Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Unexpected Trip to the ER

We had planned to walk over to the Big Tent yesterday but things don't always go as planned. About 2 am Monday morning, Jim awoke with bad pain in his back, which migrated to his rib cage and stomach, and kept him (and me) up most of the night. By 7 yesterday morning I was debating whether to call 911 or drive him to Blythe where the nearest hospital is located, about 23 miles away. He was able to get dressed and get in the car, but it was not a pleasant trip for him.
Palo Verde Hospital is very small, and he was taken back just a few minutes after we arrived. They first suspected kidney stones, but always have to rule out a heart attack, so the tests began. Unfortunately for him it was almost an hour before the nurse started an IV and gave him Phenergan and Dilaudid, which quickly relieved his pain, and caused him to fall asleep.
Turned out his heart was fine, no kidney stones, but the CT showed a 1.5 cm gallstone. The doctor told him to eat a low fat diet of mostly fruits and vegetables, which of course we already do. Coincidentally, though, we've been eating lots of junk food at our daily happy hours since we got to Quartzsite, so it could be the extra fat in his diet triggered the gallbladder to act up.
He slept most of the day yesterday, and after our 6 hours at the ER, I left him sleeping in the car while I did some grocery shopping at the Blythe Albertsons. That is the only real grocery store around, so it was packed with people from Quartzsite. There were 5 or more people waiting in each check out line, and all the lanes were open. Great for Albertson's business!
After a good night's sleep, he is feeling much better today, but it looks like he may have gallbladder surgery in his future. We're just glad it wasn't anything more serious.


  1. Glad Jim is ok and on the mend! I've had gallbladder surgery and if you don't let it go too long it really isn't too bad. Just don't wait too long.
    Take care!!

  2. So glad to hear he's all right. Getting sick and hospitals are no fun!


  3. Jim....Been there done that, just a pain,sorry! slows you down. Hoping to meet you guys pretty soon. Been great spending time with my girl and my new "grand" dog,he's so cute. Take care! Pat

  4. Even the new style of surgery is no fun. The after effects on some last a long time. See Dorothy for gory details. Not having the operation is even less fun. If you want a house to recoup in, you know where we are.

  5. Jim,

    All the best with the gallstone situation. I can sympathize, having had kidney stones on three occasions. Major pain.

    Get well soon!


  6. Glad to hear Jim is recovering. It's always scary when an unknown medical problem suddenly presents itself. I hope Jim gets over it real soon.