The pain started while I was teaching class. Or I should say, my students were busy working on a project while I was curled up in a fetal position in the corner of the room. At first I thought it was gas pain. Then it got worse and all the normal things flashed in my brain – diverticulitis…kidney stones…appendix. I remember a doctor telling my daughter that if you jump up and down and can’t stand the pain, it’s your appendix. After class I went into the bathroom and jumped up and down.
Decision time: do I drive myself to the hospital or drive home and let my husband take me. The juggling of too many vehicles left in a parking lot slipped into my organized mind, so I drove home. Husband saw the look in my face, grabbed the keys, and off we went. It reminded me a little of driving to the hospital before my son was born.
Admitting to the hospital went fairly quickly. When I told them the pain was 15 on a 1-10 scale, they immediately wheeled me into Room ER13, just as the cooking channel appeared on the TV. Then off I went to get a CAT scan – roll off the bed to a table – click – hold your breath – click, buzz – hold your breath - roll back on the bed – yikes! When Dr. McGloomy came back in he told me it was a hernia – say Whaaaa? That was the furthest thing from my mind. Then the Dr. with no manners had the nerve to try to push this 5 inch bulge back into place. The screams from my mouth gave him the clue it wasn’t going to work. A sweet young nurse taped a needle in my arm and cooed, “You’re being admitted.” Praise the Lord, cut me open.
I had my own room until after surgery, when they relocated me upstairs to room with a woman who had TVLAND on all day and all night. Flashes of reruns of “The King of Queens” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” permeated the room. The drugs started to kick in and I was content to just lie in bed, dozing off in la la land. My son came to visit and watched golf on my TV with my husband. When he left he said, “Nice talking to you, Mom.” Then the ugly nurse with the mole on her chin came in and forced me to walk around the nurses’ station. A lot of expletives spewed forth from my lips until I was able to grasp a hold of my IV pole and shuffle, hunched over, down the hallway.
I was able to go home the day after surgery and knew I needed to drink a lot of fluids and eat. So that’s what I did. I was able to pee ok, but figured out I hadn’t had a bowel movement for 2 days when my abdomen started to bulge above my incision. I found some laxatives and took those for 2 days. Nothing. Then, in the middle of the night, I felt it. Oh goodie, I’m going to get some relief, so I sat on the toilet for an hour. That’s long enough – I yelled at my husband at 4:00 in the morning that he needed to take me to the hospital so I could give birth to this bowling ball out of my rectum. When I was admitted, the same doctor who was on call 4 days ago strolled in. He probably thought, “Oh no, you again.” “I’m baaack!!” I cried. An x-ray showed that my intestines contained a line of 4 days’ worth of food packed into a 1 inch tube – oh look, there’s the turkey & green beans, the cheese crisp, the chicken noodle soup, and an Arby’s Ruben Sandwich.
Now, if you are over 50 and reading this, you will know exactly what I went through. Anyone younger, be glad your mother didn’t subject you to…THE ENEMA!! They told me it would be a few minutes while they got the enema from the pharmacy. I think they had to wait until Walgreens opened, because an hour later the nurse with a pointy nose and chicken neck came in with her blue gloves, plastic bag, and long tube. So this is the END of my shitty tail. To sum it all up Surgery not only Sucks…it is the Shits.
Epilogue: At 4 in the morning when I am in pain and it’s dark outside, no one gives a damn that I am in my night shirt and socks with treads. It’s a different story leaving at 9:00 a.m. with a full waiting room.