I've been away for a few weeks, but I wasn't on a relaxing holiday vacation. Long-time PTB readers are familiar with my ongoing difficulties with Crohn's Disease and my multiple surgeries over the years, and while I'm happy to say that my Crohn's is in remission, unfortunately I do have other organs that can fail. For instance, this time around it was my gallbladder which was kicking out gallstones into my pancreas, causing an excruciatingly painful infection. What was supposed to be a simple outpatient laparoscopic surgery to remove my gallbladder turned into what my surgeon called the most challenging surgery of his year as he discovered that all of the organs on the right side of my abdomen — gallbladder, liver, etc. — were fused together into a single mass along with the major blood vessels that serve those organs.
My surgeon spent several hours carefully separating everything and then removing my gallbladder which, as it turns out, was difficult to identify because it was lost in the organ mass. He eventually found it and removed it leaving me with a twelve inch-long horizontal incision wound and four small puncture wounds. Five days in the hospital over Christmas later and I was back at home where I've been resting ever since. Naturally, you can understand why everything here at PTB came to a halt. I'm back up and moving around the house now though, my surgical staples have been removed, and I'm able to sit at the PC for a while, so I intend to get back to writing and podcasting. Thanks for your patience as I recover from my fifth surgery. There can't be many more of these in my future; I'm running out of removable parts!