Well Heck, That Wasn’t So Bad….

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 2:54 pm

I would never have guessed that having a stainless-steel pilot needle rammed through your sternum and a couple of small chunks of a very near-and-dear vital organ yanked out could be so relatively discomfort-free. Of course, the highball of fentanyl and versed they dumped into my blood shortly before the mining excavation began sure helped. I almost fell asleep twice during the procedure. That would not have been a great thing: they need you awake so you can hold your breath for a moment or two every time they take a CT scan or jab your kidney. And you not only have to take and hold a breath, you have to take and hold the same amount of air every time, so your kidney remains in more or less the same place every time. Inhale too greatly and they might take a needle biopsy of your liver or your lower intestine or your eyeball or sumpin’. 😯

Anyway, the actual surgery took about an hour, after which I was whisked off to my private recovery suite, where I listened to the dulcet tones of the lady in the next room horking up chunks of alveolar tissue and spitting them into the toilet, while her human foghorn of a husband gave an exhaustive play-by-play of each and every Law & Order episode they watched, the total count of which must have reached well into the hundreds by the time I gave up trying to sleep. At that point I corked my iPod headphones tightly into my ears and drifted in and out all night to the soft, measured tones of David Sedaris, reading his newly-released book When You Are Engulfed In Flames. Between my iPod and Vicodin I was able to get a decent amount of sleep, certainly more so than I had originally anticipated.

The next morning (this morning, in fact), someone finally thought to give my bloodwork results to the on-staff nephrologist, who pronounced me fit for release back into the wild. Some forty-five minutes later—roughly three minutes before I chose to chew it off myself and make a break for it—someone else came by to pull out my IV and make me sign thirty-six pieces of paper. After this was finished I was free to leave the hospital, at which point Margaret and I made a beeline to the San Francisco Street Bakery for a celebratory breakfast of coffee and danish. Not that the boiled egg, single shingle of white toast and old-topsider-consistency slice of tepid ham I got at the hospital wasn’t simply scrummy, but I felt it needed rounding out. Particularly the decaffeinated coffee: bleah.

It will take one or two weeks for the results to come back from pathology. There are a number of possible outcomes to this scenario, none of which I feel like expounding on at great length right now. In the meantime, I’m to avoid lifting or bending or twisting while my kidney scabs over (“The Kidney Scabs” would be a great name for a punk band). Right now I’m going to go lie down and give my torso a little break-time, I’ll let you all know the final results when I get them.

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