Oy, what a week I’ve had (part 3)

This is part three in a series about my crazy week. Read part one here.

Onion Soup, Gremlins and Appendicitis

Sunday night, HP made me some French Onion Soup. Really good stuff. We bought the ingredients at Trader Joe's that morning. (BTW, the employee parking lot at Trader Joe's has one of the best views of the city). HP sliced a seven-inch tall pile of sliced onions he ended up cooking down and reducing into a sauce with some broth, some meat and other goodies he then threw into the crock pot. He served it in a special ramekin he bought just for the soup, with slices of toasted sour dough on top, all covered in grated gruyere. It was delicious.

We enjoyed the soup and settled in to watch some TV.

About 12:30 AM Monday morning, I started having stomach cramps. At first, I though it must be the soup. Too much onion or something. But it got worse. Really worse. Amazingly worse. Heroically worse.


I drank some pepto. I laid on my tummy. I drank some water. I choked down an alka seltzer. I took some more pepto. NOTHING could dent the sensation of gremlins in my stomach ripping it apart, TEARING my stomach to SHREDS. (and not the cute mowgli gremlins either, I mean the ugly, green, scaly, mean gremlins). Cue the alien from Alien ripping out of my stomach. It was that bad.

At 1AM, I decided I needed morphine. I got dressed and took a taxi to the hospital. I didn't wake HP because I didn't want him awake with me and worried. There was no point in him sleeping in a waiting room.

After an agonizing twenty minutes in the waiting room watching a very unsympathetic Haitian shuffle my entry papers around his desk, I was finally brought in to see a nurse. Judy was her name. Very nice and helpful. Judy gave me an IV with some pain killer and anti-nausea medicine. The pain killer was "dilaudid." Never heard of it. But the feeling I got from the injection, of thousands of little weights pressing me down into the mattress, sure reminded me of the morphine I got in the hospital about ten years ago for my first kidney stone. Dilaudid. Di – laud – id. They used to sell opium under the name laudanum. Probably an opioid or maybe even morphine. Who knows. Who cares? All I knew at this point was my stomach pains were squeezed right out of me.

I wanted to go home at that point and I very well might have if the doctor, Ingrid, hadn't told me I should stay to get a cat scan to make sure it wasn't my appendix. FUCK. Appendicitis? I remember that from the Brady Bunch. (or maybe that was tonsillitis? On all the drugs, I couldn't remember anything but that rotten little Cindy eating ice cream).

So I got the cat scan and sure enough, my appendix was inflamed. When I got back to my room, the doctor was all smiles and "see? I told you so! good thing you didn't go home or that appendix might have blown up in your face!" (disclaimer: Although this is what I clearly remember, it is altogether possible she never said those exact words. I was very high on morphine.)

Turns out I needed surgery, no ifs, ands or buts. My appendix needed to come out more than Clay Aiken.

Oh, and while they were spying on my appendix they took a  look at my kidney. Turns out I have a bunch more stones hanging out in my kidney! "Stones of various sizes" all ready to pass some day soon.  Merry Christmas!

So I lay in bed all day Monday, deprived of water and food, of which they would give me none. They were even penurious about letting me suck on a piece of ice. Fuckers. Some nonsense about me throwing it up during surgery and inhaling my own vomit and dying of the worst kind of toxic pneumonia. Whatever. I WAS THIRSTY and HP was nice enough to slip me an ice cube.  Had the surgery Monday night. (by the way, going under at Kaiser is soooo easy. The Kaiser doctors are wonderful about assuaging fears and anxiety about general anesthesia. That was the scariest part of the whole ordeal—being put under.  I remember saying to the doctor that I had some anxiety. He came over to me and asked me about what, the surgery? I told him no, about being put under. He smiled and said, "oh, that's perfectly normal. You will be just fine." Hey may have patted me on the head. He smiled, I smiled, and that's all she wrote. Thanks, Kaiser!). 

I come out of it in my bed, TV on, HP by my side. He said I had been ranting about something a few minutes before. Ranting. Great. I've become Hunter S. Thompson.

Tuesday morning I am pissing into the bedpan and I feel something a little weird. I look in the bedpan and sure enough, I finally peed out the kidney stone that had been hanging out in my bladder since Friday! Yay!

Went home later that day. Was finally able to make it to the toilet unassisted by Wednesday. Today is Thursday and I am feeling well enough to type at my computer, though sitting up is kind of annoyingly painful. I've taken advantage of the wheels on my computer desk and pulled it over to my bed so I can type while laying down.  I will go on a walk around my block later today to get my strength back, per doctor's orders. And more walks tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday, maybe I'll take walks in the park.  And some stretching.

Tomorrow I see the urologist about my kidney stones.

Monday I will be back to work.

Pray for me.


This is part three in a series about my crazy week. Read part one here.  

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Matthew 25
    Dec 13, 2007 @ 15:03:00

    You'll make it just fine. I came within a day of death by overlooking the fact that my appendix had actually burst. I went over two days before my late partner insisted I see a doctor. Within two hours, I had emergency surgery and was in the hospital for six days recovering because by ignoring the appendix, I had developed septicemia.
    Sounds as if you had far more pain. Mine was constant but felt more like an acid stomach. I told Ron that he saved my life by driving me to see the doctor.
    Good luck with the kidney stones. Never had those. Rotten time of year for this to happen.


  2. Kathryn T.
    Dec 24, 2007 @ 18:53:00

    Dilaudid is a synthetic morphine.


  3. Patty
    Dec 25, 2007 @ 09:43:00

    wow. you did have quite a week! hope you are not FULLY recovered.


  4. Richard
    Dec 31, 2007 @ 14:26:00

    May your 2008 be better. Happy New Year.


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