Last Friday morning at 1:30 a.m., I had a stomach pain hit that hit me like a sucker punch and woke me up out of a deep sleep. I had made chili the night before, plus I was on a antibiotic, and I thought the combination of the two was getting to me. Going to the bathroom didn’t help but I couldn’t find a comfy way to sleep either. Since I had my gall bladder taken out a little over a year ago, I knew it wasn’t that. It was a sleepless night.
Our morning coffee didn’t taste good to me. I dragged myself to work, still thinking it was just an upset stomach. I had a half day, luckily, and spent most of it napping (at home, not at work.) I noticed that I was also feverish and could not get warm. Food didn’t appeal. I finally forced myself to accept one possibility–appendicitis. I had all the symptoms: severe abdominal pain, fever, chills, couldn’t pass gas, couldn’t go to the bathroom. I was miserable.
However, I think sometimes I tend to dwell on things happening inside my body a little more than the average bear, and thought maybe that’s what I was doing. I drank lots of water that day. Maybe I was just dehydrated?
However, when it still didn’t go away by 7 that evening, I asked Joe to take me to the ER. He knew then it was serious because one doesn’t just go to the ER. It’s an event. You’re locked in now so get used to looking at the same people for hours. You’re all family now.
We waited at the ER for what felt like twenty hours but was actually only five, which is a really long time when you don’t feel well. Another amusing symptom was that it hurt to walk. I was even more convinced that it was appendicitis because the exact thing happened to my daughter, and her appendix had exploded pretty much everywhere inside her body. However, I still clung to the slim hope that it was just gas and that I’d be able to toot my way out of the ER.
Finally, it’s our turn. “I think it might be appendicitis,” I tell the ER doctor. He laughed and shook his head. “Teens get appendicitis. Teens and people in their twenties. Not elderly patients.” He actually said older but I could tell what he really meant.
I’m trying not to be smug when I tell you this, but I was right. Small consolation.
After changing into a fashionable backless evening gown, we were escorted to a room upstairs because I had officially been admitted and was told that I would have surgery to remove the offending appendix in the morning. I was so thirsty and I was SO not going to get anything to drink.
Joe had to go home and let the puppy out (as you know, she’s still just little) and he took a tiny nap at home while I took one at the hospital. Surgery went off without a hitch–it’s kind of scary when you remember getting wheeled into the freezing cold OR, you remember transferring from one table to another and I even remember them putting the electrodes on…but after that it was lights out. A funny coincidence was that a month ago, the very same doctor had fixed Joe’s umbilical hernia.
Joe told me later the doctor said that it had been inflamed for a while. When I think back to last week I absolutely see that–I hadn’t felt good all week. It was all clear now–my appendix was planning a revolt, a going away party, and I wasn’t even aware of it.
The appendectomy was laparoscopic, which is good because of the tiny little incisions. I’ll heal faster. I have a sore throat and neck from being intubated, (What the hell do they do to your neck, anyway, that makes it so damn sore??) and unfortunately a yucky drain that I have to chart the contents of.
Although I have taken two sink baths, my hair desperately needs SOME ATTENTION because it’s been in a ponytail for three days but actually looks like it’s been in coconut oil for three weeks. Luckily, I get a shower tonight.
Bright side? I sought medical attention when I needed it. I had wonderful nursing care at the hospital, a bright doctor, and great surgeon. I have good health insurance. I met my deductible sometime in January this year after shoulder surgery. I have a husband who’s bringing me home Portillo’s tonight (I couldn’t possibly cook heh heh) went grocery shopping last night, and despite all his misgivings, bought me a 12 pack of Coke. I have a wonderful watchdog to protect me while I’m recuperating.
Life throws curveballs sometimes. It’s best to keep your mitt handy.