Gallbladders & Death

I’m lying sideways on a gurney in the radiology department of my local hospital. My bloated abdomen glistening with ultrasound jelly, I feel like a beached whale leaking ambergris.

“Take a deep breath and hold it,” the ultrasound technician says, pressing the transducer wand hard into my side.

Obeying her instructions, I suck up a lungful of air and clamp my throat shut. As I listen to the sonogram machine whir and beep, anxiety starts rippling through my stomach. Over the past several weeks my digestive system has been out of whack. At first I chalked up the belching, farting, abdominal pain, and spicy dumps to the excitement of the past two months. But, after doubling over in pain after a particularly heavy meal, my girlfriend finally convinced me to see a doctor.

“Could be gallstones,” my internist said after examining me. “Or a peptic ulcer. We’ll do some blood work to check your liver and get an ultrasound of your abdomen. You’ll probably need an endoscopy too.”

“Just lovely,” I replied.

“You gained some weight. Fifteen pounds since March?”

“I haven’t been eating well,” I admitted. “I haven’t been exercising much either.”

“How’s your stress level?”

“High,” I replied. “But it’s all good stress.”

“What’s good stress?’

When I tell the doctor where I was and what I did the day before, his mouth drops open.

“Really?’ he exclaimed.


The doctor shakes his head and laughs. “That is good stress.”

Suddenly the lactic acid bubbling inside my lungs snaps me into the present. The ultrasound technician hasn’t given me permission to resume breathing. After years of smoking, the odds are good I’m not going to be an abalone diver anytime soon. I let the CO2 out of my lungs and gulp down a breath of Lysol scented hospital air.

“Could you tell me when I can stop holding my breath?” I snap. “Please?”

“When you can’t hold your breath any longer,” the technician says, “Let it out.”

“Thanks,” I reply. “I like little things like oxygen.”

“Please roll onto your back,” the tech says with cool professionalism.

I roll onto my back. The tech squirts more goop onto my quivering abdomen and starts rubbing the transducer wand over where my liver should be. A wave of self loathing washes over me. What would the cute nurse with the StairMastered backside I passed in the hallway think if she saw me lying here like a middle-aged lump of adipose tissue? Who am I kidding? She’s probably banging some cop with six pack abs. I’ve had it. When this is all over I’m getting my ass back to the gym.

As the ultrasound technician leans forward to look at the monitor, I study her face closely. Maybe she’s seeing an inflamed liver, a gallbladder full of stones, or a burgeoning tumor preparing to snuff out my life. I once had a friend who had some abdominal trouble. He went to the doctor to get some tests done and three months later he was dead. People’s lives sometimes end that way.  I search the tech’s face but her professional composure reveals nothing. Intellectually, I know the she can’t tell me anything. Emotionally, however, I want her to tell me everything she’s seeing. Not knowing has always scared me more than knowing.

“Take a deep breath and hold it,” the technician asks.

My anxiety level is ramping so high that the last thing I need to do is hold my breath. Of course Death decides to pick this moment to enter the room. Towering over me in his dreadful black majesty, he points to the ultrasound image of a tumor reflected in his polished razor sharp scythe. “I am Death,” his weary voice rasps. “And I have come to take you away.” Tears sting my eyes. Just as my life is turning the corner I’m going to die. I feel fat, alone, and doomed. I knew I should have pre-medicated for this test with Xanax.

“Are you nervous, sir?” the technician asks.

“Just a tad,” I reply.

“The test is almost over, sir. Hang in there.”

As the tech probes my body with sound waves I look over at Death. I know why he’s here. He’s the phantasmical remnant of my oldest fear – that when ever something good happens, disaster is always lurking around the corner ready to destroy me. Therapy, friends, love, and an ever growing confidence about life have reduced that fear to a shadow of what it once was. But my demon will never completely fade away. With all the good things happening in my life, I’m not surprised he’s making an appearance. There’s really only one way to handle this.

“So did you find that burrito?” I ask the technician.

For the first time, the technician smiles. “Not yet.”

“It’s probably been rattling inside my colon for years.”

“If I find it,” the tech says. “I’ll let you know.”

“If you look closely,” I say, “You’ll probably find some marbles I swallowed as a kid.”

“Hush, sir.”

“How much is the machine that goes beep?” I ask.

The tech smiles and shakes her head.

I look over at the Grim Reaper. “I’m terribly sorry Mr. Death,” I say, “But I didn’t eat the salmon mousse.”

Death stares at me, incredulously.

“Would you like a drink?” I ask. “I’m afraid we don’t have any beer. But the Stilton’s awfully good.”

Slowly, Death starts fading away.

“Let me tell ya something,” I crow, “I just wanna say this! Now look here! You barge in here quite uninvited and then announce quite casually that we’re all dead! Well, I would remind you that you are a guest in this house! Get out!”

Death disappears. I’m not surprised. Monty Python’s magic is powerful. Eventually the test ends and I go home. Two days later the doctor calls with the results. My liver is fine.  Nothing catastrophic is happening. My gallbladder’s full of rocks and has to come out. It’s painful, annoying, makes me fart enough gas to fill a zeppelin, but it won’t kill me. After an endoscopy to rule out an ulcer, same day surgery is in my very near future.  More machines that go beep!  Just great.

Sure, gallbladder surgery is routine, but it still sucks. Oh well, I’ll content myself with a piece of advice from one of the greatest comedy troupes of all time –  try looking on the bright side of life. Hey, at least I won’t feel guilty about not going to the gym. I’ll be convalescing!

If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing.
And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life..

When Death comes and he isn’t a demon, then I’ll know it’s my time.

132 thoughts on “Gallbladders & Death”

  1. austin_waiter says:

    Good to see you writing again. The obvious question is where were you the day before?

  2. Scott says:

    That’s a scary close call! Glad you’re doing well, sir.

  3. Barbara Miles says:

    Steve, I’m so sorry to hear about your upcoming date with the Gall Bladder man! But the rest of your life is really wonderful now, and you will feel SO much better after the surgery. Hang in there, fella – you are in our prayers – we loved your book, and are still finding you on the NYT list – it was a great post. All the best! Barb

  4. jo says:

    sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. best of luck to you on the surgery. you’ll be in my prayers.

  5. RM Kahn says:

    Done the whole Gallbladder removal thing.. what am improvement in my life. Just watch the rich food and fried stuff and you’ll be fine. Loved the book, thanks for a great read! Take care.

  6. Jessica says:

    Good news is that cholecystectomies have a laparoscopic option. Best wishes for you.

    When you’re feeling up to it, I think we all would like to know what happened the day before…

  7. Chris says:

    Do you have to have surgery isn’t there some other way – what about seeing a naturopath?

  8. Irina says:

    MOnthy Python is the bomb. I saw Spamalot, and so should you!!! Where were you the day before?

  9. Katherine says:

    Good luck with the gallbladder removeal! My aunt and uncle had theirs removed at the same time, you’ll be fine!

  10. cat says:

    Had the gallbladder surgery a month ago – very straightforward and it’s nice to be able to eat (in my surgeon’s words) whatever you want again afterwards 🙂

  11. Sapph says:

    I had mine out in January – I felt better afterwards than I had in months, if not a year. Apparently the little suckers dog you for a long time, causing minor issues you barely notice – just a general feeling of blah – and then when it’s gone, the world re-aligns and you feel good again. I know it was true for me.

    And besides, they give you good drugs after. 😉

    Feel better!

  12. ShortWoman says:

    Hope you get well quickly after your surgery.

  13. Mike from CO says:

    Waiter – Best O’ Luck to you! Been a big fan for years. Got the book an CD via I will purchase the next book too. Hang in there. From a former 13 year restaurant veteran I can appreciate what you have done. I am very happy about your recent success. Mike from COS

  14. josephine says:

    Life’s a piece of shit,
    When you look at it…

    Not really, though, huh?

  15. Matt Sven says:

    Sorry to hear about what you’re going through, Steve. I happened upon your blog via reading your book after randomly seeing it at the library. A year ago I had some abdomen problems and went to the hospital, turns out I have severe liver cirrhosis and most likely some type of liver disease, which led to a case of esophageal varices which has caused me to almost bleed to death three times in the past year. Up until then I was just a healthy looking 24 year old guy. Was it the booze? Was it the snorting of various substances? Who knows, but in my eyes it was a wake up call of sorts. One thing I really love about your writing is your religious work, current and past. I’ve found it to be inspirational. So I just wanted to say I can definitely relate to what you’re currently going through, you’re not alone and someone out here is praying for you.

  16. Michelle says:

    Oh dear! All the best for a speedy recovery. I just had my appendix out laproscopically and while it wasn’t fun, it was certainly better than a huge incision.

    Your book was mentioned in a two page spread in the Canberra Times (Australia) on Wednesday. Congratulations on the book!

  17. M says:

    I’ve been there — only in my case, it hit suddenly. I had a stone the size of a marble blocking a duct, causing such pain that I couldn’t eat for two weeks. Literally, even a sip of water left me doubled over in pain, wishing to throw up, pass out or die. But it got really serious the day I went jaundiced so bad I turned brown, even the whites of my eyes — turns out that I ended up with a pancreas infection and almost liver failure.

    After a week in the hospital, the infection was treated, the stone moved and they took the gallbladder out. As long as they can do it laparoscopically, it shouldn’t be too bad for you — just remember to get up and walk around as soon as you can afterward, or you’ll get pains from the surgical gas.

  18. Moshizzle says:

    Damn. Any chance this is an old story? Recover quickly, Waiter. We’ll be right here waiting for you.

  19. "Sunshine" says:

    You are a brilliant writer!!

    Thanks for your sense of humor it has been refreshing.

    Good luck over the next couple weeks!!

  20. Michelle says:

    I’m sorry about the gallbladder and everything, but hold on a second. GIRLFRIEND! Why has no one noticed that!?

  21. jf says:

    Great post. Love the Monty Python link. You amaze me with your ability to get past the “feeling sorry for self” natural human tendency and see the humorous side of things. I hope you have a quick recovery from the surgery.

  22. Letty Cruz says:

    Heard you this morning on the Casey radio show in Palm Springs, CA. Your blog is a thing of beauty! Get well soon 🙂

  23. amanaplanacanalpanama says:

    I hope you get well soon. I still can’t afford the book (college student), but as soon as I can there will be a copy on my coffee table!

    I know several people that have had their gallbladder removed. They were all in much better shape afterward. You’ll probably have to watch out for fried or spicy food though.

  24. undersundog says:

    Keep those rocks! They’ll come in handy during lulls in dinner parties. “Okay, who wants to see my stones!”

  25. james says:

    Welcome back to writing for all of us WR junkies. Love the writing Steve,as always your take on what life gives us is refreshing,comic,and inspiring.Thanks!

  26. Lori says:

    Glad you’re writing again. You’ve been missed. I had my gall bladder out laproscopically 2 years ago after having pretty vague symptoms (symptoms and pain are so different for everyone). It was really pretty easy, fairly pain-free, and I didn’t even need drugs (don’t like drugs at all, I’d rather tough it out). Only thing that bothered me was staying overnight in the hospital. I’d rather be home in my own bed. When I did get home the next day, I slept for almost 18 hours straight, after not having slept at ALL in the hospital! Good luck and don’t worry!

  27. ollka says:

    1. Please get well soon, I’m glad it’s nothing life-threatening, and it’s great that you’re getting it taken care of.

    2. Girlfriend – yay, awesome!

    3. What was the good stress?

  28. Matthew says:

    Just thought I’d let you know that I’m a long-time reader, first time commenter, and I finally ordered your book today.

    Looking forward to reading it =)

  29. WellDoneFillet says:

    sweet mother of gordon ramsay that’s mental……hope you’re okay……

  30. Melanie says:

    Waiter – dont stress about the surgery – I felt better afterwards than I did before, also be glad it didnt develop in to pancreatitis.. nasty nasty stuff and means you can no longer drink

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery, afterall, you’re not dead yet!

  31. cheese&tomato says:

    Bad news has never been delivered in such an entertaining way…. but I do love everything Monty Python. I’ll keep you in my prayers, Steve! Keep yourself stressfully happy in the meantime!

  32. Average Jane says:

    What is it about GI tests that brings out the “funny” in people?? Check out my completely awkward and invasive experience here…

  33. Zayrina says:

    Please don’t listen to Chris. Natural medicine which sometimes has its place in healing has no place with an inflamed gallbladder. Get the thing out asap, they can burst, or they can lead to pancreatitis.

    Generally you should be able to undergo the laprascopic surgery and it is quick and simple. I had mine done of a Wednesday, took the last pain pill the following Sunday and went back to nursing school on the following Monday. You will feel better immediately with respect to the symptoms you have been having.

    Good luck!

  34. Bekah says:

    best wishes for a fast recovery! i’m glad you’re able to write about this, i think tons of people are super nervous about these things but would never even admit it to themselves afterward. and as everyone else has mentioned, where were you the day before?!

  35. kathee says:

    Dear waiter,
    Hope you feel better soon. once that nasty gallbladder is removed, you’ll be much better. Don’t forget to ask for the surgical “superglue” instead of stitches – you can get up and shower the next day. I didn’t need any pain meds. other than tylenol after I had mine done a year ago(i’m an old, tough chef). Just get up out of bed and move around as soon as possible, it really does help.
    good luck

  36. Liz says:

    Hope this isn’t the type of drivel you’ll be sprouting now that your waiter gig is over. Whatever writing skills you had appear to have disappeared, recent posts are like from a completely different, less talented blogger…

  37. Straight Talk says:

    Hey Liz, go crap your drivel somewhere else!!

  38. mike says:

    Agreed (with Straight Talk). Lots of other free blogs that might meet your high standards.

  39. Angela says:

    Hey, when you live to a ripe old age you need some stories of surgery to keep up the rest of the old guys, right?
    I had some minor outpatient surgery a couple of years ago and I told my husband afterward that I ought to find some reason for minor surgery every couple of months…the hospital staff was very solicitous, brought me warm blankets and when I got home my husband did all the cooking for a couple of days, told the kids to take it easy on mom, etc. Of course my husband had a colonoscopy last month and played guitar at a music gig about eight hours later. Show off.

  40. karenthelibrarian says:

    my gallbladder was voted off the island a couple of years ago. don’t sweat it; for surgery, it wasn’t bad at all.

    just don’t ask if you can keep it. they hate that.

  41. Nightmare says:

    Finally a real update! THANKS! And you’re right there is few things like the power of Monty Python. Good luck with the gall bladder thing and I hope to read more about the stairmaster assed nurse soon.

  42. MelC says:

    i had my gall bladder out three months after giving birth….and ppl wonder why i only have ONE kiddo *lol*…seriously, that surgery is no sweat, and the pain, nausea and issues are just GONE…its the magic of modern medicine. Do be careful of fast food, fried food and heavy sauced food, they tend to well….make life difficult. if you are wanting to lose weight and get healthy, this is actually the surgery for you because you *have* to eat healthily, your body will reject the fatty foods!! good luck, and……girlfriend??? share man, share!! LOL

  43. lauraly says:

    Feel better soon! And when you do, you can post about the day before your M.D. visit and the “good stress”….

  44. Jimmy says:

    Man, I read that while eating lunch…give us some warning next time!

  45. Old Waiter says:

    Get better soon, Waiter!

  46. ocean says:

    Don’t worry to much, its not that bad, I had my gallbladder removed 6 weeks after haveing a baby by c-section.
    Hang in there!!!

  47. Sarah says:

    I know what you’re going through. When I was seventeen my gallbladder went bad and I had to have it removed. It seems like everything sucks now, but trust me, the surgery is totally worth it. You’ll feel like a new person and actually be able to eat food again. Good luck! I hope you get better soon!

  48. the wolf says:

    There was that Twilight Zone episode in which Death was Robert Redford. That would be pretty cool.

  49. Mark says:

    Hey Steve – Congrats on your book – I’ll get it. Prayerful best wishes, Mark (from SHU days)

  50. CJ says:

    I’m not a big fan of surgery either (who is?), I’m having gastric problems as well. Better go check in with my Doc… Sounds exactly like my situation.

    I do hope all goes well when you are under the knife!

  51. Food Service Ninja says:

    twos to get you thru your hospital stay


    and for what its worth I work with a guy with reoccurring gallstones be glad yours is getting gone before that starts happening the pain level is extreme

  52. ashley says:

    Hope the surgery goes quickly and smoothly!

    Like everyone else, I must know what the good stress was! Tell your faithful readers.

  53. starr01 says:

    That was certainly an emotional rollercoaster of a post! I wish you a speedy recovery!

  54. spatchergal says:

    Never ever does the power of the Python fail. 🙂 Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  55. Kim says:

    Hey waiter Steve, I’ve been gallbladder free for a decade now. If you get the lap surgery, you’ll be up and running in 72 hours. There are some interesting side effects to the surgery – you’ll find yourself looking for the bathroom because certain things will want to exit you faster than others. Keep close to the loo for 30 minutes after you eat for awhile just to make sure nothing irritates your digestion too much. Good luck and may the Force be with you.

  56. maddy says:

    Weird… my mother had a gall bladder attack this week. She passed a stone. NO fun.

  57. Jennileerose says:

    Wow, I finally got through all your old posts. It only took me a week and a half. *laugh*

    I am in a hold queue (I’m #37) to get your book from the library. I would buy it now, but I am a poor college student. I will read it though…and hopefully if I get the chance I will buy it.

  58. notmuchofacook says:

    Sorry about your stomach trouble, but it’s a good thing it’s only your gallbladder. Bought your book and am reading it now and enjoying it. Get well soon and get back on a book tour. Or is that over with?

  59. Anonymous says:

    Good luck with the surgery!

    And Monty Python is the best thing since sliced bread.

  60. Lizzy says:

    Glad that it wasnt anything life threatening! Hope you’re feeling better sooner than soon!

  61. Stacy says:

    I had a terrible, horrible thing happen to me, and I ended up in the hospital. After the whole event my husband is driving us home and I say, “You know, you come from nothing – you go back to nothing. What have you lost??? Nothing!”

    And then we put the song on the iPod and sing along.

    Monty Python does seem to make the crappy parts of life a lot better.

  62. rusalina says:

    Take care of yourself, waiter! You’ll be fine. Tell us about the girlfriend, soon! :))

  63. Sabina says:

    Been there, done that, got the scars to prove it 😉 I found out I had gallstones at a midnight trip to the ER. It took four blasts of morphine to get the pain under control, followed by emergency surgery.
    You’re going to feel MUCH better after the operation, trust me!

  64. Amanda says:

    Glad to know it was nothing dreadfully serious, Waiter (Force of Here’s to hoping you recover quickly, and looking forward to reading more posts from you. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  65. Nimish says:

    get well soon.. waiter. hoping to read more.

  66. Janet says:

    Good Luck on the surgery, I had it the old fashion way, lovely scar. I lost around 200#s after I had mine. Well, that was after they left the sponge in me and they settled out of court. The 200#’s was my husband. Woo hoo your procedure will be a breeze.

  67. Mikefromtw says:

    Nicely written. Mixing the fiction with the nonfiction is working.

    Hope you feel better!

  68. Jo says:

    can we see your scar?

    positive thoughts your way waiter!

  69. Samoq says:

    Yeah, the first thing that jumped out at me was “…girlfriend?”.

    Sorry about the gall bladder, but I’d rather hear about her.

  70. Sharlene says:

    Been there, done that with the gall bladder. Don’t play, I thought I could keep it in control with diet but the stones had other ideas. Feel better soon!

  71. Dr. Electro says:

    Now you know what I dislike about ultyrasound technicians. Everything! Even if they are nice people I still hate getting jabbed in the guts with that transducer!

    At least everything except the gall bladder is ok. I hope the surgery goes well and you are back on the dance floor of life in no time.

  72. Sam says:

    Long time reader. Just wanted to say, when my Dad had his gallbladder out, he was really worried. I just told him to include it in the amount of weight he wanted to lose. Voila! Instantly better. Best of luck!

  73. The Fat Lady Sings says:

    Been there, done that, have the scar to prove it. 20 years ago they didn’t do the laparoscopic procedure – so my scar’s the size of Texas. Nice to hear you’ll be getting off easy. Don’t worry. You’ll feel a lot better when it’s over.

  74. Aeva says:

    ::winces:: Ooh, ouch gall bladders. Well hell, at least you’ve got a solution to the problem – that’s better than just having to suffer without reason and no end in sight.

    And I, like so many readers, am going to pounce – GIRLFRIEND?

  75. Sledgehammer says:

    Hiya Waiter Steve. Sad to hear about having gallstones. I’ve never had any, but they suck anyway! I will say, though, that if it hurts anything like a broken bone, I can relate. Also, good to find a fellow Python-er out there. I will pick up a copy of your book for my birthday in just under 2 weeks time! Best wishes for a speedy convalescence.

    Your geeky friend,


  76. s says:

    While I am sorry to hear you’re not feeling well, I’d rather not hear about your gas. Some things are better left unsaid. Gross.

  77. Jennifer says:

    I just finished your book, and loved it. Thank you for sharing your talent for storytelling.

    This one with the gall bladder will have a happy ending, I’m sure.

    My Mother was just admitted to the hospital Thursday with gall bladder-like symptoms. It’s tumors. We’ll know tomorrow if they’re cancerous, but they’re being removed, either way.

    Please keep her in your thoughts, if you get the chance.

    And you’re in mine.

  78. savannah says:

    good luck, sugar…keeping good thoughts for you! xoxo

    (i do hope we’ll hear more about the girlfriend soon!)

    (i know, we’re all so inquisitive!) 😉

  79. LauraT says:

    I am thinking of you Waiter! Everything will be fine & you can get “fit” after your recuperation period. Much good thoughts coming your way!

  80. PaulQ says:

    I think enough people have shared their surgery stories so I will save mine. Of course, we will keep you in our prayers. As a Monty Python freak, I have to point out it was the machine that goes “ping”, not beep. It is good to have you back writing again. Get well soon!

  81. angela says:

    aww i had my gall bladder out in’s not too bad. just be ready for the shoulder pain from the air they pump you up with.

  82. Jackie says:

    I am glad you are posting again, but really what happened the night before and please dish about the GF.

  83. livewire says:

    Hey Waiter. Sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well. I just wanted to let you know that I just finished your book and absolutely loved it. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Lol. Good luck to you and get well soon!

  84. Dustin says:

    Sorry to hear about your gall bladder. Likely too much alcohol int the biz. Well I hope you get better. Thank you for writing your book! I have been a restaurant person for 10 years and then got out to sell cars. Not much different than waiting tables but instead of making a mistake and buying someone dinner it is a bigger deal and can cost hundreds of dollars. I miss waiting tables and believe it or not I miss the hours. like you I too am a night owl. I do like the benefits and much better pay selling cars but I miss the adrenaline rush of being triple sat and making it happen! Anyway I got to relive the life for a day when I read your book. Thank you again and if you want a few good waiter stories let me know I have few. Get better soon!!

  85. DABCT says:

    Please let us know before you go in for the removal so that thoughts and prayers can be with you at that time especially.

  86. Marion says:

    I had my gall bladder out 9 years ago. I got really tired of everybody telling me it was a piece of cake. It was MY PIECE OF CAKE! And MY FIRST SURGERY! (Minor surgery is what happens to everybody else.) The day after surgery, I agreed — it was a piece of cake. But flavored with broccoli.

    You will discover what you use your stomach muscles for: laughing, crying, using the bathroom, rolling over in bed. The first night back from the hospital would be a great time to have someone stay with you. I got stuck rolling over in bed and my husband had to fix it.

  87. Mrs. Greg House says:

    Am I the only one who feels like the girlfriend has been mentioned in an earlier post? Like months ago even? I thought this was old news. Maybe I just vividly remember being heartbroken to find out that my Waiter isn’t single 😉

  88. Booply says:

    There is a reason you have a gallbladder in the first place. It’s basically your body’s way of checking what you eat. Essentially, there are different groups of people who should be eating different things. People who are decended from nomadic tribes (asia, africa) should eat more meat. People who are descended from a long line of scavengers and village dwellers should eat more vegetables and stock grains. There is even the Blood type diet which specifies what you should eat depending on your blood-type. Just check out the facts on this matter and you’ll be stunned how bad even milk can be for you (more than 85% of the world’s population does not possess the digestive enzyme to fully break down the lactose in milk). Just check out this website: – It explains the different blood types, where they originated from and what foods you should eat and what you should cut out. I hope this helps a lot of people out, but sometimes you just can’t help treating yourself to something you know to be bad for you.

  89. HyattServer says:

    Oh the pain. I had to have 2 surgeries one to remove the gallbladder and one to put a stint in my liver tube because my liver was so swollen it would not close off the bile flow.
    Than I had to have the stint removed and when I woke up They told me they could not find it.

    Oh the pain.

  90. Brandy says:

    I went through all of this earlier this year. I understand completely about the ultrasound. If they can do a laproscopic surgery, it isn’t too bad. Best Wishes.

  91. Sharona says:

    I Understand….Went through it four months ago and it really is a breeze compared to other surgeries! Now you’ll be able to eat and eat and eat. NO PAIN

  92. cinderboy says:

    Hey Steve,

    Hope you’re feeling better. Just finished reading your book, and simply love it de to the fact I used to work as a waiter myself, but not under such hellish circumstances as you 🙂

    Get well soon.

    Robert, somewhere in Asia

  93. db 345 dinerwaiter says:

    Glad I didn’t buy your book,its really sucked,I’m a waiter and have much better tales to tell and I shall. Maybe its bacause you work in NYC and fine dining as opposed to diners or mom and pop joints.Happy for your success good luck.

  94. Marcy says:

    Get well soon!!

  95. Katie says:

    Good luck with the surgery! My husband had gallbladder surgery about a year ago, and he fet much better once all was said and done. Give yourself time to recover, and take better care of yourself!

    Thanks for letting us know what’s going on with you.

  96. lawrie taylor says:

    Wishing you a full and speedy recovery and hope it’s nothing serious. God bless you.

  97. Lacy says:

    Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  98. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read you since you wrote about Terri.

    Love your stuff you post.

    I’ll pray for you and your GB.

  99. Waiter says:

    You’re so right Lacy! I’m an apprehensive patient at best – several steps removed from hypochondria!

  100. Sarah says:

    Hi Steve.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon. Best of luck with the surgery.

  101. Cosmo's human says:

    I hope you get better soon. I loved your book!. I also hope you have some sort of health insurance to help with the bills. Feel better soon!

  102. Emily says:

    Glad you’re on the mend and can’t wait til you’re healthy and posting again!

  103. pilotgirl210 says:

    Piece of cake, Waiter, piece of cake. I had mine out in ’05 and I’ve never felt better! Long gone are the feelings of someone skewering me with a Samuri sword in my side! That piercing, mind-numbing pain! OMG, I still remember it. Doesn’t happen anymore. Just three tiny little scars, now long gone unless I really look for them, to remind me.

  104. rhea says:

    Get Well Soon!

  105. leslie says:

    Another reassurance from a former gall bladder owner. The surgery is a walk in the park, and you will not have an excuse to avoid the gym for long. All best wishes …

  106. Emery in Maui in Virginia says:

    I hope this surgery won’t be an excuse to not keep the blog entries coming. Aw shucks, we’ll wait. May your surgeon be blessed with skill and your room be filled with angels.

  107. meglena says:

    Sorry to hear you’re having health problems when everything is going so great for you. I’m glad that it isn’t life-threatening, but still – surgery! Good luck and a very speedy recovery. Take care Steve

  108. Samantha says:

    i like this entry alot. My brother recently died due to unknown health issues. in fact he was the kind of person who was in the gym three times, and you felt disgusted to look at because you just knew he was the picture perfection of health. I just think if you feel pain go get checked up, and if its not your time, then its not your time…good entry waiter thanks a lot!

  109. Anonymous says:

    Waiter after reading the comment section on your bog you must be a little creeped out. all of these people seem a little obsessed with you except maybe Lacy. 108 responsive to your Gall Bladder being removed!!! it is like there is no one for them to talk to or acknowledge they exist. Some can’t seem to make it through the day if you don’t post.

  110. Stephan says:

    Oh, that sucks! But I’m really glad it turned out to be something routine and relatively low-risk. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!!!

    (And why would someone leave a post dissing the rest of us for leaving posts????)

  111. Jen says:

    Wow, my gallbladder removal experience was not quite the same as yours. In less than 1/2 a day I had stomach pains (by the sounds of it, not as bad as yours), threw up, went to the hospital where it was quickly decided that my gallbladder was coming out the next day or so. Didn’t even get to see the stones after… 🙂 Luckily I had the lap surgery. Enjoyed your book, btw!

  112. Bar Tales says:

    I too am glad to see you writing again and I too am wondering where were you and what were you doing the day before?

    Inquiring (naughty) minds want to know!

  113. Elissa Hock says:

    Good luck with your surgery.

    I had my gall bladder out in 1985. I will tell you that you will have an easier time than those people who had it done the “old-fashioned” way.

    I have a 7 inch diagonal scar across my abdomen. I was in the hospital for 6 days and I wasn’t allowed to drive for 6 weeks.

    I will say, though, that I felt a heck of a lot better once it was out. Everything made me sick before I had it out. I couldn’t eggs, cheese or anything with any fat in it. I did get to see the stones….they looked like the yolks of hard-boiled eggs that had been cooked too long, except smaller.

    You will do fine. Modern medicine is amazing.

  114. Jessica says:

    I just had mine out a few months ago, yeah, soooo much better afterwards, it’s hard to get comfortable sleeping flat on the bed for the first few days but I slept in a recliner chair. Jello + me were BFF’s… low/non fat everything until you learn what you can and cannot process. Fast food = running to the toilet so be careful. The worst part about the first few days post op was the gas bubbles making their way out. They inflate your stomach to do the surgery, then deflate it, you’ll still have residual gasses and they HURT in the rib cage and tummy. Good luck!

  115. Laura says:

    Heard you on KQRS with Tom and Terri in the morning – nice job. It’s the most listened to morning show in the country, and my personal favorite. 🙂 Hope you feel better soon.

  116. Erin says:

    Getting ready to have the exact same surgery myself, bright and early tomorrow morning. Best of luck!

  117. Barb says:

    You still tell a fine story waiter steve, so sorry about the health troubles while so much going on in your life, but sounds like it is getting caught relatively early. Hope you feel much better afterwards, I’ll be praying for you. And, the girlfriend? & along with dozens of others, what were you doing the day before? I’m so glad that you have many stories yet to tell…. Can’t wait to read them.

  118. Rachel says:

    Hang in there waiter!

  119. babysteps says:

    Hope you feel much better!
    for folks with gallbladder issues, often surgery is a great help.
    For a few, it isn’t – if you become one of them, consider food intolerances and allergies – many folks’ milk or gluten reactions sound a lot like your pre-surgery symptoms.
    Hopefully for you, you’ll fall in the “great help” category for gallbladder surgery!

  120. Bruce Small says:

    My one ultrasound was as an emergency, and they had to call in a technician. She was on her way to a hot date, apparently, because she was wearing this gorgeous black gown. I apologized for dragging her away from a nice date.

  121. Brea in Texas says:

    And now for something completely different …

    Hey, at least you’re not the man with three buttocks. 🙂

    Glad to hear everything’s (relatively) ok.


  122. Steve says:

    You will be fine.Enjoy life and the best is yet to come.

  123. MissC says:

    Stay strong, you should be feeling better soon!!!

  124. Grumpus says:

    “I feel fat, alone, and doomed.” Hey, get off my wave! In any case, I am glad it wasn’t your worst fears confirmed. Maybe the fright you received will be an agent of change! Then you can 100% enjoy all this success you so deserve.

  125. Kiz says:

    I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago. These days, since it’s removed via laparoscopy, it’s relatively minor. I got away with 4 small incisions, less than a 4-hour stay in the hospital, and only a few days to really get back on my feet.

    I hear there have even been some advances since then to remove it using only one small incision. You’re lucky that you’re having it removed now, and not, say, 10-15 years ago.

    Your diet needn’t change much (that’s what I was told when I had my cholecystectomy done). But in general, cutting back on fatty foods would be a good idea.

  126. Sweeti says:

    I had this surgery in 1995 and what a relief, I waited way to long to see a DR. about it. Get it done as soon as you can so you can resume the good times. Get well soon.

  127. jane says:

    gonna have gb surgrry next week. have history of heart paplitations and had one grand mal siezure last year due to thyroid i am scared, never had surgery before. i’m 58

  128. mindful_indulgence says:

    Dude, I a little more than ten years younger than you and had to go through gallbladder surgery earlier this year. My deceptive appearance – young, thin, and not a match to the “three f’s” that every nurse I came across chirped like it was supposed to cheer me up (fat, female and forty) delayed my diagnosis for months and trudging through a swamped “world-class” health care facility (UCSF) put my two surgeries nearly 2 months apart. I had the worst attack in another county, went to the ER there and they blessedly took my gallbladder out and sent me home within 24 hours.

    Gallbladder pain is the absolute worst… glad you’re on the mend.

  129. Jason says:

    If you’d read any Terry Pratchett, you’d know that Death always speaks in capital letters.
    “I AM DEATH,” his weary voice rasps. “AND I HAVE COME TO TAKE YOU AWAY.”

    Love the blog! Thanks for writing!

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  132. Emmy says:

    As a natural health expert, I get numerous e-mails asking, “Is gallbladder surgery absolutely necessary?” I usually respond with the answer, “sometimes.” I then explain that most gallstones can be naturally dissolved and flushed (around 85%) but the other 15% should usually opt for an alternative treatment or as a last resort, gallbladder surgery. I always, always, always recommend to try gallstones remedies and avoid gallbladder surgery at all cost!

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