Friends and surgery

by Jordan Green

At first, I blamed it on the chicken. It had to be that chicken. I knew it hadn’t been cooked right. Or was it the macaroni and cheese?

When I started feeling sick to my stomach on Oct. 16, I thought I had a bad case of indigestion. The thought never crossed my mind that my appendix could be going south.

Luckily, it took a detour.

On Oct. 17, I had my appendix removed during a surgery at the Ponca City hospital after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis. My appendix hadn’t burst by the time the talented surgical crew removed it, though the surgeon told me after the operation that this small body part was “angry” by the time he got to it.

I’d be angry, too, if I was about to be evicted from my home.

The surgery lasted all of 28 minutes and went smoothly. The recovery? Not so fast.

My parents brought me home from the hospital, and for the next several days, I did nothing but sleep. Being a college student, I normally don’t mind sleeping in all day, getting out of bed only to eat more Ramen Noodles. In the days following my surgery, however, I felt like I was about to win a medal in a 5K sleeping marathon.

Let me tell you: An operation to remove part of your body can really take it out of you.

I was pretty sore, and no amount of medicine could completely wipe away the inflammation from the surgery. It eventually subsided, and I started feeling like a human being again.

My wonderful family made my recovery as peaceful and painless as possible. My mom is a loving, caring lady, and she made sure I was comfortable and well-fed. My dad is a smart, compassionate physician’s assistant, so I’m lucky to have a medical provider who still makes house calls.

While I was recovering, I realized how blessed I am to have a long list of friends and family to cheer me up. So many people reached out to me to offer their well-wishes after my surgery, and some stopped by to see me. They really helped boost my spirits.

When I was diagnosed with appendicitis, a rush of emotions came over me. I was, admittedly, a little scared. This would be my first surgery. I was also worried about what would happen at the Northwestern News, the campus newspaper.

My good friends on the paper told me I had nothing to fret about, and they took up the slack for the week. Knowing that the paper I love so dearly was in capable hands eased my mind. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by such incredible journalists and, more importantly, friends.

I’m back to “normal” now – whatever that is in 2020. Still, I’ll never be quite the same. I weigh about 135 pounds, which equates to 2,160 ounces. An appendix weighs about 2 ounces. Now that I no longer have an appendix, I’m 2 ounces short. So, mathematically speaking, I’m only 99.9% of the man I used to be.

When I woke up from surgery, I wanted peace and quiet for a while. After a few hours had passed, though, I had to have some music.

The first song that came to mind was one of my favorite 1950s hits, “Mack the Knife.” My mind somehow drew an inference between having gone under the knife — a term we journalists love to use when saying a person had surgery — and listening to a song that mentions a knife.

It’s an upbeat tune. It makes me want to get up and dance. However, as a public service, I’ll refrain from doing so. You’re welcome.

After one long week of recovery, Folks, watch out. As the song goes, I’m back.

“You know when that shark bites with his teeth, Babe. Scarlet billows start to spread. Fancy gloves, oh, wears old Mack Heath, Babe. So there's never, never a trace of red.

“Now on the sidewalk, there lies a body just oozin' life. And someone's sneakin' 'round the corner. Could that someone be Mack the Knife?

“Yes, that line forms on the right, Babe, now that Macky's back in town. Look out, old Macky's BACK!”