I thought about venting to my family, but that wouldn’t be fair. Then I remembered….I HAVE A BLOG, where I can speak freely and about any topic I choose. A Facebook friend of mine recently had an appendectomy. Apparently, it had burst. That’s bad, and dangerous, and she is lucky to be in one piece. I’m not here to judge anybody’s experience with illness. I’m sure it was a terrifying experience. I’m sincerely glad that this sweet lady is on the mend. There was just one paragraph in her Facebook post that hit a nerve. It’s not her fault, but that doesn’t change that fact that it made me snork:
“The surgeon called me later that day to tell me about how it went: I made him work hard. I had the worst case he’d seen in a very long time. So bad that he almost sliced my whole abdomen open and pulled out part of my intestine instead of sticking to the laproscopy ( 3 small incisions all work done through a camera and small tools) procedure. It took him 45 minutes to find my appendix initially because everything in there was so swollen. When he finally did find it he said it looked like someone had stuck a firecracker in it it was so necrotic….I could say that I’m lucky to be alive. I think I’m luckier that he was able to save my colon. I don’t know that I’d want to live shitting in a bag for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine that at all.”
It’s weird to be somebody’s living, breathing “worst case scenario”. Yeah, what she went through, that inspired a 10 paragraph play-by-play on Facebook, would have sounded like nothing, compared to the alternative that she describes. Having your whole abdomen “sliced open” (3 times), your “intestines pulled out”; manhandled and cut up, and “shitting in a bag” are hell that she can’t imagine in her wildest dreams. Some people live it, like I did. The experience rebooted my brain. Nothing in the world looks the same. I recognize what a privilege it is to only have problems that are existential in nature, that only involve my fragile little emotions; that still allow me to go to sleep in my own bed at night. I learned what REAL problems are, and what REAL suffering is, and I don’t even know the half of it, because the sky’s the limit, in terms of how much a human body can suffer. That fact ought to terrify everybody. My wish for her is that she’ll always have the luxury of describing in gory detail, for extra effect, the horrible things that *could have* happened to her.