Wednesday, February 11, 2009

So Much for "An Apple a Day..."

We're talking pain, people. Serious, gut-wrenching, horrible nasty pain... 3:30 in the morning there's-no-way-in-hell-I-can-sleep is-there-a-doctor-in-the-house PAIN.

Yes, at 3:30 am (Eastern Standard Time, of course), I suddenly sat up in bed and cried out. I gripped my stomach where the pain was located (Mistake Number One), which, of course, intensified said pain. I cried out louder. Hawthorne leaped onto the bed and Rich says in that half-asleep-adrenaline-induced-wide-awake voice, "Are you okay?"

I'm sure the words "Uh, no, duh!" raced through my mind on some subconscious level. But in what was to be a theme for the next three days of doing the wrong thing to try to get said pain to disappear, I uttered, "Get me some Tums..."

I do believe I chewed about 20. Which, if we have to keep count, was Mistake Number Two. I laid there, willing away the pain. Every two seconds, a "Baby, are you okay?" drifted across the painful universe of which I now inhabited. I would grunt occasionally, tried laying in various positions, all to no avail. At about 4:30 am, I went to the bathroom and grabbed the bottle of "Pepto Max" and proceeded to guzzle. ( Mistake Number Three...) I went out to the couch, thinking of giving myself a rest from the "Are you okay"s and him a chance to sleep before he went into work--neither goal of which was accomplished...

Even though I knew the doc wasn't yet in, at 7:00 I started calling the office every five minutes, just in case. I called work to say I wouldn't be there. I drank more Pepto Max. Chewed more Tums. Continued to grip and ungrip my stomach.

I got an appointment at 11:10 am. I left for the appointment to the doctor's office which was just 20 minutes away at 10:00 am, again, "just in case."

Along the way I continued sipping the Pepto, alternately hitting the passenger seat and steering wheel as the pain intensified. I groaned for 45 long minutes in the waiting room, and another 30 minutes in the little room.

And why--why o why o why--do doctors insist on asking how you are? Maybe it's just me, but it's not like I make emergency appointments just to catch up on my doctors latest round of golf, you know? But there it was and I grunted something which I hoped would convey the unnecessariness of small talk and the urgent need for medical care.

It took two more hours (prodding, poking, six X-rays, three vials of blood, and a chatty nurse) before TWO doctors came back in to my tiny world. The first thing to cross my mind was "Damn, who's the fox?" which was quickly followed by "Oh, shit--I'm dying!" (One: The fox was the new resident there to learn something new and exciting, apparently. Two: I wasn't dying...)

"You know how everyone keeps telling you you're full of it? They're right!" Ha, ha, very funny... PAIN!!!!!! FIX!!!!! NOW!!!!!! I smiled wearily (at least, I think I did...) Long and short? "Take a suppository--you'll feel much better in five to six hours."

Uh-huh. I run to the grocery store, buy laxatives, suppositories, three gallons of water, a case of Ginger Ale (with the punching of the passenger seat and steering wheel, of course) and run home to lay on my couch. I read the laxative bottle: "Take 1 pill every four hours until bowel movement is achieved."

I took three. (Still counting? Mistake Number Four.)

I read the suppository bottle: "Insert 1 into the rectum once a day until bowel movement is achieved." Done.

I sat and gripped my stomach. I turned on South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut until I found out laughter wasn't the best medicine in this case. Two hours later when I still hadn't "made a movement," I "inserted" another suppository. (Mistake Number Five.) Rich comes home, "How are you feeling?"


All through the night I grip my stomach, unable to sleep as putting any pressure on any portion of my stomach (front, back, left, right) causes pain. PAIN.

With my dark circles, tired husband, and now a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 pain, I make a call at 9:00 am Tuesday morning. "Help..." I feebly whisper to the receptionist. "Go to the emergency room" is the advice I am given.

So I go. Rich drives, so I satisfy my pain by hitting myself in the thighs, the dashboard, tearing at the seat belt.

I have to fill out paperwork. I commit to answers that "sound good" as Rich tries to fill them out for me. As I sit the almost three hours with CNN blasting me from one side and a child who's cries you could set a watch to hitting me on the other, I gripped my stomach. The child continued:


Just as I was about to commit murder, I hear my name called out and I race for the escape from the clock-work child. I am told to wear one of those "gowns"--you know, the kind feared by those with less-than-perfect bodies but work great in porno's involving doctors and nurses? After a few more hours of X-rays and blood vials drained from my body (during which time the Clockwork Kid has been placed in the bed next to mine...), I am no longer "full of it" but "full of gas." Between the antacids slowing my metabolism and the laxatives and suppositories taken over the recommended dose, I have succeeded in going from full of stuck solids to full of trapped gasses! Should I even bother repeating here what the doctor at the ER said? ("They put directions on labels for a reason...") No shit, Sherlock. Cease my pain and I'll be glad to follow some directions! But until then? No holds barred!

Then comes to really, really mean part: "Absolutely NO Apples." Something about pectin. I dunno, I just know that my love affair with America's favorite snack is now my bane. My nemesis. My enemy.

That was followed by "...and for the next ten days, no carbs, no bananas (only TOO easy to give up--not that I've had one in 30+ years...), no potatoes, no rice, no bread, no pizza, no cupcakes, cookies, cakes, pies, APPLES... Only vegetables, vegetables, vegetables for the next TEN DAYS..." (Shoot me now, shoot me now...) "...and be sure to add the 5 P's: Plums, Pears, Peaches, Prunes, and Pineapples to your diet."


"Chicken or pork, nothing red."

(Shoot me now, shoot me now...) "For how long?"

"After ten days, you may begin to reintroduce--slowly--potatoes and rice."

"And steak?"

"Not for at least three months."

"And apples?"

"Not for at least three months."

"You're killing me doc."

"Most people say that after I say 'no steak.'"

"You've never had my mother's Jewish Apple Cake..." (Sigh...)

"You're Jewish?"


"Oh... No. Apples."

I now wonder what she would have said had I said "yes" to being Jewish...

The pain is slowly dissipating... through plentiful "emissions" both from above and below... And I may have diverticulitis! (For once, something bad inherited from my father, not my mother...) Hooray! A full CT scan is scheduled for next Saturday... A machine will virtually rape me from throat to butt to "get a sense" of "what's going on in there." They may even take more blood--who's to know?

So much for an apple a day...


Russ Manley said...

Ouch! Just not your week for fortune cookies or apples, is it. Take care bud, hang in there.

mom said...

hello jason! this can be blamed on your dad! :) i am laughing since you are just like me when we think we are near deaths door! always remember only the good die young and we will be around forever! :) hope you get everything moving in the right direction soon!! :) :) love and prayers

Sylvia said...

oh Ja... I was so worried about you when I found out you were in the ER. And you know what... I'm so happy that you, one of my most favorite people, is going to be just fine. I love you... and don't worry about the carbs. Ten days without 'em, and you'll have lost more weight than you'd ever thought possible... South Beach Diet anyone???
Love ya lots!

Anonymous said...

Wow, cant figure what's worse? A restricted diet like that for 10 days or the pain! I love food, its my comfort when i'm down and, lol, my reason to socialize.

FCSuper said...

Hope you are better soon. Hopefully your diet is almost over by now!

Jason Hughes said...

Thanks, guys, for all your well-wishes. Slowly on the road to feeling normal... (Although, I am SO sick of salad at this point...)

Billie said...

Hey Jason's mom, can I have your recipe for Jewish apple cake? I've been testing recipes for a few years now trying to find the one similar to my Jewish grandmother-in-law's cake. Thanks!

Jason Hughes said...


Mix the following ingredients and let stand:
*2 T. sugar
*5 medium apples (skinned, cored, and sliced)
*2 T. cinnamon

In a separate bowl, mix the following:
*3 cups flour
*2 cups sugar
*3 teasp baking powder
*1/4 cup orange juice
*4 eggs
*1 cup oil
*2-1/2 teasp vanilla extract

Beat for 5 minutes with electric mixer until batter stiffens. Next, grease and flour either a cake pan or bunt pan.

Pour in some batter, then some apples form the first bowl. Layer batter/apples until you end with apples on top.

Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If baking in a bunt pan, cool right-side up for fifteen minutes, and then up-side down for another fifteen to twenty minutes. If using a cake pan, just let stand to cool, no need to remove from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and serve!

Trust me, Billie--it's heaven on earth!

mom said...

hello jason! good job on the recipe! i want to add one or two things. i always do the apples first and as i am doing them i will slice the apples in some cold water with some lemon juice (so they don't turn brown) and when i am ready for them to mix with the sugar and cinnamon i just put a hand over the bowl and drain the water off the apples but i think the touch of the lemon juice and some of the water that is still around makes it really good. also, when you are letting it cool in a bundt or tube baking pan i have a bottle (glass) i put it on to let it cool. i think some of this is a given but you never know when passing recipes on and i like all the little tricks to be out there. :) i made this cake with half vanilla extract and almond extract. that was good also. i have some other ideas i want to play with when i make this but i have to play with it before i pass it on in case its awful and not worth passing on. rich is starting to make this for jason now for special times and rich does it just as good as me i think. well, have baking. love and prayers