Wednesday I decided I was really in the mood for an ice cream sandwich. That was the start of the whole damn thing.
About two hours after lunch, I started feeling really crummy.
I decided to go home early from work and see if I couldn’t rest it out… but since no way to lay was comfortable and I had a pack of angry badgers fighting it out in my insides, I decided to call the doctor.
She took one look, poked one spot, and I made a noise like a dying giraffe being eaten alive by a hoard of ferrel cats.
If you’re curious what this sounds like, you must first possess a sink disposal unit. Fill a coke can with partially crystalized molasses and insert it into the disposal unit. Top off with a collection of cat’s eye marbles. Turn the disposal on. Be sure to wear eye protection.
Shortly thereafter, I was in Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, doubled over and waiting for a room. It didn’t take them long once we arrived and I was stripped of all the normal human dignities such as clothing and the right not to wear snap-on bracelets.
I was in too much pain to just lay around, so the excellent nurses decided to give me a morphine injection. I’d never had morphine before, but I remembered that dad said that it stung him.
Morphine was not my friend – it didn’t do anything to fix my insides. I was pretty sure I was on my way out. I had a little hyperventilation and a panic attack, kind of like if William Shatner had walked into the room. A minute of multi-syllabic drama-induced panic attack later and I was doing fine.
They got me in for a cat scan, which revealed that my appendix was actually 3x the size of an average person’s. I guess you could say that I have the body of a caveman. The size wasn’t the problem, but certainly explained why I was in so much pain and in so many areas. Anyway I explained to the technician that I absolutely must be back on stage by 11 PM for my company’s tap dancing recital – I was the star and the understudy was pure drivel. Otherwise the show would have to be canceled. She laughed and recommended an increased morphine drip.
I met the doctor, who reminded me of a blond, upset Al Borland, who informed me that my appendix was just screaming to come out. I knew this day was coming. For 23 years, my gigantic appendix sat idly by, quietly biding its time and laying in wait for the day that it could spring into action. Having finally gathered up enough material to form some sort of magical stone, it faked injury and prodded my other organs into a state of rebellion.
What should have been a 45 minute surgery and 3 1″ cuts to remove my appendix turned out to be a 2 hour surgery and a 6″ incision with a ton of digging, the doctor told me. I knew what had really happened. My appendix had burst forth like a brilliant, bile-laden ninja and had lain waste to the majority of the surgery team, who would never be seen again.
It was a terrible battle, but my organ’s feeble training could not beat the quick eye and nimble fingers of Blond Al Borland.
I woke up in the Oncology Ward. Yeah, I didn’t think it was funny either, but I guess they’d run out of beds for surgery peeps. It was fun for all the folks visiting, though.
I do have to say, Poudre Valley’s Oncology ward is fantastic. Spacious room, very comfortable. When I was moved to the Surgery Ward later on, the room was smaller, but the bed was fantastic. My only complaint was that the buttons on the bed are hard to reach and often required maneuvers from a Britney Spears dance number to hit. Not an easy thing to do when your insides have been split like a kid eating a Twizzler. But, whatever responsiveness the bed lacked, the staff made up for 100 fold!
Thursday they checked my vitals every 2 hours, so it didn’t account for much of a day unless you’re a crack addict. I don’t honestly remember much except that mom and dad came and they brought me a bear, and my major accomplishment for the day was eating a popsicle.
Friday was a better day, and I ended up checking out of the hospital that night after taking a shower and walking around as much of the surgery ward as I could.
My thanks to the surgical staff and the entire nursing staff that helped me out – they were all fantastic, very helpful, and apparently have no sense of smell (appendectomy is a gassy surgery). My hat is of to them!
The weekend has gone by in a flash… but now I’m at least not so drugged. I have the attention span of at least 3 goldfish put together and the mobility of your average 70 year old.