Oh, 98232.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Small Town Ovary Blues.

While I was waiting in the emergency room for more doctors to come and tell me about the surgery I was going to have yesterday, I searched the internet for ovary jokes. I couldn't find a thing.

Right now I am wearing hospital issue underpants and I have three slices opening my belly. Orange creamcicles are the only things that ease the discomfort of the raw throat from intubation. They help the medicine go down. I dislike taking pain killers very much.

I've never had a surgery before. This was my first. As soon as she gestured the size of the abnormality inside me, I knew my trip to the E.R. was justified. And I began to cry. Oh no, it's not like cancer, I think she said.

I had just been through the most invasive and painful set of ultrasounds in my life. I had an IV snaking into the ditch of my arm. My abdomen was tight with blood.


The night before I had gone into Edison for drinks and was well into enjoying the evening with my friends when the bad thing hit. Sonja and I went for a pleasant first-time visit to John's, and I excused myself to the bathroom. As soon as my bladder emptied, I was struck with a sudden sharp pain and the feeling that something was very wrong. I pulled my pants up and braced against the sink hoping it would pass. It didn't - and all I remember was going to tell Sonja we had to leave. I don't remember walking down the stairs, but I do remember the pain bringing me to my knees and loosing my lunch. All over poor John's patio. I couldn't get up. I think I cried over and over again "Why does it hurt like this?" Nothing in the world had ever hurt as bad and I asked for an ambulance. I rattled off Max's Nashville telephone number. And I cried and cried.

The pain is what fills my memory of the rest of that evening. Pain and utter humiliation. I opened my eyes and my third grade teacher was talking to me, asking me what was my name, what I had had to drink, where it hurt, and Sonja said he also asked me about my artwork. She told me I frustrated one of the paramedics by refusing to get on the gurney. Even in that much pain I know what an ambulance ride costs. I noticed a crowd of faceless people. I'm sure they all thought I was drunk sick. That's what you think when you see someone collapsed in vomit, right? Sonja was able to walk me to her car and she took me home.

I tried to sleep the pain off, but the night was filled with more pain and more sick. In the morning Max and I tried to figure what the pain could be using Web MD. We concluded I was probably passing a kidney stone and I was looking at more pain coming on.

I called my friend Jennie to cancel the plans that we'd made. (This is the first time in years I've had plans with Jennie.) Jennie recognized the pain in my voice and put me on the phone with her doctor parents who just happened to be in town from their home in Costa Rica. Immediately kidney stone was ruled out and I was being sent to the Emergency Room. I would not have gone without that conversation.

Good thing I went.

to be continued...


  1. There's some kind of angel above, thank goodness you went to the ER. Just goes to show you can never be too careful....esp when you consider the alternative. (No more Web MD for you :) Right?

  2. Oh Michelle… I totally understand how that is, all the assumptions (at least you weren't naked and peeing in public!). When I went into the ER from my brain hemorrhage, everyone thought I was on too much acid or something (but I had quit taking all that then). I know God kept me alive for a reason. And I'm glad you're ok too! :) Praying you're not in too much pain anymore.