You mother get up
Come on get down with the sickness
You fucker get up
Come on get down with the sickness"
"Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane"
On the walk there, I get a wave of nausea. I fight it, hoping the cold winter air takes it away like it has a thousand times before. Approaching the ER doors, the nausea overtakes me. I instantly realize that I am dressed in such common street clothes, including a hoodie, that I must resemble a homeless man getting sick outside the ER.
There is a long-ass delay in the getting the results because of a computer malfunction in radiology, but no one in that department could pick up a phone and tell anyone this. Hours later, Doc #2 has an announcement: "You are having an appendicitis. Looks like we'll have to do surgery tonight." My appendix is enlarged, but mercifully it has not ruptured. To think Doc#1 was going to let me go home.
Surgery? Well, I'll be picking my jaw up off the floor any second now. Up to this point, I have only had minor surgery once in high school for impacted wisdom teeth. Scared? You bethcha, but the morphine, lack of sleep combined with the pain and the reality of my situation all point to the knife. What can I do? Nothing. I must accept this.
Doctor P comes in and tells me he's going to be my surgeon. I like him instantly. He exudes a calm confidence without a trace of arrogance. Now, we wait. Then again, what fucking choice do I have?
These measures are reassuring. I want to know that everyone is on the same page. Plus, this is so we don't wake up with our left leg amputated and our appendix right where it was.
A little Versed and we are ready to go.
When you're under, everybody knows that they catheterize you. Here's what I found online about this delightful procedure: "His anxiety was greatly lessened when the corpsman explained to him that the procedure might look painful but actually was not. In addition, the relief he would feel would worth any discomfort he might feel."
Or this: "Catheterization in males is slightly more difficult and uncomfortable than in females because of the longer urethra."
They forgot these little words: screaming agony like a hot fire poker is going down your most delicate bits. I shall elaborate in a minute, trusted readers.
Know this to be true: There is no resting in a hospital. None. Just say, "Fuck it" and accept it right now. Whenever the sweet veil of slumber comes upon you, indubitably a nurse will come in and check your vitals, draw blood, weigh you or any number of interrupting procedures. OR your roomie will be a drug-seeking psycho. Yes, it is difficult at best to judge another's pain and I should have compassion on my fellow traveler, but in this case, methinks the dude was mostly faking it.
Then Mr. Pain came back from surgery and slept for a few hours. Then the mantra began. "Ooooohhhh................ooooohhhhhhhh." Every minute on the hour on the minute to the second. Over and over again.
You think I'm kidding or exaggerating just to try to be funny. I wish I was. God likes me a lot the way I figure, but he also likes to endure things that stretch my patience and humanity to the limit. And this dude stretched it to the limit. He even apologized:
"I'm sorry, buddy."
I lied, but replied kindly, "Don't you worry about it." I actually thought: "Motherfucker, shut the hell up!" He wanted to be in a pain med coma and tried every trick in the book, even faking a heart attack (I'm serious) to get more pain meds. Over and over again, nurses and even doctors refused his suicidal request. "Sir, I've never heard of that and we can't give you any more pain medication as you are now at the legal limit." said one young and exasperated intern.
His wife said that he had been on a Demerol patch because he was in an accident years ago.
"Sir, how long have you been on pain medication?"
"How long ago was your accident?'
"Ten years ago."
Eh? I had to ponder that one and still I had no answer.
"What medication were you on?
"Demerol patch, Oxycontin and Valium."
What's that called? The Walking Dead combo? I mean, I appreciate a good buzz as much as the next person, but isn't there some semblence of reality you want to hold on to?
No Sleep, Fresh From Surgery, Freak Roomie: What's next?
The Joys of Catheterization!