Worst weight loss system EVER

By Shamus Posted Thursday Jul 19, 2007

Filed under: Personal 149 comments

Tomorrow, someone is going to knock me out, slice holes in me, and remove one of my internal organs. Then he will bill me.

About two months ago I mentioned that my health was failing and that I’d been to the hospital to have some tests done. Since then my health has remained poor, and I’ve had many more tests. The doctors have finally concluded that my gallbladder is not working right. It’s no longer under warranty, which means the best thing to do is to have it out. Yes, the gallbladder is an optional organ. I did not know this. I guess I’ll find out how “optional” it is after the surgery. I’ve been reading a great deal about this here and there on the web, but everyone is a little different and I won’t really know what it’s like until the time comes. Great. I just love surprises.

The surgery is tomorrow. I have Friday’s DMotR already complete, but I strongly suspect that this weekend I’m not going to be in the mood to make with the funny. In fact, I’ve been pretty short on funny lately to begin with. During my Fear the Boot interview I mentioned I had about three or four weeks of lead time in the comic. I’ve been slowly chipping away at that lead time since I got sick, and now it’s gone. Lately I’ve been cranking out episodes at the last moment. The upshot is that I’m just not going to have episodes ready for next week.

To avoid missing updates entirely, I’ve pulled out a few funny screenshots that should fill the void until I’m on my feet again.

When I warn of missing updates, the most common response I get from readers is, “You don’t owe us anything! Take time off and don’t feel guilty!” I want to make it clear that keeping up with updates is something I impose on myself. It’s just something I want to do. As the comic has grown I have increased my expectations and goals for the project. This started off as a bit of fun, and has become a sort of personal challenge. I want to see if I can pull it off, and see it though to the end. So, don’t feel like you’re being too demanding. The harshest taskmaster I have right now is myself.


From The Archives:

149 thoughts on “Worst weight loss system EVER

  1. Jeremiah says:

    Hope the surgery goes well and you manage just fine without that pesky gallbladder.

  2. Mavis says:

    Good luck, get well soon, and lets hope it’s as optional as an appendix…

  3. I hope you feel better soon. From what I understand from the people I know of that have had gallbladder surgery, you have to watch what you eat afterwards. The gallbladder stores bile that helps your liver break down fat or something like that (pardon my off-the-cuff inaccuracies), and if you don’t have backup you may have a hard time digesting really heavy food.

    From what I understand, though, it’s a relief to get rid of it if it is causing you problems.

  4. Lebkin says:

    Take care of yourself and we will patiently await your return.

  5. SRH says:

    Most of my current fam is sans bladder de gall at the moment, so I will give you the quick run down. It will take some time for your system to start processing fatty foods efficiently agin. During that re-adjustment time get used to multiple trips to the toilet. Other than that, everyone I know who has had the offending sack of bile removed has really been just fine.

    Good luck on the surgery, and thanks for the commitment to posting the comic regularly. many a lurker out here who love the comic. Damn! I just de-lurked, didn’t I?

  6. AJ says:

    Regardless of who your taskmasters are in life, if you try to do anything that puts your health at risk I’d bet more than I own that your wife will prove the strongest of the taskmasters as she drags you by the scruff of your neck back to resting :-D

    Good luck with the surgery and recovery Shamus, you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  7. Mike says:

    Best of luck with the surgery, Shamus.

  8. phlux says:

    Mavis: It’s slightly less optional than the appendix, which serves no function at all except to occassionally become inflammed and infected in some life-threatening manner. The gall bladder does actually serve a purpose in digestion, but you can live without it, particularly if it’s already become blocked in which case you’re ALREADY living with out it, and removing it will just make that permanent, as well as get rid of your symptoms.

    I assume Shamus is having this done laproscopically, so there are many fewer complications, less scarring and quicker recovery time.

    If you’re lucky you don’t even have to go under general anesthetic. They just knock you out and administer local anesthetics to keep you from feeling anything for a while afterwards. I had that done with some elective surgery, and when I woke up, within about 30 minutes of waking up I had eaten, drank and been to the bathroom, which apparently meant I was good to go. I would have walked out, had the surgery not been on both of my big toes to correct chronic ingrown toenails. I could stand, but not really walk for the better part of 3 days.

    The good news was that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had just come out, so I was thoroughly entertained for the entire duration.

  9. Strangeite says:

    Are you going to keep it?

  10. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    Damn thing just isn’t galling right is it.

  11. Brian says:

    I can’t believe you’re doing this to us. You should feel really guilty and stuff.

    *cracks the whip*

    Hope you feel better soon.

  12. Mari says:

    You’ll be fine, Shamus. I had the ol’ rock factory out over a decade ago and I’m still ticking. It took me about three days to get over the surgery completely even though I was out of the hospital that day. No fuss, no muss. Minimal scarring. And I don’t miss my gallbladder at all. Granted, we had drifted apart over the year or two prior to its leaving, but still, I really don’t even notice the absence these days.

    So wishing you a successful surgery, a speedy recovery, and a healthy life without it.

  13. Elton says:

    Best of luck, Shamus. I have no plans this weekend, so perhaps I’ll have my gall bladder cut out as well as a gesture of solidarity. Will you be keeping yours in a jar?

  14. Knastymike says:

    Good luck with your surgery, your schedule and everything else. See if they’ll let you keep your gall bladder in a jar!

  15. Gary's Friend Jim says:

    There’s got to be some way to use the removed organ in some kind of horrible prank.

  16. proteusguy says:

    So if the guy asks “Where do you keep your treasure?” before he opens you up are you going to a) assume he’s just a reader or b) get up an run out the door sans clothes?

  17. Mike says:

    Had mine out several years back. I was back to work a few days later, but in retrospect, I should have rested a couple more days at least. I felt so much better without it, but it was in pretty bad shape. I had an appointment with the surgeon to have it out but didn’t even make it that long; I ended up in emergency when a gallstone hit my pancreas (and I thought it was horribly painful before that). Ends up it was gangrenous and worse than they thought. Ever since I have felt free to use the phrase “By my gangrenous gut…!” in normal conversation, so that’s been a plus. Life has been wonderful without it and I can actually eat anything now, more than I could before I had it out.

    Good luck with it. I hope it all goes smoothly.

  18. Matt` says:

    The phrase “optional organ” amuses me.
    Anyway, good luck in surgery, let’s hope they don’t leave any tools in you :)

  19. Gropos says:

    Gallbladder to Shamus: “Im in ur systems messin up ur comix”

  20. Dan says:

    Oh no. lolDM.

    This can’t be good.

  21. Deoxy says:

    “I want to make it clear that keeping up with updates is something I impose on myself. It's just something I want to do. As the comic has grown I have increased my expectations and goals for the project. This started off as a bit of fun, and has become a sort of personal challenge. I want to see if I can pull it off, and see it though to the end. So, don't feel like you're being too demanding. The harshest taskmaster I have right now is myself.”

    I admire that greatly. Good luck on the surgery and recovery.

    Oh, and Gropos… LOL!

  22. Tym says:

    The hardest part of gallbladder surgery – if you are having the incision method versus the laproscopic method – is when, post-surgery, the medtech comes to remove your abdomen drain line.

    Major Ouch.

    (Though quickly over)

  23. Zaghadka says:

    Darn! You’re on the cart twice.

    Why does your gall bladder hate the strip? Has all the bile within put it in a poor humour? ;^)

    Feel better soon. My jokes probably aren’t helping.

  24. Daktylo says:

    Yes, Shamus, keep your gall bladder in a jar. Better yet, in a phylactery so that you can regenerate after fatal damage.

    Have you considered cybernetics? Half man, Half machine?

  25. Locri says:

    Good luck and I hope you start feeling better soon!

  26. Ian says:

    I hope your surgery goes well and that you feel better soon.

    Also, after your last paragraph I don’t think that you would even listen if anyone told you to take a break, so I’ll just sit here and shut up. ;)

  27. Be Strong man!

    I know how it is trying to keep up with updates while under the weather.
    I have never had surgery, but I have had some nasty flus that will put me out of it.

  28. Alan Post says:

    i wish you a speedy recovery shamus!

  29. Anachronista says:

    My guy had his gallbladder out last February – even though it was done laproscopically, he still had a great deal of soreness in his abdomen for a few days following the operation. You’ll probably want to hire a sexy nurse for the first few days to help you get through. On the plus side, he lost about 20 pounds of beer gut.

  30. Lynx says:

    You don't owe us anything! Take time off and don't feel guilty!

    Hey, somebody’s gotta say it… :D

    Good luck!

  31. Mark says:

    Good luck Shamus, and don’t worry about not posting:P

  32. Seracka says:

    Get well soon Shamus, (yes I am a lurker who posts very occasionally)

    honestly, we will all survive with out the DMotR for a couple of weeks…will give us all reason to go back and re-read old ones.

  33. Gothmog says:

    Hope all goes well- good luck to ya, Shamus.

  34. Javaboy says:

    Hope all goes well.

  35. Deathblade_penguin says:

    i love the fact we have optional internal organs.

    i want to know how they worked out what we needed and what we dont to live?

    good luck SHamus, sorry for my morbid thoughts.

  36. Cat Skyfire says:

    May your surgeon have a +2 in Optional Organ Removal, and may you not fail your saving throw.

  37. Chris Curran, Crazy Chainmailler says:

    just remember shamus to get better, and remember the house rules of DMotR; No Monty Python references… lol :D

  38. Don says:

    I hope that the procedure goes smoothly and you don’t have to spend one minute longer than necessary in the hospital.

  39. craig says:

    I think modern medicine adds a lot of +2 conditional modifiers to the throw.

  40. Madjack says:

    Best of luck man. Take as much time off as you need, and then one day more. Rushing back to things when you feel “good enough” might just make things worse, and then you’ll end up losing more time than if you had just spent that extra day resting.

    Enjoy putting your feet up for a while, use the time to come up with an arsenal of witty ripostes to phrases like “You don’t have the gall” or “the unmitigated *gall*!” etc.

  41. BlueFaeMoon says:

    I know you’ll feel better when this is done. :)

    Also, this is an official THANK YOU from my family to you. We all love to read your blog and DMotR comic every week. You are a bright spot on the web. And the source of so many smiles. Thanks.

    Heal fast, Shamus!

  42. ShadoStahker says:

    Yep. Hospitals add a good circumstance bonus.

    Aides … er… aiding.

    And since you can’t critically fail a skill check, I think we’ll have a healthy comicker in no time.

  43. Ingvar says:

    The gall bladder is, indeed, mostly optional (it acts as a storage facility more than a gall production factory). Not that I’ve had mine removed, but close family has (in the early 870s, if memory serves me right).

  44. -Chipper says:

    Gropos Says:
    “Gallbladder to Shamus: ‘Im in ur systems messin up ur comix'”

    lolDM – I’m not sure I want to see the pic of the gallbladder that goes with that.

    I’m an engineer for a company that makes laparoscopic surgical instruments – some might be used on you! I have learned that removing the gallbladder is routine even laparoscopically (thru 3-4 small incisions that allows instruments in, but not surgeon’s hands), so much so that our company trains its engineers & salesmen on the use of the instruments by having them remove a pig’s gallbladder.

    One minor thing to be aware of is that laparascopic surgery can have a weird side-effect- aching shoulders for a day or two after the surgery. The gas that is used to inflate the operative area (to allow room for the instruments & a field of view for the camera) can migrate to the joints. I understand it can be uncomfortable, but not terrible & some doctors forget to mention it. It doesn’t always happen, but thought you might appreciate a heads-up.

    So: (1) routine – don’t be anxious; (2) don’t be surprised if your shoulders ache.

    Hope you recover quickly & are soon asking why you didn’t have this done ages ago.


  45. baac says:

    Think of how much faster you’ll be able to run without it… Less weight and gall bladder-related drag.

    God speed, John Glenn. Get well soon.


  46. Dev Null says:

    Be more better. Here’s wishing you a skilled surgeon and plenty of happy drugs for afters.

  47. Maddyanne says:

    Best wishes, Shamus. I hope it goes as well as it possibly can.

  48. Melfina the Blue says:

    May it go well, and recovery be swift and aided by happy painkillers.

  49. Nazgul says:

    Good luck with the operation and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery!!!

  50. Rolld20 says:

    Yeah, I have 2 relatives without GBs, and they’re fine and kicking. A more distant relative should have had it removed, but it wasn’t done in time… :(

    Anyway, good luck, we’re all pulling for you. Post us some funnyz next week if you can, so we know you’re recovering; and in a few days we’ll start complaining about wanting *real* DMotR again. :D

    Take care of yerself!

  51. pseudosilence says:

    Good luck. You know we’ll all be missing you and pulling for you to feel better soon.

  52. Namfoodle says:

    Good luck and Godspeed Shamus! Hope your recovery goes smoothly.

    One of my employees had her GB out before she started working for me. Like other posters have said, she hasn’t had any problems now that it’s gone.

    I’m all for optional organs! Redundancy is good, just ask NASA! I read this cool SF novel where one of the characters was a cyborg who could pass as human externally but was totally redesigned and “over-clocked” internally. She ran through some machine gun fire, takes a bunch of hits and thinks “okay, I lost 2 out of six kidneys, those are acceptable losses…”

    Wish I could remember the name of the book – the next book in the series should be out by now…

  53. ShadoStahker says:


    Yeah, redundancy is very good.

    Now, if only the gall bladder was actually redundant for anything.

  54. SimeSublime says:

    Best of luck for the surgery.

  55. Dave says:

    Hmm.. that’s the organ they were concerned about with me.. I thought those tests sounded familiar.. I’ve moved enough times of late that I haven’t had one doctor .. so I keep going down different paths as to why I have fleeting, shooting pains.. can’t digest stuff for .. er.. digestion is off.. etc.. I’m thinkin’ my Gall is not being contained properly in its Bladder.. But, I’m obviously not to the stage you’re at!! You’ve gotten enough good luck wishes from everyone .. but I’ll add some more for ya.. and since you are the one that pressures yourself the most for DMotR stuff.. then a mine wont matter.. HURRY UP AND GET BACK TO WORK… thanks.

  56. MintSkittle says:

    45 -Chipper Says:
    July 19th, 2007 at 11:20 am

    So: (1) routine – don't be anxious

    Routine doesn’t mean anything. My sister nearly died from a “routine” opperation. She bled internally for two weeks before we knew there was anything wrong.

    Shamus, keep in touch with your doctor, and know the quickest route to the nearest hospital. An ambulance trip is expensive.

  57. Shandrunn says:

    Take care, Shamus.

  58. Tacoman says:

    Good luck, Shamus! I look forward to your new comics post-gallbladder. I wonder if it will change your style at all. I’m pretty sure the gallbladder does have something to do with creativity and humour. Pretty sure, yeah.

  59. roxysteve says:

    Before my doctor (and this is why he is now my doctor) stepped in at the 11th hour and diagnosed pancreatitis, they were about to do the same surgery on me.

    I’m reliably informed that the surgery is usually marked by relatively little post surgical pain, although the air they inflate you with during the op has to escape and that can be disconcerting and uncomfortable. I was advised that mint tea helps the body dissipate the air as quickly as possible. Why this is I don’t know.

    Don’t worry Shamus. Your Common Duct will take over most of the Gall Bladder’s job once the nasty thing has been removed. In the case of a bad gall bladder, “better out than in” is the watchphrase.

    Feel better.

    Oh, and you don’t want pancreatitis. It cranks the pain up to 11. It makes the doctors think you are alcoholic and they won’t believe otherwise until several days have passed without DTs showing. It means lifestyle changes that are not enjoyable at first. If you or someone you know starts showing high triglyceride counts, tell them to ask their doctor about omega 3 fish oils before it damages the pancreas. They are the magic bullet for me.



  60. StereotypeA says:

    Good luck, brother. Come back to us when you’re ready.

  61. Maia says:

    I hope you feel better soon! My step-father had his gallbladder out a year ago and hasn’t had any recurring issues since then. Good luck!

  62. Danzaemon says:


    I don’t like to say “Best of luck” to people going in for an operation; sounds too much like random chance/fate might play a big role.

    So, I’ll say “I’m sure you’ll be fine, just take care of yourself afterwards,” instead.

    Looking forward to seeing more DMotR, not least because
    it’ll mean you’re feeling better.

    Keep your chin up, mate.

  63. Huckleberry says:

    All the best. There’ll be people all around the globe thinking of you tomorrow…

  64. gottasing says:

    I am impressed by how funny you are when you think you’re short on funny. Thank you for the comic and best wishes and prayers for a speedy, non-complicated recovery.

  65. Sorry to hear it’s going to take surgery to fix what ails you, but I never noticed any shortage of funny. Take care, Shamus, and be well. See you when you get back.

  66. L. Hyperion says:

    Get well as you body dictates Shamus. We shall amuse ourselves by juggling squishy spare organs and making jokes about how you can’t be funny anymore without a proper supply of bile to make things extra sarcastic.

    Ask the doc if he’s gonna fill the hole with something…

    I suggest a glass eye so you can watch what you eat.

  67. Devin says:

    I’d tell you the same thing I tell my players when they can’t make Tabletop:

    “Life happens… gaming comes second… then something about religion…”

    I suppose in your case it’s comics, but it still holds true. We can be patient for your health. Best wishes.

  68. Breklor says:

    I’ve had mine out. Eat very easy foods for the next week or so, and go easy on the butter-soaked cheeseburgers and deep-fried onion rings (you can indulge occasionally, but mostly you should try to keep your grease intake reasonable) and you should be fine.

    Good luck with the surgery!

  69. Poet says:

    Hope you recover quickly. Take it easy, and do what your Doctor tells you, even if he’s The Doctor.

  70. Richard says:

    Good luck with the surgery. We really value your contributions to our day, and are all rooting for you.

  71. ZackTheSTGuy says:

    My mother had her gallbladder removed in 1983 and she’s still alive and kicking today with no problems to speak of. I’m sure you’ll be fine. Best wishes to you!

  72. AngiePen says:

    I hope everything goes well and that you feel better afterward. Good luck!


  73. Rob says:

    Good luck and a speedy recovery! In order to ensure you roll a bunch of 20’s in during your ordeal I will place all my dice so that the 1 is up thereby creating a cosmic d20 vacuum. Or I’ll just think positive thoughts!

  74. nerdpride says:

    You can have mine.

    Naw, just kidding! Haha ha ha. I’m a riot.

  75. SophiCat says:

    I had my gall bladder out several years ago and my mother just had her’s removed about a month ago. I never knew just how much discomfort I was in until I had it out. I guess it had been bothering me for so long that I had learned to ignore it and when the source of pain was removed the difference was startling. The only real side effect of having no gall bladder is having to learn how much fat you can eat at one time. The way I understand it is the gallbladder stores bile (which is made by the liver). Bile is used to help digest water insoluble like fats. When you eat fats, the gall bladder contracts and sends bile into the intestines only when it is needed. When your gall bladder is removed, the bile ducts connect the liver directly to your intestines and bile dribbles in slowly all of the time. If you eat two much fat at once there might not be enough bile around and you’ll end up with a case of …. well you know. Your body will soon adapt to not having a gall bladder and produce enough bile to handle your normal diet.

    I didn’t find the surgery all that bad. The thing that bothered me most was being wide awake in the operating room one moment and then in recovery the next. I hated the discontinuity. Some anaesthetics can cause retrograde amnesia which is probably why I don’t remember getting sleepy. As for pain, my stomach felt like I had done gazillion sit-ups the day before. I took vicodin for a day or so.

    Good luck with your surgery. I’m sure you’ll feel much better without your gall bladder.


  76. Dave says:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I’ll keep you in my thoughts. Take it easy!

  77. xbolt says:

    I’ll certainly be thinking of you tomorrow. Best wishes, Shamus!

  78. Man, good luck on the ops and a swift recovery.

    After all, we want to see the look on Aragorn’s face when Dave comes back for a one nighter and tosses the ring in Mount Doom.

    GM : “Bravo! You killed Sauron! +100.000.000 xps. And Aragorn, you get 50 xps for stabbing the troll in the foot.”

  79. Martin says:

    I’ll roll a +Knife Defence dice for you

    I know ‘dice’ is wrong, but ‘die’ just didn’t look right in context.

  80. trigear says:

    Yet some more anecdotal gallbladder advice, Shamus:

    I had mine out in 2001. While I was in college. You know all those lifestyle changes you’re supposed to make afterward? Yeah, I didn’t make any of them.

    First, the surgery and the recovery:

    It hurt, yes, but it never got so bad that I needed painkillers. I just toughed it out. And I’m a wuss when it comes to persistent internal pain. Also, the four tiny scars that the procedure leaves have faded some, but they are definitely still there. I’m beginning to think they’ll be with me for life.

    Now for the aftermath:

    What SRH (comment #5) said about adjustment of your digestive system is very true. You and number two will become very good buddies after your surgery. Your digestive system will take a long time to digest heavy (fatty) foods. Your digestive system doesn’t have any patience, however, so after a few hours it gets tired of processing the same clump of food, so it just hits the eject button and purges the whole greasy mess out the exit chute.

    The plus side to that, of course, is you can eat a whole pizza pie and absorb very little fat from the cheese. I lost a whole lot of weight after my surgery, without altering my (very unhealthy) diet at all. Eventually, though, your system adjusts. It learns to hang onto fatty foods for longer, and you learn that fatty foods are going to give you indigestion.

    Since your bile storage mechanism is gone, your bile production is piped directly into your stomach in a slow trickle, whether you need it or not. If you go too long without a meal, your stomach will start accumulating bile and you will start to feel very, very nauseous. I used to have my first meal of the day at 4PM or 5PM on some days. I learned very quickly not to do that. When I tried doing that after the surgery, by 2PM my stomach hurt was so bad I couldn’t move. So make sure you eat regularly.

    I doubt this is an issue for you, Shamus, but you should be warned anyway: you’re going to have to be very, very careful with alcohol for the rest of your life. Aside from breaking down fat, the bile that your gallbladder stores also neutralizes excessive alcohol in your system after heavy drinking. Without a gallbladder, you don’t have bile reserves. Without bile reserves, it takes a really long time to neutralize that excessive alcohol. Which means if you really need those bile reserves, you’re out of luck. So instead of giving you a really bad hangover, a night of binge drinking will just kill you instead. If you’re lucky enough to survive such an incident (and I’m telling you this from personal experience), you’ll wish you were dead for at least a day. Casual drinking is just fine, it’s those really wild nights that you sometimes can’t remember the day after that you have to avoid. I prefer to err on the side of caution with that one: I still drink now, but I avoid getting drunk whenever possible.

  81. jpetoh says:

    I also had my gall-bladder out, and several years post-recovery, it’s all good. The other good news is that they’ve developed laprascopic surgery so you don’t need to get a 14-inch gash sliced in you like the old days. They just make four small incisions and roto-rooter it out.

    But keep in mind, this is coming from someone who is “on the cart” from you entry earlier in the week…

  82. CJG says:

    I am the original owner and creator of your gall bladder. Please have it removed, or at the very least give me credit for creating it.

    Also, I’ve got my eyes on your spleen.

  83. Martin says:

    I’ll reiterate what a bunch of others have said; if your
    gallbladder’s not working already, you won’t miss it at all.
    I had my out last July and it was a scope job, little scars,
    quick recovery and all.

    Oh. And you can’t do gall bladders under local. It’s too
    close to the diaphragm.

  84. GEBIV says:

    Good Luck with the surgery, Shamus. Maybe you can check with the doctor and see if he’ll remove your appendix while he’s rooting around in there. Get a two for one deal! :)

    It really is remarkable how much of our bodies is redundant, or completely optional.

  85. ArchU says:

    My older brother had his gall bladder removed some years ago and he’s still alive and well. You should be fine, Shamus!

    GEBIV (#87): I don’t think that’s such a good idea to be rid of the freeloading organs all at once. It’s good to have a buffer zone – like scapegoat organs – to prevent losing more vital organs later on =p

  86. Good luck and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  87. Rob says:

    Good luck and take all the time you need. We’ll keep the light on for you!

  88. andy says:

    Yet another post to wish you well :)

    Good luck, speedy recovery, I truly hope it all goes well.

  89. jdhays says:

    Don’t worry. My mother-in-law had her gallbladder out decades ago and she is still full of bile. Take care.

  90. Troas says:

    Best of luck with the slicing, and a quick recovery too. Fingers are crossed.

  91. milw770 says:

    QUOTE: This started off as a bit of fun, and has become a sort of personal challenge. I want to see if I can pull it off, and see it though to the end. So, don't feel like you're being too demanding. The harshest taskmaster I have right now is myself.

    You DON’T owe “us” anything. Take care of yourself first. The funny will keep until you’re back.

    The gallbladder is a totally optional organ. They’re really only included in the luxury homo sapien package. It won’t hurt your resale value much, but you won’t have that new human smell anymore.

    Good luck.

  92. Kajen says:

    Best of luck, Shamus.
    Get well soon.

  93. Zikkurat says:

    I wish you all the best for the surery. I’m sure that everything will run smoothly. They might take your gallbladder, but no one can ever remove your funny! ^^

  94. Sybarite says:

    I had my gall bladder removed in May (hrm… maybe I should be on the cart then…), and wanted to bring up the other fun digestive issue that can occur post surgery: constipation. It is pretty normal to have really bad constipation right after the surgery, which can then ease into the other extreme as your body tries to adjust. So stock up on fiber supplements and Immodium and magazines! Oh, and enjoy the free navel piercing you are about to receive!

  95. Chrystalline says:

    All these comments about keeping your gallbladder in a jar remind me of the woman on LJ (I forget her name) who has a photo of her (removed, obviously) uterus as her user icon. It looks fake. Not sure I want to encourage you to do something like that here, though;)

    Get well soon!

  96. Heather says:

    *comes out of lurk mode*

    I also had my gallbladder out laproscopically a year and a half ago. I was in and out of hospital on the same day, and they gave me a bottle of lovely Percocet to help with the pain. I only needed them for a couple of days afterwards, though.

    Most of the others who’ve had this surgery have already covered most of the salient points (though I never noticed the issue with #2’s, but I was/am already on a fairly low-fat diet).

    But one thing I thought I should add: find an extra pillow. It will be your friend. Your stomach is going to be very sore for a couple of days and I found to sleep at night (after taking my Percocet) the most comfortable position was on my side with a pillow tucked beneath my belly for support. The first day, I also took it with me when I had to go to the bathroom and hugged it to me for additional support for walking and pooing (am I allowed to say poo?).

    Oh, and try not to sneeze. I sneezed the day after the surgery – I seriously don’t recommend it.

  97. Margaret says:

    Chrystalline Says:
    Re the woman at LJ with the uterine icon. She still has it.

    Shamus:I hope everything goes well and get well soon!

  98. Christopher says:

    Good luck with the surgery and get well soon and all that. The upside? I bet you get a lot of ice cream.

  99. Amy says:

    Good luck Shamus. I’ve still got my bladder o’gall, but I’ve taken care of many many patients who have lost, or are dearly anticipating loosing it.
    As someone said earlier, it’s not quite as optional as the appendix, but close. Ya gotta watch your diet to not have too much fatty stuff at one time, but other than that, once it’s out you should be good to go.

  100. corwin says:

    Here’s hoping the surgeon makes you better than you were before. Better. Stronger. Faster….

    Seriously, best advice I can offer is listen to your body afterwards. It’ll know when it needs rest, and if you indulge it, it’ll speed your recovery. I’ll keep all my appendages crossed for you, man.

  101. roxysteve says:

    Hmm. Better take up Call of Cthulhu once you are free of that insidious, sanity-leeching ghoul bladder.


  102. Gelatinous Cube says:

    The best excellency to the surgery! May your stomach work better than mine!!!

  103. Cenobite says:

    Good luck…
    Take care of yourself…
    And get well soon!

    We will all be rolling dice for you, burning off bad juju!

  104. 5h4n6 says:

    I hope everything goes well there, God bless you.

    And hey, if I could, I would charge my dice for luck and give them to you, that way you could make some amazing saving throws against doctor’s scalpel inaccuracy or anesthesia wearing off… nah, you’re going to be ok. what kind of ok? a natural 20 kind of OK. :D

  105. Jochi says:

    Shoulda looked here before posting to the other line.
    I hope they do it laproscopically too, but there upsides to the abdominal decorations.
    Several of my friends are SCA rapier fighters, and I am now a demo dummy for ‘thrust’ versus ‘draw cut’.
    You WILL be better off without the sick organ. But give yourself time to get there. We care.

  106. Roney says:

    De-lurking to say how much I’m enjoying DMotR and that I hope that the surgery goes/is going/did go well.

    I’m looking forward to the free-flowing funny you’ll produce once you’re feeling better again.

  107. Clyde says:

    Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery, Shamus. I know surgery is no fun; I had most of my thyroid removed back in ’83 and was weak as a kitten for a couple of days. These days, all I have is a nifty scar on my neck and a pill-a-day levothyroxine habit. I’m sure that your scar will be more impressive than mine! :-)

  108. Clyde says:

    Or, with laparoscopy, maybe not!

  109. Cestus says:

    Good luck! I had my out 10 years ago and I don’t miss it so much. I’ve had no problems with alcohol (and believe me I’ve tried). Slight problems with fatty foods that I mostly got over. But I cannot to this day eat egg yolk. I have another friend who is gallbladderless and she has the same issue. So if you find yourself ill after breakfast, cut back on those eggs.

  110. Julia says:

    Hope your recovery goes well!

  111. Pixy Misa says:

    Good luck dude! Maybe you can get that sucker bronzed. :)

    Or maybe not. ;)

  112. Ken Talton says:

    2000 XPs!

    Good luck! I hope your recovery is swift.

  113. Zonga says:

    I had my GB out in October of 2005…took about a half hour, and I was sore for two or so weeks afterwards, but had pain pills and nothing to do except school, so that was fine. It’s not that bad, and I have yet to need it again.

    Of course, I’ve got all kinds of *other* medical marvel things, but over all, the GB operation was the least bothersome of the 4 abdominal surgeries I have had.

    I hope this helps allay some fears. :) Better living through modern medicine! I bet it all goes peerfectly!

  114. Big D says:

    You gotta be friggin’ kidding me. I just went in to the ER last Saturday morning and had mine taken out Monday night.

    It’s not all that bad, I guess. I mean, I hated it, but it’s not the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through.

    Take it easy afterwards, and make yourself as comfortable as you can in bed–because you’re going to be sleeping straight on your back for the first few nights. Consider sleeping in a recliner if you can do that sort of thing, because it’s a heck of a lot easier to get out of. Keep a walking stick or cane of some sort handy for when you want to get up or down. Take the pain pills before you go to bed, even if you didn’t need them at all during the day. Don’t worry too much about eating–you won’t be able to get much down at first, but it’ll get better. Everybody keeps telling me that it doesn’t matter *what* you eat, and for the most part, that seems to be the case. Just speaking for myself, milk did not agree with my stomach at all a couple of days later. I’m hoping *that* goes away soon–I have a gallon-a-week habit to maintain.

  115. Marina says:

    I found your site via Brickmuppet. Good luck with the surgery! Having had the same thing done I can tell you that while it is unpleasent the scarring is minimal nowadays. Just take it easy and don’t run any marathons and you should be back on your feet soon!


  116. damien walder says:

    If the science-guys come out with a bionic gall bladder they might knock on your door and ask if you want to be better, stronger, faster at digesting fatty foods…

    Maybe _then_ you can run a marathon, and win a hot-dog eating contest, too. Eurgh.

    Loved the Peter Jackson screencap,

  117. David Storrs says:

    Feel better soon, Shamus! And, as someone who just his appendix out last year, might I suggest that you get them to take that at the same time? I mean, they’ll be in the neighborhood and all….


  118. Tom in Dallas says:

    Surgery? Pbbbbt. Big deal.

    “Then he will bill me.”

  119. Tom in Dallas says:

    Hmmm, somehow it missed the last part of that post. Let me try again. I meant to end that with:

    “Then he will bill me.” is the scary part!

  120. fluchardan says:

    “cure light wounds” aw hell… “cure critical wounds”…. Hey it’s worth a try. I owe you that for the “cure critical frown” spells you have cast in my direction. Good luck my friend.

  121. dunne says:

    Get well, though even on your worst day you still make us all laugh.

  122. okay! says:

    Man, just take care of yourself.

    –A huge fan

  123. Jens K says:

    Hope you will be well, and thank you so much for all the laughters you have given me, and hopefully will give me and the rest with this LotR story in the future. It has on many occasions been most wonderful. Since it has been so fun, I have had to spread it to as many as I could think of. Thank you so much!
    Jens Kullenius,

  124. atra2 says:

    Get some rest! I pretty much just lurk, but I really enjoy DM of the Rings.

  125. John says:

    May you have a speedy recovery! And definitely get your gallbladder put in a jar of formalin / formaldehyde for your shelf! =)

  126. Teria says:

    I wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

  127. Eric says:

    My wife had hers removed about a week before I planned to propose to her.

    She looked like crap right after the surgery (though I told her she looked beautiful).

    A few days later she was fine, though in the 7 years since she has the crap really badly sometimes.

  128. Godess of Web says:

    Dun dun dun?

    Get well soon! Now when you are gone… I have to re- read the entire thing… just to honour your…gallbladder?

  129. Tom Zunder says:

    I had mine out earlier this year. Are you having it removed via keyhole surgery? I did and it went well and I was ok in 2 weeks. If they go full hog and open you up we may have to wait a bit longer for you to be back with us.

    Good luck, but you probably won’t need it.

  130. Rhythm says:

    I’ve been a lurker of DMotR (which is, since I’m taking the time to post, incredibly brilliant) for so long it seems ridiculous to start by responding to this thread, but it would be a terrible waste to let Mike’s comment (18) go unappreciated.

    Unfortunately, Mike, I don’t think my father would approve of me dating the undead. Besides, you’re probably too nice a zombie pirate for me anyway.

    Shamus–best wishes for a swift and reasonably painless recovery.

  131. Zalan says:

    /cast heal

  132. Entropy says:

    I hope you are feeling better!

  133. Alki says:

    Hi Shamus,

    I’ve read this srtrip for a few months now an you really bright up my working day. Keep up the good work and don’t worry about your gallbladder, it’s probably overrated anyway.

    Take care.


  134. aaron says:

    mate, you DO owe us.
    I have been addicted to DMOTR for a while and have caused many of my mates to become addicted as well.
    So…. stop feeling sorry for yourself and MAKE US LAUGH!!!!

    aaron, perth australia

  135. Forge says:

    A phylactery! Why didn’t I think of that?? I’m sure the rules will accept a gall bladder or appendix as a repository for one’s soul!

  136. David says:

    I was introduced to the comic strip last thursday,which was the 26th of June, I think, and had read it all through on saturday. You made me laugh, a lot, and I don’t even know that much of D&D. I hope that you recover quickly, and that you don’t pressure yourself about the comic, or the blog overall.

    Cheers from David, newly addicted

  137. Mantiroc says:

    All the best for a speedy recovery Shamus :)

    Love your work

  138. Yensid the Sorceror says:

    By now you’ve had the surgery and are at home in minor pain. I had my gall bladder out last summer. You’ll be back to normal in a week. No worries.

    I love your work! Pretty funny stuff!

  139. div says:

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  140. gyfrmabrd says:

    All the best!

  141. lithoman says:

    I had mine out a few years ago. Afterwards I had to limit fatty foods, but got past that after a few months. Now my diet is pretty much the same as it was before.

    One of my stones was 2 cm across, and they asked me if I wanted to keep it. My first thought was, ew, not really. Looking back, though, it probably could have been carved into a really cool d20!

  142. Anonymous says:

    Actually, there is some evidence that the appendix helps repopulate the gut after a significant loss of beneficial bacteria, by retaining a supply of them.

  143. Ryan says:

    Funny, that’s how my mom found out she was pregnant. Hopefully they didn’t put anything in its place…

  144. Brian says:

    It could always be worse: having gallbladder surgery was how my mom found out she was pregnant!

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