Monday, October 05, 2009

Now Back to Our Regular Programming Department

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:
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. I can withstand this kind of pain without morphine.
  4. Oatmeal at home never tasted so good.
So, does anyone know who was booted off “The Biggest Loser?”


Jennie said...

Glad you're home, eating, and stone/pain free! So glad the surgery was a success. I agree. I *heart* surgeons right now. :)
I just posted my five words. Have a wonderful day getting pampered by First Wife.

kenju said...

Paul, what an interesting experience for one who has only been in a hospital once before! My mom had the same thing you did, but she was so afraid of surgery that she waited five years to have it, and by then it was too late. I don't know how she withstood the pain for so long.

Glad to know you are better now. My five words meme goes up Wed.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I've never had gallstones, but I've heard they are super painful. Isn't the laproscopic surgery nice? Three teeny cuts and you're home in no time! :-)

Cliff said...

My word. The gall of that Dr.
What an experience. Thanks for taking us along and not making us go thru it ourselves.
I'm glad you're better. Blessings Paul.

cassie-b said...

I'm just so glad you're ok.
Take care,
And I'll be waiting for those posts.

Scarlet said...

Well, it sounds like you had the ideal hospital stay (if there ever is such a thing).

I've learned with my son's early illness that there are worse cases out there (ones that don't get better). We were blessed...and we ARE blessed, and by "we" I also include you! :)

I'm so happy you're recovering nicely and back with your sense of humor and fun-filled spirit!

PS - You made me hungry for a roast beef sandwich...not to mention goose paté! ¡Que sabroso!

Seeker said...

It's a rule at the hospital to not get ANY rest. The other rule is that you have to leave with less hair than when you were admitted.

Monique said...

Glad you are home and feeling better. The hospital is definitely no place to get rest!

srp said...

And do you have to have a special diet for a while? Pancreatitis is nothing to take lightly... every time we eat, the pancreas has to do its thing whether it is digestive enzymes and/or insulin and when inflamed, this work really stresses it out. It doesn't have a real capsule to keep all those powerful enzymes inside and the inflamed pancreas can leak them into the adjacent area.... not fun. I am so glad you were able to have a laproscopic procedure... my dad waited a year after I told him to get his out and... well, let's just say his scar is much larger and he spent a week in the hospital. Perhaps he will listen to me next time... or not. Recuperate but watch that rich food...

OH, I have no idea who they knocked off. I think the youth pastor and his partner had to leave. It seems to me that they should let them all stay for a month to at least get into the program more.

groovyoldlady said...

Goodness. I've heard those gallstones are awful. Sorry you had to go through that!