Friday, November 9, 2012

Appendix Saga, Part 1

I know I haven't posted lately.  I'll blame work, books, and Netflix.

Oh, and having my APPENDIX REMOVED.

I've told a few people this story, both the long, drawn out version and the uber-condensed version, and I always start it with:

"My husband recently tried to kill me."

I say that jokingly, of course.  I doubt he'd want me dead.  But when you're laying in bed for a day, wrestling with vomiting and excruciating pain, for him to tell me, "Oh, it's just the flu, give it a few days," seems pretty blase when the pain is only on the RIGHT side of my abdomen.

But he did keep me company when I was awake, trying to help me feel better, even though you can't really feel better from something like that.

I did genuinely think I had the stomach flu when I woke up that morning.  I had shakes and chills and horrible pain all around my stomach, and I did throw up a couple of times.  But after six hours, most of the other flu type symptoms had disappeared, leaving me with horrid pain all over on the right side of my abdomen.  I kept thinking it could be a symptom I'd never had, and took a combination of Pepto, gas meds, and pain killer to make it more manageable.

So I lay awake at 930 that night, keeping still so that I wouldn't hurt so much, with my honey asleep next to me, pondering this mysterious illness, when a word simply appeared in my head.


"Oh," I said aloud.  "That could be it."

I fished my laptop from my beside table, Googled "appendicitis symptoms" and read a very long list that contained many things I had experienced during the prior twelve hours.  However, there were many things I had NOT experienced.

I decided to call my heath insurance nurse line, see what they thought.

I call, get connected to a nurse, and tell her, "I'd like to run by you the possibility that I'm in the beginning stages of appendicitis."  She asks me some questions, and I give answers, and at the end of five minutes she says, "I don't think you have appendicitis; I think it's a virus."
"Like the flu?"
"Yes.  Get some rest and if you still have pain in a day, call your doctor."

I hung up, and I believed her for all of ten minutes.  Then I said, "No, there's something fishy going on here.  Virus or no virus, I'm going to my doctor tomorrow."

The next morning, I rope my hubby into driving me to the doctor, who, thankfully, keeps two emergency appointments in reserve every day for exactly these kinds of situations.

I won't regale you with the details of the appointment, but suffice it to say, after he had poked and pushed and prodded at my stomach, left side, center, and right side (which hurt ever so much), he pronounced, "Well, it COULD be appendicitis, but it could also be a burst ovarian cyst."
I just blinked at him and asked, "Which means what?"
"Which means we'd give you lots of pain killer and send you home to rest."
"Oh, I like that idea," I replied with a grin.
He smiled back.  "However, the only way to know for sure is to do blood work and a CT scan, which I can't do here.  You're going to ER.  Now.  As soon as we're done here."
I shrugged.  "Yeah, sure, it's right over there.  I can walk."
"NO!"  He pointed emphatically at me.  "You are NOT walking.  You," he turned to point at my husband, "you are driving her.  You will drop her off at the entrance and go park.  She is not to walk."
I was surprised at his vehement insistence, but it occurred to me later that if I did have appendicitis, he'd want to avoid it rupturing en route to ER.

Off we went, driving the whopping eighth of a mile to the ER entrance.  I walk in, and they hand me a form asking why I was there.
I wrote, "Doctor sent me."
Then I thought, "That's not going to get any kind of urgency," so under my first response, I wrote, "Possible appendicitis" and underlined it.
I kid you not, TEN MINUTES later, they called my name to take me back to a room.

End Part One.

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