Monday, March 21, 2005

FINALLY! Something interesting to write about, part 2

This is part 2 of a multi-part (?) story. You really should read part 1 before proceeding--unless you are into non-linear Joyceian stuff.

So, when we left off . . . I was in severe abdominal pain for about two-plus days. Tegan and I went to the ER to see what was what. There, after a CAT scan, it was discovered that I had some mysterious abdominal blockage in my small intestine. Surgery was the best course of action to remedy the situation.

After determining not to consider the worst possibilities, we got ready. Naturally, during all of this we were without a cell phone. Our one phone that we share started dropping calls and not sending calls during T's recent trip to Texas, so we had called Cingular and asked for a replacement to our 6-month-old phone. It had not yet arrived in the mail.

Luckily, a member of our church heard the news and came to visit. You see, we are hosting a Lenten bible study at the house and were calling the members to tell them that that night's (Tuesday) meeting would not occur. Fred arrived and was kind enough to lend us his wife's cell phone for as long as we needed it. Tegan started making phone calls to others, informing them of the situation. I started getting ready for the early afternoon procedure.

I wasn't worried, really. I think T was much more concerned that me. I have had several surgeries over the years and have many, many scars to show for it. (Maybe that is why I like Road House so much, hmm? I mean, aside from the awesomely bad mullet and the philosophical judo larynx maneuver.) But, I was confident and ready for whatever came. I hope Tegan wasn't too worried.

After waiting for the OR to free up and for the doctors to scrub up, review the situation, and do whatever they had to do, I was getting ready to be wheeled from the ER trauma room I had been in for the last four hours and head upstairs.

But first, disrobing. Good bye shirt, pants, socks, shoes, and underwear. I won't see you again for about three days!

Now a bit chilly, I am ready to head upstairs. Fred said a quick prayer, did a brief anointing with oil (he is a trained deacon), and T and I headed up to the pre-op room for more waiting. There, they graciously gave me some warm blankets and started hooking me up to IVs, giving me fluids, starting the numbing medicine. I briefly talked to the anesthetist, said goodbye to T and feel asleep somewhere down the hallway to the OR.

When I woke up, I was in post-op, feeling groggy. I have no idea how long it took or how long before I woke up. The doctor who did the surgery told T that everything went fine and provided her with this handy visual guide to explain what went on:

What you see here is a highly technical drawing of my abdomen. The snaky coily thing is my small intestine. The shell-like item lying atop the intestine is a layer of fat called the "omenum." Apparently, some of this fatty omenum got coiled around and behind the small intestine, applying pressure on the tube and pinching it off. How? I don't have any idea? But the surgeons relieved the pinch and the intestine sprung back into place like it should. Now my bowels were free to operate as intended.

The other weird thing they noticed was that, probably due to the complications of the bowel obstruction, my appendix (that very small little oval that is circled by the dotted line, was also beginning to be inflamed. So they removed it as well before it caused trouble.

So, that was the surgery story. Next up . . . RECOVERY!! (Full of strain, pain, some much-needed laughs, and other changes. Stay tuned for more!)

1 comment:

Spec said...


Sorry I wasn't around during your trying time. I hope you are doing better and will be back on your feet in no time. Take it easy my friend.