I’m having an Organ Removed

Katie Brown
4 min readNov 16, 2023

It’s time to say goodbye to my gallbladder

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

It just happened out of nowhere. Wednesday, 13th September 2023, was just a typical, mundane day in my life. I had dinner early, brushed my teeth, and went to bed at 9:30 PM. I was in deep sleep when, all of a sudden, at 11:45 PM, I shot up from my bed with what I can only describe as the most excruciating pain that I have felt in my life. The pain came directly from the middle of my abdomen. I could only compare it to labour pain without the pauses between contractions (and I’ve had two kids).

The sudden onset of the pain made me feel highly nauseous as I felt my heart palpitating, diving me into a state of panic and shock. The scariest part of it all was the inability to recognise what exactly was causing me this pain. The pain wasn’t left enough to be coming from my heart or right enough to be my liver. It was directly in between.

I was beginning to believe that something would go seriously wrong if I didn’t seek medical care straight away. It was time to call for an ambulance. The ambulance service told me there were a lot of emergencies at that time, so I had to make my own way to the hospital. The only problem with that is I couldn’t move. So we called for an ambulance again, and this time, the call handler could hear me struggling and screaming out in the background. Within moments, paramedics came through the door and handed me much-needed pain relief – gas and air. They inserted a canola with IV paracetamol. The pain reduced straight away. I can never thank those paramedics enough. The level of care they provided me as they calmed me down whilst escorting me to the hospital was indescribable.

“We think you’re having a gallbladder attack.”

Erm… my initial thought was, ‘Why is my gallbladder having an attack? Hold on… what even is a gallbladder? And what does it do?”

It’s clear that prior to this, my knowledge of gallbladders was pretty much non-existent. I could only remember briefly learning about it in school.

Moving forward, less than two months after this incident, I can now write a whole series on gallbladders and gallbladder disease.

Experience really is the best of teachers.



Katie Brown

"A Curious Mind on a Quest for Knowledge 🌍 | Exploring the Intersection of Ideas | Sharing Insights, Inspiration, and In-Depth Perspective