Sometimes It’s Better to Part Ways with One’s Parts

When something goes wrong inside, for most of us it’s no big deal; just an off day in the old innards, whether physically or emotionally, and it’ll pass. But when something goes wrong in a more complicated way, I tend to think it’s pretty good luck if “all” one has to do to get well is remove a malfunctioning part and either replace it or live without. Modern life makes that possible: a swift appendectomy with a tiny scar to show for it, a manufactured hip here, a transplanted kidney there. Lots of things that, if not chronic, are reparable and survivable when they used to lead to long, slow, miserable declines or instant death.

There’s still plenty of the latter kind of illness and injury to keep doctors busy and patients unhappy and money funneling from the latter to the former in ever-widening streams, and that’s no joke. But I think it remarkably good that I live in an era when far less stuff is fatal by default. I was especially glad that when my poor brother-in-law was violently attacked by his own gallbladder recently and it tried to stone him to death, there was adequate artillery to fight back and win. What did he ever do to it, to deserve such lousy treatment! I can tell you from (supposed) experience that gallbladder pain is horrendous. I can’t tell you what it’s like to have the offending organ removed, or even have the stones destroyed and extracted, because either I don’t have a gallbladder at all or it is an expat living in a foreign part of my body from where they are normally located: the doctor and ultrasound technician spent a lot of time hunting and could never find the little hunk of meanness before the pain, thankfully, dissipated on its own.

Photo: Plumbing

Don’t you just hate it when something goes wrong with your plumbing?

My BIL was not such a fortunate escapee, and the pain persisted and worsened until he ended up with several exceedingly un-fun procedures to zap the stones and remove the offending organ, which if you ask me did have a heck of a lot of gall to treat him like that. I am ever so glad he has already begun a full recovery! I wrote him a silly poem, ’cause I love him.

Parting with Parts

is Such Sweet Sorrow

Can anything be worse, or sadder,

Than to give up one’s gallbladder?

Well, perhaps one worser quirk:

Still having one that doesn’t work…

And one worse yet: the wails and groans

Induced by one that’s filled with stones.

So I’ll amend Assertion One:

Having a gallbladder’s no fun.

But then again, I must concede

That surgery is bad indeed.

It all comes down, if I should guess

To what will save my happiness

More fruitfully: intact gallbladder?

None? Can’t say: it doesn’t matter,

Since the choice will not be mine—

‘Til then, I s’pose I’ll be just fine—

I hope. Of course, I still don’t know

Whether I even have one, though.

12 thoughts on “Sometimes It’s Better to Part Ways with One’s Parts

  1. Oh I bet he loved the poem! What a sweet gift! And I am glad he is recovering well.

    I have heard, too, that the pain caused by the stones is simply horrific. After listening to a friend describe it, if indeed it can be described, I couldn’t help but think that I would rather birth 10 children at once than go through that. 😛


    • Given my little bout, I can confirm that it’s horrid stuff, considering that mine was apparently a mild version but it was bad enough to send me for medical help, something I tend to avoid at nearly all costs. Let’s just hope you never have any cause to choose between gallstones and birthing a herd of babies at once!!! 😀 xo

  2. I’ve reluctantly donated a few of my innards to the hands of surgeons. The list is rather surprising, and has entirely too many notable parts, and yes, my gallbladder makes an appearance (or perhaps I should say, a disappearance). Glad to hear your BIL is recuperating nicely. Cute poem. A little tongue-in-cheek, speaking of body parts. 🙂

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