Video Stills from Abstractions From A Leaky Faucet, 2008

Video Clip from Abstractions


Seven years ago, I had some chronic indigestion, gas and bloating. There was a lot of discomfort but since there was little actual pain, I had no idea that I was about to experience a major physical event. I tried everything to placate the symptoms, but to no avail. I found out later that my intestinal system had all but shut down; I didn't realize how dangerous a situation I was in. One evening, after watching Miyazaki's Spirited Away, the discomfort was so acute that I went into the living room to try a couple of old yoga poses on my stomach; I thought perhaps I could coax the "gas" out of my system with a little abdominal massage. A few minutes later I was huddled into a ball experiencing the most excruciating pain of my life. It was so intense, I nearly passed out. A couple of minutes later I was dripping in sweat. My partner rushed me to the emergency room. Nobody in the ER could figure it out. My symptoms were atypical for the problem. Early the next morning, when the doctors showed up, I was prepped for surgery: an exploratory laparotomy. An "exploratory" is what they do when they don't know what's wrong with you. A laparotomy entails making a long vertical incision into your abdomen so the surgeon can get a good look around at what might be causing the pain. What they found was that my appendix had ruptured spreading infection throughout my abdominal cavity. They removed the self-destructed organ and cleaned out my insides. I spent eight days in the hospital on antibiotics and many weeks recuperating from the surgery. The hospital released me with an open wound, loosely stitched together: a tactic, I later learned, discovered during the Viet Nam war to allow infection to exit the body while healing. The wound left me with a long thick scar down my abdomen.

Gallery Shots & Video Stills from An Altar to the Leporidae, Mixed Media, 2008