Yes, it’s another in our popular series, “Horror Stories of the Gastro-Intestinal System” starring none other than moi. But you’ll like this one: it is considerably less splenic and considerably more amusing than the previous installments (really? I don’t have a “gallbladder” tag? Seriously?).
This morning I was woken up in my least-favorite way, which is at 5:30am by a loud, tinny alarm clock I am not immediately well-coordinated enough to shut off quickly, and then the cat came over and farted on my face. I guess she just thinks that’s the best way to start the day, so tomorrow I intend to start mine by waking up at leisure, walking over, and farting on HER face. I sure hope she isn’t smoking at the time or this could get epic REAL fast.
My favorite way to wake up, by the way, is being sung awake shortly before noon in an isolated cottage on the beach at Not-Ucluelet: the song is a langourous Portugese fado, and the singer is: Jake Gyllenhaal, Viggo Mortensen twenty years ago, or Hugh Jackman. Or maybe Prince Caspian, but not the one from the movies, the one from the books. If the song hadn’t woken me, the smell of the fine double espresso (16-second shots) he immediately brings me would have. There are biscotti: pistachio, chocolate-dipped biscotti. There are red-and-black mackinaw-plaid blankets that feel like cashmere and look like what Kurt Cobain sleeps on in Heaven. Oh, what the hell, Kurt is there too, having kicked the heroin and skank habits.
But where was I, besides coming down from a Demerol high? Oh, right, explaining my day. Or rather, my gastro-intestinal system’s day.
The day which started so insanely early, because I had to catch a suburban bus to be on time, and they’re like every six weeks or something if you’re out in the boonies like I am right now. And I had to be on time, because my appointment was for a very high priority chimney sweeping of my bile duct, it appearing that my liver was slowly being poisoned by a backup of bile (and how odd is that, really? I mean, anyone who reads me knows I don’t keep the bile to myself but like to spread it around as freely as Rihanna spreads herpes!) and that if I didn’t have the procedure, I’d essentially poison myself to death in a few weeks, although not before giving myself an orange tan the likes of which the Jersey Shoreites would kill for. And god knows, I hate being tanned, so that was NOT an option, hence the bus ride to my 7:30am appointment for said chimney sweeping.
Actually, it was supposed to be more “sharks with frickin laser beams on their heads” than “prancing Dick van Dyke,” but it seems that my obstruction was more in the nature of clay rather than rocks, and so the sharks remained in their tank while the doctors conked me out with something and proceeded to drag a basket-like device up and down my bile duct, clearing things out considerably. I imagine it was something like the big round brush that goes over the whole car at the car wash, only with rhyming Cockney slang.
The Chinese doctor was very businesslike. The Irish one ignored my medical chart and picked up the book I’d been reading, Masterpieces of Murder: the best true crime writing from the Greatest Chroniclers of Murder, and said, “well, whatever else she’s got, she’s got good taste.”
And that is my kind of doctor, I’m telling you.
So, they wheeled me into the room, which was in Radiology for some reason, gave me a green, snorkel-like thing to bite on, stuck an oxygen tube in my nose, and put something in the line in my arm so I was OUT, like BLAM, GONE. They’d assured me most people don’t remember a thing, although it’s not technically a general anaesthetic. I woke up towards the end of the procedure, quite confused, on my belly with this masky thing in my mouth and breathing tubes in my nose and a big hose coming out of my throat, or it might have been several of them. Well, what would you do if you woke up in that kind of disoriented, context-free environment, with your arms tied down quite securely?
I can tell you what I did, deep in the tentacles of a Demerol daze: I immediately concluded that OF COURSE I was one of those monkey cosmonauts that the Soviets had shot into space back in the 60’s. Well, makes total sense, right? And I couldn’t see the control panel, which was of course supposed to be right in front of me, because there was this stupid TOWEL in front of it, so I think I tried to smoosh it out of the way before the nurses put it back, and then I don’t remember anything except waking up in the recovery room feeling healthy for the first time in weeks, and very, very loopy indeed.
For the next few hours I remained rather as likely to walk at a 45degree angle to the ground as a right angle, but other than that and the Great Cosmonaut Monkey illusion, I can’t say Demerol was much fun.
Hell, on the antibiotics they gave me I’d seen a pair of three-foot ravens, a dachshund that did not exist that was being walked by a couple who obviously DID, a ghost lurking on the porch, and a huge glob of Elmer’s glue that dropped from the ceiling to the floor right in front of my eyes and which also was not there.
On morphine, I’d become compelled to explain the ethnobotany of the Haitian Zombie (and HELLO what the fuck kind of podunk spellchecker doesn’t have “ethnobotany” in it, eh? I ask yez) to the nurses AT. LENGTH. To the point where they’d go out in the hall and flag down other nurses, going, “you HAVE to hear this!” I also saw the angels surfing on the rays of the setting sun over English Bay, and St. Peter actually winked and gave me the thumb’s up. I didn’t realize till after I’d gotten out of the hospital that the room I was in didn’t have a view of the sunset: it didn’t have any windows at all.
Anyway, since I’m on a clear liquid diet, that’s as close to a restaurant review you’re gonna get from me. Demerol ***, antibiotics **, Morphine *****.
Also, if you want to know what I was going through these past few weeks, try watching this video. I’m serious: watch it all the way through. Your guts will ACHE, I guarantee it. Also: be sure you’re wearing waterproof mascara. You’ll need it.