The Fine Line 16: Painkillers and Passing Gas

The Fine Line is a series from Rick. Check out earlier parts of the series here. We pick up here after Rick’s liver transplant.


Having end-stage liver disease, can make for a deadly fart. This is how I know my friends and family love me, ya know? It’s the little things. But here’s the thing. That fart took four days. Four days of building the most putrid odor I would ever encounter. But that’s another story.

As they began to remove the IV monitoring boxes, I began learning how to get up out of a bed without the use of my abs. Staples fresh in my stomach, a catheter, and two drainage ports with mysterious red and blue colors made moving out of the bed that much harder.

Regaining Strength After Surgery

Ricks Transplant Scar But nevertheless I continued to push myself. I was slowly grasping the roll out method I would need to use to get out of bed for the next two months. Putting on my awesome shoes I hobbled onto my walker and with my nurse we walked around the ward. I was walking, eating food and talking coherently. But I was also in immense pain, the pain medications while doubled, never took me below a seven on the pain scale.

While they offered to increase the dosage further, I embrace as much pain as I can while I can still function. As long as I can function, I could be in crippling pain and I will trudge forward.

Preparing for Discharge

My mom was excitedly preparing the house for my return, making certain that everything was clean and sanitized as best she could. We couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present.Rick After His Liver Transplant

My next nurse introduced herself in a more unusual fashion: “Do you have a friend named Jeane?”
A little confused, but not surprised I said: “Yea, she’s my best friend.” “Ya know we were originally going to have sushi today, and she said she couldn’t because her friend just had a liver transplant at Scripps.”
“This is awesome, she should be here in a few hours!” I replied. As they’re both nurses and with the frequency I went to the hospital, I figured I would eventually run into a friend of hers, but this was quite the day for it to happen.

When she arrived, it was conversation and stories, and for a moment I even forgot that this was a recovery room. But as a few hours had passed, it was time to do a walk around the floor. We stopped briefly at the lobby to pose for an excellent picture of my recovery.


Check back for more from Rick’s series “The Fine Line”

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