Friday, May 21, 2010

She Who Wants to be Named

Not that the Matron rereads her own writing for hours on end, lamenting her lack of professional success in this regard and heralding her skills. . . okay, stop.

But she came across an old blog post that spoke to recent events.

Ever since Stryker had his appendix out -- and he is slow, slow, slow to mend --- Scarlett has had a stomach ache. Dizziness. Fever? The mom is asked to check that out. Perhaps Scarlett broke her thumb? Did the Matron notice this slight rash on her leg? There's a bump on this elbow. Her hair has less texture. Is it normal to sneeze?

Scarlett: "Mom, my left eye lid feels sort of funny. Heavy. And I think I have some sort of swelling on my right big toe. Then there's my STOMACH! It HURTS. Plus I have a headache and sometimes my back itches. I'm in pretty bad shape."

You get the drift.

Matron: "Considering all these ailments, do you still want to audition on Saturday?"

Scarlett (instantly alive): "YES YES YES."

In the interim, the Matron takes the temperature and administers various creams.

Here's the old post. Ah, memories. And continuity.



Perfect. Quite versatile and as impossible as 'tummy' for others to assess. This may be a more flexible weapon. Whereas the tummy ache seems to require a beginning and end point, dizziness can weave in and out of consciousness at all times--here one fleeting, disorienting moment and gone the next. Dizziness has both laser precision and an an ethereal, Victorian quality that suits, entirely.

I'm quite impressed. This may be my personal favorite.

That, and on Sunday--while dizzy, and with head and neck aches (distinct ailments)--Scarlett reported that she was experiencing diarrhea and constipation simultaneously.

Have I said how talented my kids are?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Is not a bad idea.

Let's just note that the young teen on this chemical has evolved into the picture of civility, gratitude and decorum.

Can we buy this in boxes for breakfast?

Your dear Matron apologizes for the short post, but she has a book proposal due tomorrow evening and has spent five days sitting beside He Who Cannot Be Named.

The recovery, friends, has been slow.

The Matron remembers having her appendix out and snapping up like Superwoman to attend to the children.

But then, she's not a man.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Model Patient

The Matron has official permission from He Who Cannot Be Named to use that name and blog about his acute illness and emergency surgery.

Thank you, Stryker.

Let's develop the 'model patient' theme.

First, when Stryker woke up in horrible pain at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, he roused his father -- not his mother -- out of bed. This was good move number one.

John stayed up with Stryker; the two learned what retching and bile meant. They alerted the Matron to the situation around 7 a.m.

John: "I think we should call the nurse line."

Matron: "I think we should wait it out -- it's probably the flu."

Stryker: "It's not the flu. This is different."

They went with Stryker and even handed him the phone so he could describe the intestinal drama to the nurse himself; the nurse pretty much said run to the hospital.

Once there, it took about ten minutes for the doctor to decide Stryker needed to have his appendix removed. No x-ray, no MRI, no technology, just a woman with her stethoscope and knowledge, pressing a belly and looking into an eye.

You know the emergency room? The wait, the tedium, the agony?

But God-Buddha-Allah-Oprah-Universe were with Stryker and the Matron. When they walked in there was no one waiting. They got a room instantly.

The surgical team was upstairs finishing another emergency surgery -- on a baby --and ready to take Stryker instantaneously. He was snapped right up. Terrified.

Matron to surgeon: "He's terrified."

Surgeon: "I know. That's my first job--taking care of his fear. Actually, that's a lot of what we do. Everyone in the O.R. knows that the first thing, is he's scared and we'll help him."

Could she fall to the floor and weep in gratitude now?

The surgery not only went great, but a nurse kept coming out every ten minutes to report how well Stryker was doing.

Turns out the first thing Stryker said to the nurses when he woke up was: "Thank you."

Stryker to floor nurse: "Thank you for taking care of me."

Stryker to Matron: "Can I have stationary to write a thank you card to the surgeon?"

Stryker to janitor: "Thank you for emptying the wastebasket in my room."

Stryker to person who took blood from his arm: "Thank you for taking care of me."

Stryker to person delivering his food in the hospital: "Thank you for taking the time to bring me pudding."

Stryker to Matron at 4 am last night --now home -- : "Thank you for sleeping on the couch next to my room."

Surgeon, nurse, janitor, food delivery person to Matron: "What a polite young man you have there!"

The Matron would like to take complete credit for this, but she can't. It's in his bones.

But not his appendix, which is officially gone.

More on the gifts and aftermath later. Yours truly has had the minimal legal sleep possible for four days and has developed all themes within her brain power.

Monday, May 17, 2010

He Who Cannot Be Named

Has given the Matron permission to blog about his emergency appendectomy and all the ensuing drama.

While the Matron would love to attend to this pleasant creative task right now, she must relieve John of hospital duties; since she's already lived there several times (thanks, Merrick), John spent the night.

Interestingly, while the hospital has great internet service, their software blocks "Minnesota Matron" as a 'suspicious site.'


Look for an update tonight!