This is a partial transcript from the urbanMamas Podcast, Episode 5 with Rae Ann Peil and Kelli Martinelli. To hear the full story about Kelli’s emergency trip to the ER (without health insurance), a conversation about managing the holidays as a split/blended family, ideas on how to ask and give in your community, and that little bastard Elf on the Shelf, click on the link below. Or subscribe to the urbanMamas Podcast on iTunes.
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R: How's it goin?
K: It's going. It's been another week in this household ...
R: In the life of Kelli Martinelli! I do have to say I appreciate your partner, Tim, posting updates on you on Facebook, because otherwise I would've never known that you have been so sick.
K: Yeah, I stayed off of it, but he did, so. I'm talking a little slower today because I've got ...
R: You sound drunk. Or stoned. I don't know.
K: I do have some pretty fantastic pain meds going through my body at the moment, but I had an emergency appendectomy over the weekend. Friday night. And yeah, Tim, he said "Okay, who do I need to notify?" And there was the obvious ones. My mom, and my ex-husband, and then he said, "Oh and I went ahead and covered Facebook, too." Thanks. You know me pretty me well.
R: He knew what to do.
K: I was glad it was -- I disconnected the whole time, but ...
R: You mean you weren't Snapchatting your appendectomy?
K: I DO have a picture of it if you'd like to see it somewhere. It's pretty gross and fantastic. So Thursday I thought I had the flu, I had these sharp pains. And I had two really awesome things planned that day. I had a massage that was a gift to me from my birthday a few months ago at Mudra, and it was one of those kinds where they walk on your back, so what is that, Ashiatsu? So I was gonna go do that. And then I had a wine tasting in the evening and I had to cancel both of those cause I'm like, oh no! I have the flu. And then on Friday, it wasn't any better. I was stuck in bed. And times that I've had the flu in the past I was still up. I could go to the couch and I could watch a movie. And I couldn't move. The weird thing was it was increasingly hard for me to move my right leg.
R: Your right leg? That's strange.
K: Which really started me thinking that maybe this was something bigger, and your appendix is on the right side. So I'm like, maybe it's connected to the muscle ..
R: I would've never put all of this together, this is really intelligent thinking for being sick.
K: I had time to think. So it got really hard to walk upstairs and the worst thing was getting in and out of bed. Just couldn't do it.
R: God forbid you have to pee!
K: Yeah, that's been an adventure every time. But so I recently signed up for insurance. I've been trying to navigate Cover Oregon since I started freelancing in May, and it has not been for lack of trying, it's just been really hard.
K: If you look at my logistics, I freelance, I'm divorced, and I claim one child on my taxes and my ex claims another, and when you're figuring out your healthcare coverage, you -- I needed it for my kids, too -- then you can only do the child that you claim.
K: So it was very complex. So as I was lying in bed going Ahh, I have the flu! Or maybe not. Maybe I just ate too much mac and cheese and kicked myself into lactose intolerance (totally wondered this by the way), like well I can't really go to the doctor, I'm not covered yet. But on Friday afternoon it was just, it was so bad, that we finally went to Zoom Care. And walked right in and the doctor saw me, in the lobby and she said "Oh no no, sweetie, no, this is not okay, you have to go to the ER."
K: And what do you do? You have to!
R: You go to the ER!
K: So went to the ER and sat there for several hours.
R: Which ER?
K: Legacy Emanuel.
R: 3 hours?
K: 3 hours in the ER, and it was 4 hours until I got pain meds.
R: That is not okay.
K: No, it was not okay. I know they have the triage nurse and they have to do what they can do to make sure that everybody gets seen, but, I feel like I'm gonna sound so selfish, but I'm sitting there going, "Why is this person in here? Why is this person in here? I don't see anything wrong with you."
R: They need labels! Like everybody should wear around a sign around their neck so that we all feel like it's fair maybe.
K: Sure! Cause maybe you do have something very serious that I can't see happening right now. You could say like, "You can't see it but my gallbladder hurts!" or "I'm trying to pass a kidney stone at this moment."
R: With a pain scale, I think the pain scale should be identified.
K: But the people that were in there, they just kind of looked chill, they were watching a basketball game on T.V. Meanwhile I'm sitting in my double wide wheelchair ...
R: Ready to punch a baby.
(oh my god, Rae, did you really just say that? ha! and yeah, kinda accurate.)
K: Oh my god. I was HOWLING. I had lost all inhibition whatsoever and I was howling with pain. But I wasn't registering a temperature, so the triage nurse saw that I was hurting and had abdominal pain, but no accompanying temperature, so I just didn't get bumped up. Anyways, lots of pain, lots of nurses, lots of doctors, and around midnight or so I went in to surgery and that was bliss. They pulled that puppy out. It was a ruptured appendix. But one thing that they clarified with me, it was certainly a misconception, is that a rupture appendix doesn't like BOOSH, it's not like the gum that squirts out all the stuff on the inside, do you remember that?
K: It's a perforation.
R: Like a slow leak.
K: Yeah. But once it is perforated then it starts to go a little bit faster, so mine was perforated but it was still pretty close in to the actual appendix itself. But what possibly made mine worse is that your appendix, if you're a woman, your appendix and your ovaries are very close to each other.
R: Of course they are!
K: And I have a cyst on my ovary. So, I had basically had my appendix and my ovary kind of fighting.
R: A war of internal organs.
K: My boyfriend, he is a fantastic mom. Tim was just off the charts.
R: Tim took care of you.
K: Just everything that I needed, without flinching, without hesitating, no tough love, no suck it up, solider, you're gonna do great. He was there for me. And then, my ex-husband brought the kids in to the hospital to see me.
R: Sweet. Good.
K: So I got to see my two kiddos and they brought me in a couple things. My son brought me a card that says "Get out soon!"
R: Like he thought you were in jail.
K: Get out soon and have a Merry XMas!
R: Maybe I'll see you next year?
K: And my daughter brought in a picture of our family, but it's our WHOLE family. It's the whole split/blended family. So,
R: Love that.
K: My two kids, and Tim and I, and then my ex-husband and his partner and her two kids.
R: So sweet. I like how she wrote Mom three different times.
K: You know, the split/blended family thing it's not easy, and I don't think that anybody would ever say that it is, even if you're under the best circumstances that you could possibly have. But, the holidays, how do you do the holidays?
R: Yeah, well I'm a single parent, so. It's tricky. Our first Christmas that we were split up we did Christmas together, which was really sweet, because it we were both really raw, I think, and we weren't really wanting to let go of that, and so we both just really put everything aside to do it together with the kids. And it was really sweet. And I'm actually really glad that we had one more year that we maybe wouldn't have otherwise had. And then since then it's been this division, as the kids have gotten older they go with their dad for longer chunks of time. And we've always kind of let them determine what they're comfortable with. So this year they've said that their max is about five nights, which is the most they've ever been gone anyway. So fortunately their dad is great about that. I work really hard to make sure that time is still balanced and even per our parenting agreement and that all days get made up, because we like to allow each other some flexibility in that. It works out, but it's hard. Our division happens on Christmas morning.
And then Kelli slurs Bohemian Rhapsody. You can continue the conversation with us on managing the holidays as a split/blended family on the urbanMamas Facebook page. Please tune in to the podcast to hear more as we discuss deconstructing the idea of the nuclear family, ideas on how to ask and give in your community, that bastard Elf on the Shelf and more.