Rip! There Goes Another Body Part!

[CAUTION:  This is an extremely long, long article.  Please set aside about a week to read it.  If you give up, I won’t blame you!]

You’re coasting along during a normal week, not having a whole lot of worries; everything seems to be just fine…and then, suddenly, you fall into the Twilight Zone!

twilight_zoneMy week of 13 July started out just like any other week. I was working at my hobby which was and still is sleeping. I get up each morning around 9 or 10 or whatever time Ramona tells me to, shave, shower and go eat breakfast. By 11 I’m ready to brush my teeth so I’ll be ready for lunch!

Day in day out; nothing much changes. Don’t call me before 10 am because I’ll be asleep. Don’t call me after 10 pm because I’ll be asleep. I know this sounds terribly exciting, but I am Army and Navy trained so I know how to sleep through anything.

Then Thursday came. Yeah, that Thursday. The day that, for me, will live in infamy (whatever that means).

We had run some errands and then stopped at McAlister’s for dinner. Now this is not usually a heavy dinner because this is a delicatessen restaurant and we both have our favorite sandwiches. Except today!

I had to try something different. I noticed they had a nacho basket which I was surprised to see but it sounded great so I ordered that.

Super-Cheesy-NachosI was kind of surprised when two waiters, excuse me, servers, brought my plate out.  I didn’t think it really took to guys to carry my nachos, but they were kind of wimpy looking.  In retrospect, it was a rather large plate of nachos, but I have many, many years of eating experience so I thought, no problem.  There were a lot of nacho chips covered with melted cheese and mountains of jalapeños, but I had a large drink filled with Dr. Pepper, so I dug in.

I’m not saying I ate too much, but strangely, I’ve never ordered that plate again!  By the time I stopped the plate was almost, but not quite cleaned up.  Ramona commented on the fact that I had tried to finish off the entire plate.   She said I shouldn’t be hungry any more.  Well, ha!  I already knew that I wasn’t hungry any more and probably wouldn’t eat ever again!

We left McAlister’s and headed back home. Usually after dinner we both sit down in the living room for some TV until around 10:30 and then we go to bed.

I think around 7 pm I started to feel kind of uncomfortable. My stomach felt like it held a huge block of cheese, but I knew that couldn’t be because all the cheese I had, had been melted.  I decided to implement the solution to most all my stomach problems.  I went to the bathroom, quickly.

After about an hour, I realized this solution wasn’t going to work!  I won’t go into details, thank me, but I wasn’t feeling any better.

I made my way back to the living room, realizing that while my stomach was still hurting, my legs were having a tough time moving.  Seems like when you sit on the toilet for a while, your legs can go to sleep.  I’m sure most of you have never had that happen, but for us men, it can happen quite often.  Still, I made it back to my recliner in front of the TV.

I wasn’t feeling any better and the TV shows weren’t doing me any good either.  I think we were watching an old movie titled, “The Man Who Ate Too Much!”.  Not a very funny movie.  So I decide that I should go to bed and let my stomach fix itself over night.

So, after another hour or so in the bathroom with no good results, I headed for bed.

Sleeping did not go so well. My back hurt as well as my stomach. I couldn’t find a comfortable position no matter how I laid. I tossed and turned all night. It’s a wonder I didn’t just roll out of bed!

Pepto BismalMorning finally came and I was still in no mood to get up or do anything.  I was awake fairly early so Ramona knew something was wrong.  I asked her to get me some Pepto-Bismol figuring that would surely start calming my stomach down. I was positive that we had tons of Pepto sitting around in one of our four bathrooms.  I couldn’t image not having Pepto-Bismol in the house.  Everybody has a bottle of it around some where; at least that’s what the TV says.

And, of course we didn’t have any in the house!

So, we called Travis but remembered that he and Pat were somewhere in Louisiana! Out galavanting around without a care in the world while their Dad lay helpless in bed!  Nice kids!

Travis did tell Ramona to call Al who is one of our friends and Al would do what ever we wanted. Now Al is a nice guy and all, but he repossesses cars and trucks.  I certainly didn’t want my Tahoe repossessed so why would I want to call Al?

Good think Ramona was fully in charge now.  She called Al and explained to him that we just needed someone to pick up some Pepto-Bismol for me.  Al graciously said not a problem and went immediately to the drug store to get what we wanted.

I guess we forgot to ask Al where he was because it seemed like it was days and days before he finally, finally rang the door bell.  Ramona got the Pepto from him and he disappeared.  I’m sure he didn’t want to feel my wrath for taking an entire 15 minutes to just get us a bottle of Pepto-Bismol!

I was still in bed suffering tremendously!  If you feel sorry for me that’s OK.  I know most people don’t like it when others are suffering so I’ll take all the sympathy I can get.

When the bottle of Pepto finally made it appearance, Ramona was standing near the bed with it and a spoon.  I managed to croak out, “What’s with the spoon, just give me the bottle!”, which she promptly ignored.  So, I got my meager dose of Pepto and figured I should be much better in an hour our two.

It didn’t happen.  Two hours later I was still in much pain and agony.  I needed more Pepto-Bismol!

My beautiful wife is a stickler for taking medicine according to directions.  She thinks they put them there for a reason so we should follow them.  I, on the other hand, always considered the immediate pain I am in and figured that if a spoonful would work then the whole bottle should work faster.  Once again, I didn’t get the whole bottle.

I don’t know what the pink stuff thought it was supposed to do, but it didn’t seem to be doing anything. I’ll be glad when scientist invent nanobots or nanites that can be injected in the body with specific instructions to do something good. They’re working on them, but right now, I just had this stupid pink stuff and it wasn’t doing anything.

It was now mid-afternoon, around 3:30 or so and I told Ramona that something wasn’t right.   I said I had better get to an emergency room.

When I say I have to go to an emergency room, then she knows something is seriously wrong because I don’t like hospitals and never volunteer to go to them.  But this time, I needed to go and I don’t mean to the bathroom!  Fortunately, we have the Baptist Emergency Hospital not more than 4 miles from us.

So again, we call Al and ask him if he can take us to the emergency room. He’s says sure but he’s at work so it will take him a minute or two to get to us. I’m thinking, great, I might get to the hospital by next month.  If I could have walked, I would have taken off right then!  I even thought about driving myself, but I couldn’t lie down in the seat and still see out the front window so that wasn’t a good idea, either.

So we waited.  And I’m dying.  I have already vowed never to eat again.  In fact, I knew that if I survived this and I ever saw a plate of nachos, I would go into a berserker rage and destroy the stuff regardless of who was eating the mess!  I was positive that I had overeaten those nachos at McAlister’s yesterday and now I was paying for it.  The hours passed and I’m on the couch in pain and agony.

Al finally gets to our house.  To me it seems like it was a week later, but Ramona said she’d only called him 30 minutes ago so I was to be glad that he got there at all.  I must have gone into a time warp or something.

Emergency roomAnyway, Al drove us slowly to the emergency hospital.  It’s a really nice place.  There wasn’t anyone in the parking lot and not hardly anyone in the waiting room.  We checked-in and they hand me the usual clipboard with 10,000 pages on it asking me to tell them my entire life story.  I was just going to give them this blog address, but Ramona wouldn’t let me do that.  I do not know why every doctor’s office in the world has to ask for so much information.  Seems like they would have some way of storing this stuff on a central computer and then get it when you checked in some where.  Or, they could just do a Google search and find out everything they ever want to know about me.

Still, I’m dying, but diligently filling out papers so I guess they’ll know who to bury!  I freely walk up to the glass patient check-in desk and hand the young lady there a clipboard of paperwork that I completed with my last earthly breath.  She promptly takes it and then sets it aside never to be looked at again!  I guess they have to keep people in the waiting room busy or the staff would be besieged with questions about why they can’t see the doctor right now.  If someone were to rummage through the dumpster out back, I’m sure all my medical information would be there for the reading!

Next, a male nurse comes out and tells me to come with him.  He didn’t even ask if I could walk!

I get up and painfully amble my way into the emergency room area and finally make it to my room.  I crawl on the bed which is as hard as concrete and lay there gasping.  Well, actually I wasn’t gasping, but I was still hurting.

I notice this room is huge. I figure if necessary, they could just operate on me and take out whatever is hurting my stomach right then and there.  I don’t think I would have objected.   But, another nurse comes in and starts taking my vitals.  She confirms that I’m still alive, barely, and then says the doctor will be in shortly.  Ramona is in the room sitting on a hard chair and she is, of course, freezing.  I’m feeling terrible but starting to worry about Ramona since she hasn’t eaten anything since breakfast.

The doctor finally comes in and asks me to start taking my shirt and shoes off.  The shirt I can understand, but my shoes?  I don’t think working on my feet will help my stomach any.  Still, you never know about these new fangled medical treatments.

The doctor gives me this lousy paper gown which I suppose was to hide my magnificent physique or my fat.  I try to put it on but it’s not worth the effort.  He then does his examination by looking in everything and poking me all over my body.  I tell him I’m feeling bad and he says that’s unfortunate for me but good for him. Smart-alecky doctor!

He then tells his nurse assistant to run me through a CAT scan.  I think I’m a closet claustrophobic, no that wouldn’t work, cause I couldn’t even stand being in a small closet for very long, but I am worried that a CAT scan is done in one of those tiny machines that they poke you through and turn it on to see how much noise you can stand.

Fortunately, it’s not that kind of a machine.  This one is more like an X-ray machine.  So I get the CAT scan and am walking back to the exam room.

I still have no idea what is going on.  I tell Ramona to ask if they have any food for her to eat around this emergency hospital.  Of course she wants to find out what’s wrong with me first.

The doctor finally comes back in and tells me, “You’ve got a bad gallbladder and it’s gotta’ come out!”

Now I have no idea what or where my gallbladder is and I have no idea how it’s supposed to be taken out!  But, by now, they could have taken anything they wanted to if they would just get this pain to go away!  I do ask him if they can just point some machine at my stomach and zap my gallbladder and make it dissolve. His look makes me think I’m getting close to being admitted to the psycho ward if I don’t stop talking.

The doctor then says I have to go to the hospital and have surgery.  He says he’ll try and find a hospital to get me admitted and then see if he can find a surgeon willing to do the surgery.  I’m worried that, 1) he won’t find a hospital; and 2) why wouldn’t a doctor do the surgery on me if I really needed it?  I’m also worried that this might be a new type of medical treatment.  I’m probably the first person in the world who has to have his gallbladder removed.  I don’t remember ever seeing a TV show where a gallbladder operation was done successfully!

So, we’re now waiting for an ambulance to transport me to a hospital.  I haven’t been given any pain meds or anything and I’m still in pain and agony.  And, I’m still worried about Ramona not having anything to eat.  Apparently, this emergency hospital is just that, an emergency hospital.  They don’t have any food in the entire building and from what I could see on the way in, there’s not a food place within walking distance.  I do notice that most of the hospital staff is very, very skinny, like maybe they don’t eat at all?  Unfortunately, Ramona will just have to wait.

About two hours later, the ambulance arrives.  I didn’t hear it coming so I guess they weren’t using their siren or lights.  They must not have known who they were picking up!  I thought when an ambulance was called, it was supposed to be an emergency, right?

Anyway, the ambulance guys comes in with the gurney, took one look at me and asked if I could move myself onto the gurney! Geez!  I’m the patient here and in pain and agony and they want me to move over to their tiny little bed!

Well, I did it!  It was just one of many small miracles I would have to do over the coming days!

Out the door we went.  My gurney was bumped up against the back of he ambulance, and with some effort the legs underneath folded up and I slid in to this tiny compartment.  One of the ambulance attendance crawled in with me and Ramona went to sit up front in the cab. Still, nobody said a thing about giving me any pain meds.  I was just strapped down tightly on the gurney, which kind of worried me, and off we went.

And we went off without any siren or lights!  We drove out of the emergency hospital just like the weekly garbage truck in no hurry to get anywhere!  I figured out why they had me strapped down then.  If I could have gotten up, I’d yelled at them to get those lights and siren on so I could get through traffic and to the hospital, pronto!  But, I couldn’t move.  And my stomach still hurt!  Oh, the pain and agony.

hospital5After what seemed like days, we arrived at some hospital.  I thought they might have taken us all the way to Oklahoma City.  Turns out, we had just driven a few miles to the Central Baptist Hospital on Stone Oak.  They opened the back doors and pulled out the gurney and I was sure the legs weren’t going to unfold and I would drop right to the pavement!  Oh, my!  Would I have made a law suit then.  But, that didn’t happen.

I was wheeled into the hospital real nonchalant-like.  There wasn’t anybody rushing around yelling,  “What have we got here?” or a doctor or somebody yelling to,  “Get him in emergency room 12 immediately.”  Nope, it was just Ramona, me on the gurney and the two ambulance guys, one of which, had to go find someone to get me admitted!  Man, what kind of hospital was this.  Here someone rolls up in an ambulance and there isn’t a bunch of doctors and nurses running out the door.  They sure do it better on TV!

They finally found someone who came and asked to look at my wrist bracelet.  I had gotten tagged at the emergency hospital first thing.  Well, this nurse looked at my tag and said, “Oh, yeah, it’s him.  We were told he was coming.”  Hey, I’m alive and not unconscious.  How about telling me what’s going on?  But she doesn’t.  She just leaves.

Shortly, she comes back with another guy and she says they have a room for me.  Thank goodness.  I was sure I was probably going to have to wait in the hall pushed up against the wall on the 13th floor or something.  They tell the ambulance attendants which elevator to take and off we go again.

I still don’t know what hospital we’re at but it’s really strange that I haven’t seen anybody anywhere in this hospital.  Only those first two people that we had to find and that’s it.  I thought this might be a specialty hospital for gallbladder patients.  Maybe something dreadful  happened when your gallbladder went bad.  Maybe you had to be quarantined or isolated from normal people if you had a bad gallbladder.  HulkI just didn’t know.  All I could think of was that the HULK looked normal most of the time until something made him mad.  I was hoping that my gallbladder didn’t turn me into the HULK or something worse while it was going bad.

We finally got to the sixth floor and I was wheeled into a regular hospital room.  I’m really tired now and I’m a patient so patients shouldn’t have to do anything but lie in bed and get well, right.  Didn’t start out that way.  Once again, the gurney was move up against the hospital bed and I was asked if I could move over to it.  I know the ambulance guys were worried that I would say, “No, I can’t do it.”  I could also tell the nurse was thinking, “We don’t have enough people in the entire hospital to move this guy.  He already looks like he’s turning into the HULK!”  Of course that was just what they were thinking but it was pretty obvious to me.  So, I moved myself, with almost my last breath, over to that hospital bed.

The ambulance guys were so happy to see me do that.  They just about cheered.  I couldn’t believe how fast they cleared that gurney out of my room.

Next the nurse starts taking my vitals.  She also tells me she’s going to be hooking me up with some IVs in preparation for my surgery tomorrow.  I’m thinking, here it comes.  Some pain meds that will knock me out so I can sleep clear though the surgery which should be very soon.  Then she tells me that my surgery won’t be until tomorrow around noon!

Noon!  Hey, I’m an emergency here!  I got here in an ambulance.  I didn’t just walk in and ask if you could spare the time to do a gallbladder surgery on me.  No, I was in pain right now.  I want it to go away.  Find me a doctor OR get me some instructions and a mirror and I’ll fix it myself!  Uh, forget that last part.  None of that happened anyway.  All I got was two needles, one stuck in each hand, and clear liquid dripping from each bag.  I was sure they were just giving me water to make it look like something important was being done.

By this time, Ramona had wisely called Jimmie, our oldest Son, to come to the hospital and take her to get something to eat and then home.  It was apparent that I was just going to lie here the rest of the night and she had better things to do.  I don’t blame her.  I’m sure she was hungry and I appreciated her staying with me this far.  No telling what kind of medical experiments they would have done on me if my Wife hadn’t been right there watching!

Wimpy guySo, Jimmie came and they left.  I’m now alone and wondering how I’m going to be able to live the rest of my life without a gallbladder.  Of course, I have no idea what or where a gallbladder is, but I figure it’s somewhere in my body and that I just can’t pull it out!  I was thinking that if it had enlarged, then that might account for my, ah, slightly overweight condition.  I was hoping that by removing my gallbaldder, I could instantly lose a hundred pounds!  Wow!  Man, how good would it be to be 100 pounds lighter!  Maybe, if I had two gallbladders and if both were taken out, I’d be 200 pounds lighter.  Whoa, that’s getting to close to being a wimp.  Better leave one alone.

Well, I laid there still in pain and agony all through the night wondering what life would be like without a gallbladder.  It strikes me that I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anybody alive without their gallbladder.  What if all the gallbladderless people have to go live somewhere special?  Gallbladder, what does that mean?  Well, I know what my bladder is and I’ve been really, really trying hard not to think about it since I’m lying in this bed with two IVs that probably don’t move  to well.  I can’t figure how a bladder that holds my galls would work.  I don’t even know what galls are?  But that’s what I was thinking all night in my hospital room waiting to have surgery.

Next morning I am awaken at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am.  This male nurse says I have to take a shower prior to surgery at noon and wants to know if I can get myself in the shower.  Well, if the alternative was for him to bathe me, then you bet I’m going to get in that shower.  No question!  So, I got that done.

After that he says he needs to take some blood. He pokes holes in both my arms but comes up dry each time.  I tell him that I don’t give up anything freely.  I suggest that he takes blood from the top of my hand where most nurses do.  He then successfully gets some blood out and fills up four or five little vials.  He then leaves and says the surgeon will be in shortly to tell me about the surgery.

I’m really looking forward to my talk with the surgeon.  I think I’m going to surprise him by telling him that I believe I can live perfectly normal without a gallbladder and see his reaction.  If he seems shocked, then maybe I’m being too optimistic.  But we’ll just have to wait until he comes in.

Another nurse now shows up and says I have to take a shower prior to surgery.  Well, I tell her I already did that so I don’t need another one. She kind of looks at me and then goes into the shower and comes back out.  She pulls a bottle of something out of her pocket and asks if I used this soap?  I’m thinking that if she had it in her pocket all this time, then how could I have used it?  So, I tell her no, I didn’t but I had some of my own soap.  She then says I’ve got to take another shower using this antiseptic special soap.  I don’t see a way out of taking a second shower, so in I go, this time with the right soap!

I come out just as clean as before but now I’m antiseptically clean!

SurgeonFinally, around 10 am the surgeon comes in. He introduces himself and says he’s going to take out my gallbladder. I immediately say, “How?”, not really wanting to know.

He then explains that with this new surgery stuff, all he has to do is stab four holes around my stomach and then blow some air in to lift all the stuff covering the gallbladder.  He then snips it off and drags the gallbladder out.  He puts some tape over the holes and that’s that.  I come out of surgery and have to, ah, get rid of the extra air, ah, naturally during the day!  Seems kind of a simple procedure to me.

Then I ask him how will I live without my gallbladder.  He says that I probably don’t need it anyway and I might not notice it’s even gone.

Well, that’s a relief.  I then ask how much does the gallbladder weight.  He says it doesn’t weight much and again I’ll probably not notice that it’s even gone.  There goes my weight-loss plan!  Darn!

So, after we talk some more and he assures me I won’t turn into the HULK without a gallbladder, he leaves.  So, why do I have this gallbladder in the first place.  I had my appendix taken out when I was 16 and I didn’t miss it any.  Seems like we got a few spare parts hanging around in us.  Must be a good thing as long as they don’t  weigh much.

Surgery time finally comes.  A nurse comes in and asks if I had a shower!  Not this again!  I tell her yes and that I used some special soap.  She says, “Good.  Now I just have to wash your stomach area.”

So she does that and just as she’s finished in come two guys with a gurney.  They move it up to my bed and ask if I can move over to their gurney!  Hey!  I’m a patient.  I’m not supposed to be moving myself!  But, I do anyway, and for some reason, everybody lets out a sight of relief!

I’m wheeled to an elevator and then down to some surgery floor.  I’ve also been given my happy meds through the IVs.  I’m not totally out of it but things are starting to get a little fuzzy.  Ramona and Jimmie are there in this room I’m in just prior to going into surgery.  I think another nurse comes by to ask how I’m doing and then I believe a Doctor comes in and says she’s the anesthesiologist.  She asks me a bunch of questions about me being allergic  to stuff which I say no, then she says she’s giving me some more happy juice and for me to say bye to my Wife and Son.

surgeryI think I do that and then nothing!  I don’t remember being moved anywhere after that until I’m back in my upstairs hospital room.  I’m just barely coming to but my gurney is up against my hospital bed and someone is asking if I can move to the bed!  Hey, people!  I just got out of surgery!  I’m a patient!  I need to be helped!  Don’t they have a crane or something to move patients with?  I guess not because I wake up just enough to jump over to my bed.  I’m tucked in again and off I go to lala-land.

I wake up at about 3:30 or so and see Jimmie lying in the empty bed next to me.  I know I’m doing OK, but I immediately recognize that he’s still in his street clothes and not a patient.  Ramona asks me how I’m doing and I tell her I’m sore but my stomach doesn’t hurt anymore.  She tells me that I just need to rest some more and that she’ll be heading home shortly to eat and get some rest herself.

I don’t believe the doctor came in that evening, but he does come in the next day.  He says I did fine in the surgery although they had to put an extra hole in me so they could find my gallbladder.  It seems that mine had gotten really buried under my lungs and kidney so they had to lift all that stuff up quite a bit to get it out.  I was wondering why my ribs hurt as much as they did.

He also mentioned that I was very tough to cut into or  I think that’s what he meant to say.  So, I have five new holes in my stomach area and no gallbladder.  I asked the Doctor what did I need the gallbladder for anyway.  Was I going to suddenly develop some kind of strange superpower or was I going to turn into a 50 pound weakling?

surgery recoveryHe calmly told me that I really didn’t need my gallbladder as long as everything else was working correctly.  He said all the tests they did prior to the surgery said everything else was working as it should so I shouldn’t even notice that it’s gone!  Then he told me not to stray too far from the bathroom after I eat!!!  Now what was that supposed to mean?

The rest of the day was just fine.  I felt pretty good even with a bunch of bandages all over my stomach.  I checked them every so often to make sure nothing important was leaking out.  I was sitting up in bed and even walked to the bathroom by myself that evening. Come to think of it, I don’t remember getting any food that evening.  I wasn’t terribly hungry even though I hadn’t eaten since Thursday.

My room had another bed, but it stayed empty the  whole time I was there.  That’s good because Jimmie laid on it most all day Saturday and half a day Sunday!  I had a TV in front of my bed, but it didn’t work.  I could hear the sound, but no picture.  They turned the other one on but left the sound off.  They also forgot to give me the remote so I got real tired of watching the same channel all the time.

I finally went back to sleep.  That didn’t last long.  It seemed like every hour some nurse would come in for something.  If it wasn’t a pill or some kind of blood work, then they just wanted to ask me some questions!  I couldn’t believe it.  One nurse came in at midnight and had to take blood.  I asked her if all the vampires were working tonight.  I don’t think she liked that very much.

There was one male nurse that was just kind of an air-head.  He tried to give me my pills but got them all mixed up.  I don’t think I ever got the right group for morning or evening.  He even tried to give me a pill that I didn’t recognize and I asked him what it was and he said he wasn’t sure!  I told him to make sure because I wasn’t taking it until I knew what it was.  You know, I never saw that pill again.

This guy is also the one that stuck an IV in my hand right after I got in the hospital room.  He had the IV bag and stand on the left side of my bed against the windows.  He tired to get a needle in my left arm and then my left hand without success.  He then tried my right hand and got the needle in.  So he’s taping the IV needle down and wraps the cord around my back.  I had to sleep like that for the first two nights.  I think I kept getting the IV cord tangled around my neck.  It’s a miracle that I didn’t strangle myself with the IV tube sometime during the night!  I don’t know why he didn’t move the stupid IV bag since it was on a mobile hanger!

I also almost bled to death Saturday evening.  I had to go to the bathroom.  So, as instructed, I called the nurse station and told them I had to go.  They ask if I could make it myself, i.e., get out of bed and push the IV hanger around with me.  I said I could do that so I did.  I got back to my bed and then noticed blood dripping on the floor.  I was wondering who had come into my room and bleed all over the floor!  Then I looked at my hand and noticed the IV needle sticking out and blood just kind of dripping down to the floor, on my bed and pretty much everywhere.  So, I called the nurse station again and told them I was bleeding.  The male nurse came down and looked like he’d never seen blood before.  He grabbed some towels from the bathroom and started cleaning the floor.  I told him he might want to stop my bleeding  hand first.

He looks up and says, “Wow!  That’s where the bloods coming from!”

I didn’t want him to feel real stupid so I just said, “Yeah, you got that right!”

He then got busy getting my hand patched up.  He said I probably didn’t need the IV any more any way, so he just took everything off and just put a band-aid on the hole in my hand.  He kind of finished up cleaning the floor, and then he just left.  I had blood on my hospital gown and the bed sheets but I guess that didn’t matter.  I never got clean sheets or another gown!

Ok, so Sunday arrives and I’m told at 7 am (why am I awake so early) that I’ll be cleared to leave around noon.  Around 7:30 my breakfast came.  It looked and smelled like real food!  It was eggs and toast with milk and some kind of juice.  I wolfed it down pretty quickly because I was hungry.

Ramona got to my room with Jimmie.  She had my clothes so I just went and got ino them and then we waited.  Well, we waited some more.  And we waited.  It seemed like we were waiting forever!  Finally a nurse came in and said I could get ready to leave!  I told her I had been ready all morning.  She gave me  some paperwork and then left.  We waited some more.  Finally, about an hour later, the nurse came back with a wheel chair and said that I was cleared to go.

home from hospitalI didn’t really need the wheel chair.  I could have ran, well, walked semi-quickly out of the hospital on my own!

So Jimmie took us on home.  I think we got there around 5 pm.  I believe I was still pretty tired so I can’t remember what we did for supper that night.  I do know that I was glad to get back in my own bed and get some uninterrupted sleep for a change.

I got up the next morning and showered very carefully.  They didn’t say anything about special treatment for my wounds.  I think they had some gauze with tape over each stab wound and then under that was some suture tape.  After my shower, I checked to make sure nothing was leaking out!

So, I tried getting back to my old routine.  Breakfast was kind of strange.  I think I had some of my usual cereal, Frosted Cheerios, but I don’t remember them very well.  Then I ate my usual Pop Tart for lunch.  That evening we had pizza from some delivery place, either Pizza Hut or Dominos, but I sudden realized that I couldn’t taste anything!  Everything I had eaten that day was just kind of blah.  The pizza, which I probably like way too much, tasted terrible.  I only ate a little. Even the chocolate desert stuff tasted awful.

taste badLittle did I realize that for the next two weeks, I’d be on a forced diet because I had pretty much lost all sense of taste!  This could have been a disaster of major proportions.  I could see myself wasting away to nothing in a few months!  And to not be able to taste a juicy What-A-Burger is just criminal!  I had not been warned about this side effect at any time during or after my surgery!  I might have cancelled the surgery if I had known, uh, no that’s not true.  I was hurting way too much!

I think I lost about 20 pounds over the next two weeks!  I ate just enough to sustain life, but mealtime for me wasn’t much fun.  This was a total and unheard of experience for me!  I asked the Doctor when I made a follow-up visit with him about a week after the surgery and he said, “Oh, yeah.  You might lose your taste for a while!”

Might, might!  I could have sued him for excess cruelty!

Then one morning, I think I got up and drug my dejected and skinny (I wished) self to the kitchen.  I decided that I could wolf down a couple of waffles and be done with breakfast!  So, I cracked open the fridge and dug out the frozen waffles with cinnamon and popped about three into the toaster.  They went through the cycle once but didn’t look quite done so I popped them down again.  I got out the butter and the syrup and waited.

>My waffles popped up again and they were brown or sort of brown.  I threw them on my plate and wiped some butter on them and then squirted some syrup all over the plate with most of it going on the waffles.  I sat down at the table and began to consume what I figured would be another tasteless helping of food.

taste wonderfulBam!  Something dropped on my taste buds that was out of this world!  I could taste waffles, syrup, and oh, so much cinnamon!  That bite of waffle was just about the best thing I have ever eaten.  I think I tore through those waffles like I hadn’t eaten in ten years!  Man, they were good!

Then I waited about an hour or two and it was lunchtime!  I got out my usual Pop Tart and bit into it.  Once again, it was just great!  I could taste it just like I did in the old days!  I was back.  My taste buds had recovered from all the anesthetic they had been given and I was back in business.

I haven’t stopped eating since.  As surprising as it may seem, though, I haven’t regained the entire 20 pounds I lost.  I’ve regained some, but not all and I won’t talk about that any more.  Let’s just say I’m back to my healthy self.

So that’s my recent experience with pain and agony!  I’ve tried to keep this from getting too gross.  Ripping someone’s organs out isn’t that nice of an ordeal!  And to my disappointment, I’ve found out that about everyone in my family has had their gallbladder removed!  I guess I just joined the crowed.

I don’t believe I have any other spare parts to be ripped out.  Oh, wait, I’ve still got my tonsils, and there’s always a doctor or two that want to examine my brain!

Ain’t gonna’ happen.

—–The END—–

One thought on “Rip! There Goes Another Body Part!

  1. Gramps your stories crack me up. I love and miss you! So sorry you were in such pain and agony lol. Hope we get to see you this summer. Love you a bunch!

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