Halfway There

So I had an appointment with the orthopedist Friday, but yesterday while sitting in work, the office called and said they could fit me in. I jumped at the chance.

When I arrived the nurse asked how I was feeling and I was blunt. “The first two weeks were great with the cortisone shot, but this week it feels like I’m being stabbed in the shoulder every five minutes.”

“Really?”

“Yes. It feels like one of my kids grabbed my hand and started pulling downward. It’s not ideal.”

The surgeon came in and reread the MRI. A moment later, he asked if I wanted to do physical therapy. I replied, “I was expecting surgery, because I thought you said therapy wouldn’t work.” He asked what I wanted to do and I said, “Surgery.”

The surgeon agreed, so I’m looking at surgery at the end of this month or the first week of March. They have to find a slot in the doctor’s surgery schedule, and will contact me with the date. In the meantime, I need to get a surgery clearance from my primary doctor and need to take a Chinese Wuhan Virus test – which I’m dreading.

The doc is ordering my post-op medications – Percocet for the win – and will set up my physical therapy. He stressed the PT is important, and I reassured him with “I fractured a bone in my foot and I had a severe contusion on my knee. I went to therapy every day, so no worries.”

Surgery should be fine, but the doc said he may have to “clean up” a few things near the shoulder. As long as he doesn’t find anything crazy, I’m looking at a four to six-week recovery.

Shoulder Of Fortune

Today I was able to see the orthopedic surgeon about my shoulder. I’ve already had my x-rays and an MRI, so today was judgment day. The surgeon was great; very friendly, very knowledgeable, and my primary physician said he’s a genius in the operating room.

The doc pored through the MRI and had me stand up to twist and turn my shoulder and left arm. The tests were very painful, but necessary. My primary doctor called me yesterday, and after reading the MRI, he concluded there was a partial tear in my labrum and my tendon. The surgeon disagreed.

Instead, the surgeon said my bicep is hanging on by a thread, and I have tendonitis in the shoulder and bursitis. The labrum has a partial tear, but the surgeon said he would reattach that to bone. That means surgery.

The good news is surgery isn’t too terrible. Recovery time is expected to be four to six weeks, and I’m not allowed to go to the gym – with the exception of doing cardio – until after I’m recovered. The surgeon did give me a shot of cortisone in my shoulder, which should relieve the pain.

I go back in two weeks for a reevaluation, but the surgeon doesn’t believe physical therapy will fix the problem. As it stands, I’ll likely go under the knife sometime in late February or early March.

Judgment Day

Wooden Doc HollidayWell, two months after my abdominal surgery, my – hopefully final – follow-up with the surgeon is scheduled for this morning. The doc will poke and prod me – not in a good way – check me for any lingering pain and examine my scarring. It should be the last step before fully clearing me for all activities.

Hear that, Vica? I’m ready for some hot, sweaty adult sleepover action!

I’ll be more than ready to get past this unseemly ordeal – the surgery, not boinking Vica Kerekes – and back to my every day grind.

Speaking of grinds, I received my orders for the Democratic National Convention. As of this posting, I am assigned to my division, and starting Friday, my days off are canceled, I will be working 12-hour shifts through July 28th. With the canceled days off, I will be working for eleven straight days. Hooray.

I assume I am staying in the division because of my surgery, which is completely fine by me. I had no desire to have bottles thrown at me while protecting politicians who hate my guts.

Of course, the orders are subject to change – they have changed three times since Monday – but as of now, I’ll be dealing with the normal, everyday violence, and not the imported political violence.

The Jiggling Is Almost Hypnotic

Fat Guy Beer Belly

So it has been three weeks after my surgery, and I am still – amazingly – following doctor’s orders. That includes walking every day, and my strength is slowly building. Yesterday I walked three miles in 45 minutes. Yes, the time sucks ass, but I am more concerned with my endurance right now.

Any hoo, I walked after work, and since it was warm, I wore a dri-fit t-shirt. It’s a large, and is a little clingy because I gained a few pounds while recovering. In short, I feel like the fat guy pictured above, even though I’m weighing in at 189.

So I’m walking down Grant Avenue in Philly and two millennial chicks walk by. I have my ear buds in, listening to music, and I hear then talking. At the particular moment, I reached my two mile mark, and when the Map My Walk app announces a mile marker, the music volume decreases.

The broads obviously thought I couldn’t hear them, or didn’t care if I did.

“Does this guy not realize that shirt makes him look fat?” the first one asked. The second replied, “Obviously not.” They both laughed, never realizing how close they came to being garroted by my ear bud cord.

Look, I’m not an Adonis, but I’m down thirty pounds from this time last year. Plus, there is the little matter of my stomach being sliced open, my entrails removed, checked, then reinserted, and stitched up in a six-inch Frankenstein-esque scar. So forgive me, you little f**king twats, if my belly is a little distended three weeks after major f**king surgery!

Personally, I don’t give a flying f**k if two infantile cock holsters believe I’m not the second coming – phrasing – of Channing Tatum (or Tatum O’Neal, for that matter). I would still give you the best sex either of you ever had, and make your boyfriends hold my jacket while I did it.

So, in conclusion, I hope you both die of painful ass cancer.

Saddlin’ Up

Wyatt Earp And His Immortals

So, let me tell you about my first day back to work.

Waking up at 5:45am after three weeks of sleeping until 9 is about as fun as a Melissa McCarthy film. I took a shower – which is still uncomfortable with my incision – and had to shave. (God, do I hate shaving every day.) Dressing was an adventure, since I have worn nothing but shorts and sweatpants for three weeks. Putting on khakis, a belt, and a holstered .40-caliber pistol does wonders for a fresh incision. I winced as often as Cleveland Browns fans.

I shuffled to the car and headed to work. I was about two miles into the journey when the car started shaking. Violently. I pulled to the side of the road, hopped out, and noticed my driver’s side rear tire was completely flat.

After shouting “F**K!” at the top of my lungs, I giggled at the irony of my location; I stopped one block from the hospital where I had my surgery.

So instead of arriving at work by 7:00am, I strolled in closer to 8:30, exhausted and in discomfort. The two and a half hours since have been spent getting my sick paperwork together and entering jobs which were unassigned during my absence. Because why would anyone want to cover for the guy who just had a f**king operation?!

The good news is Friday is my last day before my regular two days off, and I intend on using those days for recovery. I am already exhausted and my incision is bothering me, so by 3:00pm I’ll be even crankier… if that is humanly possible.

“Hi, Everybody!”

Dr. Nick RivieraBy the time you read this, I will be wishing I was already dead.

Today I am sitting inside the City of Philadelphia’s Employee Medical Clinic, a place which makes Bosnian hospitals seem clean and efficient. I am stuck here (and have been since 7am) waiting to see a doctor (which no other clinic would hire) to clear me for full duty.

My surgeon has already cleared my for full duty with no restrictions, but her fancy shmancy degree from Midwestern University/ Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine is no match for the city’s doctors, most of whom barely graduated from Hollywood Upstairs Medical School.

So here I sit, waiting for death, or to be called back – death will probably arrive sooner – and be hassled about my inadequate doctor’s note, my asymmetrical stomach scar, or my sarcastic attitude.

You’d think the city would make it easier for an employee to get back to work, but I have a feeling this quack will find something he doesn’t like, and I’ll be sitting home for another week. I’ll keep you updated… if I don’t hang myself first.

A Stitch In Time

Dr. Janet Krettek D.O.It’s been twelve days since my abdominal surgery, and my progress is slow, but steady. I can walk a mile now, and while my times are awful – and I’m exhausted afterward – my endurance is starting to come back.

Today was my follow-up appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Angelface. (Sorry, I was watching Step Brothers last night.) Dr. Janet Krettek (right) is the brilliant surgeon who saved me from the worst pain I have ever experienced – with the possible exception of watching Armageddon – in my life.

Dr. Krettek gave my supple abdomen a good once-over, and agreed I am steadily progressing. My stitches are still in the process of dissolving, my lungs and intestines sound normal, and there are no other complications. She did politely scold me about my impatience, told me not to overdo things, and reminded me I was going to be fatigued for while longer.

Most of her orders are still in effect. I can drive now, but I cannot swim or take a bath for two more weeks. I cannot lift anything heavier than ten pounds for another six weeks. I need to call her next week to see if I can be cleared for duty, and I have another follow-up in late July.

I did, however, sarcastically thank Dr. Krettek for ruining my bikini season. No one will want to see me shirtless with a six-inch scar running down the center of my stomach.

Home Sweet Home

Kids At The ZooNearly seven days after I was rushed to the hospital with twisted, blocked intestine, I am finally home. The surgeon, an angel in a white overcoat, initially thought the intestine was partially blocked. That explained the debilitating pain.

On Thursday, I went into surgery. The surgeon explained they would shove a breathing tube up my nose, down my throat and into my stomach (good times), pump me full of air, (instead of the usual donuts), and split me open like a Ball Park Frank. The Angel would look at my intestines, and fix the problem with pointy instruments.

The anesthetist asked if I had any questions. I only had one. “Um, I’ll be out for the tube insertion, right?” Thankfully, the answer was yes.

The operating staff put me out, shaved my belly (hawt), and went to work. When I woke up, the first thing I asked the attending nurse was, “Do I have a colostomy bag?” (That was my biggest fear going in.) Luckily I was bagless…

Continue reading “Home Sweet Home”

Cutting Crew

Doctor Octopus

Today is the big day. My gender reassignment colon surgery is set for 12:30 pm, and Doctor Octupus will be the attending physician. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wetting my pants nervous, but I cannot live with the pain.

So again, if you’re the praying type, I could use some good words put in with the man upstairs. If not for my health, then at least for a nurse who looks like this.

Sexy Blonde Nurse

UPDATE: The surgery was successful, and I have staples in my gut and no colostomy bag. I feel, and look, like hammered crap. Doc says I’ll be here for 3-7 more days. Hooray.

Post-Op

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to sleep for a week.

Colon Pow!

On Monday night, I crawled into bed at 2am and fell asleep almost immediately. At 4:30am, I woke up with the worst stomach cramps I have ever experienced. I ran to the bathroom but after relieving myself, the cramps worsened. I went down to the basement to ride out the pain, and not wake the family with my muted screams.

An hour later, I could not stand up and literally crawled to my room, woke Mrs. Earp, and said I needed to get to the hospital. Fast.

I couldn’t register in because the muffled screams and rain of tears prevented me from doing so. I tried to walk to the ER, but the nurse said I was getting pale. She grabbed a wheelchair and took me to a room.

I answered the questions dutifully: yes, I had an appendectomy, no, I did not suffer and stomach injuries, no, I did not eat any bizarre foods. They sent me for a cat scan.

The doctor came back with the results. I have an obstructed colon, caused by the appendectomy scar tissue. They admitted me, stuck me full of IVs and told me that should solve the issue.

Um, no.

Today I was told I am going to need surgery to repair the damage, and this time tomorrow, my stomach will be flayed open.

Obviously the blog will not be as busy this week, but I will post from the hospital when I can. The pain meds here are glorious! If you are the praying type, please do so. I’m really freaked out about this, but it is much preferable than the searing stabbing pains.

The wife lifted my spirits by telling me the diagnosis simply proves I have always been full of crap