One Year Ago Today

It’s kind of appropriate that I’ve stayed in bed sick all day.  Today is the 1-year anniversary of one of the most astoundingly terrible days I’ve ever had.  I know, because it was so awful that the last thing I did before I went to bed that night was post about it on Facebook, for fear I would never believe it really happened otherwise.  Let’s revisit one of the worst days I ever recorded for the internet.  It will be fun!

Oct. 22 [2008]: Retrospective Itinerary

• Wake up. (around 12:00 noon.)
• Mess around on Facebook.
• Feel mild pain in right kidney.
• Take a shower.
• Feel intense pain in right kidney.
• Call girlfriend to say you won’t be able to take her to her doctor’s appointment, because you seem to have a kidney stone.
• Feel excruciating pain in right kidney.
• Call mother to take you to emergency room, then struggle into random clothing (nicest slacks, moth-eaten undershirt, flip flops).
• Feel utterly ludicrous agony in right kidney.
• Lie on the ground in emergency room parking lot until humanoid figure brings you a wheelchair.
• Fall out of wheelchair and lie on the floor under triage nurse’s desk.
• Spend a quarter of an hour writhing in pain in phlebotomist’s office, waiting for phlebotomist to arrive. Occasionally mutter “someone please help me.”
• Have blood drawn.
• Be unable to produce a urine sample.
• Get left in wheelchair blocking the doorway to the hospital while a room is prepared for you. Start to cry, just a little.
• Get admitted and taken to room. Put on gown.
• Just for fun, have another nurse draw several more vials of blood. (These will be declared unneeded and thrown in the trash a little while later.)
• Receive and IV and a saline drip.
• Receive an injection of morphine.
• Realize that morphine is love.
• Notice that girlfriend has arrived. She seems unwell.
• Pass kidney stone.
• Ask mother to take girlfriend to her doctor’s appointment. Explain that you will be fine, because your veins are full of love.
• Doze. Get IV removed. Get dressed. Sign discharge papers. Call a taxi to take you home.
• Receive call from mother, informing you that girlfriend’s doctor sent her to the emergency room.
• Have taxi take you across town to other hospital.
• Comfort girlfriend while she waits many hours.
• Comfort girlfriend while clumsy nurse awkwardly tries to plant an IV.
• Comfort girlfriend while she waits for injection of anti-nausea medication to take effect (Note: it never will; this medication is ineffective for her.)
• Wait in room while girlfriend is taken to get a CT scan of her head, to see if her weeks-long, increasingly severe headache is potentially fatal.
• Comfort girlfriend while waiting many more hours for results of scan. Notice that girlfriend’s discomfort does not seem at all lessened, despite the intravenous medications that she has received.
• Gently browbeat nurse into administering different medications. Watch tension finally melt from girlfriend’s face.
• Learn that CT scan was normal. Get discharged from hospital.
• Fill everybody’s prescriptions.
• Have mother take us home. Take girlfriend inside to put her to bed.
• Grab an empty trashcan and catch girlfriends third, fourth, and fifth bouts of vomiting, while trying not to stand in the first and second.
• Put girlfriend to bed.
• Drive to Wal-Mart to buy a mop.
• Return home. Fantasize about killing girlfriend’s cat for having tracked through the vomit.
• Mop up vomit.
• Mess around on Facebook.
• Go to bed. ( Around 3:20 in the morning.)

This occasionally now gets referenced in family lore as the Double Hospital Incident. Compared to this time a year ago, I have to say I’m feeling pretty good!


Add yours →

  1. I guess it is kind of funny reading it now. Probably just because you’re such a great writer!

  2. Jesus, E.J. You set the bar high for bad days; no wonder a sick day seems like small potatoes now. I can’t believe you had to drive to Wal-Mart to buy a mop. Oh, and the rest of it sounded like no fun at all either.

    On a happier note: I look forward to seeing you at WFC soon!

  3. Oh, E.J. Does it make me a bad/ sick/ weird person that reading this makes me miss you?

  4. Val: Of course, this doesn’t take into account how two days later I caught whatever you had and started throwing up in the bath. And this was before the Crohn’s diagnosis/treatment too…. Happy all that’s behind us.

    Karen: Finally, someone who gets it! Hospitals, yeah, whatever, but a visit to Wal-Mart at night? Shoot me.

    And I’m going to get to see you at World Fantasy? Oh, that’s easily the best news I’ve heard all day. I can’t wait!

    Kat: Missing me is always allowed, for any reason. When I’m not present it’s even encouraged.

  5. AWESOME. I love hearing other people’s ridiculous health stories. My go-to story is about a weird gut infection I got that kept me sick for a month. My mother finally took me to the doctor after four days of fever and vomiting.

  6. Wow. You really do have the weirdest…luck…sometimes. I had a week kind of like that around Christmas two years ago. It’s hard to take care of someone when you are feeling like dying yourself.

  7. It was a very bad horrible long day. I felt helpless watching both of you for all those hours. Let’s not ever do it again.

  8. One year already?? Thank god that’s fading into the distance at least in time. I doubt it will ever fade from both your brains! Hope you’re feeling better now too!

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