Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Take Better Self Portraits

Everyone wants to take better self portraits. Here's how.


Friday night my stomach started aching. It ached all day Saturday. Saturday night, I was on the phone with Melanie and she suggested that I probably shouldn't take chances with appendicitis and that I should probably go to the hospital. I told her that I thought I would be fine. I googled "appendicitis symptoms" there are only 3 or so symptoms. One of the symptoms is that your stomach aches from your bellybutton to the right. Other symptoms include loss of appetite which I had and nausea, which upon reflection I sort of had.

About a hour and a half later, at midnight or so I decided I would go to the hospital and see what they had to say. I figured I would get there be in a huge line of people waiting in the ER, I would get a chance to think it over and change my mind and come home. The worst case scenario would be getting in and being told it was just gas. Well, there was only one guy in the waiting room and he was waiting for someone who had already gone in.

(The American media are liars when it comes to talking about Canadian health care. We get all your channels up here and I don't think I've seen one true thing about how health care works up here. I know they are liars and even I was fooled. I honestly thought I would be waiting in the ER and have a chance to change my mind and go home.)

I didn't even have a chance to sit down before the admitting nurse started getting me booked in. I showed the other nurse my health card and she updated my address from my parent's house.

Another ER nurse took me to a room and got me ready she did some routine stuff, left and then after a short while a doctor came in. He did a similar exam, but I guess he knew where to jab and on one poke it really hurt. I think that spooked him into thinking appendicitis and he left for a little while. The nurse came back and took a blood sample and hooked me up to an IV. The doctor came back and said he was going to have me go for some x-rays. As he was leaving he asked what side the appendix was on and I told him, that yes I had googled it and it was on the right side between the belly button and right hip bone.

I had the x-rays at about 1:00am and then at 1:30am he said that he thought it might be appendicitis. He said that he wanted to keep me overnight and do a ct scan in the morning but that he would try one more thing that might work and I might be able to come home. The other thing didn't work and so I stayed the night. I woke up pretty early after sleeping a lot better than I thought I would without my CPAP machine. It was about 7:00am or so and soon my surgeon came in he took one poke in my stomach and I jumped. He said that's appendicitis alright. He hemmed and hawed about whether I needed the ct scan or not but in the end he just went ahead with it. After the CT scan, he came back and said that with the blood tests, x-rays, and CT scan, I 100% had appendicitis and that I would be getting it out that day.

I figured that it was probably time that I call someone to tell them that I was in the hospital. I ended up calling my parents I asked for my dad because I figured it would be less stressful for my mom to hear it from him rather than from me on the phone, but she stayed on the other line and listened in. They got there by about 10:30 and shortly after the nurse took me up to my room on the 5th floor. They told me that they don't make appointments on Sundays for surgeries but that I would probably be going in at about 3:00 unless I got bumped by someone with a more serious condition. My parents left to go visit other friends in the hospital and came back just before they took me to the OR.

The operating room has a lot more lights than ORs do on television. I told them it would be a lot more realistic as an OR if they would shut off the lights like on TV. Real operating rooms are also a lot bigger than on TV. The operating table is very narrow. My arms would stay on the table by themselves. The table has adjustable arm rests that they pulled out so that my body made a big 'T' shape and they used Velcro straps to fasten my arms to the arm rests. As they were doing my right arm the anesthetist told me he was starting. I was asleep before they finished putting the strap on my other arm.

Being under anesthetic is a lot different than sleeping. Time passes quickly when you are asleep, but for me it felt like I woke up instantly and two hours had passed. I was rolling back into my room on the 5th floor and Melanie was there along with my parents. I was extremely groggy for the next few hours. Even after everyone left at 8:00 or so I was still pretty out of it.

I stayed for two more nights in the hospital and it was a lot better than I thought it would be. The nurses were all very nice. But it was also very easy for them to get along with me and the other guy in my room. I think it makes it a lot nicer for the nurses when the patients are nice.

Anyway, my appendix is out and I have a huge cut on my belly. I lost about 10 pounds over the 3 days I was in the hospital. I'm pretty tired but sleeping well.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Have a peek at the president's face when he realizes what he just said.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

No Biting

When I was in Argentina, I knew a young woman that had the tip of her ear bitten off in a dispute. Some little kids were playing soccer in the front yard and the ball went over the wall into the neighbour's yard. She went next door to retrieve it. Unkind words were exchanged and as she was walking home, wham! She was knocked to the ground. The next thing she saw was a gaping mouth approaching her and chomp! The tip of her ear bitten off.

I just wonder if the biters in both these stories use the teeth whitening stuff advertised at the bottem of this photo.