DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry One Hundred Thirteen.
Thursday, 2009.11.19, 8:42 PM CST.

A little over ten years ago, I almost died.
Current Mood:  Somewhat relaxed.  Current Scent:  Metal Jeans by Versace.

A little over ten years ago, I almost died.

Sunday, October 31st, 1999.  Halloween.  Yes, really.

I remember it well:  It was an exciting weekend for me.  I had just been delivered the most advanced computer I had ever used, a special custom-built job put together by my friend Tim (DJ TMJ) called the "PD2000," aka the "Pimp Daddy 2000."  Housed in a specialized (and fairly massive) purple tower, the PD2000 would be the multimedia powerhouse upon which I would compose music for several years.

That weekend, however, my focus wasn't on making music; it was on playing Valve's insanely cool first-person shooter, "Half-Life" (which, granted, had already been around for a while).

Unfortunately, I also had other concerns that weekend:  I was the "on-call" for the technical help desk for Dollar Rent-A-Car (don't ever rent from those bastards - or from Thrifty, either), so I was having to worry about getting pages from all over the country regarding technical issues with our systems.

Luckily, it hadn't been a bad weekend, tech-wise, when things started going very wrong anatomically.  I was staying up way too late on Saturday Night (the 30th), playing "Half-Life" and watching very old reruns of "Saturday Night Live" into the morning hours of the 31st.

I noticed a pain in my stomach - like a really bad stomach ache.  Worse than what I would usually experience.  I figured it was being caused by something I had eaten (like the edible agar-agar "brain" that I'd taken to work on Friday for our Halloween festivities).  Simple enough.

I headed to bed and fell asleep, still in pain.  The next morning, the pain had subsided, but it was still there.  As soon as I woke up, it started getting worse and worse until it became the worst physical pain I'd ever experienced.  It eventually got to the point that I kept having to crawl to the bathroom, vomit, and crawl back to the living room to take care of more "on-call" duties.

I talked with my girlfriend at the time, a young lady named Elaine (one of the few women with whom I had a relationship who didn't seem to have any significant mental issues), and she advised me to call the urgent care clinic.  I did so, and was informed that I might have appendicitis.

I called my manager to tell him what was happening; he was very understanding, and arranged for one of my team leads to meet me at the hospital.  Elaine drove by, picked me up, and drove me to the urgent care clinic.

Have you ever seen one of those television dramas in which a drug addict stumbles into a hospital, sweating profusely and dreadfully sick, looking for help?  Well, I was like that... except without any drugs.  I made my way to the counter and advised them that I thought I might have appendicitis, and that I was going to vomit right away.

They pointed the way to the nearest restroom, and there began the absolute worst barfing spree I have ever had.  They eventually got me into a wheelchair and gave me a bucket, into which I would spew every few minutes as they rolled me around for testing and whatnot.

Eventually, they determined that I indeed had appendicitis and arranged for a doctor to meet me at St. Francis' Hospital for an emergency appendectomy.  After waiting in triage for a considerably (in my opinion, excessively) long time, lying there in absolutely searing pain, I was taken into surgery and knocked out.  A doctor named Matt Bosquez performed the appendectomy before the appendix could burst.

Dr. Matt Bosquez cut me open on Halloween and saved my life.

It's hard to believe ten years have passed since that time.  Elaine and I broke up (fairly amicably) about a week later, and I took a while recovering from the surgery.  Luckily, the recovery went very well, and obviously I'm still around today.

Wherever Dr. Bosquez is these days (a Google search makes it appear that he now performs weight-loss-related surgeries), I hope he's going well.  God bless Dr. Bosquez, without whose skilled hands I might not be able to type this today.


*(Yes, I have a brain-shaped gelatin mould.  But, I don't actually use gelatin in it because I'm a vegetarian.)