I’m going through a divorce. After 57 years of peace and harmony, my gall bladder and I have decided to part ways.
Well, the decision to part was all mine. I’m sure the gallbladder would have been quite content to keep going as we were, with it producing stones and churning up spasms, and me doubling over in pain every time I ate a French fry.
Well, enough is enough. We aren’t getting along and somebody had to make the first move, so I called a lawyer. I mean surgeon.
Well, that’s not exactly true, either. The call was really made by the emergency room, where I spent most of a recent Sunday thanks to Magnitude 5 gall bladder attack.
I passed the ER time lying on my back watching basic cable television while a succession of alarmingly young doctors poked me and said “hmm.” I think I was part of a medical school field trip.
I kind of had an idea of what was going to happen, though, thanks to the nurse who examined me when I first got there.
“Still got your gall bladder?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“You won’t miss it,” she said.
Then the morphine kicked in and suddenly I was back in college.
The ultrasound man (sounds like a superhero, doesn’t it?) was especially illuminating. After I told him that I didn’t want to know if it was a boy or a girl, he applied his magic wand to my belly and said a word I honestly never expected to hear regarding my insides:
“Is that the official medical term?” I asked, attempting to joke my way out of it.
“Actually, it is,” he said. “Oh, look. There’s a stone!” I guess he thought I should be happy with the discovery.
So now I am off to the surgeon to see about getting my sludgy little gall bladder taken out. This seems like a better idea than (a.) just living with it or (b.) calling Roto-Rooter. Friends who have been down this path have been most encouraging. They all tell me I’ll feel better the instant the gall bladder comes out, which is exactly what I want to hear.
But like any separation, this one will have its consequences. I’ll always have a hole inside that could only be filled by my gall bladder. Or should I say by the traitorous gizzard that lived with me for 57 years and then betrayed me, a sludge-producing little turncoat, the Benedict Arnold of internal organs.
I just hope our divorce doesn’t affect the kids.