Apologies folks. For the first time in six years with the Wellington Advertiser, I missed my column deadline. It pained me to do it. No, really, it was pain that held me up.
True story. I blame Oscar.
Oscar is one of a series of horrifically painful kidney stones that have basically rocked me to my core throughout the month of February. Oscar caught me off guard shortly after his first cousin, affectionately named Rocky Livingstone, departed.
However, Oscar has decided not to pass through. He has lodged himself in a part of my body that is not meant to have boarders. Ever. Oscar has resided inside my personal irrigation system for more than two weeks, resulting in what I can only describe through gritted teeth as “discomfort.”
Oscar doesn’t care about my inconvenience. In fact, I have a theory.
I believe the little baby burr has a flat screen television and a subscription to Netflix and is binge watching sitcoms in there. He is happy. And when he stretches or makes a move for the remote, I double over. Oscar has a complete disregard for my feelings, livelihood or pain threshold.
Last weekend, when I would normally write my column (writers procrastinate), Oscar made his presence known with a vengeance. Excruciating is the word that comes to mind, but I insisted I could tolerate the pain. Idiot. By Sunday, I couldn’t take it any more. The Carpenter dropped me off at the door of Groves hospital and I suggested, politely but with stern conviction, that he should leave me there. He didn’t argue. The Carpenter is wise.
I had several hours alone – well, okay, alone with Oscar – to ponder some heavy life issues while managing intense pain with a good dose of medication. Here are a few gems I have extracted from my experience with Oscar thus far.
Give serious thought to the underwear you wear to the emergency department because you may end up in an unsightly gown with your backside on display, and nobody, and I do mean nobody, wants to see your ugly granny panties stretched to capacity. If there was ever a time to pull out the nice cotton polka dots, this is it. Noted. Also, it won’t kill you to shave your legs on a schedule. See above.
Also, remember we all live in small communities. Chances are you will recognize voices on the other side of the ER curtains (I knew four people), so if you do travel to the public washroom in the hospital gown, close the back door. This is not the time to leave an impression. You’re going see these people in the grocery store at some point.
And eventually, Oscar will pass. This time will be a memory. I have sincere compassion for those whose medical battles are long and enduring. I am reminded that we need to take care of one another and lend a hand. It’s not hard. Never underestimate what kindness does to help someone else heal. If you know someone in need, drop off a meal. Trust me, it helps.
One more lesson Oscar taught me: No matter what life throws at me, I love writing this column. And I am grateful to those of you who read it. I promise to keep going if you promise to keep reading. Deal?