The world is crazier than most people know. But I know. I was a clinical social worker for forty years. I am a witness. I retired from social work to write about the sad, the mad, and the savage; with whom I have spent most of my life. I have decided to translate these stories into fiction, because, as a co-worker once said, "You couldn't make this sh*t up. No one would believe you."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

You Can Knock Me Down, But I Get Up Again, You're Never Gonna Keep Me Down....

Oh Yeah. Went in for surgery last week (Hysterectomy; who needs it, and why not make more room for beer?). The surgery went flawlessly. Anesthesia, not so much. My lungs collapsed. As the young resident who couldn't stop smiling said, "Well, the lungs sometimes collapse 'a little bit' during surgery..."

As for the surgery, I burped and farted like a sailor the first day and had no need for the morphine they kept shooting me up with. "How bout some Ibuprofen?" I mumbled, as they used the magic needle to send me into some revolting narcotic haze between sleep and psychosis and send my lungs into revolt. By the second day I told them the next nurse to come near me with a syringe of anything would be
found under my bed when her body started to smell, so Ibuprofen it was. Pain? Hah! This old girl can take it.

But my poor lungs. Here's a new word for you: atelectasis. That means lung collapse. Or as one savvy nurse put it, "you know, that bubbly shit." I knew she wasn't talking about champagne.  5 oxygen tanks later, I'm home and pissed off.

I'll be fine, no worries. But what a drag. If you ever want to scare yourself, try not being able to breathe. I can dig it about water boarding. I'd tell my f*cking life story and yours too if somebody held my head underwater. Tomorrow when I'm up to it, I'll check out my medical chart. I mean, one size does not fit all when it comes to anesthesia. Here's hoping they didn't overdose me, 'cause if they did, can you say "Hello retirement?"


  1. Dear Janey,

    What an ordeal you have been through. SO happy you are safe and healing. I like how funny you made this sound but having to learn a new medical word the hard way must not have been at all pleasant for you. Hugs from the East Coast!

    1. Theresa, thanks for the encouragement! From me to the anesthetist: Yo! That all you got? :)

  2. Janey, how awful! That's why I won't go near a doctor or a hospital unless I'm unconscious or bleeding to death. My brother died under suspicious circumstances a few years ago while undergoing a gall bladder operation. The cause: he suddenly stopped breathing. Why: according to the surgeon, cause unknown. I think we can both guess what really happened. Glad you're recovering and out of danger and still have that fabulous sense of humor.

    1. Good God, Marty, that's horrible about your brother. I'm so sorry. Sometimes I'm glad I work in a medical setting, I hear so much. Like how radiologists don't really give a sh*t because the patient is dying anyway, and I wonder if the same isn't a little bit true for anesthesiologists. There is no reason my lungs should have collapsed. They'd better inflate again soon, or someone's going to be sorry! :)