At the end of May I was taken to the hospital in excruciating pain. I was doped up, had a ton of tests taken and sent home with some files to take to my surgeon in hopes he would find a time slot for me to have gall bladder removal surgery. Less than 24 hours later I was rushed back to the emergency room, vomiting blood. 30 minutes after I got there, I was being admitted. The MD told my older sister and my eldest that I was a “very sick woman” and that I was not leaving there without at least one surgical procedure. Thus began my 10 day stay in the hospital. Apparently because my original surgeon was dragging his feet scheduling my surgery I had an errant gallstone that was in the duct between gall bladder and pancreas AND one between the gall bladder and liver. My liver function was very low and my pancreas was just decoration at that point.  During that time I was on NBO or nothing by oral because they needed me to be ready for surgery at any given time. I was filled full of IV fluids and some awesome pain meds. I was poked, prodded and poked some more. I had an IV in my freaking inner elbow, so I spent 3 days with my arm completely straight. Well, as straight as someone with arthritic elbows can get. On or around day 4 the nurse was taking my vitals and panicked, it seems my heart rate had dropped to 62. But my blood pressure was super high. I spent a few nights with an EKG machine strapped to my chest. And panicked nurses rousing me throughout the night to take my pressure and check my heart rate. It stayed low the entire time I was there, until the day before surgery when it went up to right under 100. I have still have no idea what caused it. And believe me, they did enough tests to try to figure it out. On the 6th or 7th day, they decided to let me have clear liquids. That consisted of veggie broth and jello for breakfast, chicken broth and jello for lunch and beef broth and jello for dinner. I was on that for 1 lousy day. The next day, after my liquid breakfast, the nurse came in and said they were going to give me real food for lunch. They brought me a burger. I can’t honestly say it was a hamburger because I am still unsure of the meats origin. I ate a couple zucchini and carrot sticks, and then I took a bite of the burger. As I started to chew a woman came in and identified herself as the anesthesiologist. She informed me I would be having a procedure later that evening. As she was talking and I prepared to take my second bite the nurse came in. She took that damn burger out of my hand, snatched my huge container of ice water and threw it all out. I was back NBO. I wanted to cry. I didn’t have my surgery that night or the next. They woke me on day 10 at 4:30 a.m. and prepped me for surgery. I was in the OR by 8 and in recovery talking to my sister by 8:45. I was dressed and wheeled out to the car by 9:15. I walked through my front door at 9:30 and made it no further than the couch. I spent the next 6 hours dozing off and on while my kids stared at me like I might fall into a million tiny pieces at any second. The surgeon who did my surgery called to check on me the next day and told me I had one gall stone the size of a large plum and 2 smaller ones that had blocked the ducts. He was adamant that my liver and pancreas would be just fine over time.

During all this I still had to make sure the kiddos were cool at home. The Boy was at his stepbrothers the day I went in, so I called and had them keep him. My sister took the Youngest and the Gal stayed at home with her older brother and sister. We facetimed every day, so I could help with homework, tell my son where the bills were that needed paying and the info needed to access the funds to pay them and just general check ins. I fielded calls from therapists and schools, all while lying there in that lovely bed. Even sick and in the hospital a single mom still has to keep shit together for her family. We don’t get breaks.