At long last I have a date for my operation. It is to be in the middle of October and the nice consultant has explained all the procedure and possible complications that could go wrong. Apparently my gall bladder is so swollen that keyhole surgery may not be enough to remove it. They will not know for sure about this until they have opened me up and lobbed a camera inside of me to see how badly it is swollen. Naturally as I will be asleep (hopefully) when they do this I will not know what they are going to do until after I have woken up.
Alternatives were discussed and dismissed. Dissolving the stones is a long process with expensive drugs and the side effects can be pretty severe. Blasting them with radio waves only works on certain types of stones and again this was crossed off the list. Removing the stones only was also discounted as this will not stop them from reforming in the future. In short the only real way to deal with the problem is to remove it completely. The side effects, I have been told, will only be temporary and should consist of nothing more than a few days of diarrhoea at worst until my body adjusts to the constant drip feeding of bile into the stomach.
If I do have keyhole surgery then I should be out of hospital the following day and back in work within two weeks. If I have to have open surgery I will be in hospital for around 3 maybe four nights and off work for between four to six weeks. I asked the consultant that if he should have to perform open surgery could he leave me with an interesting scar instead of a boring straight cut. He said it was such an unusual request and that it would be a challenge he just might! Right now I am thinking of something along the lines of an attack from a wild animal or a bayonet wound. These are much more of a talking point at the beach than a boring old straight cut with neat little stitches.
Throughout the last few weeks Bean Counter has been an absolute angel and has put up with my many mood swings caused by pain, medication and sometimes sheer anger and frustration at the problems that such a little thing like a pebble sized stone can cause. There have also been some funny moments such as when I put on a pair of trousers that had not fitted me for a very long time and they fell to the floor in the kitchen. I have since started using belts and braces.