Tag Archives | bile

The ugly truth about “bile” (and how writers misuse it).

Marianna stood in the doorway and listened. Her father just gave her away in marriage to cover his debt. She clutched the doorway. Bile rose into her throat…

Sorry, won’t happen.

Last Thanksgiving at this time, my dad went in for a simple outpatient gallbladder removal. Should have been easy. No complications.

But after he came home, later that night, he rushed back to the ER in extreme pain. But they thought he was being over dramatic. Nothing could have gone wrong. So they said. But the pain only got worse. He was readmitted. Several days went by. And on Thanksgiving Day, right before we cut the turkey, we got the call. “You’d better come in.”

What were we supposed to think? My dad isn’t exactly a spring chicken anymore, even though he still runs up mountains at 73.

Bile was leaking from the sutures and filling his stomach cavity. It was slowly eating away at his live organs. This is an extremely rare occurrence. But deadly. They had to operate. Again.

We all took turns sitting with my dad. Over the next couple days, he slowly came to but he couldn’t walk. And he’d break down and cry just because we came to visit and walk with him down the hall, which he could barely do. He couldn’t believe we loved him that much.

I felt many things. Outrage that the hospital staff didn’t believe my dad when he said something wasn’t right. Fear that he could have died. Regret that I hadn’t told him I loved him. Thankfulness that our relationship had gotten better over the past ten years. Forgiveness goes a long way.

After the second surgery, they inserted a tube into his stomach to let the bile drain. A brown icky substance produced by the liver to aid in digestion. That took days. And that’s when I realized not only how much I loved my dad, but there is no way bile can rise into the throat.

So I asked. And a person would only taste bile in their throat or mouth if they’d been throwing up continually for a very long time and nothing was left in their stomach.

So, the next time you go to use that phrase. Well, don’t.

And this Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful as I look back on last year.

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