Before Carol Burnette

Once I was in a real room again I thought I would be going right home. Mom popped that balloon for me by telling me I couldn't go home till they took the drainage tube out. Well, crap! I didn't like it here but I was too groggy to fight about it.

All my grandparents came to see me that day. They all brought gifts. My dad even bought me a pipecleaner poodle that could tell the weather by changing colors. The hospital wouldn't let my sisters and theboy in because they were too young but even they waved to me from the yard outside the window. My mom brought me my current book to read and a crossword book. I tried to visit with everyone but I kept falling asleep and I HURT!

Then I started to wonder why everyone was being so nice to me.....This was not normal proceedure. Of course, going to the hospital wasn't normal for any of us either, except Dad. So I sucked up the presents and slept and dealt with the pain.

I really don't remember much of the ten days I spent in the hospital except for bits and pieces. One thing I remember is that my sibs were allowed in to visit me. I didn't know at the time it was because I had acute peritonitis and at the time it was often fatal. All I know is that the little brats made it REALLY hurt when I laughted.

Before Carol Burnette, who is one of my favorite comics, there were my sisters. Now I don't know that we were a true laugh riot when we got going, we are pretty easily amused, but we thought we were right up there with Red Skelton, whom we stole many of our skit ideas from and modified to fit more actresses.

Kids, can't help it, they are just contrary. The nurse says they can come in for five minutes but to keep it quiet and NOT to make me laugh and tells me I have to lay still and behave while they are there and the next thing you know every thing they say is funny.

It was an accident. Maybe the little one wanted to know if it was true I could die laughing or they might have just asked why my face was all puffy like this and made a face at me. With the first chuckle the pain hit and I doubled over grabbing my bandages gasping, "STOP IT! Don't make me laugh!"

And it was off to the races! The tears ran down my cheeks and the pain grew with each deep inhale to laugh with them at their wise cracks. The nurse came stomping back in and dragged them away before I could pop my staples but we were all roaring with ribald revelry as they were removed from the room. I wish I could remember what we thought was so funny.

The second day after my surgury the nurse came in during the time they call morning and woke me up to take my vitals and change my bandages. This involved taking the safety pin out of the blue drainage tube, yanking it up through the muscle and skin that was trying to heal around it, about an inch, and putting the pin back in through the stiff rubber which felt like a whisk swiping around my insides. This must have been before it was common practice to tell me what you were going to do before you did it because that first time was a shocker! Every time they came to change the bandages after that I started crying as soon as they woke me to get a head start on the pain.

Then the third day the strange doctor came in to see me right during visiting hours. My mom and her mom were there and I was enjoying having a grown up conversation with them all to myself. He walked over to the open side of the bed, shoving them out of his way, and said something like, "yo ve up gut no!"

I had been straining to understand him when he spoke to the nurses and was getting better at figuring out what he meant.

"Not till after my visit!" I declared. "I have company now." I guess I expected him to just nod his head in agreement and leave because I turned away from him to continue talking with the mom and grama.

Next thing I knew he had me by the upper arm and was sitting me up by brut force. Now I was pissed! And it hurt to bend in the middle almost as much as it hurt to straighten out the middle. "Ow ow OWWWW! That HURTS!"

"Hup un movf is fer you gut! Vee Volk NOW!" he announced as he pulled my legs around and let them drop over the side of the bed. "Ma Ma vil go now, laddar wisit! Go ON, Ma Ma!" he said with a shooing motion.

To my utter dismay and shock they both abandoned me to this brut. Tears were leaking down my face, both hands grabbed my belly when my legs extended and then he put his hand behind my butt and slid me off the sheets to the floor. I started to crumple but he still had a firm grip on my upper arm. "Volk, gurl, ist gut!"

I could not stand up straight. I would not let go of my wound and I did not stop crying. He didn't have to be so mean about it! I hobbled about 3 steps holding on to the bed and he dragged me another 5 to the door of the rest room. "Up you klen and den to bet. Again ve tonat do, " he ordered.

I grabbed the door know with one hand and took tiny baby steps till I could reach the sink, grasped the edge of that and eased myself to the seat, still crying. I managed to rinse my face and smooth my hair with wet fingers, did some painful business and then shuffled back to bed all on my own this time without him dragging me off balance.

Visiting hours were over and Mom and Grama left without saying good bye. Hateful, nasty doctor ruined my life!

In a way he had. They never replaced the nasty staples with stiches. The muscles in my stomach healed with a big, wide line down the middle and never held my guts in right again. I never had a flat tummy in my life and I hated gym class changing periods because I didn't look like all the other girls. My scar makes doctors think I have had a c-section for twins. They think the scar from the drainage tube is my appendix scar. Stupid doctors!

I missed my tight flat tummy. I took years to get used to my body always looking fat in the middle. I was too young to believe I would really have died but they all thought I would at one time. That is why they let the sibs in - to say goodbye. Now I am glad I wasn't dead and have learned to mostly accept my scar and round place but it sucked all through my teens and into my twenties. If I hit the lotton I would have them cut down both sides, take the fat out and put it back together, layer by layer, neatly, with little tiny stitches, even at my age.

Comments: 1 Comments:
At 7/10/05 11:28 AM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, though it took some digging to find out exactly where you visited.

I'm lucky I didn't have any major medical problems when I was young. Then again, medicine was much cheaper back then.

So you're a boogie woogie piano fan. Ann Arbor has a great boogie woogie player in Mr. B.


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