Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Last weekend was awesome. Branden's boss gave everyone Friday off, and at the end of Friday I was sure that it was Saturday—not because of losing track of days, but because it seemed like we'd spent two days doing… whatever. I don't actually remember, specifically, but I remember feeling awesome about it.

Saturday was equally awesome. We got shit done and had some fun and wooo! we were killing this weekend! It almost felt like a vacation. The only bad thing was that, sometime in the evening on Saturday, Branden started having some pain in his stomach; just a little discomfort, no big deal.

But in the morning on Sunday, the pain was still there. It had caused him discomfort throughout the night. We decided he should probably go to the doctor.

It being Sunday, our only real option was Urgent Care if we didn't want to go straight to the ER (and we didn't). Our desires were irrelevant! The urgent care people decided it was either a kidney stone or appendicitis, and either way they weren't equipped to treat it. They sent us to the emergency room.

There is an emergency room just down the street from us. I believe it's fairly new—they still have a banner on the building saying “24-Hour ER Now Open”. I had to go there on Wednesday night at 11pm, and it was completely empty, which is how I knew I'd taken an ambulance straight into… the Twilight Zone (I didn't take an ambulance. I just couldn't think of anything else that would be appropriately pithy). I chalked it up to luck and good timing, but I wasn't looking forward to this visit. I'm familiar with the zoo of human misery that is most emergency rooms; the uncomfortable chairs, the lack of electrical outlets, the lack of food, and the interminable, interminable waiting. But when we walked into the ER, it was empty, again. I wonder if Westminster just doesn't know it's there? So bizarre. But I'll take it!

Branden saw the same doctor I'd seen on Wednesday night (also Twilight Zone-y), had some scans done, donated more bodily fluids, and was quickly diagnosed—his appendix was enlarged by 14mm, which is considerable for such a shrimpy limp-balloon of an “organ.” But apparently the ER was not part of a larger, more general hospital, and we had to go to yet another campus for the procedure.

The nurses got the transfer all set up so that the hospital would be expecting us, and we went home and packed a bag. We knew what to expect; we were old-hat at this after my 2009 appendectomy. We got to the hospital at just about noon.

It was still Sunday (what?!) and there was only one surgical team on staff, and they were in camera when we arrived, so they got us all set up in Branden's room for the wait. I'd let Carlie know that we were at a hospital in her neck of the woods, so she, Dan and their brood Eleanor and Wes came and kept us company; Fletcher showed up shortly before they took Branden down for surgery at 3.

At 3 they started him on antibiotics, which the nurse had said they wanted to get started ½ hour before the procedure, so I anticipated that the surgery wouldn't start till 3:30. My parents finally arrived and the Branden Fan Club hung out in the surgery waiting room for… approximately three years.

All things considered, it went much better than it had any right to. There were no meltdowns, either on the part of myself or the children. The Amazing Indestructible Fletcher chased Eleanor around almost the entire time (and I mean chased. Running, running, running). My dad went on a long and fruitless mission to find the TV remote so he could watch golf. (He and my mom had already had a long, exhausting and somewhat frustrating Father's Day, and this was just helping make it more awesome. I'm sure after the fact it felt like the lamest nightmare ever.) Eventually they went to a grocery store for the universal cure for everything: love-food (in this case, smoothie supplies) and were still on that errand when Branden woke up from anesthesia and we all moved back up to the room.

Well, the surgery was successful and Branden did great. Everyone kept telling him how good he looked, even though to me he looked decidedly yellow. Carlie, Dan & co went home not too much later. My parents dropped off their booty and gave Branden some love, then they, too, went home, and it was the Three Musketeers (Branden, Fletcher and myself) until they finally discharged Branden at 9pm. (Which, hooray! I definitely thought that we were going to have to stay the night.) Then Fletch went home and Branden and I had to go to the only 24-hour pharmacy in the area to get Branden's pain pills (he had to be there for controlled substance scrip), then the grocery store because the birthday boy (did I mention that?) wanted ice cream. Then we were able to go home.

Tl;dr: Our awesome weekend got longer! B's been home since then, recovering diligently. He'll probably head back to work tomorrow, but these three extra days have been so great. And it felt like an adventure in grown-up-ness. Now I just get to look forward to the bill. (Yay insurance!)

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