Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Dennis Ashton: Unplugged"

The Clot spent another Family Home Afternoon gathered around a hospital gurney as we waited for Dr. Wills to perform a “tender-timerectomy.” This is a procedure by which Dennis is officially unplugged, allowing all his precious bodily fluids to drain internally, as nature intended. The procedure went very smoothly, and Dennis no longer has his bile bag.

Before and After

This has been a little hard to adjust to because we have all become rather fond of the rhythmic sloshing that has been so soothing of late. It’s somewhat like hearing the roar of the ocean in a sea shell held to the ear. But we will adjust.

The procedure went so smoothly and efficiently, that Dennis was administered more anesthesia than was ultimately necessary. Gee, the guy was schnockered! He was sleeping quite soundly. And while he was sleeping, the Clot had a little too much time on its hands. We began devising ways to bring him out of his stupor.

Nothing seemed to have much success until we wrote a series of “sick limericks.” Now we are sharing this bit of absurdity only because it reflects our euphoria at the success of this procedure. Euphoria has some interesting side effects. This is just one of them.


There once was a vial of bile
Whose removal made us all smile.
Dr. Wills made a cut
Rather close to the butt,
And the bile now flows down de-Nile!

Every time Dennis wakes up after a procedure, several nurses hurry in and ask him to rate his pain on a scale of 1-10. So when it looked like he was finally opening his eyes, we couldn’t wait to read him our limerick. Afterward, we promptly asked him, “On a scale of one to ten, how funny are we?”

His response was barely audible, but it sounded like he said, “Is zero an option?” At which point we could only assume the drugs were still affecting his sense of humor.

Meanwhile, Dr. Wills came in to show us the x-rays of the newly internalized stent. After he explained how successful the procedure had been, the Clot proceeded to throw spit wads at an image on the pictures that appeared to be a dark large mass. When we had run out of ammo, Dr. Wills patiently explained that we had just attacked Dad’s gall bladder. Thank heavens for surgeons who will be able to discern the difference! Otherwise, the Clot would open Dennis up and remove anything large and squishy.

Dennis finally opened his eyes and began to emerge from his sleep-induced stupor, and started issuing denials that he knew who we were. Oh, there were threats of striking his name from birth certificates, blah,blah,blah. But the girls didn’t mind. It is hard to deny paternity when their faces are exact duplicates of his. He then attempted to claim “anesthesia amnesia,” and we all got the brilliant idea of a sit-com entitled “Dennis Who?” Dennis ultimately agreed on consciousness under the condition that the limericks cease immediately. We are complying with the terms, but we’re murmuring in protest.


Alison said...

Hi Ashton's,
We just wanted you to know we are all praying for and thinking about you often. Thanks for making a blog - it has been neat to follow the progress and to see that your spirits seem to be up. We love you, and miss our favorite doctor as we our out in ID.
Love, The Brashers

duff said...

You guys make me laugh--you are having way too much fun and too much time on your hands all at Dennis' expense. Seriously, thanks for taking the time to keep us updated. I love you guys. You know this is just a temporary situation and we'll be together shortly (no pun intended) talk to you soon--Deanna

the4ofusut said...

Dr. Ashton,

Anita called today and told me about what is going on in your life. We consider you as part of our family - no one else knows Nick like you and I do! When I told my boys Nick's response was "Well now I can't get sick until Dr. Ashton gets better, who will know how to make me better?" Please know you are in our constant thoughts and prayers. We look forward to seeing you back at the office. You WILL be better quickly and have a great story to tell!

Dan,Stephanie,Brandon and Nick Urry

Melissa said...

You are an amazing family...I am humbled and inspired by "The Clot"...Thank you for sharing your vibrant hope, uplifting optimism and fantastic sense of humor! You are in our prayers.

-Sam and Melissa Carter Family

Anonymous said...

On behalf of Karen, Cam, Ben, and Matt, we pray for your speedy recovery. You are an incredibe human being! Karen and I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for our boys and for us as nervous parents.
That Rockwell painting of the peditrician always puts a smile on my face. You are the doctor; that kid is one of mine.
Take care, Dennis. I can't wait to see you in June.
Joe Quackenbush