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Where not all roads less traveled are roads...

Header Photo: Table Mountain, Golden, Colorado, with views of downtown Denver.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Long Story Longer (revised)




I will try not to go into detail about the past couple of shitty weeks. If there's one thing worse than having "Shitty Weeks," it would be reliving them. Please, don't make me do that...


I'm told to expect more shitty weeks, but that they will be "less" shitty over time—a glass half full caveat if I ever heard one. Unless we're talking the "Arts" here, I'm not sure how to interpret how "more" can be "less." But I, being the Crash Test Dummy, will be sure to let you know. 

Warning: Recent events have put an "edge" on my views concerning "religion" and patience, not to mention my philosophical world view. People in white coats and scrubs say that this is normal and temporary. Until "temporary" arrives, however—for your own personal safety—I would advise you not to whine in my presence about how painful your paper-cut is, or any other such minor boo boo. 

Even though I have been incommunicado, I appreciate all the good cheer and support from the faithful. I suppose I should have posted something, but, honestly? I was too ill to even give a shit about anything. Sorry, drugs talking...

I believe this to be a fair statement: Post hernia surgery, just about every that could go wrong, went wrong…starting with post Op bleeding in my abdomen/groin. Because my BCB photo timeline seldom matches the real timeline there is some understandable confusion out there about when I was doing what. Trust me…I didn't do anything strenuous following surgery. 

"Shit Happens!" Why else would there be so many bumper stickers stating the obvious? I've always known "the mountain doesn't care" and lived with it. Way down deep, though, I kinda hoped the Universe did care, at least a little bit…at least when it came to kids and old people. I'd like to believe that "you reap what you sow." If only half true it could be such a better and more just world, where the Bad Guys get what's coming to them and the the Good Guys ride off into the sunset. But, like the old farmer says, "Wishing for a good crop doesn't put one seed in the ground, nor does it stop a hail storm just before harvest." It rains on the just and the unjust. 

Lately, based on my experience, I've almost come to believe that the "Universe" actually favors the "unjust." I look around and see what "they" get away with…how they treat their bodies, smoke, ignore exercise, drink to excess, etc., etc.. All that clean living I've been counting on to get me through the fun years of retirement only counts for naught. The sooner/younger one grasps and accepts that "Shit Happens," the sooner they can quit whining and wasting time at the "alter" doing pointless penance to protect themselves from falling "objects." 

Anyway, brushing the philosophical shit to the side where it belongs...pain and distention from abdominal bleeding maxed out Saturday evening, three days after surgery. To say that it was "uncomfortable" is an understatement. It would take a minimum of four expletives to do it justice.  Finally, when I could no longer pee, with my bladder stretched three times beyond its rated "maximum capacity," a water-balloon just short of bursting, I gave in and called the ER in Montrose, a 45 minute drive, FYI. 

It was 1:05 AM, and I was told by the on duty Doc to try and make it till Sunday morning, you know, when "staff" would be present to run proper tests and such. The only thing he could do for me in the meantime would be to insert a catheter. I had visions of emergency surgery, a bucket brigade of docs and nurses bailing gallons of urine out my insides.

Those who can't pee eventually reach a foggy threshold where embarrassments go out the window. There comes a point where you'll sign anything, say anything, pay anything, do anything— including covert to Islam—in order to get relief, or in my case, be relieved by someone else, someone with a catheter. Note: She will likely be the youngest, cutest nurse on staff. It's just the way it goes. 

Somehow I did make it through the night, and Bobbie drove me the ER Sunday morning. Gee, how nice of us to wait till Sunday morning; wouldn't want to cause anyone to get out of bed and go to work early just to avail themselves to the "suffering," you know, live up to the Hippocratic Oath they signed...so recently that the ink is still wet!

Once checked in, assigned a room, a nurse and Doc, I was asked what my pain level was on a scale of one to ten. "Ten," I replied, without missing a beat. A Doc young enough to be my grand daughter brought in an ultra sound and scoped my abdomen. "You have an extremely large bladder." No Shit Sherlock…
"I was promised a catheter," I moaned. It took twenty five more minutes...I guess they had to order it. It seems that the pressure and resulting distention from internal bleeding squeezes—to the point of closing off—one's urinary tract.

The good news was, my bladder had an outlet again. The bad news was, my pain level was still at ten and I had a tube hanging out of my penis. Morphine…then more morphine. No change. Oxycodone…then more Oxycodone. Nothing. Off to get an MRI. I was injected with some dye that made me feel warm all over. A few minutes later the doc showed up with a printout that reveled a large mass of blood/fluid pooled in my abdomen. I was bleeding internally…probably at the site of my recent hernia repair.

Since I had just resumed blood thinner medications prescribed for blood clot prevention post surgery, an Internal Medicine Doc ordered an IV bag of vitamin Kß—to counteract the thinner—and a transfusion of two units of plasma with clotting factors intact. Great. I signed the papers, hoping the Universe was too busy messing up someone else's life to seize this opportunity to further fuck with me. 

Surgery to find and correct my hematoma was not a good option; too high a risk for infection. My body could/would deal with the blood by absorption, a longer but safer alternative than exploratory surgery. Thus began six days at the "Hotel Colorado." Those Eagles lyrics played through a haze of drugs and agony, "This could be Heaven or this could be Hell."

to be concluded...
























34 comments:

  1. Oh Mark I do hope you're feeling better now. My husband Al has had 3 hernia operations...the second one to "fix" the first surgery. That experience made him swear off laparascopic surgery ever again!

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  2. I'm hoping that by the time you read this you will be mending more comfortably at home. And the Doctors wonder while some of us are on death's door before agreeing to procedures. I get it and am so sorry that you are going through it....We won't be comparing scars,but I understand your pain.

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  3. Sorry for all the travail, Mark. But at least your writing hasn't suffered.

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  4. Mark, hopefully the worst is over. We need to get you back on the trails soon! Get well Soon!

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  5. Dude! This completely sucks...I can only hope that you are in a much better place, medically, now...

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  6. Oh! Mark! sheesh! I have no clue how you keep that sense of humor...at least pissed off humor works somehow. Sheesh again. I do hope it is getting better. Since you are again writing, it must be at least a bit better. Yup. I am with KLB...would take an act of...well...whichever it is out there who lets old people, kids, and nice guys go through crap...to get me to succumb to 'procedures'. Pain meds make me throw up about every ten minutes or so. Hopefully that isn't the case for you. Take care.

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  7. Sending you huge Get Well Soon Wishes. You had all my sympathy as I read through this post. I'm glad that you shared this story. Great writing and photos as always. I apologize that this of all blog posts brought me out of lurking. About 7 years ago, hubby & I spent one night camping in Ouray. Just passed through, only had one week vacation and wanted to put on lots of miles. I've followed you & Cowboy Brian for a few years. Both of you really opened our eyes and two years ago when we turned 55 we quit our long time 50 weeks per year jobs. We live in our 20ft TT, have summer jobs and spend winters enjoying ourselves. I always wanted to live in an RV and travel but thought I had to wait until I hit that magic 65. Thanks for all the great information. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Jody in Alberta.

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  8. Thoon your germth will up and quit. But till that day you' feel like thit. Get well soon, Mark.

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  9. Sorry to hear you are dealing with complications from the surgery. I hope it gets better for you real soon. One summer I had to take my husband to the ER in Pagosa Springs, and we had to wait for them to call the "Dr. on call" to come to the hospital. Sometimes life just sucks and ya we think, hey, what did I do to deserve this, I thought I was doing everything right, why do those others get away with so much. I understand that. Mark, if it ever happens again, don't wait, go and complain loudly - make them get a Dr. make them keep their oath. I never used to be like that, but have discovered that I have to now.

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  10. Well holy sh*tball....what a colossal mess. I'm amazed you manage to keep any sort of good humor in your writing, so for that alone you should be given a medal. Really, really hope your body heals faster now so you can put all this medical stuff in your rear mirror where it belongs. Thinking of you and attempting to send good vibes your way.
    Nina

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  11. Sorry to hear about your bumpy road to recovery! Hope the worst has passed and you'll be up and around sooner rather than later!!

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  12. OMG how horrible. I can't believe you are still alive after this. I've never heard of such problems with a hernia operation. Although I have heard the recovery is a long time. Hope I never have to find out personally. I'm with you all the way in the world favors the unjust. Anywhere you look you can't miss it. Hope things really improve and really quickly.

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  13. I am hurting from just reading all you've been through. So sorry to hear this. Please take care and know there are lots of us out here thinking of you and pulling for you to improve.

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  14. Although I cannot speak personally, based on the input from the male members of my family, the relief that can come from one’s inability to pee is a religion in of itself.

    So good to see you back at the keyboard once again…

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  15. Mark- you know what a fan I am of your good rants- this was painful to read- My daughter went through a painful experience of a botched surgery resulting in the collection of blood in her stomach(intern could not get needle out of her leg!) in a wheel chair for awhile- and I had bad post hernia experience -so I can relate somewhat- just know that all your friends and family are pulling for you for speedy recovery-

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  16. Sending you a big get well hug your way. It's taken me 3 months to fully recover from my illness which really sucks. Hang in there!

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  17. You know, just recently I had this pain when I breathed, oh, but never mind. Anyway, I have found life much more enjoyable since I accepted that it is random and chaos. I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of being too far from good medical care, but then, what the hell.

    We have only started getting to know you and enjoy the company of you and Bobbie so I was starting to get worried. I didn't want to have to take over the long term management of Boonie.

    Jim

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  18. Laverne here:

    Wish I had a magic wand Mark.....Hopefully by now things are looking up....Lovely Ouray looks in fine form.....sigh...wish I was there...just take care of yourself....

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  19. Mark, your experience is about as bad as it gets. It can only get better from here (my friends all say that I'm an optimist, what do you think?) I won't try to outdo you with tales of my hernia experience since it was much more benign than yours has been. However, I will take this opportunity to let you know that I experienced a similar "blockage" in an excretory sense, but it was the "other one." Oh man, I was ready to die! And no "cute nurse" came to my rescue. Only a couple of self-administered old fashioned suppositories! Hang in there (like you have a choice!) ;-)

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  20. "I didn't want to have to take over the long term management of Boonie."

    Gosh, that was hysterical. Yup, that's definitely Mark's job.....

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  21. Holy crapoli you have been drug through a hedge backwards with this. I am so sorry to read of your troubles with this surgery. I have a friend who had both sides done with no issues and I was really hoping the same would be true for you. It is just a pisser that you've done the right things with diet and exercise and THIS is what happens. THIS! ?!? Hang in, eventually this too will pass.

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  22. Can't say I feel your pain Mark because I can't. Haven't had anything like that happen to me yet. I can only imagine not only the physical pain but the mental strain of all that as well. Life has a strange way of altering it's own course sometimes. Wishing you a speedy corrected recovery............Like how you get your photos so detailed & sharp.

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    1. I like how he gets his photos detailed and sharp too, but he won't tell me the secret. He claims he does it with this tiny camera.

      Jim

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  23. Mark:
    Speedy recovery and exit from the grip of "health-care". Your comment of health living, keeping your body fit rings a bell...we can do all the "right" things and then all hell breaks loose, in-spite of all the "prevention" we've induced.
    There only so much (little) we can over rule the rest seems to rest in the hands of fate.
    John

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  24. Awwww, that sucks. I hope your recovery continues to go well from this point. Or that it has gone well since I'm not sure how realtime your post is.

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  25. Honestly, I've heard too many of these horror stories lately of relatively minor surgeries gone bad! A friend had routine gall bladder removal with a horrible 9 month recovery. Ooops, doc accidentally knicked her liver and bile drained into her abdomen. Got infection, of course. So sorry you're having to go thru this, Mark!

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  26. Glad to see you've kept your sense of humor through all this BS. Best wishes to a faster healing.

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  27. Seems there are so many surgery-gone-wrong horror stories lately. Are the current doctors/surgeons the same "kids" that we saw a while ago that couldn't figure out how to make change from a cash box? Pretty scary. Personally, after a lifetime of good health, a laparoscopic appendectomy two years ago seemed to be the forerunner to a lot of mysterious problems.

    And like Sherry, that same cancer made an appearance in our household for no apparent good reason. So maddening to watch others with bad habits continue to thrive.

    But we still have our Lazy Daze - and THAT keeps us going! ;->

    Best of luck to you going forward.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

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  31. Mark this idiot is an obvious troll. Spammers and assholes like him are what moderation was made for.

    Jim

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  32. Isn't it great to own the admin controls of your own personal blog? Kinda like swatting a gnat that is buzzing around your ear, not really serving any purpose other than to annoy the hell out of you? I think it is time you pull out the flyswatter....

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  33. Funny as hell story..... reminds me of my straight from Hell $40,000 gallbladder removal surgery, they also managed to almost kill me off 3+ times during the course of a week. I remember about 10+ waves of just passing out when the pain got to great and the pain medication did not work. The last 3 days they started to feed me - but somehow forgot to tell me you can't crap - while on this strong pain medication - so my inside bowls felt just like your bladder about ready to explode. My only revenge was that I refused to pay my $3,000 co pay, I told those quacks had they done the job right, it would have just cost $10,000 so they screwed it up and got 4 times the pay they deserved from my insurance, but they never saw a penny of my copay. My lawyer friend said the good news is you don't owe then enough so that they will sue you, the bad new is since your ok now - they didn't screw up up enough so you can't sue them either. There are also lots of side effects that will come after the botched up surgery - just give it some more time to discover those.

    Next to me in bed was a 85 old women - 3 hours after surgery she was doing jumping jacks, I was in there almost 8 days of pure hell.

    Best wishes to your recovery

    Jerry

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