Tuesday, March 10, 2009
As some of you may know, I had to get an emergency appendcetomy last week. It went well, I'm feeling a lot better (thanks a lot for the well-wishes BTW). And it was quite an interesting experience. Here's a running diary of how it went down. (Note: The times are a guesstimation, and are in Hawaiian Standard Time.)
Sunday, March 1st, 10:13 am: I wake up, pay the prositute (not true), brush my teeth and don't shower (true) cuz I'm already 13 minutes late for work @ the Student Center. In other words, I'd still be 20 minutes ahead of Cyle. I have what I would call, a "minor stomachache." (Is that two words or one?) I had Burger King the night before, I figure I'll just poop @ school and lie down on the couch and it'll go away like 100% of the other stomachaches I've had my entire life.
1:00 pm: Stomach is hurting badly. Going #2 isn't helping and lying down isn't doing much either. That was my Plan A, I do not have a Plan B. I don't even have an appetite to go to the caf and get free breakfast. Something must be wrong.
1:30: I have a Plan B!!! Taking a page out of my Grandma's playbook, I decide to get a Sprite from the vending machine. All that's missing is the Vicks Vap-O-Rub. Blacks have Robitussin (or "'Tussin" as Cyle calls it) Greeks have Windex, and Latinos have Sprite (7-Up also works) and Vicks Vap-O-Rub. (Or what my Grandma would call, "Beaks.")
2:00: Sprite tastes the same being vomited out of your mouth as it does going down your esophagus. In other words, it's the exact opposite of tequila. P.S. Thank you Raekwon for buying me that shot of Goose on my birthday, I truly appreciate it, although you prolly should've saved your money cuz after we took it I casually strolled to the bathroom (fully composed) and yakked out my soul. It's amazing what a couple of sips of water, some gum, and pinpoint accuracy can do. No one noticed. If I do say so myself, that was pretty clutch. I really should've tipped the bathroom attendant.
3:00: My shift is over and Niggy comes to relieve me (that's what she said). I tell him of my problem, and ask him if I should go to the ER. White people seem to know a lot about medicine. He says to wait it out. It's a good thing he's here.
3:15: I seek the ultimate advice, I call my Mom. She's a doctor, not the M.D. kind but the Ph.D kind. Close enough. "Wait and see if it goes away, if it doesn't by tomorrow go to the ER."
5:30: I wake up on the couch and my stomach still hurts. I ask Niggy what time it is, he says 5:30. I've been sleeping for a little less than 2 and a half hours. This sucks.
7:00: I head home to Pepcid AC, and sleep.
Monday, 3/2, 3:00am: I can't take it anymore. There's no relief for the pain. Lie on my back, it hurts. Lie on my side, it hurts, lie on my stomach...let's say that was a really REALLY bad idea. I call my Moms and Dad to tell them and get a ride to the hospital.
3:30: Hospitals are notoriously slow for getting people treated but I get to a bed right away...AND in walks my nurse, who I went out and partied with a week earlier during Mardi Gras. (Sidebar: For Mardi Gras I went out w/ my boy Mike and his work buddies to a block party in Chinatown. Mike works as a security guard @ the hospital I was @ and all the girls we had gone out w/ that night were nurses. Natalya is one of them, and she's now about to stick an IV in my arm. Let's just say you feel a little different about someone when you see paint and glitter on their faces, double-fisting Coronas. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.)
3:35: The results are in...IT'S A GOOD THING! "We're gonna give you morphine for the pain." WAY TO GO, NATALYA! I'm gonna pretend that she's doing it cuz she enjoyed my company on Mardi Gras.
3:37: Morphine does not play around!!! As soon as she said she was putting it in my IV, I start to get light-headed. If I see a dragon I'm gonna be freaked out. And oh yeah, it kinda made the pain go away.
3:40: I can't help but feel weak when I look @ the screen for the heart monitor thingy. You're looking @ it like, "Please keep beeping. Please." If it stops, well, as my Dad would eloquently say, "That's your ass."
3:45: They're gonna do a CT scan but first they need me to drink a whole liter of this orange stuff which is gonna make my insides glow-in-the-dark so they can see it better on the x-ray. It tastes like a combination of lead, whale piss, and Orange Kool-Aid, everyone knows that Red is the best flavor.
4:00: Apparently whale piss makes you have to pee.
4:20: And again.
4:45: And again.
5:15: See above.
5:45: I fall in and out of sleep, I can hear the doctor talking into his handheld voice recorder. (I didn't know they actually did that.) "Patient's complaining of abdominal pain. I don't think it's appendicitis." I was glad to hear this @ the time, but I shoulda foreseen the foreshadowing here, huh?
6:00: Time for my CT scan. They roll me in my bed to the x-ray room. That was kinda cool.
6:02: I see this arch-looking thing that they're gonna put me under to take my x-ray. It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie when the aliens kill the human and then eat their intestines to regenerate their power. This isn't so cool anymore.
6:05: Male Nurse: "I"m putting something in your IV for the catscan. You're gonna feel warm all over from head to toe and you're gonna get a metallic taste in your mouth." Yay...yea, this is definitely not cool anymore.
6:06: The warming senstation hits. Please don't pee myself, please don't pee myself, please don't pee myself. Uh-oh.
6:07: Good news, I didn't pee myself...but I did throw up. Everywhere. Apparently that's a side effect of that warm/metallic thing. My vomit is orange, remember what I said about throwing up Sprite, add "piss: whale" to that file. Luckily Greg Focker gave me a bowl in time. This is so not cool.
6:30: They have the results of my CT scan. "Mr. Garcia, you actually do have appendicitis and we're gonna have to do emergency surgery right away." Well then...
7:00: My surgeon, Dr. Pedro comes in and talks to me. A Samoan with a last name of "Pedro," you figure that one out. He has this suave accent, he's got one of those accents that makes him sound like he has chest hair and is very popular w/ the ladies. No homo.
7:10: Just to scare the S#!t outta me, the hospital makes me sign a "If you die during surgery, you and your family can't sue us" contract. I think of saying, "Hey guys, did you want me to sign it in blood, cuz ya know, I could do that if you wanted to." I decide against it, this man is about to cut into my body and remove an organ (not to mention he sounds like he could probably seduce my mother and two sisters), it's probably best not to piss him off.
7:15: Just for fun, the assistant surgeon wants to stick something up my butt!!! This is quite possibly the worst day of my life and it's barely a quarter-over. Really, it's 7:15 in the morning and you wanna go up my anus? Can I have a cup of coffee, a donut, and read the paper first?
7:16: "Turn to your side and hold onto the railing."
7:18: The nurse leaves but I still don't wanna turn over. I'm still holding onto the railing. I'm too scared to move.
7:19: Let's pretend this never happened.
7:20-8:20: Please don't give me a catheter! Please don't give me a catheter! Please don't give me a catheter!
8:20: They move me to the pre-surgery room where the nurse helps me get undressed, that was an experience.
8:30: In walks the most important person in my life right now, the anesthesiologist. He makes anesthesiologist jokes, "You won't wake-up during, hopefully you'll wake-up after." I feel like they teach you these in anesthesiology school. I'm too nervous to laugh. I feel like pilots and anesthesiologists should never, ever, joke around. Ever.
8:35: Dr. Pedro's back. Surgery's gonna start @ 8:45-ish, it's gonna take an hour. "Good, so, I'll be able to watch "Price Is Right" after?" I ask. Nobody laughed.
8:45-ish: They wheel me in. Called my parents, they sound terrified, good times! My Dad makes a "What if you don't come out of surgery joke?" I can't wait 'til he tears another meniscus.
8:50: They put the mask on my face, and the doctor pinches my neck. Goodnight everbody!
Not sure what time it is: I wake up in another room w/ the mask on my face, I'm groggy. My side hurts, someone pats me on the shoulder. I'm guessing it went well. A lot of white people around, did I die and end up in the wrong Heaven? That would suck.
5 min. later: "The surgery was a success, Mr. Garcia. You did well." I was passed out from the anesthesia and laying there, but if you say so!
Me: "What time is it?"
11:30: 11:30! 11:30!!! This was supposed to be an hour-long surgery.
11:31: First two thoughts after that: 1. Oh no, my parents are gonna think I'm dead!!! 2. More importantly, I missed "Price Is Right!"
P.S. Everything else after wasn't very noteworthy. Thanks to everyone who showed up and brought balloons, flowers, cards, and didn't hug me too tight, and to everyone who called, Myspaced, and Facebooked. It may not seem like much, but it meant a lot to me. Thank you, fo' reals.
P.P.S. If you would like to donate to the "Joseph Anthony Carlos Garcia Fund for Joseph Anthony Carlos Garcia" and help me pay for the expenses, (hospital visits ain't cheap!!!) please feel free to contact me.