Monday, June 15, 2009

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated...Mark Twain

Well, I'm back! Hospitals suck. There are too many nurses, too many doctors and too many wake-up calls in the middle of the night to see if you still have a pulse.

They say when you are out of it and in a near death experience you see a white light at the end of a tunnel. All I ever saw in the last two weeks was a red neon EMERGENCY sign.

I thought I was being a hero going through a third spinal surgery until the real problems showed up. While home recuperating from the back surgery (fused L1-5) I got these unbelievable pains in the belly that had nothing to do with all of the bills that came in the mail that day. After two episodes of that Geri took me to a local hospital in Towson on Charles Street where I whimpered for 2 hours before the triage folks finally felt they'd heard enough of my complaining and got me to a Doc. They brought in a surgeon who ordered lots of expensive tests and at 2:30 a.m. I was under the CatScan machine getting my insides on file. They took blood, x-rays, toe nail clippings, etc and finally, after staying the night, I was sent home with the suggestion that I keep an eye on the pain since it might involve the gall bladder. I told them I'd check into that every once in a while.

So two days later the pains come back stronger, only this time without a let-up and with a fever for extra measure. Back to my favorite EMERGENCY sign on Charles Street in Towson. This time, after the same expensive tests they decided that my gall bladder had no business being in my body any longer. So Emergency surgery was set up and into the OR I went. Recovery was tough since I still had this back surgery thing going. I tried to rent a hoist to get me up and out of bed but they said I had to do it myself.

A day later things were not going so smoothly. I was pretty well out of it, pain back, and healing not taking place. No details here since I don't want to try to remember this part. Anyway it was getting so bad that it was determinded by a couple of surgeons that another EMERGENCY surgery was needed to correct a problem at Ye Olde Gall Bladder Site. Since I had an "Open Door Policy" I gave them permission to enter my innards again, conveniently through the same front door they used two days before. This time they closed off a couple of leaking problems; I was properly sealed up and put back on the Psycho Ward.

Home now trying to find the humor in all this. Good thing I like to write since I relish talking about all this pain along the way. Nurses were great. Docs were great...I'll stick to athletics thank you very much.

See you at the ball park soon.

And thanks to Geri who is my Special Angel who got me through all this.


David Ettlin said...

Hope all the misery is behind you -- no pun intended. Cheers!

Maurice said...

Mark - Sounds like you had a few fun filled days at the local hospital. I hope you're up on your feet soon. Take Care! - Moe

Jo-Anne said...

geri will need a major vacation after this you know.. so welcome home and glad you are at last attempting to do something other than scrabble... you do know you have a new reat neice i hope Sami brooke ( after Uncle Sammy and brooks robinson)

Ed said...

Whew!!! Based on pictures on FB not that long ago, I thought you were in great shape. So, does very slow incremental rehab work? Yes!! But it can be very tedious. This I know from 2 years rehab after horrendous case of thoracic outlet/L3-4 4-5 problems/severe neck stenosis/oral surgery/raging hemorrhoids and major depression to boot ( I'll raise you 2 urine tests, an elevated AIC and a colonoscopy). You're not getting older, you're just testing out your resilience. I feel for you Buddy. But you certainly have the persistence and patience to get back on track. Hang in there and let us know if there's anything we can do. Got some great mp3's of Self-Hypnosis and Meditation.