Appendectomies…not just for the kids.

Last Friday morning at 1:30 a.m., I had a stomach pain hit that hit me like a sucker punch and woke me up out of a deep sleep. I had made chili the night before, plus I was on a antibiotic, and I thought the combination of the two was getting to me. Going to the bathroom didn’t help but I couldn’t find a comfy way to sleep either. Since I had my gall bladder taken out a little over a year ago, I knew it wasn’t that. It was a sleepless night.

Our morning coffee didn’t taste good to me. I dragged myself to work, still thinking it was just an upset stomach. I had a half day, luckily, and spent most of it napping (at home, not at work.) I noticed that I was also feverish and could not get warm. Food didn’t appeal. I finally forced myself to accept one possibility–appendicitis. I had all the symptoms: severe abdominal pain, fever, chills, couldn’t pass gas, couldn’t go to the bathroom. I was miserable.

However, I think sometimes I tend to dwell on things happening inside my body a little more than the average bear, and thought maybe that’s what I was doing. I drank lots of water that day. Maybe I was just dehydrated?

However, when it still didn’t go away by 7 that evening, I asked Joe to take me to the ER. He knew then it was serious because one doesn’t just go to the ER. It’s an event. You’re locked in now so get used to looking at the same people for hours. You’re all family now.

We waited at the ER for what felt like twenty hours but was actually only five, which is a really long time when you don’t feel well. Another amusing symptom was that it hurt to walk. I was even more convinced that it was appendicitis because the exact thing happened to my daughter, and her appendix had exploded pretty much everywhere inside her body. However, I still clung to the slim hope that it was just gas and that I’d be able to toot my way out of the ER.

Finally, it’s our turn. “I think it might be appendicitis,” I tell the ER doctor. He laughed and shook his head. “Teens get appendicitis. Teens and people in their twenties. Not elderly patients.” He actually said older but I could tell what he really meant. 

I’m trying not to be smug when I tell you this, but I was right. Small consolation.

After changing into a fashionable backless evening gown, we were escorted to a room upstairs because I had officially been admitted and was told that I would have surgery to remove the offending appendix in the morning. I was so thirsty and I was SO not going to get anything to drink.

Joe had to go home and let the puppy out (as you know, she’s still just little) and he took a tiny nap at home while I took one at the hospital. Surgery went off without a hitch–it’s kind of scary when you remember getting wheeled into the freezing cold OR, you remember transferring from one table to another and I even remember them putting the electrodes on…but after that it was lights out. A funny coincidence was that a month ago, the very same doctor had fixed Joe’s umbilical hernia.

Joe told me later the doctor said that it had been inflamed for a while. When I think back to last week I absolutely see that–I hadn’t felt good all week. It was all clear now–my appendix was planning a revolt, a going away party, and I wasn’t even aware of it.

The appendectomy was laparoscopic, which is good because of the tiny little incisions.  I’ll heal faster. I have a sore throat and neck from being intubated, (What the hell do they do to your neck, anyway, that makes it so damn sore??) and unfortunately a yucky drain that I have to chart the contents of.


Although I have taken two sink baths, my hair desperately needs SOME ATTENTION because it’s been in a ponytail for three days but actually looks like it’s been in coconut oil for three weeks. Luckily, I get a shower tonight.

Bright side? I sought medical attention when I needed it. I had wonderful nursing care at the hospital, a bright doctor, and great surgeon. I have good health insurance. I met my deductible sometime in January this year after shoulder surgery. I have a husband who’s bringing me home Portillo’s tonight (I couldn’t possibly cook heh heh) went grocery shopping last night, and despite all his misgivings, bought me a 12 pack of Coke. I have a wonderful watchdog to protect me while I’m recuperating.

I’ll keep you safe, Momma. Rawr.

Life throws curveballs sometimes. It’s best to keep your mitt handy.





Introducing, Literary Mary CHATS!

an interview with Terri Reid!

Mary Lamphere

As an added feature to my blog, I am going to invite authors and others in the literary field to answer five questions. I will post the results on the last Friday of each month.

I am very proud to be kicking off Literary Mary Chats with Terri Reid.

Terri Reid lives in the same area of the United States as her Mary O’Reilly character, Northwest Illinois.  She lives on five acres of rolling land in a 100 year-old farmhouse, with her husband, children, dogs, cats and several dozen chickens (well, they live in the barn.)  She has seven children and nineteen grandchildren, and LOVES her big family.

Her background is in marketing and public relations, but she has always enjoyed telling stories.  For a while, she worked as a freelance journalist for the local paper and wrote the Halloween feature for many years, collecting as many local ghost…

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The Nose Knows Nothing

Love, Lust, and Laptops

I had to wait a while before I could write about our New Year’s Eve celebration. Not because I drank so much that I was still hung over. Not because I had so much fun that I am only now sending out thank you notes and finishing up my photo books.

No, it’s so I could get a solid hold on what reality I was living that weekend and when I told you, I wanted to get it exactly right.

My husband had a nosebleed in the middle of December. He suffered in silence, as it started in the middle of the night and all evidence of it was gone by the morning. It was no more than a footnote over our morning coffee.

That weekend he had another. I raised an eyebrow and have to wash a load of towels.

Still, only two nosebleeds. Not a huge deal but…

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Cold Sores and Dry Shampoo

Love, Lust, and Laptops

image of a sick little girl stock photo by Davbid Castillo Dominici Pretty accurate description of how I looked that day.

It began innocently enough. A minor itch. A slight twinge. A little tingle. I started to fret. But maybe it wouldn’t happen this time. After all, I had gotten through other bouts of illness without developing one—maybe this would be one of those times.

Not so much.

At work, I felt the no-mistaking-it tingle that heralded the new arrival, and a look in my compact mirror confirmed what I already knew:  I was witnessing the birth of the world’s worst cold sore.

Fever Blister. Herpes simplex. It all sounds different to the ear but in the end, they are all the same—a gigantic cootie cluster on my lower lip, half an inch from dead center.

Maybe it wasn’t so much a birth as a coming home, however. After all, the only place I ever, ever get cold sores is in that very same spot. Same lip. Every time. What skeeves me out…

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Pregnant Women Just Gotta Deal.

Love, Lust, and Laptops

author’s note: Do you like “The Onion”? Then you’ll like this.

ID-10089055 Remember these days? (, pregnant woman holding belly by adamr)

A local father-to-be is honored for the hard work he did around the house on Saturday, while his wife “just puked all day”.

Jon Rhett goes on to say, “I mean, the dishes weren’t going to do themselves, right? Some of the bowls had cereal stuck on them so they were very hard to wash. I learned you have to let those soak because I cut myself on a sharp Frosted Flake that had adhered to the side of the bowl.” He then held up his middle finger which was indeed bandaged.

It wasn’t just the dishes that he helped with, though. Jon also vacuumed the living room (“I ate the cereal in there; I dropped a couple pieces”) and also used a hand towel to wipe off the sink…

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Dear Santa: A Letter from the Dog

Love, Lust, and Laptops

don't get

Dear Santa,

I have penned several letters to you this year, all of them unanswered. This time, I waited until my human went to bed to use the laptop. Although you can’t read dog, I’m pretty sure you can read Times New Roman.

I have been a very good boy this year. I know this because my humans have told me so, over and over, especially when I’m outside using the potty.

Do you remember that present I asked for last year? A new playmate? And instead of a canine playmate, you bought the kitten they named Miss Whiskers? The one that showed up with a red bow on her tiny little kitten head?

It turns out that kittens are all cute and fluffy at first. Harmless. Tiny. Adorable. And then, before you know it, they turn on you.

Santa, I don’t want bones or chew toys this year. What I…

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How Carol from The Walking Dead Gave Me a Great Vacation

Love, Lust, and Laptops

It’s taken a couple of years to get used to not only having gray hair but feeling good about it. My hair is not just gray but in places, it is silver and white. It’s been there, lurking in my roots, for the last twenty years, a generous and unwanted gift from my paternal side. Over the years, I battled my roots with ferocity like other people would use insect repellent to keep away mosquitos, sunscreen to prevent skin cancer or vaccinations to avoid coming down with the plague. Dyeing my hair to combat the gray growing out was necessary.

Until suddenly it wasn’t.

Remember when Carol from the Walking Dead had a gray buzz cut? It wasn’t my favorite look for Melissa McBride. However, as it grew, I watched in fascination as Carol’s personality changed with it. When Sunday nights rolled around and my husband and I watched TWD…

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Kindle Worlds ~ a primer

an article on Kindle Worlds I wrote for Love, Lust and Laptops!

Love, Lust, and Laptops

terri and meL to R: Chris Cacciatore & Terri Reid

This post was originally published in May of 2017 on another blog, the Life and Times of Poopwa Foley in response to questions from the public about Kindle Worlds. Not too many people are familiar with Kindle Worlds and it was my important civic duty to educate them. 🙂

My writing group, the In Print Professional Writer’s Group, had a guest speaker named Terri Reid in the Spring of 2011.

She spoke to our group about her foray into self-publishing with the release of her first e-book, Loose Ends, a Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery. When we had secured her as a guest speaker, her book had been downloaded over 40,000 times. By the time she came to speak to our group, only a few months later, it had been downloaded 80,000 times.

Six years later, Terri is a best-selling author and…

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The perfect shade of red.

Love, Lust, and Laptops

There are hypochondriacs, then there’s me. I live on a whole other plane of existence.

“Are you sure it’s a pulled muscle?” a slithery voice asks me, when I’m sure that the reason my shoulder is sore is because my wild boar of a dog yanked on his leash. “Are you sure it’s your gall bladder?” it asks, when I have a stomach ache, but I’ve already had a scan that shows significant gallstones, a surgical consult, and a scheduled date for surgery.

“But are you sure?”

Because it’s not enough to constantly worry about the aches and pains that come with being 50 and menopausal, I also have a big side order of anxiety deluxe.

Other people: My leg hurts. If it keeps up, I’ll go to the doctor and have it looked at.

Me: I have a blood clot, and I’m going to die.

Other people: Geez…

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