Interlude, With Gall Bladder

roboticIf you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been posting, I’m having a certain amount of pain pretty much every day, and it’s sharply diminished my writing output.

I feel like a sissy saying it, considering what Greta Christina and Ed Brayton have gone through recently (and kept writing!), but … you know, you have deal with your own experience, and this has been a low-level but definite ass-kicker.

In a few days, I’ll be going to the local hospital for the preadmission tests. My gallbladder and I are parting company a week from Friday.

I’ve had two actual attacks, and you DON’T want to know what it’s like. Women who’ve had ‘em have said the pain compares to that of childbirth. In my case, the last time it happened, the stabbing, blooming, attention-consuming pain radiated into my back and chest and just left me gasping.

I drove myself to the emergency room, thinking every minute my vision was going to dim out and I would just die, but it went on and on and ON. Lying down in the ER, it began to ebb slowly, and eventually went almost completely away.

A doctor visit and an ultrasound later, turns out I need to have that puppy out. I’d had one previous attack, at which time I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor, but fortunately it just went away on its own.

But I do NOT want to have another.

I’ve had to wait months for my “medical leave time” to kick in on my new job – the recovery time is projected to be 7 to 10 days – and meanwhile I’ve been tiptoeing through the minefield of foods that might irritate it, losing 10 or so pounds in the process.

I have a nice Indian doctor who presented me with two options: “I do the surgery 5 days a week. On Monday through Thursday, I do it myself through four small incisions in your abdomen. On Friday I get time on the robot, and that takes only one small incision at your belly button.”

With visions of Our Glorious Future in mind, I immediately said “I want the robot!”

The surgery itself takes about 10 minutes, and you get to go home the same day. I expect to be stiff and whiny for days after, but I’m hoping my otherwise good general health will have me back at work in a week.

Meanwhile, I’m stocking up on fruits and veggies and soup, and I intend to get to the library to pick out a half dozen or so novels I wouldn’t mind reading again. I already have some pretty good non-fictions on hand – “Snakes in Suits, When Psychopaths Go to Work,” “Confucius Lives Next Door, What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West,” “Leading With Kindness, How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results,” and “The World Café, Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations that Matter.”

If I should die, I expect you to carry on without me. Build Beta Culture, transform the world, create the Singularity, all that.

If you decide to erect a statue in my honor, I want it to be shaped like a giant bronze turd, and the plaque at the bottom should say “IN MEMORY OF GEORGE W. BUSH AND THE STINKING SHITS WHO SERVED IN HIS ADMINISTRATION.”

Hey, some things are more worth remembering than mere atheist bloggers.