Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The first time my tummy tried to kill me.

4th grade was an interesting year.  The school I attended was K-6, so fourth grade was getting up there.  My nerdiness was deepening as several of us in class had started collecting and trading Marvel character cards.  Every extra dime that I had went towards collecting them all.  Once enough money was saved to by a pack, we would ride our bikes down to the nearest store that sold them and then put all the loose change on the counter-top demanding a package.  The clerk would usually look at us like, "Oh, fuck. You guys again," and then he would begin counting the nickels, dimes, and quarters to make sure we weren't ripping his college drop-out ass off.

Yes, this sounds like a derivative of every "rite of passage" story you're forced to read in American undergrad Lit. class.  Except my story has fucking Wolverine in it, so if your English Professor - who's totally boning the hot, brooding chick in class - doesn't like it, he can lick my balls.  Otherwise Wolverine is going to go to his house with retractable adamantium bonded claws and cut him.

One night my mom thought it would be fun if my older brother and I invited friends to get pizza and see a movie.   Of course that was a smashing idea, and my brother and I probably ran around like a bunch of rabies infested ferrets because we were so excited.

We saw "Edward Scissor Hands" which was also about a character who could cut you if you don't just shut up and enjoy my story, and the pizza was very tasty going down; however, later that night it wasn't quite as tasty coming back up as I puked all of it out.  And for the next three days, that's what my life was about.  Vomitting.

I woke up in the middle of the third night with a horrible fever and an incredibly intense and sharp pain in my lower abdomen.  It was a horrible pain as if...well as if Wolverine had come into my room, removed his cigar, and gruffly said, "Listen, bub! No one tells me who to cut," before plunging his bad ass claws into me.

I laid in my bed for several hours until my parents woke up and found me curled up.  When seeing how terrible I looked and how bad my pain was, they asked why I didn't wake them up.  I didn't know - I just didn't want to wake them.  However, they grew quite concerned when I couldn't stand up straight and the pain was focused on the lower right side of my abdomen.  They mentioned "appendicitis" whatever the fuck that was, and then they went to get ready to take me to the hospital.  I asked my older brother who had come into the room what was going to happen when I went to the hospital, he fulfilled his older brotherly duty by responding, "They're going to cut you open with a chainsaw and try to figure out why you're so stupid."

After arriving to the emergency room, I learned a very valuable lesson at a young age.  Emergency room doesn't necessarily mean "emergency" as in "right now."  It may mean - in a couple of hours.  As in you need surgery or you might die, but in a couple of hours.  And I spent those couple of hours grabbing a hold of the coldest parts of the metal hospital bed because it was the only thing that felt good against my feverish skin.  The metal would then grow hot and I'd move my hands to the next section of metal that I hadn't touched in awhile.  I asked for ice chips at one time, but I was about to go into surgery and couldn't have anything in my system solid or liquid.

When they finally got done operating on that selfish asshole who came in just before me who was in a car wreck or a gun shot wound or some stupid thing, I was wheeled into the operating room.  The surgeon asked my father if he'd like help with the blessing and that he had some oil.  Even though I was young, I remember being comforted that my surgeon was a Mormon.  It made me feel like he was truly MY doctor.  The doctor put the oil on my head and gave me a blessing to consecrate the oil on my head.

In Mormonism, blessings for healing are "best" done by two priesthood holders and some "consecrated" oil.  The first blessing is to "consecrate" the oil on top of your head.  This may seem weird because the oil is usually virgin olive oil, but I guess the consecration is just in case the oil may have been fingered or gotten a rim job - still technically a virgin.  You need that shit to be pure or you may not get your ass healed by the lord.  The second blessing (the one my father gave me) is to "seal" the oil and blessing upon your head as if your head were a deck that needed a waterproof stain.  The blessing then usually contains some shit about hoping that god helps so the surgeon doesn't fuck up too badly and also that god loves you.

Now just because god loves you doesn't mean he won't kill you.  Let's get that clear.  Blessings are in no way a guarantee of anything.  It's supposed to get you to submit to god's will.  And god's will may very well be to kill you at a young age.  If you look at the stats, that's pretty probable.  God loves dead babies.  No one knows why, but he does.  Catholic doctrine stated for a long time that dead unbaptized babies went to Limbo.  Not sure what they did to deserve that, but whatever.  Most of "mainstream Christian doctrine" needs a person to be able to have heard of Jesus and accept him as their lord and savior to escape an eternity of fiery hell.  Small children have a hard time doing that - so I guess they go to hellfire.  Mormon doctrine claims that children under eight go to the highest degree of heaven.  That may seem super fancy except that Mormon doctrine also states that only those who accept the Mormon "gospel" will go to the same place to be with their families for eternity.  So if your kid died and you aren't Mormon, god killed your kid because he didn't think you were a good enough parent.

Oops! Too bad for you.  Add that to the steady diet of grief and horror you'll be eating for the rest of your life.  But at least your baby isn't in hell or Limbo.  So that makes you feel better right?

Side-note and blessing done, and I'm on the operating table waiting to go under for surgery.  The assisting nurse's eyes widened and she called me by name.  I was confused until she removed her mask.

It was my Sunday School Teacher.

No shit.  This was my hot-as-fuck Sunday School Teacher too.  This chick was so hot that even before going through puberty I was having dreams of her being naked.  And dammit, she was now going to see me naked.  And my balls hadn't even dropped.


I didn't die, so the surgery went well.  My appendix had exploded and so I had to be cut open quite invasively in order to clean all the poison out.  I woke up in my hospital room with a huge bandage around my rum tum tummy and very harsh and specific orders.  DO NOT TAKE OFF THE BANDAGE AND DO NOT GET IT WET!  And I obeyed that order.

The next week or so was a constant stream of visitors and well wishers.  My mom stayed with me by my side pretty much the entire time except at night when she stayed at my grandparent's house that was just five minutes away from the hospital.  She occasionally brought me presents like comic books and tapes for my Walkman.

For you young whippersnappers, a Walkman was like an ipod only shittier and it played "tapes" which were "tapes" with music on them that occasionally the Walkman would "eat" and you would be fucked.

The one tape that I remember the most was M.C. Hammer's breakthrough album.  I listened to that over and over again, and it helped teach me valuable life lessons like "You've got to pray just to make it today" and also that "You can't touch this."

A day before I was going to be discharged, the doctor came in with a nurse who was holding a spray can and said, "Ok, let's get you all closed up."

"Wait. What?"

DO NOT TAKE OFF THE BANDAGE AND DO NOT GET IT WET! was code for, "Your muscle tissue is completely exposed, and we'll be back later to glue your skin together."  They took off my bandage where I got to see inside of myself from right under my bellybutton down to what eventually would become the "carpet," and then they glued my skin together with a spray.  I was discharged the next day and my mom was given further light and knowledge.

"Make sure he takes it easy for awhile, and doesn't strain himself too much.  His skin could still rip open same with the muscle tissue that's trying to heal.  Then his guts would fall out.  So, just be careful."

And I was, and my guts didn't fall out again.  However, the doctor check up did note that I had scarred pretty prominently.

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