Turns out my mom’s going to be fine.
She does have to have surgery, but it’ll be minor– either zapping the gallstones or, if that doesn’t work, taking the gallbladder out with a few incisions. And then she’ll be fine.
Also, it turns out that people can’t die of gallbladder problems. So I was probably worried for no reason, and now a little more relieved than necessary. Except, y’know, my mother. Surgery. Those are inherently scary words, when they’re together.