this is being read I will be recovering from surgery. Surgery
to repair what many of you have, I presume jokingly, referred
to as my "pregnancy."
see, I know that my stomach has been bigger than normal
this past year. I know why.
October 2000 after enjoying a fun afternoon watching Navy
football in Annapolis, I returned home not feeling quite
an hour that not quite right feeling turned in violent pain.
Memorial Hospital's crack team of emergency room doctors
told me they thought I "may have food poisoning" or "some
kind of infection."
doctor in particular got his boxers in a bunch when my friend
took a stab at a diagnosis (he asked the doc if it might
be my appendix). The doctor responded huffily asking, "Who
here has the medical degree?"
lot of good his degree did him.
was sent home chock full of pain medicine and a handful
of treats to take when I got there.
was told that "if the pain hadn't stopped by Monday to go
to your primary care physician."
couple hours after sun up on Sunday I had attempted to rise
to do one's regular morning routine. I only remember hearing
a noise that sounded like nothing I have ever heard before
coming from my mouth.
remember falling to the floor, grasping my "food-poisoned"
side, screeching and screaming like some kind of wounded
remember the pain-filled trip back to the crack team of
doctors at FMH's emergency room, who one would think, upon
seeing me in the state I was in (it could only be described
as hysteria) that these crack professionals would know what
to do to make me better.
not, how to put me out of my misery, after all, they shoot
horses with broken legs.
remember the drug induced haze I was put in until Monday
morning when through glazed over and near death (and, yes,
folks it was a very close one) eyes, I saw my primary care
physician looking more troubled than a doctor should ever
know she asked me something about a surgeon and kind of
remember someone telling me he was a surgeon and explaining
things about the very real possibility of a worst-case scenario.
then only remember waking up seven days later having no
idea what happened or what was going on. Seven complete
days are forever lost. My surgeon and my primary care physician
have told me that I am lucky I do not remember.
remember when I first looked down and saw the 14 and ½ inch
cavity that lay open down my midsection. They say they heal
better when allowed to heal from the inside out.
this point I remember the constant reports that I developed
this and then that infection as a result of how badly things
had gotten inside me after my appendix burst.
see, one gets peritonitis when one's appendix has burst
and allowed to seep for 2 days untreated.
bowels and kidneys and liver and all other internal organs
stop functioning as well. This causes more toxins to fill
more toxins, the more infection, the more infections, the
more antibiotics one must take.
one point I was on 12 antibiotics. Of course, that was still
when they were not sure I was going to make it.
remember having to endure too many procedures and too many
pokes and prods. I remember the never-ending look of worry
on the steady stream of doctors who were called upon to
remember the two-month recovery time at home.
leads us to today. It has been a long time coming. Multiple
delays and countless complications later, I am finally where
I need to be - "having my baby."
am hopefully resting peacefully after having my surgeon
re-open the 14 and ½ inch incision that runs down my midsection.
The same incision that, because of the distention I experienced
as a result of the pollution inside me, herniated badly.
"pregnancy," as some of you have called it, is actually
all my internal organs trying to breech the hole that exists
inside me. Guess they don't like it in there.
that as it may - the surgeon is going to clean out any residual
goop that shouldn't be there and then reposition my organs
where they are supposed to be. Then they will close the
hole with mesh and sew me back up again.
time I will vividly remember the anticipated six days in
hospital and 4-6 weeks recovery.
you see, the point of this diatribe is not to seek pity,
prayers are good though, but to ask you to think about how
painful words can be.
if spoken in jest.
pregnancy humor, the "when do you deliver" jokes really
were not all that funny.
didn't ask to almost die.
did ask to live.
living means I had to have a paunch for a year, so be it.
am a lucky guy and I am thankful.
you had said that to me, too, it would have been so much
nicer than a poor excuse of a joke.
many people do we offend by not knowing the whole story?
us strive to think about that.
the way, the baby is doing fine. Big bruiser. 12 pounds
6 ounces. 21" long. 10 toes and 10 fingers. Red hair though.
be the mailman's.
Note: 'Kip" is doing quite well following his four-hour
surgery. He is expected to be home by the weekend, which
will be followed by several weeks vacation, oops, sorry,