Twelve years ago I got hit with major appendicitis and had to have it removed. After it was over, I decided to "sue" the weasly thing, and got my good friend Hoot-N-Owl to represent me. In going through stuff I found a copy of the complaint and here it is. I've edited it to disguise somewhat the real names of a bunch of individuals who chipped in to help. Those that recognize yourselves, thank you again!
V I R G I N I A:
IN THE MILL MOUNTAIN ZOO FOR THE CITY OF ROANOKE
ROSS C. HART
HIS (former) APPENDIX
BILL OF COMPLAINT
TO THE HONORABLE KANGAROOS OF SAID ZOO:
COMES NOW Ross C. Hart, by Hoot N. Owl, counsel, and represents as follows:
1) On, about, or within nine months of MMDDYY, Ross C. Hart and his appendix were joined together, and remained together in apparently harmonious relationship for over 50 years.
2) During the early years of the relationship Ross C. Hart did the usual thing for his age: attended school, went to the principals' office, annoyed his parents, and so forth. The appendix, as a vestigial organ of undetermined value did nothing to interfere with those functions.
3) During Ross' second decade, as he discovered the fairer half of the species and made crude attempts to impress them, the appendix continued to stand by.
4) The appendix similarly kept to itself during the next three decades not even getting involved at the time Ross' right kidney, in an inexcusable fit of rage, stoned Ross.
5) At no time during this relationship did Ross abuse, coerce, hinder, constrain or interfere with the appendix in any way; in fact Ross went to great effort to ensure that it was well fed and enjoyed various beverages supplied in appropriate (by Ross’ standards) moderation.
6) The foregoing relationship ended abruptly in the City of Salem, Virginia, on the morning of April 18, 2001, when the aforesaid appendix, with malice aforethought, intentionally began interfering with the normal functions of the remaining organs of Ross C. Hart. More specifically, the appendix:
a) Began causing pain around 4:00 AM, but disguised the pain as a pulled muscle
b) Increased the amount of pain such that at 6:30 AM Ross C. Hart was forced to awaken his sleeping wife (the pain of awakening her then being less severe than the pain then being caused by the appendix)
7) The aforesaid wife having excellent medical skills honed as an Emergency Medical Technician, began an examination of Ross C. Hart, which examination, as loving and gentle as it could be, caused increased pain.
8) Said wife then called Dr. K, Ross' primary care physician (being formerly known as "Dr. Quinn") who immediately scheduled an office visit for later that same morning.
9) During said office visit, Medicine Woman performed various tests, some causing additional pain, and announced that a blood test had an extremely high white cell count of 17000, and (realizing Ross hadn't cracked a single joke in over 45 minutes) stated that Ross "had all the 'good' signs of appendicitis" ('good' later changed to 'classic' as there are no 'good' signs of appendicitis)
10) Ross was immediately dispatched to the emergency room, and Dr. K called ahead so that they would be expecting him. Unfortunately, Dr. K called Roanoke Memorial, and his wife thought the doctor had said Lewis Gale.
11) Ross and his wife then arrived at the Lewis Gale ER which was not expecting them, and they looked up with blank stares when the supposed call was referred to.
12) Nevertheless, upon being given a summary of the office visit, the Lewis Gale ER accepted Ross as a patient, made him put on the too small uniform patients are required to endure, and which have too much air hitting the posterior. Ross was then placed in a cold room to wait. And Wait.
13) A surgeon was contacted and a Dr. Al appeared and described himself to be the 'quack on call'.
14) At some time during this, Trigon Blue Cross BS (ever notice the last two initials of Blue Cross is “BS”?) was contacted and did confirm appropriate insurance coverage.
15) Dr. Al and the nice, kind, anesthesiologist (with those drugs, the name is forgotten!) discussed the various ways Ross could die during the "routine" operation, and then obtained his consent for the operation.
16) The next thing Ross remembers is awakening several hours later without the pain experienced earlier in the day, but with other pains and some interesting scars on his belly (interesting only if you're a Steven King fan)
17) Dr. Al later advised that the surgery was laproscopic, in which neat little tubes are inserted through several incisions in the belly, air is pumped into the wall, and the tubes moved to the appendix. The appendix was found to be gangrenous and really nasty, and was therefore removed immediately. Upon closing the various incisions, an incidental repair was made to a hernia in the area of the 'belly button'.
18) During the night after the operation nurses kept entering the room Ross was given to give medicine to help him sleep, to control his pain, and to take temperature and blood pressure every half hour. Therefore Ross did not sleep well that night.
19) At breakfast time Ross was greeted with bullion and a popsicle (isn't ice cream for tonsils?) but fortunately the meals got better as the day progressed.
20) Ross was then discharged from the hospital around noon, April 20, 2001, and after a short rest at home with some abdominal discomfort (similar to doing about 1000 sit-ups at one time), low grade fever, and some pretty good drugs, he returned to his office to continue whatever the hell he does.
WHEREFORE, Ross C. Hart, by counsel, moves that this Court--
A. Condemn the appendix t an eternity in the theological place of eternal punishment with all other bad appendices;
B. Thank all those who helped out, visited, or otherwise expressed their concern, to wit:
1 A& J and then DF for keeping the kids the first day, PQ for picking them up and bringing them to the hospital and A and H for taking time from their spring break to watch them the second day.
2 Donna Jarrells, Ross' legal assistant, who rose to the occasion and made various arrangements to deal with Ross' schedule and generally ran the office more efficiently than if Ross were there.
3 The Rev. T.V. who, being informed of the situation (and having some other folks from the parish in the hospital) gave up a vacation day and showed up at the hospital in his uniform. Also MO, St. Paul's Parish missioner, who visited and called.
4 PQ, again, for jumping in to a rezoning hearing not having done one before, and obtaining a unanimous vote in favor of the rezoning, then visiting to describe how it went.
5 JM for covering those matters on Friday that could not be put off, and in particular for helping Donna deal with the payees.
6 Dr. Al for doing a wonderful job, having an excellent bedside manner and sense of humor, and being able to put the patient at ease and explain things so even a lawyer could understand them.
7 The nurses and staff at Lewis Gale Hospital for their excellent care.
8 The Business Office at Lewis Gale Hospital AND Lewis Gale Clinic for NOT messing up the bill.
9 The kids for behaving incredibly well with those who watched over them during the ordeal.
C. Take such other action as appropriate.
Ross C. Hart
By: Hoot N. Owl, Esquire pq (Mill Mtn Bar # 3)
Third Cage on the Left
Mill Mountain Zoo