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04/15/2003

Note to self: clean floor before dying.

Have you ever honestly thought you were going to die?

The early hours of the morning found me on the bathroom floor again, the floor which needs a good wash now more than ever. I lay there naked on a towel, thinking, I wish I'd made a will.

After I passed the big clump of tissue last night, it seemed that the worst was over. I limped into the den and arranged myself very carefully on the sofa, aching and enervated but feeling rather triumphant. I couldn't stop talking, making poor Paul listen to Blood-soaked Tales of Horror from the Master Bathroom, rendered in glorious verbal Technicolor. I guess I was giddy. I know I was proud of myself for making it through.

When we went to bed, I dutifully took two Tylenol 3s, thinking it would send me into a dreamless sleep of exhaustion. Not two hours later, though, I was back on the bathroom floor, planning my many bequests.

I didn't know whether there was still more tissue that my tube was trying to jettison, or whether it was just trying to shrink back to its normal size, or whether it was spraying a hot jet of blood through my abdominal cavity like a garden sprinkler. Maybe it was all of the above.

Three hot baths and three blood-spattered towels later, I'd finally concluded that it was time to go to the hospital. I'd spent the last several hours arguing with myself. I knew surgery at that point was probably unnecessary, as expelling the mass earlier surely removed the possibility of a tubal rupture. But I was also pretty sure that if I went in, it was fairly likely I'd still be put under and sliced up.

But, see, they'd give me really good pain drugs.

At that point, that's all I wanted: really good pain drugs. Okay, and someone else to be in charge of deciding what to do with me. Someone else in charge of taking care of me, because clearly I was doing a piss-poor job of it, lying naked and whimpering on the filthy bathroom floor.

So I took my last hot bath of the morning. I tried to get dressed quietly, but I woke Paul up in the process. He had to wake up sometime, because I'd decided it was time to call the hospital.

I did, and eventually spoke to the doctor on call. He listened very patiently to my whimpering, and offered the reassurance I needed: "I don't think you're in any imminent danger, and I don't think it's an emergency. You should probably be seen, so you can come in now to the ER, or you can wait until your doctor's office opens and see them then, whichever you prefer. But you're not in any immediate danger."

Paul was already awake and showered and revving the engine out in the garage, poor guy, ready to whisk me away to safety. I decided I'd wait until my doctor's office opened, only an hour from then, so he came back inside and stood by the bed holding my hand while I lay there panting.

I'm pretty sure I've never looked lovelier.

My doctor called in about half an hour, having been notified by the doctor on call. Just imagine it, if you will: "Dude, your patient's having a real, for-true crazy-person four-alarm meltdown." To his credit, my doctor was, as ever, attentive and reassuring. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he succeeded in convincing me that the worst was over, that I just needed to lie still, take enough Tylenol 3 to fell an ox, and rest. I'd spend most of the day feeling like I'd been hit by a truck, he warned, but it would get better.

It did, some. I slept most of the day. When I wasn't sleeping, I was lying in bed feeling like I'd been worked over by Turkish prison guards. But the worst did truly seem to be over.

Again.

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