I’m collecting donations of gently used running shoes, clothing, and gear for the track and field athletes at Rhodes Hall High School in Hanover, Jamaica. Donations can be mailed to: Danielle Cemprola, PO Box 26101, Greenville, SC 29616. If you would prefer to donate online, please visit my GoFundMe page! All funds raised will go directly to the team. You can read more about the kids and their incredible stories here.
You may remember that about a week before the Route 66 Marathon, I started feeling really sick and having bad stomach problems again. After having surgery to fix a fault pyloric valve (and cure my chronic acid reflux) back in February 2013, I’ve been fortunate enough to pretty much live issue-free where my reflux and stomach pain is concerned. That surgery was a total game changer for me and completely cured the nausea and reflux I dealt with on a daily basis – until recently. When I started feeling sick again, I put off calling my surgeon for a week – after all, it might be a fluke or go away. It didn’t go away, and he was concerned that the “wrap” (the surgery they did to fix my valve) had burst, so I started undergoing a bunch of tests to see what was going on. I also started eating super conservatively and managed to make it through the Route 66 Marathon none the worse for the wear.
The first tests showed that my wrap was still in tact – great news, because while the wrap will have to be redone eventually (every 10-15 years is the standard), it’s not a fun surgery and I didn’t really want to experience it again less than 3 years later. I had to postpone a few more tests until after I came back from Jamaica (but let’s be honest, who would choose a medical test over a trip to Jamaica?), but I was able to finally get some tests done on my gall bladder in mid December. Since my wrap wasn’t the problem, my surgeon felt certain that my gall bladder was, based on the symptoms I was describing and the fact that both my dad and my younger brother have already had to have their gall bladders taken out. I’m so glad that I inherited every single bad gene possible from my family!
Long story short – yup, it’s my gall bladder, and it needs to come out. My surgeon called to deliver that news on Christmas Eve…Merry Christmas to me!
Of course, there is no such thing as a “gall bladder emergency,” because a faulty gall bladder has never killed anyone. It’s really a matter of how long I can deal with the discomfort and pain and how frequent the attacks get. For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling better, and that’s in line with these kinds of issues; you have attacks and then get better, then have more attacks. Therefore, surgery is only as imminent as I want it to be. I don’t have to have it taken out tomorrow, or even next month. It’s up to me to choose how long I feel like living with the situation, and who knows? I might stubbornly stick it out for years just because I’m sick of hospitals and co-pays. Meh, who am I kidding?
…but still. Still, I find myself frustrated and annoyed. Despite my best attempts to beat my genetics back with the stick of healthy eating and exercise, I have failed. It’s hard to explain, but I also feel guilty in a way. AJ never has any kind of health problems. Now, granted, he never goes to the doctor, so he may have problems we don’t know about, but aside from allergies, he’s fine. Therefore, we spend no money on keeping his body in working order. Me on the other hand? That’s a different (and much more expensive) story. No matter what kind of surgery you’re having, it’s never cheap, even with good insurance. I hate the idea that we’re spending money that we’re working so hard to save on me…again. Yeah, I know it’s a medical issue, and yeah, I know it’s not my fault. I guess I’m just sick of being the one with all the problems all the time, and I was really hoping I could make it just one year without a major health issue. So close, 2015, and yet, so far.
I’m trying not to feel too sorry for myself, though. It’s not an emergency, and right now, I feel ok. I will probably have the surgery sometime in the spring, mostly because I don’t want to have gall bladder issues while I’m on any of my big trips for next year (that post is coming soon!). It’s a short recovery, so it will be ok. Maybe 2017 will be the year of total health? UGH. In the meantime, I’m just grateful it’s not something worse and that my wrap didn’t burst. Knowing what the problem is means that the problem can be fixed, and that’s a huge blessing. Who needs a gall bladder anyway?