So yesterday I posted about having nothing to post here because I spent the day before that luxuriating in the swellness of prostate surgery. Which is cool and all, except that I actually wrote the post before the surgery but scheduled it to appear afterward.
And earlier this morning I posted a TV review of Reboot that I also wrote before my adventure in the O.R. I think it was written pretty well, considering what it was, but what you’re reading now is, I believe, a topper.
Because it’s a real time description of my real feelings as I’m writing, without any filter, not even the filter normally used by a poet, which I have from time to time considered myself to be. You know, the “poetry is emotion recollected during tranquility” thing.
To get to the point, right now I’m writing about how yesterday instead of relaxing and starting my surgical recovery, I spent the morning back in the hospital, this time in the E.R., after a night of hell because of a catheter screw-up. As in, the damn thing got blocked by some very thick blood clots and stopped catheterizing.
Which meant that instead of helping me empty my bladder, it backed up my plumbing.
Did you know that if your bladder gets too big (because it hasn’t been emptying) it pushes your organs out of place and causes shockingly tremendous PAIN? In fact, it causes shockingly tremendous pain not only to organs but to your skeletal structure?
This being the year of the Great Brody Physical Downgrade, I’d already been diagnosed as having lumbar stenosis, which means that the disks in my lower back are crumbling. This impaired my balance but didn’t cause any pain. Until yesterday, when my overfilled bladder started pushing those crumbling disks out of its way and my brain started screaming.
None of those screams came out of my mouth though because the pain was so overwhelming I couldn’t utter a sound.
Besides, I thought it would be unmanly to complain too much or too loudly.
I stayed awake all night, gritting my teeth so I wouldn’t wake up Gwen. That, of course, was useless. She did indeed awaken and when she saw what was going on Gwen did what I should’ve done and called 911.
The local fire department ambulance arrived in a flash, and almost immediately, clad only in my underwear and a robe (luckily a very warm and fluffy one straight out of the Hamacher-Schlemmer catalog many years ago) I was on a jouncing ambulance ride along the cold Olympic Peninsula coast while a pair of caring, and efficient EMTs apologized for the discomfort.
I don’t remember what they really said because a kind of dream voice in the back of my mind supplied dialog of its own. “We’re sorry, Mr. Brody. Our brand new, super ambulance is being serviced so we’re charging you $1500 to bounce around in the old one.”
I know that was a dream voice because in reality they didn’t call me Mr. Brody. They called me “Lawrence.” Because no one calls anyone Mr. or Mrs. anymore, do they?
Anyway, we arrived safely, the catheter got replaced, I got home, and all has been well. My afternoon was actually comfortable, and I slept peacefully last night (while a suspicious Gwen stayed up and watched over me to make sure I wasn’t hiding further pain or discomfort from her.
Today I feel much more together, or at least together enough to write this. Putting these words on the page has had a surprising effect on me.
I’m telling the truth as myself, not adopting another personality to enhance it.
Not making myself into what I might consider a proper protagonist. Not bullshitting around.
The last couple of days are the kind of experience I normally would keep private. Opening up and sharing it here helps me feel much more connected to humanity. Freer as both a writer and a human being.
The greatest victories occur when we realize we’ve overcome ourselves.
Although kicking cancer’s butt is also going to feel pretty damn fine. [LB’S UPDATE: Ignore the previous sentence. Some bullshit bravado tried to sneak in.]
Thanks for being here to share my report of the battle.