I know I haven't posted in awhile. What the heck have I been doing home all day recovering from surgery? Almost 2 weeks ago I had surgery for a leaky and finally ruptured appendix. I have tried to be a good patient and follow Doctor's orders (which in itself can be challenging!). I have rested, slept, taken all my medications, taken it easy and in general been rather bored. I have debated about writing about my illness and it finally occured to me that I should put the experience on record for my own benefit of memory. So, here is a warning: read at your own risk. I generally do not like to complain about health issues, knowing that no one really wants to hear about someone else's aches and pains. However, since this has been such a BIG part of my life in the month of November, I shall write about it and then put it in the memory books.
I was registered for a computer update training the first Wednedsay, Thursday and Friday of November in Jefferson City (about 70 miles away). I made it fine on Wednedsay but had a rough night Wednesday night. I got up almost every hour with a pain running in my lower abdominal area. I had been fighting a sore throat for several days before this, and I just thought it was a complication from some type of flu. When the alarm went off at 5 on Thursday morning, I told Randy that I was thinking about staying home. It was a rainy cold day and the drive to Jeff seemed almost insurmountable in my current state. To be on time, I would have to leave at 7. . . maybe I would feel better by then. Finally at 7:45, I decided to go ahead and go to Jeff. I had left my notebooks there, and I didn't just want to be a no show. The stomach pain came and went, so I felt like I could "tough it out". I was 45 minutes late, and during the morning the pain kept coming and going. When we broke for lunch, I told the instructor that I wasn't feeling well and that I thought I should head home. After a LONG rainy drive, I made it home and went right to my bed to rest. I slept for almost 2 hours and when I got up, the pain had intensified. I took my blanket to the couch and waited for Randy to get home. When he came in, I think he knew instantly that I was not up to par. While he heated up some leftovers, I took a warm bath (after all, a warm bubble bath can cure anything, right?). I laid back on the bed, and when Randy came to check on me, I was feeling worse. He asked about the need to go to the ER. I said not yet, and asked him to get me a heating pad. About 20 minutes later, the pain was almost unbearable and I could not get comfortable in any position. He took control of the situation (I tend to be stubborn about things sometimes. . . . I know, who would guess?) and told me to get ready to go to the ER. During the trip, I was able to get in a position where the pain was less, and I asked him to turn around and take me home (the trip to Columbia is about 30 minutes). As embarrassing as this is, I had convinced myself that I was just constipated! Fortunately, his good judgement overruled my bad judgement and we continuted on.
Once at the ER, a male nurse from Moberly took me in for a triage. Long story short, I eventually was taken for a CT scan and the diagnosis was made. By this time it was close to midnight. I was taken to a room and kept on pain medications until 7 the next morning when they took me to surgery. The 45 minute proceedure took close to 2 hours when they discovered that the appendix had burst and been leaking for some time. I am so thankful for a skilled surgeon that was able to do all this laproscopically, saving me from additional pain and discomfort. The first night in the hospital, Randy slept on the couch. . . or I should say was on the couch, I don't think either one of us slept much. When I got out of surgery the next morning, Jessica was the first face I recognized. . . I will NEVER take family for granted after this experience. Being in the hospital in an emergency situation is frightening. . . eased only by having the people you love with you.
I ended up spending the rest of Friday and most of Saturday in the hospital. The room where I stayed was part of a brand new addition and it was beautiful. Every room is a private room, and the surroundings are very peaceful and serene. If you have to be sick, it is a nice place to be.
On Friday night, I had the nurse/tech team from hell. Actually, the nurse was pretty good (after she scolded me for having unopened lemon mouth wipes on my tray. . . . which had been brought to me by another nurse for dry mouth. She said that they were "not allowed" in the hospital. I was left to wonder how they got there, because I certainly didn't bring them in!). The tech, however was a different story. In no uncertain terms, she let me know that her rules were the rules we were going to operate under during her shift. I couldn't do anything the way she thought I should. She came in for vitals at 3, and to try to ease the tension I commented that there wasn't much to watch at that time of day. Her reply was: "You mean they have 64 channels on that TV and you can't find one thing to watch?" Aye, yah, yah! That is pretty much how it went the whole 12 hours shift with her. I was never so glad to see the staff change in my entire life!!! It seemed like everything the nurse told me, the tech disputed (crossing legs, how much to drink, how to mange the pain etc.)
So, here I am, back at home recovering from the most surprising health issue to visit itself upon me in 54 years!
This experience has made me thankful for so many things, but most of all family and friends who offer comfort, support and care when you need it the most!