When the pain first hit in the middle of the night, Todd McRainey put it down to indigestion. One can’t feast on a dinner of jalapeno poppers, a double bacon cheeseburger and chocolate fudge cake without suffering consequences of some sort, but as the night wore on he started to think there was more to it than the simple need for an antacid.
The nausea struck two hours into his ordeal and shortly thereafter, the pain escalated from ‘I hope this doesn’t mean I’m at the stage where I have to switch to an old man’s diet’ to ‘If switching to an old man’s diet will stop my insides from feeling like they’re being attacked by a shark, then I’ll do it.’
It didn’t take long after that for the explosive diarrhea to join the party, and that’s when he asked his wife to drive him to the hospital.
“You’re having a gallbladder attack, my friend,” the doctor told Todd. “I hope you weren’t planning to jet off on holiday anytime soon because it needs to come out.”
“What do you mean, ‘Come out’?” a confused Todd asked, due in part to the heavy pain medication he had been given.
“I mean, you’re having it surgically removed the second a room pops open. Don’t worry, we do these things through laparoscopy these days. If all goes well, you’ll be out of here tomorrow.”
“Surgery, wow. I’ve never had surgery before. Will I need to miss work for this?” Todd asked.
“About a week, week and a half. I can write you a note if you want,” the doctor offered.
Todd’s wife looked at him with the mixture of worry and relief that comes from being told one’s husband requires surgery, but not major surgery, thank God.
“Are you scared?” she asked Todd.
“A little, but I’m also incredibly happy,” he answered.
“Happy? Those must be some pretty powerful drugs you’re on.”
“No, I’m happy because now I don’t have to attend tomorrow’s Board of Directors Meeting or any other meeting for a week and a half. You have no idea how good this is for my stress levels.”
“You’d rather have surgery than go to work? You may want to start looking for another job,” his wife said.
Todd may or may not take his wife’s advice. He still had his appendix, a spare kidney, his tonsils, and other parts he’d be willing to sacrifice in exchange for more time off, so he decided to take the wait and see approach for the time being.