Dear Reader of This Grossly Intermittent Blog,
Hey there. I’m writing to say I’m going into hospital on Thursday, June 12th for some abdominal (abominable?) surgery. I’ll be in hospital for just under a week, then pretty much housebound for 3 more weeks, is what the docs say.
Read the next paragraph (in italic type) if you want the somewhat gory details. For the more faint of heart, please skip this next paragraph cuz it’s major league icky! If all you want is the free bonus comic, skip all the way down to the bottom of this post.
(graphic medical bits follow in italics)
I’ve got a nasty colon condition called diverticulitis. In short, the insides of my intestines have, over my many years on this planet, become pock-marked with teeny-weeny pockets. If I eat seeds or nuts or corn or any other yummy food that doesn’t quite break down in the digestion process, then any of these can get stuck in one of those pockets, causing a truly painful inflammation… like 9 on a 10-point scale of ouch. If the inflammation continues untreated, then the pocket (called a diverticular) blows up like a balloon outside the intestine, where it can possibly burst, and whaddaya know — I’d have poo inside me where it doesn’t belong and that would poison and kill me dead. Don’t want that to happen, not yet anyway! Over the past two years, I’ve had about ten of these attacks in the same area of intestine, which has weakened the wall of my intestine in that area. On Thursday, the docs are gonna go in and remove that small, weakened slice of my colon, and sew the two remaining ends together—leaving me with a happy healthy intestine.
Those who skipped the medical ickiness can resume reading here…
Assuming all goes very well, I’ll be in hospital here in NYC for 4-5 days. If there are complications, it could be as long as 7 days. It’s major surgery, but not particularly dangerous. My surgeon is the Chief of Colo-Rectal Surgery in this hospital, so he’s the best. (Imagine having a job title like that??? I wonder what his kids think about that.) He’s a lovely guy, reminds me of an affable, young Elliot Gould. I feel safe and confident about him performing the surgery.
As I go under the anesthesia, my doc will read some healing affirmations out loud. When I’m under, they’ll plug in my iPod where I’ve programmed a long playlist with lots of yummy New Age music. So I won’t hear any of their conversation. I don’t think it’s a good idea to hear surgical staff babbling away while I’m unconscious. As I’m coming out of the anesthesia, my doc will read another series of positive, healing affirmations. This is lovely squirrel tech that I’ve used before, from a book and CD called “Prepare For Surgery—Heal Faster.” It’s helped me with surgery in the past, and I highly recommend it.
I feel good about the surgery. I’ve been in touch with a couple of medical psychics who all say it looks like fair sailing, and no complications. I should be totally cool and groovy. (Did I mention the part about me being a flower child in the Sixties? Heh.)
After I’m outta the hospital—assuming all goes just jim-dandy—I’ll be home for three weeks, doing longer and longer walks to build up my body’s strength. Then after another three weeks, I should be rarin’ to go.
There’s no internet connection in patients’ rooms. I’m bringing my iPhone into the hospital, and I’ll be able to surf the web on a limited basis, given post-surgical, morphine-laden wooziness. (Dang, I love the morphine — more of that Sixties flower child!) I’ll try to sign on and read any comments you might wanna leave here. But most likely, I won’t be back in touch until maybe the 18th or 19th of June.
When I do get home, I’ve got good friends and loved ones to take care of me. And I’ve got LOTS of bad movies, all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica (including the currently playing last season), and a great collection of Buffy comics, sci-fi books and graphic novels to keep me distracted for a week. Then, I hope to get back to my work, which is writing this new memoir I keep talkin’ about: Kate Bornstein Is A Queer and Pleasant Danger.
My deep love for you as a member of our outlaw tribe, and my sincere respect for the courage we’ve managed to find for ourselves and each other. We’re still alive and kicking, and I plan to keep on going for some time longer. Be well, do anything to make your life worth living—anything at all as long as it’s not mean—and I promise to post how I’m doing as soon as I possibly can.
hugs and kisses,
AND NOW THE BONUS — your very own copy of KATE’S HOSPITAL COMIC!!!
As ya may guess or know, trannies don’t always get treated the very best in hospitals. Medically, sure — for the most part, treatment is fine. But socially is another story. I’ve been more fortunate than many trannies in this regard, but last January when I was in hospital, things didn’t go well. Lots of “sir” and second-class-citizen treatment. Sigh. So, to avoid that, I’ve made a comic book to give to all my nurses and caregivers at the hospital.
Friends I’ve shown it to have said “Woo-hoo, this should be made into a comic for all sorts of trannies.” Yeah, well, maybe. We’ll see how this works, and then I think I’ll try doing just that. But in the meantime, here’s what I’m using for myself… consider it a beta version of an upcoming comic that should work for most folks whose genders give hospital folks the willies.
Remember, this one is totally geared for me, me, me — but it might give you some good ideas for your very own comic or notes if you’re going into hospital soon. And I sincerely hope you’re not! I made this comic by using Comic Magic, You can get your very own (reasonably priced) copy of this amazing application (Mac or Windows) at http://plasq.com/comiclifemagiq/.
And now, you can click right here to download my hospital comic. It’s only 1 megabyte, and it’s a PDF file that will open with Acrobat 6 or later. Enjoy! (note, if that download site doesn’t work, here’s an alternate link that just might do it for ya: Download kates_hospital_comic.pdf