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  • kenpasternak

A Speedy Recovery or Not

Sending best wishes for a speedy recovery to Alex Albon, WilliamsF1 driver, who missed the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza last weekend due to an emergency appendectomy. He had some serious respiratory complications, but reports are that his is on his way to a full recovery.

This brought back memories of when I had an emergency appendectomy in December of my second year at university. I also suffered complications but in my case it was due to an infection and my recovery was slow.

About a year after my operation, I was volunteering one night a week in the emergency room of Yale-New Haven Hospital where I ran into the doctor who had done my surgery. After I introduced myself he said, “Oh yes, you were one of our mistakes.” He walked away without any further explanation. WHAT?!!

Working in the ER was a great learning experience and sometimes rather harrowing and exciting. One evening I was helping nurses subdue a scruffy and unruly patient, a possible drug overdose, on a stretcher. In the process I was cut on my hand by one of his fingernails. Once we got him strapped down so he would not harm himself or anyone else, the nurses attended to my wound. They also gave me a tetanus shot in my right arm.

The next day I was traveling by bus to play a soccer match at Princeton and the tetanus injection site swelled and reddened. By Saturday, before the match, I was in considerable pain. I did not mention anything to the coach but confided my situation to the team physio. He creatively fashioned a foam bandage with the center cut out to minimize direct impact on my arm. It worked well enough for me to make enough saves so the game could end in a 1-1 tie.

Here's hoping that Alex Albon has a faster recovery than I and is back in his race car very soon.

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