Mortality taps me on the shoulder
I haven’t posted here forever. Life has been keeping me busy, as it does everyone else, and this blog somehow diminished in importance. Then, last week, I had sudden stomach pains after lunch and found myself in the emergency room an hour later. After some high grade painkillers, they did an ultrasound and found that I had gallstones. I was advised that the pain would probably go away and I should schedule surgery at some point in the future. But the pain didn’t go away and my surgery would be the next day.
I didn’t sleep much that night, not so much from worry about the surgery as the constant, necessary visits from the various medial professionals who monitored my vital signs. Now, I haven’t stayed overnight in a hospital since I was thirteen, a long time ago, and the whole infrastructure was so much different than I remembered. There was more compartmentalization of duties and, while I saw a lot of different people, they all knew their jobs very well.
In the morning, I heard a conversation in the hall about rounds being done backwards that day and, as I was at the end of the hall, they started with me. This didn’t mean anything to me until the surgeon asked how I was doing and then told me that I would be having my surgery at 9:00 am instead of much later in the day as originally scheduled. Then, in pre-op, there was much conversation about my blood pressure and white blood cell count, and whether a particular threshold had been crossed. For some reason, I wasn’t really worried about this or the surgery, even with the hints of a problem. I was enthralled by the experience and didn’t give much thought to what was coming. I knew I’d be sleeping and someone else would be doing the work.
They did endoscopic surgery, leaving me with five lovely, yet to heal, 10mm or so marks on my stomach. There wasn’t much pain right after the surgery, although that might of been because of the painkiller they had in my IV. It seemed that the surgery had gone well, but they’d discovered that my gallbladder was infected and, as the surgeon later told me, it was ‘rotting.’ I felt embarrassed for some reason, as if I’d neglected regular maintenance and this was inevitable. I had been having no indications that there was anything wrong with it, but this episode made me see how much that happens in life is out of my control. Anyway, the surgery was a success and I have had little pain during recovery.
The realization that I was losing control of time and it’s ravages on my body is why I wrote this post about my surgery, as trivial as it was. I’m a healthy person of median body weight and had never considered the possibility that I might have an organ failure that would require surgery. So here I am starting up my blog again because I re-prioritized my life and writing my stories and musing about my personal experiences have climbed up the list. It isn’t that I have anything profound to say, it’s just that I think about my son and daughters and realized that the world is too busy and rushed for the kind of in depth conversations I once had with my mother. I learned more from those moments than I can express. These memories are priceless and I wish that I had them with my own children but I don’t. It’s not anyone’s fault; it’s just the way of my world. So, when I write here, I’m writing for my children as well as anyone else who chances by. The same thing applies to my fiction writing. I want to share those little pieces of my imagination with them as well as the ‘gentle reader.’ I’ve still got a lot to say and do. Love you kids, and hope to see you soon.
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