Ouch. Just back from hospital after having my gall-bladder removed. I knew I had gall-stones from a couple of years ago. And all the Brazilian doctors told me I needed to have the bladder removed. The British doctor I saw told me it wasn't necessary if it wasn't hurting, so I left it.
Then last Wednesday, I thought I had a bout of food poisoning. A kind of burning pain from my stomach through my right side to the kidneys.
On Thursday, the pain was increasing, so that evening I went to the hospital and got some strong anti-inflamatory / painkilling tablets. There wasn't a specialist that night, so I took the tablet hoping it would die down. Thursday night the pain had subsided and I got some sleep. But by late morning Friday, the pain was back, all over my abdomen, and stronger than before. Wasn't sure if I could hold out until 10 pm, to take the next painkiller (one every 24 hours, max). In the event, I ate nothing and lasted until 6 pm before I took it. Had a couple of hours of reduced pain, but by 2 AM it was full-on again. Didn't sleep. My wife woke up and found me vomiting at 5:30, and took me back to the hospital at around 6.00 Saturday.
Fortunately the GP was willing to put me on a stronger drip feed of painkillers and the specialist was in by 7. He agreed to operate then, although I had to wait until 2 PM for 8 hours to pass since I last ate. (Stupidly I ate a cracker at around 5 to try to relieve the burning sensation in my stomach.)
The waiting was weird. The painkillers were reducing the qualia of pain, but not the sense of discomfort. Couldn't find a position to stay in for longer than a couple of minutes.
Fortunately they put me under by around 1:45. Surgery was finished by 4 and I was awake by 4:30 (seem to remember some delerious dreaming about wiki and weblogs just as I woke up)
The operation can be as short as 15 minutes, or as long as around 5 hours. Because my stones were so large, they had to cut a bigger hole, but it wasn't the worst the surgeon had seen.
Saturday night was fairly miserable. I was on a painkiller and anti-vomiting drip. But I thought I had to stay lying in bed, when I was desperate to pee. Bladder hurt abominably, but I did manage to sleep. Sunday, I was able to get up and pee (amazing relief) and shower and walk up and down the corridor attached to the drip.
By evening though I was pretty weak and the pain was getting stronger. I did eat a little during the day.
Sunday night I hardly slept at all, althought the pain had reduced. Partly this was because I'd slept a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon.
Today (Monday) the doctor told me I was still in pain because he'd reduced the strength of the painkiller. Nevertheless I was feeling a lot stronger, so was discharged home with a prescription for several types of pills. So far, some tolerable pain every now and then, and spasms if I cough, laugh or move suddenly. Still I feel I'm getting better.