Archive for May 25th, 2010

Yes, I have Crohn’s disease, and yes it sucks and some days it really sucks. But that is not what I’m here to talk about.

I vividly remember some key points during my first stay in the hospital due to Crohn’s.  They were kind of funny then and in my mind at least, even more funny now, the following are one or two such moments.  

 I was in the hospital because of a perforated intestine. The surgeon could not justify operating on somebody who was steadily getting better on their own, especially with Crohn’s because it is viewed as a ‘hands off disease’ even though surgery was the common way to go in this particular instance.  But my pain was lessening and I was eating so I vacationed in the hospital for a few weeks while they made sure everything was working the way it should and the broken things were fixing themselves. Finally they let me go home. 

 The next day I was back in the hospital.  I swear I didn’t do anything, but my intestine perforated again.  The surgeon that was supposed to operate was not in that day so I got the fill in guy, Dr Spanier. The first thing I noticed was that he was a large man weighing in at about 350 to 400 pounds.  I was trying to work out exactly how he was going to see me on the table, technically that was his problem, but in my way of thinking I was going to be the result.  He quickly put my mind at ease.

 “Brian, I know this is awkward because we have never met, I am now your surgeon and you will just have to trust me when I tell you that I am the type of person who you can put your life in my hands.  Any questions?”

 “Yes, am I going to survive?”

“Yes, anything else?”


“Okay my team will be in to introduce themselves.” It turned out that Dr. Spanier was a well known and respected surgeon who not only had his own select team for the OR, I understand hospital type people from around the country vied to be on his team.

Of the team, I remember the anesthesiologist.  He also asked me if I had any questions.

“I can’t do math, I can barely count forward, don’t make me count backwards from 100” (I was a teenager and this was/is a legitimate fear of mine)

“You won’t have to count you will just go to sleep and wake up again in about 6 hours or so”

“What if I have a nightmare?”

“You won’t be dreaming about anything.”  


The surgeon came back in to ask me a favour.

 “Brian” he said, “Your mother is in the hall waiting to see you, and she is very fragile so I need you to be strong.  Let her know everything is going to be fine, the last thing I need is for your mother to pass out and then I have two of you to deal with”

 “No problem”

 A little while later the orderly comes in and asks if I need the bathroom, I didn’t.  “Okay Bri, here we go.”

Naturally, despite the doctors warning the first thing I did when I saw my mother was start crying.  The orderly put on the gas and I was on my way down the hall.  I remember looking up at the lights as they passed by overhead and I thought, this is all so familiar.  We stopped at the big double doors and waited.  I told the orderly I had to pee.  He laughed and told me it was too late, they will take care of everything in the OR.

In the OR everybody was nice and friendly,  they stretch out my arms so I was like Jesus on the cross, I felt them taping things too me, but looking up at the bright light all I could think of was “They have the technology, they can rebuild him” was this how the Six Million Dollar Man felt? 

The anesthesiologist kept telling me things but I was not paying that much attention until I heard the following statement. “Dr. Spanier is just washing up so we can get started.” I remember thinking, no, lets wait for the doctor.

My first vivid memory after the surgery was waking up and seeing my father sitting next to the bed.  (Seeing as I was on a steady diet of Demerol he may clear a few things up in his comments, we will have to see).  I told him that I was a little concerned because every now and again my entire body would jump about a foot off the bed.  Shortly after I had one of those dreams where you catch yourself falling down and I jerked myself awake.  “Is that what you are talking about?”  He asked.  “No, you will know”. Sometime later I had one of my little spasms.  I opened one eye to let my father know, but he was already out of his chair running down the hall calling for a nurse, yeah he knew.

 I also found out that Dr. Spanier’s operating team was not that happy with me as I didn’t think no, lets wait for the doctor, I actually said it.  I make no apologies.

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