sheets and starting laundry. Angie was cleaning herself up. Josh was showering Ellabelle. I was trying to find extra clothes. Finally, around 5:00am, Mattie woke up and we threw in the towel. We made Opa get up (he exclaimed, “Are you serious?!” when we told him he had to) and we opened presents before the sun came up. We were all tired but we made it through without only one more episode of stomach problems.

Hair style courtesy of the stomach bug
Tired babe and sick babe


After eating, Angie left and we all napped. We cancelled on Mamaw and Papaw just to be safe since we weren’t sure about Ellabelle’s stomach and we didn’t want to get anyone else sick. When we got home, we all went to be early.

 

The next day, Ellabelle was back to her normal self (thankfully). So I took her to the mall to spend her gift card.


The night of the 26th I thought I had caught the stomach bug from Ellabelle but it seemed to pass without much interference to my daily life.

So, Ellabelle took a nose dive off the couch on the 22nd, and she’d complained occasionally that her shoulder hurt. Now, she’s a bit overdramatic about most things so we didn’t really think twice about it. Until the bump showed up on her clavicle. After a call to her pediatrician, we were told to go to the ER for X-rays.

She has the smallest break that you can’t even see it on a regular X-ray. So she got a sling and wrap for a week which was suppose to immobilize her shoulder. Yeah, anyone with a 4 year old will tell you there’s no immobilizing them with just an ace bandage. Still we tried the best we could.

The 30th was Christmas with family friends. It was after work so we were tired, the girls were cranky, and I still didn’t feel a 100%. So we didn’t make it very long into the evening. Come to find out that night that the stomach bug was not what was wrong with me. Turns out it was my gallbladder being hateful.