Wednesday morning, I developed a severe stomach ache, with fever and extreme shivers. Shivers so bad my artificial hip was rattling like maracas in a salsa band. I was worried it would pop out of its socket. But then things calmed down in the afternoon. I went to sleep at 9pm, but woke up at 10:15 with severe lower abdominal pain. It was scary and so severe that I thought I was at my end. Chantal drove me to emergency at the Trillium hospital.

I spent all night getting tested. Covid-19 negative, HIV negative, pulse and blood pressure still there, but the CT scan showed a burst appendix. I told the doctor that I thought when your appendix bursts, you die right away. But he affirmed me that it depends on when they catch it. I had the surgery at around 2pm Thursday afternoon.

I was lying on the operating table, strapped down, while they administered the general anesthetic. They told me to breathe deep.

And then…

I woke.

I’ve been thinking about “time” a lot recently, from a philosophical point of view. Under normal sleep, your sub-conscious takes over and you dream. Your sub-conscious is the thread connecting eyes closed to eyes open. But when you’re under general anesthetic, there is no dreaming, just a black void, as if your sub-conscious is disabled. When you wake, there is no feeling of time. It’s like you jumped into the future. And it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been out for, the time interval jump is a constant thing. I know this from experience. This void, I believe is a taste of the afterlife. But really, you’re not experiencing anything, just the blank void. And if your heart stops and you don’t wake up, of course, you are in the afterlife.

I was connected to intravenous almost from when I first entered the hospital, and after the very successful operation, in my room, I noticed the IV line turning red. There was something wrong with the IV sac and my blood was getting sucked out. So a nurse and a trainee came in to fix it. There was also a woman with a very think eastern European accent asking me questions.

As they were fixing this vampiric  contraption, I told them about a movie I once saw, where a vampire had a group of captives held in a dungeon, all hooked up to IV’s. But the blood was coming out into sacs, which he then stored in a refrigerator for later consumption. He was keeping them alive for their blood. He was harvesting them. This really freaked out the nurses, especially the Jamaican lady who whispered the word “voodoo” and was crossing herself vigorously. But the lady with the heavy accent, grinning like a Cheshire Cat, announced,

“I’m Romanian, I know all about vampires.”

I told her that my grandparents were from Bukovina, which is close to Transylvania, and we made friends and had an interesting conversation. I think she had something to do with the food service, because it seemed that I was getting a special perk after that. Solid food, that is.

I couldn’t get any photos in the hospital, and you probably wouldn’t want to look at my laparoscopic perforations or my catheter drippings anyway, so here are some miscellaneous photos.

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[Click on any photo for the slideshow. Please leave comments at the bottom of the page]

Credit River

Centennial Park ski lesson

Union Station

Hotdogs at old city hall

Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square

Keep your eyes up, boy!

Adamson Estate

Lakeshore Drive

Lakeshore Drive

Lakeshore Drive

Colonel Samuel Smith Park

Blue Mountain Village

Blue Mountain Village

Wasaga Beach One

Wasaga Beach One

Port Credit

Port Credit

Port Credit

Roncesvaille Street

All That Jazz Cafe – Roncesvaille Street