Earlier this month, my brother-in-law, Peter Lindstrom, and I packed up the car with fishing gear and set out to South Dakota for a week of fishing. Soon after we got on the road, I got the first sign – an upset stomach – that something was going to interfere with our plans.
As the day went on, the pain and symptoms increased, but I had no clue that they were building up to something serious. By the time we got to our destination in Brookings, I was uncontrollably sick and in tremendous pain. There was no mistaking it, I needed to get to the hospital and fast.
After a lot of poking and prodding, the doctors determined I was having a gallbladder attack. My wife, Sarah, made the 4-hour drive to Brookings in the middle of the night to be at my side.
That week, I had two surgeries in less than 24 hours. The first, an exploratory surgery and the second, to remove my gallbladder. I’m back home and on the mend, but will require a third surgery fairly soon.
My doctors at the hospital were impressed with my overall level of health and fitness. They were crystal clear about how that, and my healthier BMI, gave me a huge advantage when it came to tolerating the anesthesia and surgeries. It’s also playing a big role in how well I’m doing post-op.
All of this is really important when you consider that the risk of serious complications following surgery is much higher for patients who are obese.
This experience has reinforced how valuable a healthy lifestyle is. It’s true, you take your health – good or bad – wherever you go. Had this happened to me two years ago, I may not have had such a good outcome.
Unexpected illnesses can throw us a curve ball, no doubt about it. And though we never get advanced notice (“Mr. Hampton, just calling to remind you of your appointment on August 6 for a gallbladder attack”), we can take steps every day to stay fit and healthy. So, when those curve balls come our way, we’re in a better position to grab a bat and swing.
Finally, I want to express my thanks and gratitude to NuStep for helping me stay focused on my wellness journey and to my family and friends for their prayers and support. I’m a lucky man.