Archive for the 'Appendectomy' Category

Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 7 — Boot Camp

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Read Part 6
. . . an orderly wheeled me to the rehab floor, where I spent the next couple of weeks in a private room. My newly-appointed caregivers structured my days basically the same as they’d been at the previous rehab hospital. A social worker I met the first day good-naturedly laughed: “This place is just like boot camp.”

Though I still felt exceedingly nauseated and debilitated, I noted a pang of giddiness—at least temporarily, I wouldn’t have to endure an unwashed batshit-crazy roommate. The rehab floor far outshone the warehouse by providing: a clean, intelligent, and hard-working staff (most of them anyway); slightly better than decent food (and lots of it); reasonable frequency of assisted showers (daily instead of biweekly)*; competently prescribed and executed physical therapy. (As always, I found the accompanying occupational therapy a waste of my time albeit a welcome respite, like study hall after calculus.) I’d forgotten that the fairly well-managed department of a health facility can be somewhat lively. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 6 — Preempted Recovery

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

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My appendix had burst, resulting in toxic shock syndrome; I’d barely sidestepped death. As far as I’m concerned, the incompetent fuckwits that wildly misjudged my symptoms shoulder responsibility for this avoidable disaster. After I’d snapped out of my unresponsive state, “they” moved my extremely ill ass to another part of the ICU in the hope that my condition would stabilize.

Eventually my condition stabilized to the extent that the enthusiastic interns ordered me schlepped to a standard room. I’d just returned from a sort of metaphysical anteroom separating life from death and felt supremely weak and nauseated, exactly like when I’d woken from the stroke-induced coma years earlier. Catholics managed the hospital that treated me and, like the Jews that oversaw the warehouse imposed their religion—they believed the only religion OK’d by the cosmic big gun himself—on helpless captives. An in-house TV channel (to which a robotic nurse automatically tuned upon my arrival) broadcast mass from the hospital’s chapel every morning. The rest of the time it featured the static single camera shot of the unmanned dimly lit altar. Though my new surroundings symbolized a vague semblance of normalcy, hallucinations reminded me of my tenuous health. I interpreted the fixed scene as a foreign art film; then as the commercial for a fall line-up on Fox that boasted reruns of The Monkees, created with a nod to the 1950 movie Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 5 — Dire Aftermath

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Read Part 4
When I woke I had no idea of my whereabouts or what had happened—last I remember, the state still held me captive in the warehouse. Now I lay prostrate on a hospital bed flanked by other, recently vacated beds in an area that seemed the hybrid of a waiting room and an intensive care unit. The first indication of seriousness came from my mother’s presence. Though my parents lived 260 miles from the warehouse, she hovered over me and gently explained that I was a patient in some hospital; “they” had removed my appendix nine days ago and encountered complications that pummeled me into an unresponsive state.

My appendix had burst, resulting in toxic shock syndrome; I’d barely sidestepped death. As far as I’m concerned, the incompetent mouth-breathers that wildly misjudged my symptoms shoulder responsibility for this avoidable disaster. At the time I assumed only tampons caused toxic shock syndrome, and then just occasionally. I couldn’t ask my doctor any questions; apparently he didn’t consider me worthy of a visit. I completely understand—complicity with involuntary manslaughter would compel me to make myself scarce too. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 4 — Reckless Opinion

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Read Part 3
I laid on a gurney in the ER for close to an hour. In all that time, no doctor bothered to examine me. Finally some faceless drone wheeled me out of the ER and upstairs to a room, where an astonishingly irresponsible strategy unfolded.

A fitful sleep overtook me as soon as the drone shuffled out of the room. I can’t remember for certain, but I likely passed out from the pain. Twenty minutes later a diminutive grandmotherly nurse woke me. She assumed that I must be tired from the day’s “excitement” and kicked off a litany of questions by asking when I last “made a poopy.” After struggling to focus and softly grunt answers, I managed to describe my horrific pain and emphasize the probable cause. She chuckled and insisted that my “ouchie” couldn’t be that bad, “We pro’ly jus’ gotsa little tummy ache.” She went on to explain that the “doctor-man” —whose name I’d never heard previously—had ordered her to give me an enema*. According to her, he’d wait to find out if a geyser erupting into my rectum doused the pain before he acted further. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 3 — Painful Jaunt

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Read Part 2
My condition became obvious. I conceded to myself that I had no choice but to surrender my life to snooty half-witted dickslaps and their lickspittles. When I informed the charge nurse of the recent development and asked her to phone an ambulance, she seemed delighted. She spent the next half-minute gloating that she’d been correct in her scripted assumption, then scolded that she’d have to finish “passing out meds” before she could tend to me. Only my acute distress kept an angry reaction in check.

The dolt who helmed the ambulance didn’t see fit to flip on the siren. He asked his female partner:

“What’s his problem, again?”

“Stomach pains.”

He sighed. “I’ve dealt with people like him before—probably just has gas. I guess we’re not in a hurry.” more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 2 — Escalating Distress

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

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Suddenly the events of the past nine days bombarded me: dimwitted ambulance drivers, fuck-stupid nurses, arrogant butcher doctors, grotesque hallucinations (and I found out later, Last Rites).

The first thing I learned at the warehouse: Never ask other residents how they’re doing. If you politely ask, say, a co-worker about their health or mood, they usually answer “fine” and that’s that. Inmates at the warehouse responded to such casual inquiry by grousing about their aches, pains, and recent hospital stays; they described in detail the frequency and quality of their bowel movements, the ungratefulness of their children, and ultimately the hardships of securing government handouts. Chirpy do-gooders who took pity i.e. felt superior to elderly and lonely residents reinforced this irritating behavior under the guise of encouraging self-expression. I resolved never to pick up the habit of whining.

Several years into my stay, relentless nausea enveloped me. I couldn’t put my finger on the cause, chalked it up to stress and shitty food. I didn’t complain to the charge nurse but daily guzzled multiple doses of Mylanta (which seemed to me watered down). After a few days, the charge nurse predictably suggested that I go to the hospital. The staff strived to avoid both work and lawsuits—such circumvention took precedence over properly caring for people—and often sent healthy residents to the hospital for minutiae like a garden-variety upset stomach or heartburn. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 1 — Rude Awakening

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

The American health care system is a leading cause of death in the United States—some pundits assert: the leading cause. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

When I woke I had no idea what had happened or of my whereabouts—last I remember, the state still held me captive in the warehouse. Now I lay prostrate on a hospital bed flanked by other, recently vacated beds in an area that seemed the hybrid of a waiting room and an intensive care unit. The first indication of seriousness came from my mother’s presence. Though my parents lived 260 miles away from the warehouse, she hovered over me and gently explained that I was a patient in some hospital; “they” had removed my appendix nine days ago and encountered complications that pummeled me into an unresponsive state. more »

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