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Grieving an internal organ that will be removed soon

Community Member

I am having my gallbladder removed within the next 36hrs and I'm just feeling this huge sense of loss and grief.

I have been through substantial health and disability issues for almost a decade now but this will be the first major surgery I have had and it's removing an internal organ.

I've been through so much medically yet needing to have my gallbladder removed, I just feel like I've failed.

I feel like regardless of how faulty my body has been over the years, to need an internal organ removed, it just feels like new level of ill health has been unlocked. It's a line that once crossed, opens the door to other complications and issues.

I could mentally wrap my head around years of physical therapy and various procedures and treatments aimed at making my body more functional with its original parts but now for some critical internal functions to be expected to be functional with an internal organ missing - I just can't help but feel this is the beginning of the end for my health and mortality.

My surgeon was shocked that I was sitting in my wheelchair in his office so calmly, as most patients similar to me would describe the experience as the worst pain they've experienced, even worse than childbirth.

I just feel a huge sense of grief and loss.

The idea of losing my gallbladder is bringing up feelings of grief that I will not feel whole anymore.

I have had people (not my surgeon) say 'oh getting gallbladder out is common, so and so recovered fine, so you'll be fine'.

My own mother has had her gallbladder removed yet my intuition keeps telling me that my surgery and/or life post surgery will bring with it a plot twist.

I've had general anaesthesia multiple times before and spent more time in a hospital room/ward than most 'apprentice' doctors or nurses do (I know they have their own respective titles, I'm just too tired right now and my brain refuses to grant me access to my fancy thesaurus).

Yet there's just something about....

I just figured it out....

(Joys of having studied counselling and able to self induce CBT..)

I'm freaking out over this surgery because it's the first medical situation I've been confronted with where I cannot 'rehab, replace and/or restore' the faulty part of my body in question.

It will be gone for good ... I feel melancholy

A sadness... Grief

3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Meowing, I would feel exactly the same as you and so very sorry this has to be done as your diet may need to be changed, but having an internal organ removed is not what anyone would want.

My absolute apologies to you and know how despondent you are feeling.

Certainly, our best for you and please reply back to us when you are available.

Geoff. x

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi meowingat3amand welcome to the forums.I to have had my gallbladder removed as it was full of stones.I was very nervous having the surgery but once it was over I was fine after recovering.I don't miss it and nobody would know I don't have one if I don't tell them.You will get the best medical care possible and will be looked after fine.I have had a few surgeries with more to come but still get nervous about it.Its just the build up to it is the worst part with our minds over thinking things but once it's over it's fine.

I hope it all goes well and you can put your mind at ease.

Community Champion
Community Champion

hi there,

i am sorry you are going through this. i had part of my colon (a lot of it) removed earlier this year due to my IBD, and the grief is so real. the organ i got removed was a major organ, but turns out you do not really need it, your stool (sorry if tmi) is just looser. i think gallbladder is a more common surgery so a lot of people have had it done, and it is an organ you can live without.

throughout my health journey i have learnt that our bodies are amazing things - there a few organs we can live without, our body and brain is adaptive, and we are capable of surviving crazy things. i know i have, the surgery i had was needed as i was in immense pain that no medications could solve due to IBD. after my surgery, i am in remission and have no symptoms of pain, i work 40 hours a week. i still take medication but i am healthy and happy and that's all that matters.

if i didn't have surgery my life right now would not be possible so every day i am grateful for that. BUT at the time of my surgery i was also very upset like you about losing a lot of an organ, and the grief you experience is very much valid and understandable. so let yourself grieve, cry, do whatever you need. but just remember your body is amazing and if this can help you be healthier and improve your quality of life well that's the main thing xx

i am so sorry you are going through this. i am always up to chat if you need,

jaz xx