Monday, January 26, 2015

You Have No Worries… Yeah, Right!

“Um, I think I’ll wait,” I told the doctor, spinning my wedding ring on my finger.

“There’s no problem, Mrs. Christiansen.  This is a simple laparoscopic gallbladder removal.  You’ll be on your feet in a day or two. Don’t worry.”  The doctor gave me a pat on the knee for reassurance.

With my luck, I wasn’t too certain.

I was in charge of our family reunion.  I’d been working diligently and still had more to do.  I had put together a fun pirate theme and a record number of family members were coming. Since the reunion was out of town, I had a lot to see to and get ready to be hauled a couple of hundred miles away.  I couldn’t forget anything.

Fidgeting in the chair, I mulled over how to circumvent the situation.  I thought it might be better to wait until after the reunion to have the procedure but my sick gallbladder was making it difficult to even get out of the house and do the necessary shopping.  Let’s just say, I personally knew every bathroom in town.

“I’ll be on vacation for a few weeks by the time you're back from your reunion,” the doctor said.  “Honestly, now is the best time to have the surgery.”

Shrugging, I reluctantly nodded and thrust my hands into my pockets.  That little voice kept saying, “Not a good idea.”

Why don’t I listen?   

I had no idea that they tipped you upside down to do the procedure and when I awoke, the first thing I noticed was a stabbing pain in my left thigh.  My mind couldn’t get wrapped around that.  I knew my gallbladder wasn’t in my thigh. I kept asking them what was wrong, but no one gave me an answer and they started to get a LITTLE curt with me.

They finally moved me into a recovery room where my husband could join me.  I still had the IV in my arm and they said I needed a little more time in recovery before I could leave the hospital.  Again, I asked about the pain in my leg, and they said I could ask the doctor when he came to discuss how the procedure had gone.

I felt…funny…kinda floaty.  I didn’t want to say anything.  I wanted to go home.  Every outpatient procedure I had had always turned into at least an overnighter, so the less said the better.  My vision blurred. I felt far away.

“Honey,” I called to my husband. “I feel…funny.”  I looked down at the floor. My IV was disconnected and a pool of my blood covered the floor.  I blacked out.

I remember coming around just long enough to see the horror on the doctor’s face and him yelling orders to the nurses.  Sheer panic filled the air. My body started to shake and I was out again.  The next thing I knew, I was being wheeled down the hall to be admitted.

The blacking out and seizures continued throughout the night.  My abdomen turned blue.  I couldn’t get a straight answer out of my doctor, and I felt too awful to confront him.  The nurses were particularly attentive so I knew something was amiss.

Later, I found out that I had dropped below transfusion level but my doctor wouldn’t give me blood for some convoluted reasons.  I called my primary care but he didn’t want to get involved.

They sent me home still having seizures, my stomach turning black, my fever spiking to 104 degrees, my leg in sheer pain, and my mind foggy.  It was all I could do to sleep and eat.  The reunion was a week away and my oldest son’s sports day just two days away. 

Only with prayers and a wheelchair was I able to take my oldest son to his event and oversee the reunion.  My mind was so unclear that I forgot a lot of activities I had planned for the reunion, and I still don't remember either occasion very well.

So began a long series of health issues caused by the lack of blood that continue to this day.  By the time I was well enough to consider legal action, the doctor no longer worked at the hospital and his practice was closed in this state.  In fact, I couldn’t find any record of him anywhere in the US.

What began as a simple laparoscopic procedure turned into additional lifelong health issues.  Yes, I have trouble when a doctor says, “No worries.”

FYI:  The pain in my leg was a pinched nerved from strapping me too tight to the operating table for too long.  The pain continued for over a year.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
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  1. O my gush, Cindy. That was horrible. I would have ring his neck before I got out the hospital. What a jerk.

    1. Thanks, Anna. I was way too ill to even think. Survival was all that I could do at the time.


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