Losing More Than Money
by dtools22 | Published Jun 21, 2012
Ok, I’m just going to cut to the chase here. I left the poker room from my first session of the week on June 14 around 3:00AM. At around 9:00PM that night I was being wheeled out of the OR of Backus Hospital in Norwich, CT doped out of my mind and sans one appendix. Poker wise, not much happened for me this past week but man oh man do I have a story to tell.
So I left the poker room at around 3AM Thursday morning and went back to my hotel room. After I changed I watched the live stream of the O8 final table with Scotty Nguyen, Joe Cassidy, and Phil Ivey battling for the bracelet. I fell asleep around 3:45AM with some stomach pain but I figured it was my usual hunger pain when going to bed. With breakfast only a few hours around the corner I just went to sleep. About 90 minutes later I woke up because the pain in my stomach had gotten so bad I couldn’t sleep. At this point it just felt like I had to go to the bathroom more than anything else, plus I was actually still hungry so I went down to the vending machine to grab some food and shake whatever demon was lodged in my lower intestine loose so I could once again enjoy some sleep. After about an hour of eating, walking around, and using the bathroom nothing seemed to work. Thankfully I brought some Ibuprofen with me so I took a couple and was about to fall asleep. Roughly 4 hours later I was in dire need of some more pills so I took them and rolled back over. I was able to stay in bed until about 2PM EST.
I showered after waking up the second time with some pain but it felt like it had passed somewhat at this point. I got dressed and headed to the casino to grab some food and get to grinding. I ate some chicken noodle soup and a ham and cheese sandwich which all seemed fine going down, but once I tried walking out of the restaurant I started feeling very sick. I made a B-line of the nearest bathroom, collected myself, and then went back to my hotel room. I figured at this point I’ve tried just about everything I can think of to feel better and it’s all been much ado about nothing. At this point I got into bed, got into my pajamas, and decided it was time to get help. I called the emergency extension from my hotel phone and the paramedics came and put me on a stretcher. At this point I have on my person my t-shirt, my shorts, and a necklace. I have none of my information, money, or belongings. After I walk out of the room to get on the stretcher one of the paramedics asks me if I have my information with me, then closes my hotel room door before I could answer. When I told him everything was in the room, including my hotel keys, we just left without them.
Here’s a fun fact about me, I hate needles. When I’m getting blood drawn at the doctor’s office I have to fight the urge to punch out the nurse who is jamming the needle into my arm. It’s not really painful and I know the nurse is just doing her job but fear is an irrational creature. When I arrived at the hospital the nurse asked if I could give a urine sample. I asked if I could have some water to help the process along and she informed me that the only way I could get any fluids would be through an IV. I grabbed the cup right out of her hands and hustled over to the bathroom, successfully supplying the urine sample. That would not be the last time that fear would literally scare the piss out of me. The joke was on me though because the very next thing that happened was that same nurse giving me an IV with some fluids for my nausea. On the plus side, that was the last needle I would be given while I was awake. Everything they needed to pump into me from then on was through that same IV.
I was given a CT scan shortly after the IV was determined to be fully functional. Within about 30 minutes the doctor came back into my room to tell me I have appendicitis and we need to operate. To give a little context to this from my perspective I don’t know anyone here, I don’t know exactly where I am, I have never had surgery before in my life, and any family of mine that could get here are about 2 hours away and will not make it to the hospital before I got into the OR. I am a stranger in a very unholy land. Everything happened in the blink of an eye it seemed. I got to the hospital around 4:45PM. By 7:00PM I was being prepped for surgery and wheeled into the OR. Sidebar to all of this, as the nurses wheeled me up there was a gentleman screaming for help at the top of his lungs in one of the rooms. The doctors were trying to restrain him as best they could but it was a hell of a scene as I wheeled on past. I joked with the nurses that although I was anxious to say the least, at least I wasn’t acting like that guy. I got put on the operating table, joked around with the nurses for a bit, and then was given another IV injection. The next thing I remember I was being woken up and carted to the recovery room sans one appendix.
My parents arrived shortly after and we all went to my final room for the trip. The doctors explained I would be here over night, my parents left and spent the night in my hotel room at Foxwoods, and then everybody left and I went to sleep. Every 2 hours for the rest of the night nurses came in to check on my vitals. Aside from being very sore I felt great. The pain from before was long gone. I was told by one of the nurses that I needed to go to the bathroom at some point during the night so I figured I’d help the process along and drink some water and ginger ale. At around 4AM I called for the nurse and asked her to unhook me from the machines so I could use the bathroom. This was probably the worst part of the night for me. It was as if my body had forgotten how to take a leak. After about 5 mins of intense concentration to get things going, I felt the extreme pain in a not so friendly place. The nurse informed me that I was given a catheter while I was in the OR so I was probably aggravated from that. She also took this time to inform me that if I didn’t piss on my own, they would need to give me another catheter before the morning to make sure my bladder was empty. As I said before, fear is a powerful motivator. I took the longest and most uncomfortable piss of my life and feeling this immense sense of conquest, wandered back over to the bed to sleep for the rest of the night.
I was sent home as promised the following morning. My parents drove me and my car back to their house where I spent the next 4 days just eating food and laying on the couch. Medical technology is pretty amazing. Something that may have killed people 50 years ago is now a simple matter of 18 hours in the hospital and a few weeks of taking it easy. Oh, the session the night before I lost $67 at a 1/2NL game in case anyone was looking for some poker information in this blog. I ran KK into AA and lost the only real pot I played all session, and spent the rest of the time battling back. Certainly not the most interesting part of my week.