During my 6 week trip in the US, something totally unexpected happened: I had surgery to remove my gallbladder while I was in Atlantic City!
I had been experiencing pain in my tummy area for a week before I finally got myself to emergency in Atlantic City. At first, I thought I got food poisoning while I was in Dallas then I thought it was an ulcer by the time I got to Atlantic City. Finally, when I was unable to walk due to the excruciating pain, I had no choice but to admit myself to emergency.
Within 3 hours, an ultrasound confirmed I had gallstones and the doctors told me it was so bad that I required surgery to remove them immediately. I tried negotiating with them that I would come back after MC3 was over (6 days later) to have the surgery but doctors said that wasn’t an option.
Ironically, while the national anthem was being sung, I was on the surgery table. Thankfully I managed to help out with set up prior to going to emergency. However, while lying in the hospital bed, I felt helpless and sad that I couldn’t be onsite to see the 3rd year of the Millionaire Chess event. But this incident also made me realize how little we can control in life since life is full of the unexpected. I was humbled. Counting down the minutes while being hospital 3000 miles away from home didn’t help either.
I was admitted on Wednesday, had surgery on Thursday and released on Friday, but I had so much post-surgery pain that I ended up missing all of MC3. However, I heard it went smoothly and I was able to answer questions from the team using Whatsapp. That’s about all I was able to do while resting in the hotel room. Many players told me MC3 was not the same without my presence this year and it was heartwarming to receive so many get well wishes.
I hated the “high” effects of painkillers: so hard to imagine what it’s like for those who are addicted to legal drugs. I definitely appreciate good health that much more after this incident!