I’ve had many a low point in my life, but 2014 may have just kicked off with the lowest yet.
On January 2, 2014, I learned that Lindsay Lohan is better than I am.
I can’t even bring myself up to Lindsay’s level of competence.
I had no idea things had gotten so bad.
It all began the prior Sunday. As I’ve let slip, I’m training for a marathon. After a week of holiday gluttony (champagne, cheese, cake, lather, rinse, repeat), I had to pay the piper and slog through a 15 mile run. I was unusually thirsty during that run, but I just chalked it up to too much boozing.
I guzzled liters of water and Gatorade, but I just could not quench my thirst. Over the next few days I continued to deteriorate. No matter how much water and how relatively little champagne I drank, I just could not get hydrated. Although I’m generally a ravenous eater, I had to force myself to eat a single piece of pizza for dinner. Despite treating myself to naps as soon as I got home from work, I was constantly fatigued.
It was the hangover that would not die.
On the evening of New Year’s Day — nearly 24 hours since I had last hit the sauce — I was swept with a wave of nausea. This struck me as odd, because, while my body has often rebelled against my questionable judgment, nausea has never been its weapon of choice.
As with most things in life, I decided that the best way to deal with this new development was to sleep it off.
The next morning, I shot out of bed at 7 am and knew that something was wrong. I immediately threw on jeans, grabbed my book, told a still-sleeping Country Boy that I was going to the emergency room, and ran out the door.
As I sat down in my car, I realized that I was FINALLY having my very own Stars — They’re Just Like US! moment.
It was obvious!
I was clearly suffering from dehydration and/or exhaustion. Granted I had previously thought that “dehydration” and “exhaustion” were just code words for “light cocaine addiction,” but I now realized that they were actually legit medical conditions and that I had them. Lindsay Lohan had just been really misunderstood all of these years and now we had something in common.
My illness would finally be my ticket to a stay at Promises Treatment Center in Malibu. If its a good enough place for my girl Britney to recover from “dehydration,” then it’s certainly good enough for me.
As I pulled up to the ER, I chastised myself for over-reacting and was gripped with fear about the amount of money that this little jaunt was going to cost. I realized that I probably didn’t need to go to the ER if I could drive myself there.
But, as you all know, there is nothing that I find more attractive than a bad decision, so I marched myself right on in.
At first, everything was seemingly on track. After about 45 minutes of sample taking and test running, a nurse came into my room, poked me with a needle, and hooked me up to an IV full of fluids. She stated that I would be getting two bags of fluids to re-hydrate me and two bags of potassium since my levels were low.
I almost squealed in delight. I had dehydration! I was going to join my celebrity friends at Promises!
But then things took a turn.
Someone else came into the room with an ultrasound machine and did a scan of my entire abdomen. She didn’t say anything and then just walked out. This raised a few red flags, but I kept my eye on the celebrity prize. I convinced myself that they were just making sure that I wasn’t knocked up before they handed me my ticket to Malibu. They only do ultrasounds for babies, right?
About 10 minutes later, a doctor rushed into the room. After discerning that I had come to the ER alone, she told me that I had to get someone to the hospital immediately to serve as my medical decision-maker, that I had been admitted to the hospital, and that I was going to have surgery to remove my gallbladder as soon as a surgeon was available.
There was absolutely no mention of Promises.
Lindsay is good enough for Promises, but I’m not. I can’t even figure out how to properly retain my organs?!
How could this be? HOW COULD THIS BE?!
I burst into tears from the sheer shock of all of it. Not my finest moment, but I really was not expecting to lose an organ when I got out of bed that morning.
After I pulled myself together, I called Country Boy and was whisked off to do a bunch of extra tests to make sure I wasn’t dying of pancreatic cancer before finally arriving in the operating room around 9 pm to bid adieu to my gallbladder.
The anesthesiologist arrived, and he was 100% unadulterated bro. He had a diamond stud in one ear, he had carefully groomed two-day scruff, and he punctuated EVERY sentence with a “ya feel me, right?”
As Dr. Bro and I were cracking jokes about the creative drug cocktails of our past, he tapped a vein and started mainlining me.
Dr. Bro then said: “Are you a cheap date?”
I responded: “I think so. My head already feels tingly. This is like in college when I wouldn’t eat all day, would pound shots of jager, and then totter off to a party in a short skirt.”
Dr. Bro said to Country Boy: “Man, I don’t know if you want to be hearing these stories.”
I chimed in with “It’s cool. We went to college together. He knows he married a classy broad.”
And then I passed out cold.
I’m nothing if not consistent.
I woke up from surgery at midnight in a world of pain.
About two minutes after midnight, I realized that hospitals are gross and that I did not want to be there any longer. The sheets were scratchy, the smells were weird, and the other guests were making a lot of undignified noises. This was not a proper place for Princess PinotNinja.
One of the nurses made the mistake of telling me what I needed to do in order to be discharged from the hospital. She said that all I had to do was drink juice, eat an entire sandwich, and walk the length of the floor three times. She then said that it takes most people one to two days to complete those tasks.
My response to that was a very mature “f*ck that noise,” and then I got to work. Within three hours, I had pounded an absolutely foul sandwich and was walking laps around the hospital floor while swigging from a juice box and pageant waving to all of the nurses.
After a lot of commentary about how I was having the most miraculous recovery that had ever been seen, the nurses sprang me from hospital jail at 9:30 am and I walked out unassisted with a big smile on my face.
As soon as I got into the car, I crumpled into a ball and started screaming in pain. Country Boy gave me a perplexed look, which quickly morphed into a knowing glare once he realized that I had just put on an Academy Award worthy performance because I wanted to get home to my fancy lululemon lounge wear and 1000 thread-count sheets even though I was clearly and absolutely not ready to be discharged from the hospital.
A girl has to do what a girl has to do.
Last weekend was a blur of pain and it will be another few weeks before I can get back to running and causing trouble, but I’m definitely on the mend and getting along just fine without my gallbladder.