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Organ Recital

The gall of that bladder!

This is my liver, even though it looks like I’m playing Asteroids:


My GI issues returned in January, after having subsided. Having scoped me twice (once on each end), they moved onto alternate tests. The doc said it could be my gall bladder but I’d had an ultrasound so they kicked it up a notch. To get a good look at my liver, they had to pump me full of some radioactive stuff. Seems the Hepatobiliary system is a bit camera shy and has to be coaxed into making an appearance, the tech told me. So, they fill you full of nukes so that the system can be seen. The tech tells me the above pic is of my liver full of nukes and also probably Bourbon, I told him. After filling you full of nukular stuff (and, sadly, no Bourbon), they put you under this big machine called the liver looker at-er (well, that’s what I called it because that’s what it did. Of course, I also called the technician Neal) and it takes pictures of your liver for about an hour. They verify that the nuclear stuff passes from your liver to your gall bladder. Then, the fun begins.

After your liver does it’s business, they give you a shot over the course of several minutes. This shot makes your gall bladder empty into, I suppose, space. I didn’t really ask where it went after that. As far as I know, it immediately becomes poo. But I know that’s not right because I paid some attention in anatomy. This shot gives you one of the worst stomach aches ever. But as soon as the shot is done, the stomach pain and cramps go away immediately. At this point, they take pictures of your gall bladder to determine that it’s draining properly. This process looks like this:


Well, mine isn’t draining properly and this is causing all sorts of unpleasant time in the bathroom. My doc says it’s “chronically inflamed and not draining properly”. And it will have to come out. I have an appointment in the morning with the specialist who will tell me if it needs to come out or if there is something else they can do.

They’ll also biopsy it to see if it’s something major, which I’m told is routine but is still unnerving.

And that’s why no gun blog for you. I’m going to pace and mumble to myself for the night.

Also, the technician, whose name is not Neal but I don’t remember his name, was one of the nicest and most professional people in the medical field I’ve ever had to deal with. I wish I knew his name, I’d call Parkwest and let them know he was awesome.

40 Responses to “Organ Recital”

  1. LKP Says:

    Don’t wait until you start dropping stones. That hurts like a mother-******! Go ahead and take it out, you only have a few tiny incisions.

  2. NukemJim Says:

    “they give you a shot over the course of several minutes.”

    If they gave you the CCK/Sincalide over several minutes they are doing it an old fashioned way that creates a lot of side effects. Current practice is to infuse it over 45 minutes or so. Far fewer reactions, much less pt discomfort, higher Ejection Fraction (the number that tells the Docs whether your Gall Bladder is working properly or not) and many Docs feel that giving the CCK/Sincalide over a long time is closer to normal physiological function of the hepatobiliary system.

    PS Guess what I do for a living that is reflected in my handle?

  3. Kdawg Says:

    I went through gallbladder issues for a few years. It progressively got worse and worse to the point where I had no appetite and just about any food would set off a debilitating attack. Heck for awhile there, the main staples in my diet were Rolaids and Nexium.

    Finally I went and had an ultrasound done and my gallbladder was full of stones. A couple weeks later I had the arthroscopic surgery and it was a piece of cake, in and out of the hospital in less than 10 hours. I instantly had my appetite back too. That was four years ago at age 33, and other than having loose stool more times than not (sorry, TMI), I haven’t had any other side effects. I don’t avoid any certain foods, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had heartburn, and haven’t taken a Nexium since before my surgery.

  4. Lyle Says:

    Here’s wishing you all the best, Unc.

  5. Patrick in Michigan Says:

    Ouch, that smarts. My best to you man.


  6. SamW Says:

    I get along very well without my gall bladder. (Since 1985.) My case was so far along that the old fashioned surgery had to be done PDQ, before it burst. Very sore belly afterwards,too. Otherwise no problems. Good luck.

  7. chiefjaybob Says:

    Got rid of my evil gall bladder just about one year ago. Other than the occasional bout (easily handled by immodium), life has been just fine. The surgery is a piece of cake, as surgeries go.

  8. Bob Owens Says:

    Hope you get it sorted soon and in the least nerve-wracking way possible. Prayers headed your way.

  9. Shootin' Buddy Says:

    Was it the godawful fried peanuts?

  10. SPQR Says:

    After you lose that gall bladder, you’ll need a new source of gall. I suggest dehydrated Democrats. 200% of your RDA of gall.

  11. Phelps Says:

    John Wayne had them carve out a fucking LUNG because it went bad. You’re pissing and moaning over a gall bladder?

  12. ben Says:

    I had all sorts of digestive tract discomfort till I started using suspenders when carrying. My guts don’t like a snug belt at all.

  13. Mike V Says:

    Had mine out 14 years ago. A side effect was my gout flare ups became much less frequent. I did develop acid reflux about a year later. Not sure if one is related to the other. I have 6 small scars. I sometimes tell people if they ask what happened “buckshot.” It is usually good for a strange look or 2.

  14. Unistat76 Says:

    Shoot, they took mine out after one attack. They took an ultrasound and determined that there was some “sludge” in there. The Doc said it’s gotta come out. Two weeks later I went in, they made four little cuts and I was done.

  15. towerclimber37 Says:

    Hang in there, Uncle. we can’t afford to lose you until we restore the republic.

  16. Jeff Powell Says:

    Get better!

  17. rickn8or Says:

    What towerclimber said. We can’t restore the republic if we have you AND Tam med down at the same time.

  18. WallPhone Says:

    Was scoped from each end myself, just hope they did the top end first.

  19. Frank W. James Says:

    Here’s hoping you get better pronto with the least amount of discomfort. A round of prayers all around…

    All The Best,
    Frank W. James

  20. Critter Says:

    The Woman of the House has to have heraks out next week. I sympathise.

  21. chris Says:

    I wish you the best (you know, a speedy recovery) amigo.

  22. jigsaw Says:

    Wishing you a good outcome.

  23. Bryan S. Says:

    My wife’s basically turned to one stone, the surgeon said it should have been out 2 years earlier. F’n doctor kept pushing antacids on her.

    Unc, say goodbye to fatty/ greasy foods.

  24. Gerry Says:

    I had mine out and went to work the next day. My brother played around and had emegency surgery to remove his. He was so jaundiced the whites of his eyes were mustard yellow.

    Down side: You will pay for eating bacon.

  25. mike w. Says:

    Good luck Unc! Falnfenix had hers taken out this past year.

  26. Jeff Davis Says:

    Unk I just had mine out in Dec. Some complications but nothing really bad. With the gall bladder went a lot of GI issues that I’ve had over the years that the docs never seemed to connect to it. Laproscopic surgery is quick, easy and leaves no scars. Amazing how that lil’ organ can cause so many problems.

  27. falnfenix Says:

    been there, done that last August…and yeah, get it out before it puts you in the ER. spending a week on no food whatsoever, then getting a potassium IV (which BURNS LIKE HELLFIRE) is no fun.

  28. Bubblehead Les Says:

    Had mine taken out back in ’86 after my THIRD time passing stones. Hurt so bad, they gave me Morphine just so they could shut down my Screaming. And I had it done Old School, nice big scar on my Belly. But nowadays, it’s almost Outpatient. But I do recommend the Immodium, and carrying Spare Underwear and TP and Baby Wipes in the car for a couple of years until you get a Rhythm going.

    Trust me, when you got to go, you get about 30 seconds Warning, and you hope theres a Bush nearby.

    But on the Flip Side, you seldom have to worry about Constipation!

  29. falnfenix Says:

    also, recovery is different for different people. pass as much gas as possible post-surgery to make recovery more comfortable, and eat a GI soft diet at first. avoid all high-density meats and high-fat foods for awhile, and slowly reintroduce things after about 2 months. you may find you can no longer eat a few things, and this is normal.

    oh, and don’t take tylenol or advil for a few months post-surgery. like, at all.

    also, if you have allergy problems like i do, brace yourself for the first sneeze after surgery. hurts like a sumbitch.

  30. mariner Says:

    Wishin’ you the best, Unc.

  31. Blackwing1 Says:

    Hope everything turns out for the best possible. Hang in there; we’ll miss you while you’re AFK, and we’ll celebrate when you’re back to blogging.

  32. Sebastian Says:

    Good luck!

    Man, I really am not looking forward to my 40s.

  33. MJM Says:

    Hey, I hope you’ll get well soon, and join me at the range. Hope we don’t have to wait for spring’s nice weather (which is looking further away at the moment despite global warming) for either.

  34. Todd S Says:

    Best wishes!

  35. Will Says:

    Had a girlfriend about 30 years ago who had her’s out, due to a bicycle crash, IIRC. They never bothered to tell her to avoid fats in her diet. She eventually figured it out, but meals tended to be a problem for many years until she did. She ate like a bird, and had very little body fat, due to the GI trouble.

  36. Nylarthotep Says:

    I had my gall bladder out about a year ago. I believe it was St Patrick’s weekend last year. Had a terrible bout with the corned beef one night and the pain was horrible.

    Anyhoo, The local Doc sent me to get blood samples then to the emergency room. After the x-ray, and catscan they decided on the ultra-sound and that convinced them I needed to lose my gall bladder. My mom told me the same thing over the phone and didn’t cost a cent.

    Surgeon made four small holes and said mine was quite messy so I came close to having the big cut. Fortunately I didn’t.

    Recovery wasn’t bad at all. Just can’t do heavy lifting for a while.

    Fried foods or fatty foods are a thing of the past unfortunately. Can’t digest them well and seems to take forever to get those meals gone. Sucks.

    Good luck. Hope it’s just that and nothing more serious.

  37. bob smith Says:

    There are some very effective natural ways to clean the liver without invasive surgery. Be sure to do your research.

  38. Someone You Know Says:

    Dear Uncle,

    Good luck!!!

    And, …

    A speedy recovery

  39. Sebastian Says:

    There are some very effective natural ways to clean the liver without invasive surgery. Be sure to do your research.

    I’ve been drinking them for years.

  40. Jennifer Says:

    Best of luck. Hope you can get the GI issues worked out soon. That’s shitty.