The Aftermath
The Trials of My Gut, Revisited.


Jonah Goldberg

Dear readers,

Someone once said, “the only minor surgery is someone else’s.” And that’s certainly true for me. But it wasn’t for many of you; I was amazed and delighted at how many people sent me their best wishes, prayers, and advice. Okay, the best wishes were great. The prayers were a little dismaying — I’m not too keen on bothering God with that sort of thing. I’m not sure he digs getting that much unsolicited e-mail about my problems when he’s got bigger fish to fry. But clearly everyone’s heart was in the right place.

Now as for the advice, some of it was great, some of it was awful. I’ll get back to this another time — perhaps during corrections — but I did love the guy who told me, “My grandfather had a hernia operation and he died of pneumonia — Good luck!” Still thanks to everyone; it meant a lot to me.

Anyway, as Bill Clinton might say, the experience was awful and agonizing and it would have crippled a lesser man — but I’m not complaining. I am still recovering. Whenever I sneeze it is as if the pain chip installed by the Clinton administration is firing at level 10 (“The president is a lying son of ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!”).

From one angle, my belt-line looks like Frankenstein’s neck and from another angle it looks like well, my belt-line — which was no picnic before the surgery.

Though I am still trying to figure out how my surgeons got off at Nuremberg, the operation generally went fine. The recuperation was awful. I was given a spinal anesthesia thingy which paralyzed and numbed me from about the chest down (how much time, money and anguish could the taxpayer have been spared if we had done that with the President?). It was supposed to wear off about an hour after surgery. It lasted about five hours longer than expected. Paralysis is kinda cool when you know it’s about to end, it ain’t so cool when doctors come into the room and say “Jeez, you’re still here?” Waiting for six hours to move your toes in the George Washington recovery room is not as cheery as a basket full of baby bunnies.

But my Reader’s Digest version of “whose life is it anyway?” ended pretty quickly, all things considered. I spent the weekend fairly miserable and extremely drugged, which was not a major change of pace I should add. But I was very well tended to.

The doctor told me I could go back to the office by Monday and I suppose he’s right. But that was pretty easy considering where my office is. So I’m here, operating at half-speed and doing my best, so be gentle with me. And thanks again.


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