It would seem the average opinion of the average medical professional that the Gall Bladder is an unnecessary organ. I'd like to believe we weren't born with unnecessary extras...
Supposedly, after researching the organ, the lovely and often time pain inducing Gall Bladder has a function after all. It produces enzymes that are to assist in the process of breaking down and digesting food. Can we function without the Gall Bladder? Sure. Is it more difficult? For some, yes and for others they notice no difference other than the obvious absence of pain.
I have a neurological condition/disease brought on by a sudden trauma to joints. It would seem that is enough, however, it's not. The condition is one that can/will cause the deterioration of your entire body, in short. My Gall Bladder was soon under attack.
In September of 2006 I had a 20 minute bout of pain in my stomach that I could not understand. I'd never felt anything like it before and had no clue what brought it on. It passed and I tried to forget it. A couple months later it happened again. I did the same thing trying to forget it. However, as the months passed the 'attacks' became lengthier and much more painful. They also began to happen with a frequency - too frequent.
In May 2007 I decided to see the doctor about it. I had to see him about many other health concerns I'd allowed to pile up as well so throwing this 'stomach pain' in the mix wasn't a big deal to me - I wouldn't be going to the doctor just to complain about a pain in my stomach that's not consistent or constant. I also decided it was time to heed the pleas of those around me as the last 'attack' nearly killed me or at least we all thought it would but I refused to go to the ER. Stubborn, yeah I know. But I've spent enough time in hospitals, doctor's offices, etc. without being 'healed.' I am going to be adverse to going the doc or hospital without serious cause. Blood was drawn, prescriptions written and another appointment made for 30 days later to follow up and get the results of the blood tests.
The VERY day I was to see the doctor for my test results I ended up in the hospital. I am the one who requested to be taken to the ER. Believe it or not! I KNEW something was wrong - REALLY wrong. The last time I'd gone to the hospital willingly was in Dec 2005. Had I not gone to the ER that night they said I would have died.
The pain started at 5 a.m. At 9:30 a.m. I began trying to locate my significant other at work to take me to the doc or the ER. I finally arrived at the ER around 10:45 a.m. The pain had not yet eased up despite everything I'd tried that had worked in the past. This is the kind of pain I cannot begin to describe. It's well beyond the pain I already go through on a daily basis.
They didn't even triage me. Oh NO NO! They put me in a wheelchair without as much as asking my name or what was wrong and rushed me to a private room. They put me in the bed and started an IV immediately - still no questions asked. They took my vitals and THEN began to ask questions. Evidently they thought I was having a heart attack. I must have looked TERRIBLE!
An onslaught of tests were ordered and off I was wheeled still writhing in pain after 2 shots of morphine into my slow drip IV.
Four VERY long hours later they confirmed it was my Gall Bladder. They finally tried an anti-inflammatory drug in my IV because I had been (literally) screaming and moaning, flailing about in pain for four hours despite several rounds of morphine. Relief! Sweet sweet RELIEF! Nearly instantly that anti-inflammatory went to work. I sat up in bed and was able to have a conversation without blinding flashes of pain that caused involuntary screams of agony.
It had passed. Thank you, God! This one was the longest and most intense yet - almost 10 hours long and on the pain scale of 1-10 it was a 15. I sit at an 8 regularly (average day) ... I'm no stranger to pain but this? This was something different, something much more intense, something I cannot describe and only those who've gone through that pain understand how awful it is. JEEEEZ!
They tell me they're going to get the ambulance to take me to the other hospital to have the organ removed. Umm ... #1 I have my own car and driver here. No need to bother with your ambulance or the bill that will follow. #2 I was told after being diagnosed with RSD to avoid surgery at all costs. #3 Umm ... NO! Don't I get to talk to a doctor, you know ... have a consultation first? Perhaps the ER doc can talk to me? I have some questions and definitely some concerns.
Now that's not how I spoke to the nurse but that's basically what I conveyed...
No offense to any doctor who might be reading this but ... Doctors and nurses do not like being asked questions. It makes no difference how sincere your question, they take it as you challenging them.
Needless to say I began the process of getting myself released against doctor's advice since they wouldn't sit down and talk to me about what was going on. And there were only 2 other people in the ER as patients. They were NOT busy. The nurse went so far as to take tone with me and raise her voice!!! Oh yes she did! I flew out of that bed and followed her into the private area of the nurses station with my IV in tow. All I wanted was some answers. This is where she finally told me that I could die from this, that my Gallbladder was near to bursting. Well my goodness if someone would have just told me to begin with we wouldn't be here screaming at each other now would we?!?!?
An hour later I was at the other hospital being admitted for emergency surgery and the rest is history.
If you are a medical professional reading this please, Please, PLEASE be at least compassionate enough with your patients to sit down and answer their questions no matter how stupid you think their questions are, no matter how angry you might be with them for asking questions, no matter how you might feel about them personally. It's their health, their body, and their peace of mind. Most of the time you can't simply treat the ailment as there is much more to it than this. You must treat the WHOLE of the patient and this means their peace of mind as well - answering questions. Put a patient at ease and it goes a LONG way toward making your job that much easier.