I have three magnificent blog posts ready for all two of my faithful readers. Well, don’t stay away; they’re coming. I would have posted them already (if I can remember where I saved them), but I was rudely interrupted last week.
Monday night (a week ago) I was just beginning my dreams when a demon of pain threw me onto the floor for a hard twenty minutes. It was awful. I sweat so much that My First Wife thought I had splashed water all over myself. I was so hot and uncomfortable that I stripped to my skivvies. After the pain subsided enough to coil up in a fetal position, I fell into an fitful sleep on the floor leaning against our bed’s box spring.
My First Wife was so sweet that at 8:00:01 a.m. she called our doctor. I was at her office at 11:00. At 2:00 that afternoon I was in the Emergency Room, and the doctor there told me I have Pancreatitis. That means I had an inflamed pancreas, which also hurt like all get out. I was admitted to the hospital at 8:00 pm, just moments before the TV announced who was booted off “The Biggest Loser.” You would think I was in a government hospital.
This was my second trip ever to a hospital. The first time, I went with my mother and she "had" me.
That night, almost midnight, an ultrasound showed that I had a ka-jillion gall stones that were the ultimate cause of my supreme pain. I was wheeled back to my room and my IV was loaded with pain killer. That helped and if I wanted more, all I had to do was ask.
Dr. Singh came in on Wednesday morning, introduced herself and explained things. She’s the most beautiful Indian doctor I’ve ever seen. Very business-like, stern, firm, self-confident—and compassionate. I got a good hospital doctor. Then later, Dr. Park, the surgeon came in and explained his work and percentage of success. I didn't like it when he said, “Chance of failure…” Don’t you think he should have said “Percentage of success…”? I liked him right away, though. Great bedside manner. New to town; new practice (What? Doctors are just practicing!?!).
“But what we want to do is schedule you for tomorrow. Give your pancreas a chance to relax a little; get rid of some of that inflammation.” So I spent Wednesday moaning and groaning in bed, and complaining that I wasn’t getting enough to eat. For instance, I hadn’t eaten anything since 8 p.m. Monday night. Every time my night nurse asked if I needed anything, I just said, “Arby's Roast Beef Sandwiches.” She never brought one.
Modern American medicine is remarkable. We should count our blessings. My gall bladder was removed while I was asleep. Three tiny—and I mean tiny—holes are the only evidence that Dr. Park had waved his magic scalpel. No stitches to itch or remove. He gave me his card, if you want his number.
I got to eat Jell-O that evening and it was delicious. I even had seconds. I stayed in my room for observation and visitors until the next afternoon. Then at 2:00 they let me go. I know how the caged bird feels. I went home and slept like a baby.
These things I learned:
- Why didn’t anyone ever tell me of the many, many tricks hospitals use to keep you awake or to wake you up? And with such frequency!
- The pain I experienced was nothing compared to my roommate’s. I felt sorry for him. I prayed for him. There is always someone worse-off than yourself.
- I can withstand this kind of pain without morphine.
- Oatmeal at home never tasted so good.
So, does anyone know who was booted off “The Biggest Loser?”