This week’s column

Orange County Reg­is­ter — North County News; Date: June 14, 2018; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: A6

Strug­gling to cope with an emergency

I’m going to stop mak­ing plans. Every time I do, I hear a cack­ling sound, com­ing from above. God starts laugh­ing immediately.

My plan was to go to a writ­ing con­fer­ence in Ore­gon. I would spend two days writ­ing, then two days learn­ing about screen­plays, and four evenings spent with good friends who live there.

I had a good plan for Dale, too. The con­fer­ence was at Sun­river Resort, so while I wrote, he could golf. And while I was in work­shops, he could visit his fam­ily in Portland.

There was no down­side to this trip, apart from the lengthy drive. Mar­cus even agreed to watch the dogs, so I didn’t have to worry about board­ing them, or home security.

Almost all of it went accord­ing to sched­ule. I wrote like a fiend, learned how much I don’t know about screen­plays, and vis­ited with friends. Dale golfed, then drove to Port­land, and returned. We just had one more evening with our friends before head­ing south in the morning.

Around 8 p.m., I had a visit from heart­burn. I had not been care­ful about my diet, so this did not sur­prise me. A lit­tle med­i­cine tamped it down, and I con­tin­ued to enjoy the party.

At 10 p.m., it returned with a vengeance, forc­ing me to return to the hotel room. By 1:30 a.m., three lovely, young EMTs were in our room, tak­ing my vitals and rec­om­mend­ing that we go to the near­est hos­pi­tal, which is in Bend, about 30 min­utes away.

If you ever need care in Bend, Ore­gon, I rec­om­mend St. Charles Hos­pi­tal. Every­one was polite and friendly, and saw to my needs imme­di­ately. By now, I had ago­niz­ing pain all down my back and was con­vinced I was hav­ing a heart attack while I passed a kid­ney stone, with pos­si­bly appen­dici­tis thrown in.

Turns out, it was my gall­blad­der, a nifty lit­tle stor­age unit that I no longer have, thanks to the sur­geons at St. Charles. I knew I had gall­stones, but I was told they are not a prob­lem unless they move around and get stuck in the ducts. One lit­tle stone had wan­dered, and thrown a wrench into the whole machine.

For­tu­nately, the oper­a­tion is per­formed laparo­scop­i­cally, and is so com­mon, it should be offered in drug­stores, along with flu shots. I was prepped for surgery by mid-morning, and by lunchtime, I was in my own room, rest­ing comfortably.

In the mean­time, God bless my won­der­ful hus­band. He had to pack our stuff to leave the hotel, call our local friends to see if we could crash there when I was dis­charged, and let Mar­cus know we wouldn’t be home right away.

He also had to remind me what day it was. I had some fairly con­fus­ing con­ver­sa­tions with the hos­pi­tal staff because I hadn’t slept Mon­day night, caus­ing Tues­day to get pushed into Wednesday.

At least, that’s what it felt like.

Our fab­u­lous friends let us stay for three days, fuss­ing over my needs, until I felt strong enough for the car trip home. I was glad I had pain meds to deal with the I-5. I never real­ized how bumpy that road is.

Now, we are home, and I am recu­per­at­ing quickly. Soon I will be back to nor­mal, with one less minor organ. Of course I am mak­ing more plans.

I can hear the gig­gling already.

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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