I was in Mumbai the last week for work. Around 3AM I woke up with a terrible stomach cramp. Of course being in India I had just had a nice Indian meal at the Hotel restaurant and assumed my eyes were bigger than my stomach. After a short while it went away, I drifted back to sleep and awoke in the morning feeling back to normal.
The next night the same thing happened. How odd. Terrible cramp, slightly high in my abdomen, again around 3AM. I had Thai that night, but I was getting over some food poisoning from a few weeks earlier and just assumed my stomach was being “particular”.
I flew home Friday and arrived in S’pore around 8AM. A quick shower and change and off to the office I go. Everything’s fine. Lunch was a bread stick pizza and a Diet Coke. Shortly after, sharp cramps in my stomach. Like the others, these were in a different place than typical upset stomach. Higher on my abdomen and on the right hand side. Such a different and specific location that it stood out from typical upset stomach issues.
I’ve never been to a Doctor here in S’pore. I asked our admin who I could go to and she suggested I just go to the clinic at the end of our street. In I went.
Very nice service. I walked in, filled out some paper work, and was shown to the Dr. right away. A few presses on my stomach, a small chat, blood pressure checked, and the pronouncement was given. Go get an ultra sound, you have classic symptoms of Gallstones. WHAT!?
I explained to the Dr. that I had tickets to see the Whale Sharks in Donsol this weekend. It was Chinese New Year. A four day break. Whale Sharks. This was my BIG trip for 2013. I had been talking about if to anyone who would listen, even my clients in India knew about it. There would be no time for gallstones.
The Doctor did not seem at all amused or understanding about my position In fact he was rather annoyed that I was seriously considering taking some pain meds and going to Donsol anyway rather than to the ER to get the ultrasound. .
What can I say, Whale Sharks.
I went home, intent to put on a brave face and wait it out. I had in Mumbai, and the pain had passed after a few hours. I figured I could just watch what I ate while there right? right?
I was even waiting in the taxi que when I bumped into some people I knew.
She: “Hey how’s it going?”
Me: “Not great, I have this pain, the Dr. thinks gallstones, but Whale Sharks! so I am going to try and tough it out”
She: “Oh, good for you, good luck with that, there’s my taxi bye!”
By the time I got home, I knew better. Poor Paul. Poor me. No whale sharks. 😦
So, to the ER we went.
The trip to the ER was amazingly great. I told them the problem,they put me in a bed. I said I wanted Paul with me and it was never a problem, he was by my side the whole time.
The ultra sound guy (Dr.) proved to be the only hiccup. First he said there was no inflammation and that many people just ‘live with the stones’ and it’s ok. Not the thing to tell me when I am curled up in the fetal position in pain. He said I would not need to have the gallbladder removed. So I went back down and said, hey Paul, great news. No surgery, we can go to Donsol after all. It was a Midnight flight, and it was only 7PM at this point.
But, after further review our ER doc came in and said there was a 27mm (1 inch) gallstone, right at the throat of the gallbladder, and that bad boy had to come out. Hopes dashed.
The surgery could not be done until Saturday so I was given some pain meds and sent home to return at 9AM for a meeting with the surgeon.
Things went smoothly, the staff was great, the operation a success, and I am now one gallbladder lighter.
The whalesharks will be there for another day, as will I it seems.