An e-mail to my mother.
As I believe you’re already aware, my appendix burst Easter morning,
so, yes, my Easter was spent in less than favorable conditions. I woke
at about 6am to extreme discomfort and a quick succession of violent
vomits, which did little to alleviate the pain. I had eaten a street
kebab the night before, so i assumed that i had some sort of food
poisoning and didn’t think much of it, other than the pain. I spent
the next three hours forcing myself to vomit, hoping the pain would
subside, which it did not, and, by this point, little but acidic bile
was coming out. I tried to phone my boss, but she wasn’t answering,
and after three more attempts, i called my american coworker, who also
tried to get ahold of our bosses, to no avail. Eventually, she talked
to our korean coteacher who brought me to the hospital. The first
hospital told me that it was extremely likely that I had appendicitis,
but there was nothing they could do there, because it was Sunday. And
Sundays are surgeon day offs, apparently. So onto the next hospital.
The pain was rather excruciating at this point and the jostle of the
cab did little to help. At the second hospital, we got some x-rays and
bloodwork done, then a few hours of waiting. And waiting. By this time
my boss had arrived and mothered me a bit. She got them to give me
something for the pain, too, which was very necessary at this point.
The hospital was very busy and i got a CT-scan, which proved that my
appendix was in rough shape, to say the least. However, they weren’t
sure if they could operate on me that day, and thought I may have to
wait until, possibly, Wednesday, to have my appendix removed. All of
this sounded rather absurd to me, and my Director didn’t seem to like
this answer either. Eventually, they contacted a third hospital who
could get me the surgery at 4pm, about ten hours after the ordeal had
And so to the third hospital we went and the surgery went rather
easily, and I’ve now one of those little Madeline scars and three
staples in my skin. I drifted in an out of consciousness for the
remainder of that day, more or less. I was meant to stay for three
days, and so I did.
Three days in a foreign hospital where no one speaks english can be
rather boring and awkward. And so the time went by with the nurses
avoiding conversation and giggling like school girls when I walked by.
One older gentleman was very kind and told me in haphazard and broken
english that i was the same age as his son, and so he started calling
me, in jest, his son, and he’d sit with me occasionally and share
time, for we had very few words to exchange that the other could
comprehend. I had a few of my friends visit, as well, but, for most of
the 72 hours, it was just me and my bored little mind and Korean
television. They seem reluctant to give painkillers in this country,
as I’ve had none since the first day, and even those were rather mild,
so there’s been a dull ache since surgery. Also, for some reason, they
didn’t feed me the 30 or so hours following surgery, only beginning to
give me food on Tuesday morning. All a bit strange and no one could
explain to me why. So it goes.
But i am alive, which is something, I suppose. And i’m back in the
comfort of my apartment.
But, yes, it’s been an interesting couple of days, but I’m the same
son you know, albeit minus one organ, of course.
So, yes, minus an appendix. I’ve already written a fictionalised account and may just write a proper journalistic one this week. I needn’t work till Monday, which should give me time to catch up on the time missed, from three days of staring at walls in silence. Many stories to write, a novel yet to edit, and agent queries to be submitted. If i become a famous author, no one will laugh harder or longer than me. I may just laugh myself to death.
Also, Molly Gaudry’s Anatomy for the Artist. Check it.