SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
(My wife wrote a column for me this week because I was indisposed, which is to say I was in the hospital with agonizing abdominal pain. Emily tried to write it the way I would have, as if it was me writing. But it was shorter than my normal, and since I’m feeling a bit better now I thought I’d comment on her story. If you see it in parenthesis, it’s me – everyone knows how much I love parenthesis. Is there a plural for parenthesis? Parenthesizes?)
They say nothing is more painful than taxes.
(They’ve obviously never heard me sing.)
Yeah, they lied. And that’s why my wife is writing my column as I sleep off the medication.
Everything was going so well – we grabbed some quick food between the chiropractor’s office and the tax office, forgot a form, and didn’t have some of the calculations we needed. And that’s about the point when I decided that I should probably head to the ER about the rapidly developing, searing abdominal and back pain.
(You should have seen the look on the face of the tax preparer on hearing my announcement that I had to go to the hospital. Then again, maybe she’s used to it.)
The next three hours or so were pretty hazy, and included lots of diagnostic tests. Apparently, I passed a kidney stone either in the tax office (Their restroom, that is) or in the sample I gave once I got to the ER. (Now the docs think the stone passed from my kidney to my bladder, where it awaits round 2.) Between the convulsing in agony, yelling in pain, and heaving my guts up, the nurses told me I was “handling it better than most”. Yikes.
(Makes me wonder how others handle it, because I was a whiney basket case.)
They had to pump me full of some pretty powerful pain and anti-nausea medications, of course, so I could keep things down and stay still enough for the diagnostics. My first experience with narcotics was, I’m told, hilarious. Here are some of my, um, most quotable quotes:
(I’m taking her word that I actually said these things.)
“This is men’s punishment for not bearing children.” Pretty sure I stole that one from… somewhere.
“I can’t have a cat scan: I’m allergic, and it would upset the dog.” Hey, I never said I wasn’t repetitive.
“Sorry I threw up in the sink. A lot.”
(At one point I’m pretty sure the R.M.S. Titanic came out of my mouth.)
“I’m really here because Emily punched me in the stomach.”
(Actually, it’s the dog who usually punches me in the stomach, when he thinks he’s being friendly.)
“I will never drink Mountain Dew again.”
(Okay, I lied.)
“I’m still mad at you for not singing me ‘Soft Kitty’.”
(Mostly I asked her to sing that song from “The Big Bang Theory” just to see the expression on her face.)
“Jeff, do you know anything about toilets? Mine is making this funny sound.”
(This was me playing on my brother’s sympathy in an attempt to get free home maintenance help.)
When I asked if I could drive home, a chorus of “No!” came from all four other people in the room. I’m pretty sure I heard someone down the hall yell it too, just for good measure.
(I wonder where my car is, now?)
I’m fine now – a little sore and still healing, but after that harrowing experience, even my home improvement disasters won’t compare on a pain scale. It’s interesting how my three-millimeter pebble can cause more pain than our ninety-pound dog flying at me. I was also surprised at how acute (but definitely not cute) my symptoms were.
(I’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone at Parkview Noble ER, who took very good care of me. Believe it or not, it was my first visit to an emergency room as a patient, and living proof that it’s not always good to experience new things.)
Now I just have to find out how much blackmail-worthy information my family got out of me while I was ‘pain-free’.
(When I ask about it, they just smile and pat their cell phone cameras. Stay tuned.)