Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Check Engine Light, Dry Sense of Self, and Vera

Why is it when life's toughest questions come to mind when someone is facing life's toughest challenges?

"Why do Jews celebrate the new year on the seventh month of a calendar?"

"How come I can't get a good view of the stars at night, as opposed to someone in Hawai'i can?"

"What is it about these GOP presidential candidates that fascinate potential voters?"

"When will the nightmares end?"

Of course, these questions don't come around when life isn't giving you tough situations. And they shouldn't; why dampen the mood, right?

Well, considering the time of day I am composing this post, I have a lot of things on my mind. And from the looks of things, there are some very tough choices that may come down the line in the very near future.

Since last week's surgery, out of the 4 incisions made, 3 of them are on their way to being completely healed. There is one incision - at the belly button - that feels the need to drain just a bit more. And more. And more. And then my body decides to dry up and give me toilet troubles. Hmm.

I had my annual physical on Thursday, and I showed my primary doctor the incision and the draining. She called in an on staff OB/GYN to take a look. The OB/GYN asked me where I had the surgery done. I told her the hospital. She said that they need to take a look at this a bit sooner than my scheduled follow up on October 12.

Yeah, a bit sooner meant the next day at the hospital's emergency room. My body doesn't like to wait much, heh.

So yesterday, I went to the hospital to get the incision checked out, along with why am I having severe dehydration issues.

An OB/GYN came in to take a look at the belly button to see what was up. And apparently, he found a (liquid) gold mine. I have a small hole from where the incision was that's collecting bodily (serous) fluid and draining through the open wound. It's called a seroma. And to my surprise and the doctor's relief, the seroma wasn't infected.

This seroma phenomena reminds me of when I had a pilonoidal cyst infection a month after my first teratoma removal in 2005. It was an outpatient procedure, and I mean doctor's office outpatient procedure, to get the cyst to drain. And it smelled like maggot food, closest scent to death I could think of. Whenever I had to get my dressing removed and repacked, it hurt like a sumbitch. The pain did lessen in time, but it took almost a month for the cyst to drain. After the pilonoidal cyst was completely drained, my backside felt much better.

Then five years later, the pilonoidal cyst came back again, ironically around the same time the second teratoma (dermoid cyst) started to take shape.

So when this doctor was cleaning the current open wound that's in my belly button, it reminded me of the pilonoidal cyst drainage. Except, this time, this wound opening did not hurt or stink. Which is a good thing.

And as I inspected my backside, out of curiosity, I noticed the pilonoidal cyst was shrinking. I wonder if the cyst is draining through this open wound?

At any rate, I had to give a stool sample to make sure I didn't get any superbugs while in surgery. The doctor says unless there is a bacterial infection, the dehydration will solve itself out, just like how my sore throat figured out how to heal itself. And as for the weeping wound? I will be getting a phone call from a wound clinic about how this draining disposition will be handled between now and middle October.

After being discharged, I got into my car and headed for the store for some anti-diarrheal meds to harden the stool (or at least stop that draining). Well, I was heading to the store....

....the Madamobile started to jolt repeatedly and viciously at a red light on Mayfield and Random in the Little Italy neighborhood. Not a good place to be in at 9:30pm, on a Friday, where flocks of folks are eating outside and valet is trying to park cars, blocking the main road. And the car began to jolt some more.

And then I had to drive up a hill on Mayfield, just so I could be greeted by another red light at the top of the hill. The "Check Engine" light started flashing at me. Like, really? I JUST GOT OUT OF THE GOT DAMN E-R, CAR!

So yeah, forget the store. I needed to make a trip to my mechanic, which is about a half-mile from where the light came on. Turned on the flashers (hazard lights) as I creeped about 25 miles an hour towards the mechanic.  Then I ran into more red lights. And this time the "Check Engine" light went back on and stayed on, at Mayfield and Superior. And something is roasting, because I could smell it burn very faintly.

I did make it to the mechanic about 90 seconds later, with no smoke or dying punches. But it's clear something went wrong with my automobile baby. I grabbed an envelope to place my key into it and filled out the info required so the shop can see what's wrong.  And bless the folks who took care of me last week, because they picked me up from the closed mechanic shop, at 10:00pm, 45 minutes after being discharged from the ER, on Shabbat Shavua, or the Shabbat in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

So, now I sit, been "officially" awake since 4:30am, and having made 5 bathroom trips between then and now, contemplating on life's toughest questions.

"Will Everton smack around Swansea City today like they did to Chelsea last week?"

"Why do the Browns suck year after year since 1999?"

"How does Keith Richards do it?"

And so on.

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