Skip to content

NashvilleSeptember 9, 2015


Susan Roethemeyer

Now I Know

Many times when someone faces a tragedy such as a fire or a flood, well-meaning people say to the victim, “I know how you feel.”

The truth is that if the well meaning person has not faced the same thing in his or her past, they have no idea how the poor victim feels.

When my roommate and I lost most of our belongings in a flood, the volunteer helpers sympathized with us, but I could tell they had never gone through the pain of losing their possessions all at once.

And so, when I sympathized with several people in my life over surgeries, I really had no idea what they were going through.

Until now.

On August 17, I went to the emergency room with belly pain. It took several hours to find out that I had a gallstone and needed surgery to remove it.

Since Nashville had no gallbladder surgery team, they sent me to Belleville Memorial Hospital. I was kept on an IV, no fluids or drink for a couple days while they waited for my medical records.

Then suddenly I was in pre-op. I remember a bunch of questions from someone, then the surgeon spoke to me, and then no memory until I woke up in my hospital room.

Then it was a series of roommates, blood tests, food I did not feel like eating (cranberry juice – ick!). I did eat jello, OJ, pudding and apple juice. People who’ve had this surgery tell me it is normal not to want to eat.

The Nurses and Aides who attended me were very nice, and I tried to be nice to them. But after awhile I could not stay in my bed and went for a walk several times a day.

My friend visited often, Mom and my brother a couple, three times, and my Pastor twice.

Then they let me leave the hospital. I was glad to leave, I was getting bored. My friend’s Mom graciously let me stay for a week, and I was not such good company, cause I slept a lot.

Now I am home with Mom, trying to take care of her as I recover.

Being sick was not a fun way to spend my birthday.

But then, from what they told me, I am lucky to be here. The gallstone was bigger than a golf ball, and the gallbladder was gangrenous. They had to make five holes in my stomach when they normally make three. And I had to spend a few more days in the hospital than they normally let people do.

Yep, all in all, I am a lucky girl.