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Musings from a hospital bed September 15, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings.

Well, not really. I was released yesterday afternoon. I had my appendix out on Thursday. I was in pain from 1 a.m. on Wednesday night, so I called my mother in the morning and she came over and took me to the emergency room at the hospital 0.2 miles from my house. No matter how old you are, when you get sick you still want your mommy there. I told the admitting clerk that I thought it was appendicitis, but the ER doctor thought it was kidney stones. He should know better than to second-guess a medical translator :-).

It was really cool hearing all the jargon I translate every day being used in real life and freaking out the staff by responding with professional jargon to their questions about pain. The surgical resident got a kick out of my responding “no pain on percussion” when he asked if I could feel pain while tapping on my back. The nurse blew several veins trying to draw my blood. I had central lines in both hands. I am sporting some nice hematomas. I got wheeled on a gurney for a CT, which (along with the blood tests showing elevated white count and no blood in my urine) revealed an enlarged and inflamed appendix.

I was wheeled into the operating room at 5 p.m. and – after being prepped for laparoscopic surgery – woke up in recovery at around 7:45 or so. I spent the night in the hospital (luckily in my own room so I was able to sleep more than I did the night before at home) and was released yesterday afternoon. It was my first overnight stay in a hospital, and it wasn’t that bad. I spent the night at my parents’ house last night and am happy to be home.

I was very, very grateful for my smartphone (even if did take a visit to the ER to figure out the outgoing server settings for my e-mail weren’t correct), because I was able to respond immediately to my clients’ e-mails. I was able to use the hospital guest WiFi the entire time. I turned down several job requests and notified one client that they should find someone else to translate the website I had accepted on Wednesday that is due next Tuesday. My clients deserve more attention to detail than I can give them right now. I will be recovering for the next few days, but have already stopped taking my prescribed pain meds because the pain is manageable.

But I am very glad I decided several months ago not to attend the BDÜ conference this year. I would have been flying to Germany right about now and would have lost lots of money on non-refundable pain tickets and hotel costs. I hope you all enjoy it without me. Wish I could be there instead of hobbling around my apartment.



1. frenja - September 15, 2012

Oh wow, du machst ja Sachen! Too bad we won’t meet in Berlin, but good thing that you don’t lose any money on this at least. Get well soon, Jill!

2. דנית בן-קיקי - September 15, 2012

I love your little Freudian slip there: non-refundable pain tickets 🙂
I guess pain is on your mind now.
Hope you feel better soon.
From aother overworked translator in Israel,


3. Gintautas Kaminskas - September 15, 2012

Gute Besserung! Did you realise you said „non-refundable pain tickets“ !? (Pain on the brain?☺) A little aside: in Australia no one uses the word ‘gurney’. (In USA no one uses/knows the word ‘fortnight’.)

4. Jill (@bonnjill) - September 15, 2012

HAHAHA! Good catch! I don’t know how I missed that… Guess it’s a good thing I canceled that translation.

BTW, I do know what a fortnight is. We just don’t have much cause to use it here. Everything happens so quickly. 😉

5. Jeff Hershberger - September 16, 2012

I feel your pain – literally. I had my appendix out last year but like an idiot I waited 24 hours after the onset of pain to go to the hospital. I was swollen up for weeks afterwards.

Jill (@bonnjill) - September 16, 2012

Jeff, I actually thought of you when I realized what was going on. You were in Michigan when it happened, right? One of out of every 15 people get their appendix out, so we’re in good company.

6. Fabio Said Said - September 16, 2012

Jill, I’m sorry you had to go through all that. It looks like you managed to keep your good humor. 🙂

It’s a pity we won’t be seeing each other in Berlin. But San Diego is just a month away. Let me know if you need me to bring you more of your favorite tee.

Jill (@bonnjill) - September 16, 2012

I still have 500 g of my favorite Tee, but thanks for the offer. I look forward to seeing you in San Diego!

7. Fabio Said - September 16, 2012

I mean, “Tee” with a capital T. 🙂

Fabio Said - September 16, 2012

Oops, I think my previous comment got lost on the way. Here it goes again:
Jill, I’m sorry you had to go through all that. It looks like you managed to keep your good humor. 🙂

It’s a pity we won’t be seeing each other in Berlin. But San Diego is just a month away. Let me know if you need me to bring you more of your favorite tee [Tee].

8. Kevin Lossner (@GermanENTrans) - September 16, 2012

All the best for your recovery, Jill.

9. Margaret - September 17, 2012

Sorry to hear this, Jill, and good recovery.
Not everyone wants their mother there…

10. Emma Goldsmith - September 17, 2012

Interesting to hear a medical translator’s take on a hospital experience. Did you really have a central line inserted in your hand???
Thanks for teaching me a new word – gurney. I had no idea trolleys were called that in the US.
Hope you’re back on your feet soon!

Gintautas Kaminskas - September 17, 2012

Funny that about “gurney”, isn’t it? One very English (UK) word that’s not used/known even in Australia is “the chippy”. First time I heard it, I thought it was a person (the vendor)! I wonder how many Aussies think “the village smithy” is a person! ☺(You could be forgiven for thinking so in “Under the spreading chestnut tree the village smithy stands…”)

Jill (@bonnjill) - September 17, 2012

Yes, and I have the tape lines on my hands to prove it. They just won’t go away despite several showers…

11. Tom Ellett - September 17, 2012

Hope you make a speedy recovery, Jill. See you in San Diego!

12. EP - September 18, 2012

Oh man, that brings back memories. It’s been a LONG time, but I had the same operation. Hang tough. And enjoy your first attempts at walking again!

Jill (@bonnjill) - September 18, 2012

Laparoscopic surgery means recovery is much quicker now than it was when they had to slice you open. I am already off the pain meds. I am walking very well, can easily get out of bed and even drove my car yesterday. Feeling very grateful and blessed 🙂

13. Sally Loren - September 20, 2012

Glad to hear you’re feeling better. As I told you, I’m off to the BDUE conference next week. I’ll get you one of the conference proceedings and send it to you. I’m taking part in one of the seminars you were due to speak at. Lisa and I will toast your health with a glass of something nice!

14. Judy Jenner (@language_news) - September 26, 2012

Poor Jill! Delighted to hear you are feeling better. See you at the ATA, nice and healthy and with no pain! Looking forward to seeing you. 🙂

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