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not exactly what I had I planned…


This post has nothing to do with home decorating or DIY or any of the things I usually write about.  It’s just about me.

Soooo…  Yesterday I was all excited about the new projects I was going to work over the next couple weeks and I was really ready to get back in my space at Lucketts and all of that fun stuff.  Well…  things are not going according to that plan.

Last night, I started to get a pain in my back, between my shoulder blades.  It woke me up and was pretty intense, but I figured it was muscle fatigue from stress or sleeping on it wrong or just tweaking it somehow.  I put the heating pad on it and tried to go back to sleep.  I then woke up to my back hurting even worse and a new, sharp pain in my upper abdomen, just under my rib cage.  It sort of felt like heartburn, but not quite and much, much worse.  I finally began to realize that something was really wrong, so at about 1:00 am, I drove myself to the ER.

Once I got there, I was certain it was really bad heartburn and I would be laughed out of the place.  They gave me some medicine to numb my esophagus and calm my stomach acid  I started feeling better (and felt a little foolish as well.)  I started to think I could’ve popped a few Tums instead of going to the ER and making all of that fuss.  After the chest x-rays and abdominal series and blood work and everything else, things looked normal, but I started feeling worse.  Much worse.  It was a pain that exceeded childbirth and was so acute it took my breath away.  Heartburn?  Really?  So, they loaded me up with some major pain meds and we waited for the ultrasound technician to arrive.

It turns out I have gallstones and now have to have surgery on Tuesday to have my gall bladder removed.  Oh, what joy is mine.  Organ removal is not exactly what I had on my calendar for March.

Well, the good news is that the surgery is not that big of a deal and most people recover from it in 2-3 days.  I’m hoping I’m the typical person and I’m back to work later next week.  It’s also good timing.  I finished writing the book and turned in all of the pictures, so I can afford to rest for a few days.

I was awake all night in the ER, so I’m really tired and sore today, but I’m doing much better.  My husband is taking excellent care of me, so I’m in good hands.

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  1. Holly says:

    Yep! It’s right up there with childbirth! I need mine out too but I’m chicken. I’ve had 4 attacks in 6 months so it’s inevitable. Good luck with your surgery and don’t overdo! Keeping you in my prayers too!

  2. MIchelle J says:

    Praying everything goes well with the surgery and for a quick recovery!!

  3. Marcie says:

    Thoughts and prayers are w/ you.

  4. I am so sorry to hear that you needed to have surgery. May God bless you with a speedy recovery!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear it! But so glad it was quickly diagnosed and will be (relatively) quickly resolved. I hope all goes smoothly and you are soon back to 100%. Sending good thoughts your way.

  6. Louise says:

    I remember that pain. It was so intense I couldn’t even cry out to my husband (I was downstairs, he was upstairs) that I needed help, that something was horribly wrong, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t make a noise. Even giving birth to a 9lb4oz baby wasn’t that painful! Who’d have thought, a few little stones?? The good news for me, and it sounds like for you, is that it is being taken care of quickly . . .some people have to undergo several of those awful “attacks” before they have surgery, for some reason.

    For me the surgery was quite simple, yes I was very sore for a couple of days (hurt to bend) but it wasn’t long at all before I was back to normal, You are young and healthy, I am sure the same will be true for you. I laugh and say that I got free cosmetic surgery, because the surgeon made my tummy button an “inny” again for me (the gall bladder is sucked out through your tummy button) as it had never gone quite back to being a nice tight inny after my third child!:)

  7. Stephanie says:

    Oh goodness!!
    I was you last year! Went to bed feeling pain tried to move on and get sleep. Drove myself to the ER at 3:00 am. Husband worried but stayed home with our kids. It’s seems for me when I arrived at the ER my pain went through the roof! Way worse then childbirth!
    Gallbladder removed the next day :-(
    So strange it came out of no where for me too.
    I can honestly say it was an easy surgery. Nothing like my c sections. Here’s the secret trick to recovery…..
    Be careful what you eat in the next few weeks after the surgery.
    It seems like the rich food like butter and high fats just don’t digest well after the surgery. Need to be by the bathroom if you eat something that’s too “heavy”
    I was freaked out that I couldn’t eat the same ever again!
    I just needed to add things in slowly.
    Now it’s been a little over a year and I can eat whatever :-)
    Even if your Dr. Says eat whatever after surgery take it a bit slower it really helped me for the better :-)
    Email me with any questions :-)
    Adore your blog! So sorry your going through this! You will be fine! Trust me :-)

  8. Aleshia says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, all the best to you and and your family!

  9. MaryBeth says:

    Mine were diagnosed in a similar way but not found so quickly due to the technology 22 yrs ago. I was one of first patients in our area to have it done by laprascope. Best of Luck and speedy recovery!

  10. I am sooooo sorry to hear about your gallbladder and that you have to experience the horrible pain of it all. I had surgery to remove my gallbladder about 5 years ago. Like some of the other folks mentioned, plan on a longer recovery period than just 2-3 days. The first week is the hardest. I was still moving pretty slow the second week. Here’s a tip… be sure to have your hubby prop you up when you sleep or rest on the couch. Laying down flat and trying to lift up can be challenging. Lisa’s comment is also spot on!

    Prior to my surgery, I had been training for over a year for a big back country camping/hiking adventure my husband and I had planned. I had surgery about 1 1/2 months before my big trip. Doing light exercises in the swimming pool helped speed up my recovery and enabled me to get approval from my doctor to carry around a 50 lb backpack and hike over 12 miles a day for a couple of weeks. One big change… the food I ate. I had to be extremely careful to eat really clean and low fat.

    I’ll keep you in my prayers that your surgery goes extremely well and your recovery is quick!

  11. Sharon B. says:

    Hope the surgery goes well and you have a quick recovery!

  12. Wow, so glad you didn’t wait and went on to the ER. Life def throws us some curves. Keeping you in my prayers…I know you’ll do great! Big Hugs sent your way!

  13. Dawn Britt says:

    Dearest Marian,

    Please know that you have all of our love, prayers and support as you go through this difficult time. I had my gall bladder removed fourteen years ago via laprascapic(oh how I’m sure this is mispelled,sorry). I went in a noon and was back home by 6:30 PM the same night. I was in very little pain and only took Extra Strength Tylenol. I was sore for about two weeks and feft 100% in three weeks. I think the surgical nurse was right, take this time to relax, read, spend time with your boys and mentally get ready and make notes for things that you can do when you recover.

    I’ll be sending up prayers for you from now until you are back “painting furniture”! :)

    Blessings and Hugs,

  14. Just know that ALL THESE lovely comments contain the healing power you’ll need to get better really fast. I guess on some level you needed to know JUST HOW LOVED you are and how you have inspired so many people for so long, and now they are giving all that love back to you, and you deserve this.

    May all go really well before/in/after your hospital work.
    Love, Rose

  15. Marion: I’m sorry to hear that you are under the weather. But NAUGHTY GIRL…NAUGHTY GIRL…NAUGHTY GIRL…If you think you need to go to the ER…DO NOT DRIVE YOURSELF….As a nurse, I do want to take a moment to remind your readers (mostly women I’m sure) that heart attack does not show in most women with the classic signs. Everything you experienced could have been signs of heart attack…I know at your age heart attack is inconceivable, but it does happen…and I’m very happy (Very, Very, Very) for you that it was gallstones. I know I speak for many ER staff and Emergency responders when I say, we would rather have the medics arrive with a ‘heart attack turned gallstones’ vs a ‘heart attack turned multi-vehicle collision’ which is what usually happens when someone with heart attack drives….OK, I’m off my soap box and back to wishing you well and a speedy recovery…You may even find that your overall digestion feels better once this is done. People often report a decrease in ‘tummy’ problems they had previously, even if they had no idea they could have gallstones. Sending Big Cyber Hugs… Coreen

  16. Praying you bounce back fast and feel all better and ready for your busy spring!

  17. From what those of us in blogland know, nothing will keep you down! But be sure to get lots of rest so you come back in tip-top shape! Take good care of you :)

  18. Jennifer says:

    Oh No. I hope you are feeling better very soon.

  19. Audrey says:

    Hope you are feeling well soon. I just prayed for you. Blessings for a speedy recovery.

  20. Jeannie-JB says:

    So glad you went to the ER when you did! I wasn’t as smart and just kept blowing off the pain and eating antacids until they had to do a semi-emergency surgery (as in diagnosed on Friday and scheduled for surgery early Monday morning with the instructions “any pain at all this weekened, get to the ER asap and tell them to take you directly to surgery”). You did the smart thing (well, maybe not driving yourself to the ER). I hope your recovery goes smoothly and your working on your projects in 4 days after the surgery. Good Luck and God Bless You!

  21. So sorry to hear your having some health issues, but glad it wasn’t too serious. As a nurse, I have confidence that you will recover quickly, especially with your positive attitude….not to mention feeling much better. God bless you, Lori

  22. Wendy says:

    Thinking of you and praying for a speedy recovery.

  23. Nancy says:

    You drove yourself to the ER?! Not a good plan but all’s well that end’s well. Or will when you’re past this.

  24. Virginia says:


    I’m so so sorry that you are hurting! Hope you are able to get some rest and feel better soon! We need you around here for inspiration! :) ~ Virginia

  25. Aparecida says:

    Que voce tenha uma melhora rapida.

  26. Pamela A says:

    I’m with all the well-wishers. Get yourself some “feel good things” to help you enjoy your downtime, feel better soon. Rest and get well. Hugs 😉

  27. I a catching up on your blog and just read this one now.
    I just want to wish you a successful surgery and that you get better soon!
    I have a friend that had the same surgery and she recovered very well!

    Have a great weekend!

  28. I’m glad they were able to figure out what the problem was. I’m sure everything will go well. Be sure to enjoy the down time and get lots of rest for a quick recovery! :)

  29. Janet Lawson says:

    So sorry to hear that you need surgery…You are in my prayers..Wishing you a speedy recovery..

  30. …you poor thing…as you were describing your symptoms I thought..gall bladder, (I am a Nurse Practitioner) I am sure you are not the “resting type, but try to take advantage of this time, take your pain medicine, sleep, sleep, sleep, and let others care for you, the way you so obviously and so generously care for others. You are in our prayers. xo

  31. Debbi says:

    Honey~~when I woke up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain, I thought I was having a heart attack. Went to the ER, heart was fine and during the chest x-ray, the pain immediately stopped. Two days later, I was back in the ER with the same horrific pain. The ultrasound tech was called in and found a gall stone the size of a golf ball. Surgery the next day, laproscopic, and I was at a friends for dinner 2 days later. It is an easy surgery as long as the GB is not infected. Great decision to catch it now. BTW, the nurse said light-eyed, light hair women have gall stones and dark-hair, dark eyed women have kidney stones. It’s true in my family! I’ll be praying for you Tuesday from the hospital. On Monday, I have left knee replaced. Blessings for your family!

  32. Melody Christensen says:

    Finally a post I actually feel qualified to comment on. I am an ER nurse in sunny southern California. Your last couple of posts have really solidified for me why I like you so much, and it’s because you’re so “real”. You can put on your most comfortable sweats and shoes and go shopping, I’ve done it a million times, I mean were out there looking and buying, not selling right? The other thing is, like every stubborn nurse I know, including myself, you don’t wake everyone up, you just drive yourself to the ER. I am sorry to hear you have to have your gallbladder out, but happy that it will be any easy fix. I had mine out about 5 years ago, and the next night felt well enough to go to the Orange County Fair. They will make 3-4 tiny incisions on your upper belly and belly button, and use laparoscopy to remove. You’ll be asleep and most likely go home the next day, and you will have some localized pain that the meds they give you should take care of, and if you follow directions for a couple of days, no heavy lifting, or hard work, you will be back to your same speed very quickly. Just keep your diet bland for a few days.
    I have probably taken care of more than 150 patients having your surgery, and 99% of them have no problems. It sounds like you are in good hands, and will get some well deserved rest without feeling guilty. I will say a prayer for you.

  33. Cindy says:

    Feel better soon. You are in my prayers.

  34. I had my gallbladder out three years ago. It was very easy. The only thing I found uncomfortable was the pressure from the air leaving you for a few days. I did find that I did have to watch what I ate for a while until my liver figured out I dind’t have a gallbladder any more, and it’s weird, but I can’t eat carrots any more. You’ll do great. I only have 3 little scars you can hardly see…The best part is I had a reason to lay in around for about a week while my husband had the kids and the housework. :) You’re in my prayers.

  35. Almost always how it works out – you get a good plan together and then wham, life happens. Good to see that it looks like you’ll be good to go AND that you had just finished your book stuff in the knick of time. Take care of yourself.


  36. Oh I am so sorry! Life has a way of throwing wrenches into our plans! I had a pesky ovary removed two years ago, only to have to go back two weeks later because my Gallbladder was going! Anyhow, the surgery is really minimal. You will be back on your feet and feeling normal in no time.

    Re the food situation, I was careful with my diet the first few weeks, then slowly introduced things back into it. I have had no problems whatsoever, and neither has my mom, (who also had hers removed). I can (maybe unfortunately) down a Cheese Burger and Fries just fine on occasion! Good luck!!!

  37. Heidi says:

    I’m in the ER right now with my husband! He had extreme abdominal pain and vomiting. Seems to be acute pancreatitis due to gallstones

  38. What a wise woman to listen to what your body was telling you. Now, please do the same with recovery. If your body gives you signals to slow down, listen! The other stuff is all gravy, but your health is fundamental. Prayers for all to go smoothly!

  39. Glad you went to the ER so quickly to get checked out. Sorry you have to have surgery but hope it fixes you right up and gets you feeling back to yourself.

    Hugs to you! Get some rest!

  40. Sandi says:

    Hope you recover quickly. Life has a way of making us slow down, whether we like it or not.

    Lafayette, La

  41. Gennie says:

    I just wanted to tell you that I hope everything goes well for you. Sorry to hear that you were in so much pain and had to go through that. I have had pain like that and they keep telling me nothing is wrong and I can’t understand it because I understand that take your breath away pain. I will be praying for you and I hope it is a real quick recovery. I also wanted to tell you I love your blog. Thank you for all you share.

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