Orange County Register — North County News; Date: June 14, 2018; Section: News; Page Number: A6
WHAT A DAY
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].