Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Cholecystitis. I mean that’s a funny word right there. You and I both know that any story that starts with a medical term is gonna end up in stitches. Badoom-tish.

Submitted: December 20, 2018

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Submitted: December 19, 2018

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Cholecystitis. I mean that’s a funny word right there. You and I both know that any story that starts with a medical term is gonna end up in stitches. Badoom-tish.

The non-medical terms for cholecystitis are owwhatthehellstomach? and whyamIpukinguptoenails? Okay, fine, that is what I called it. Severe inflammation of the gallbladder. According to Doctor Jay, one of the most painful medical problems, that unfortunately won’t kill you.

Yes, you read that right. Pain so intense that death is a blessing, where nurses pop in every couple of hours and say “Would you like some more drugs? They’re freeeeee.”. Pain so intense you rank the doctors (because every doctor somehow feels the need to trust but verify) on their hand pressure and technique.

From Doctor Fergus, whose gentle fingers and Irish brogue lulled me into a false sense of peace and serenity, to Doctor Jay who practiced his two-finger kumite deathstroke technique on me, accompanied with the deranged smile of a Hindu Assassin. (You know, the old sort who smoked copious quantities of weed before getting their murder boners on and slaughtering entire nations).

But let me return to the unfortunately won’t kill you…because that is an odd choice of language for a healthcare professional. It’s all about this concept of triage. The lucky bastards who actually are in danger of dying get priority, but extremely painful and non-lethal? Sucks to be you. Suck it up Princess. You’re at the mercy of a system that depends on someone not doing something stupid. Car accident while texting? Priority. Fell off a ladder and demolished a glass greenhouse with your backside? Priority. Stubbed toe? Okay probably not that last one. Anyway, here’s how it went for me.

The incident – I do not share the last slice of caramel mudcake with my sister. Kismet is a bitch who weilds a sharp blade, as this proves to be the tipping point from where there is no coming back. The first half day is gone in a haze of pain, drugs, Irish brogue, cheerful nurses, more drugs and an inability to give a shit about anything. Literally. People talk at me, poke me, take blood and do things with blood pressure cuffs and it all bounces off my impenetrable shield of meh, blah and drugs. My sister, in a sign of affection, calls me “Old Yeller” until I point out the dog dies at the end of that movie.

Later - I cannot decide if the yellow skin tone caused by my jaundice makes me look more like a Simpsons character or Donald Trump’s lovechild. The sign on my door says Nil Oral, which is not my stripper name, it just means that not even water shall pass into my stomach. My stomach agrees with this assessment. As I drag the weird thingmebob into the bathroom (holding my drip fluid pack whatsit) its only redeeming feature is, that it has just enough reach that if I turn and do a crippled yoga position I can pee into the bowl without having to call a nurse. A few moments later, I cannot decide if my pee looks like Sunkist orange or Fanta orange. Meh and Blah to the rescue. Later that day I am informed that I will be having the sludge blocking my bile duct removed tomorrow and that depending on my bilefurious, (actually the term is bilirubin, but I prefer my version) levels, they will schedule my surgery after that. My sister rings me, unable to come tease me personally she must do it remotely. I reflect on that something called sludge needs bodily removal as I have more drugs and try and to sleep.

Later – Up early. Dave the “medical instruments” man (who also plays in a band), is funny and informative as he explains that a camera must venture where no camera has gone before on a bold sludge-mining mission. I must lie down in the position of a freestyle swimmer. I do so with the Jaws themesong running through my head, register someone placing a weird doovalackey that pumps oxygen up my nostrils and the next thing I know I’m waking up in recovery.

I feel wonderful. Dave is the master of many instruments. If he plays guitar as well as he does sludge mining cameras, Eric Clapton needs to watch his back.

Sludge-removal is a resounding success. For the first time in days I wonder what is for dinner. A few hours later cheerful drugs-are-still-on-tap nurses tell me dinner is broth and lemon cordial. I have almost no pain – I feel boss AF but very hollow. My stripper name has changed to Clear Fluids, but later I will become Fasting because chances are, later they will be cutting my gall bladder out. (serves the little bastard right).

Later – The nurses wake me to pump me full of antibiotics and ask if I want more free drugs. (Maybe they are so used to patients asking it’s a pavlovian reaction) Apparently my bilefurious levels are still too high. What are they? 135. What’s normal? 20. No wonder I still look like a two-eyed minion. Can I eat yet? Nope you might have surgery later, maybe we can give you some broth later. We’ll come check on you later and offer you more drugs later. Later. I shrug, watch movies and talk to the nurses while trying to ignore how hungry I am. My evil sister brings in cakes for the nurses, and a salmon focaccia for herself. The sandwich of evil whispers to me that Sororicide will make me the coolest guy in prison. I send her out of the room for her own protection. There are too many witnesses here.

Later – The nurses still want to give me drugs for non-existent pain, (maybe it is their idea of a lark but I suspect the heavy stuff is off the table.) and tell me that there is a good chance that later I will be having my gall bladder out. Movies and chatting. At midday “Deathstrike Jay” comes in and this time I prove immune to his nerve attack.  “We’re going to try and schedule your surgery for later”. Later…I’m starting to hate that word. I feel so hollow that hunger has given up on my stomach. It’s a whole body experience now. I’m dreaming about food. I watch John Wick and the puppy looks tasty. I know… the puppy. I’m a horrible person for wondering what slow roasting and barbeque sauce would do to the flavour as I watch Keanu Reeves monster his way through countless bad guys for killing his dog. (He’d never know it was me. I could blame the Russian guy).

It is officially later – I feel like Shrodinger’s cat. Food may or may not appear depending upon the cosmic vagaries of the universe and the potential for surgery in this dimension. High level discussions with faceless controllers of food destiny occur. Trickles of information filter down to me. The decision is made. Since I am not in pain, and my bilefurious levels are decreasing, they will feed me and ‘see what happens’. (My stomach says ‘Experimentation is the soul of science’ and then growls like a werewolf on crack). Mere toast is like a spectacular Irish brogue and gentle fingers. It is ambrosia of the gods. Two hours later and so far, so good. The deciders of food destiny decide that lunch is possible. My sister brings in a chicken wrap, expecting to be able to eat the whole thing herself. Poor deluded sister. She flees the ravenous werewolf.

Ten minutes later, Deathstrike Jay, seeing my numbers and appetite, tells me they will assign my bed to someone else and for me to come back later for organ removal with extreme prejudice.

I ring my sister to come pick me up. She says, “Later”.


© Copyright 2019 Julian St Aubyn Green. All rights reserved.

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