Oops – Back at the hospital

After having had intense pain in my rectal area for about three days, I was re-admitted to  Stanford hospital later last night. I called my surgeon’s nurse the day before and was set up with a CT scan for yesterday afternoon. I did not run a fever, so my doctors knew that this might be critical, but not life-threatening.

I was on my way home from the CT scan in Palo Alto when Dr. Mark Welton called me and asked to come back in and get admitted to the hospital. The CT scan showed that there was an abscess on or near my anastomosis. Stanford Hospital did not immediately have a bed ready for me, but they were working on it. It was rush hour, and I still had 40 minutes to go to get home. On the other hand, I needed to pack my “road warrior” kit. (chargers, toothbrush, computer, iPhone, etc…, and leave most of my unnecessary valuables at home.

I decided to go home first; then I could also park the car at home, and take an Uber back to the hospital.

40 Minutes later I am home, where I spend 5 minutes swapping the contents of my bag, placing chargers, cables, and my toothbrush in my little shoulder leather messenger bag.

An Uber ride with Afsaneh
I rush out in front of the house and order an Uber from my iPhone. 5 Minutes later the car is there, and I am well on my way. 20 minutes before we arrive, Dorthy, Dr. Welton’s nurse, calls me and tells me that there is still no bed or room ready. Dorothy asks me to go to the ER, and she will let the ER know to expect me there. I confirm and request the driver to go to the ER instead.

The drivers name is Afsaneh, she owns a Persian catering company and does a lot of party catering on weekends. We are talking about parties for 600 to 1,000 people. We have a long talk about the sad state of food and food production in the US. She tells me a story about an uncle she had that got diagnosed with a fatal disease. The doctors gave him two months to live. Many of his friends and family members got scared for him and asked him to start treatment right away. He was very calm about it and did not see any reason to start getting entangled in the hospital system when they had already given up on him. He is a teacher (college?) and now starts researching what his disease is all about. He learns about how the Chinese have treated diseases like this with herbs and ancient remedies and started changing his diet and live by those old rules.

Three months goes by, and he is not dead, actually he is not even sick. He goes back his doctor again that runs all of the tests one more time. The doctor does not understand what he sees. The test results that comes back are from an entirely healthy person. The doctor can not believe that her uncle has cured himself using ancient Chinese recipes, and not modern medical treatment.

Afseneh’s uncle realizes that he is onto something, and the rumors start spreading through friends and family. Before he knows it, he begins spending his life helping other people in desperate situations. He is not charging for this, but people are so thankful for his help that they gladly would give him money, their houses, and cars. And of course, they do. He has the capability to bring people back from the dead, and for most of us that means more than anything in this world.

We continue discussing how to get the right food for your kids lunch boxes, and the sad degradation of the typical American school lunch. Before we get too much into that subject, we are at the ER, and it is time to say goodbye and get into the ER.

At the ER, there are quite a few patients in line, but I get to register right away, and shortly after I am speaking to a nurse. Unfortunately, the ER has not been briefed very much on my arrival, and it seems that I have to repeat and explain my story all over again.

I am asked to take a seat, and 40 minutes later, I am pulled to the side to get some blood tests drawn. It turns out they also need to place an IV with antibiotics, and fluids. They put me in a recliner, I am still in the waiting room, but in an area that is shielded off by some cubical walls. I am told that I can stay in the recliner until they have found a bed for me at the hospital. I think it is now 6:30 pm. An hour later they offer me to order dinner; that will then be transported to me. I do this, and I eat while sitting in the recliner. My surgeons Mark Welton, and Rebecca Kim stop by and explain to me that they will probably need to insert a drain to fix the abscess.

At around 9 pm, they offer me “private” room at the ER. It is a small procedure room, but that can do for now, and I can finally lie down and get some rest.

At 10:30 pm, they tell me that they have found a bed and a room for me at the hospital, and they start rolling me over there. Once arrived, I get the PCA pump connected to the IV, and I now have access to painkiller onDemand. I am asked to do fasting until I have had the drain inserted, and the nurses tell me that this will happen the following day. I try to go to sleep for the night. At 3 am it is discovered that I am not able to empty my bladder on my own, so I need a catheter inserted. This will be the first time I  have this done while not being under, and I do not look forward to that. It is a small plastic tube with a balloon head that the nurse can inflate once the catheter is positioned in the bladder. As expected the insertion is painful and very uncomfortable, but on the upside, as soon as it is in, the pressure on my bladder goes away as it gets drained completely in a few minutes, and there is no longer any discomfort or pain.