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Appendicitis

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thursday I could not roll out of bed, my stomach hurt so bad. It has to be a bad pain to keep me down and it just got worse and worse. I wondered if it was just really REALLY bad gas. Finally, around 1 when my husband went to pick up my daughter I asked him to drop me at urgent care. I sat in the waiting room for 2.5 hours waiting waiting and in pain. A receptionist on her way out dropped me a pillow and blanket. Thank you kind lady.
Pain was so bad I couldn't even read. Pretty bad as I was deeply engrossed in the Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (I highly recommend this read!)
Finally, the doctor saw me and told me he was giving me a CAT scan, an IV, some anti nausea medicine and some morphine. I had a feeling I might have more than just bad gas.
I had to ingest crystal light mixed with some horrible tasting concoction that would light up my guts. My nurse kindly warned me that I would be getting the enema treatment once I reached the CAT scan room. She said she thought it quite awful how they didn't warn some patients before they got there.
CAT scan was excruciating. The liquid in my stomach combined with an enema negated any affect the morphine was having and the best part was the CAT scan produced no results (oh joy!) because my appendix was hiding out....smart little appendix that it was.
So, they sent me to St. Vincents where I waited it out until they could better determine what direction I was headed. This was the best time I have had in about 2 years. Seriously. I am not joking. High on pain killers I got a corner room that overlooked the Beaverton sunset. Alone, no work, lots of nurses coming in and chatting with me, TV, a comfy bed, phone...I just lay back and took it all in. Ahhh. 4:30 in the morning I was beeping my nurse. Save me from this horrible pain. Please give me more morphine in my IV. I NEED PAIN KILLERS NOW.
They didn't have much of an effect. Merely made the pain less distinct. The doctor diagnosed me and I was slated for the first surgery of the morning.
I got to hang out in the hall while everyone arrived for morning duty. I noticed that all the doctors and nurses had cool head gear on. Sushi, Hawaiian, flower, cars but no skulls. Heh. They all chatted it up. Someone caught a big salmon on the river. Conversation flowed over and through me while I waited. I acknowledged that I might die on the table and I felt ok with that. Then they gave me a big dose of some gigantic pain killer that wiped away any sense of being and soon after total darkness joined in.
I did so well that they sent me home the same day!
What they didn't warn me about is what you have to negotiate when you get home. They gave me the extra strong narcotics that did a doozy on my tummy and also caused me to dose off as soon as I popped one so the first two days I spent slumbering with a swollen belly. I took amere 2 doses and decided to stop so I could function again. But, without the pain meds I felt like someone had punched me in the gut about 100 times. I was surprised each time I lifted up my shirt not to see a bloated black and blue belly. They also failed to mention the difficulty in getting your poop to move again. I think constipation is the worst thing ever. God. Especially after having surgery on your belly. C sections must SUCK. So anyway for 2 days after my surgery I tried to find a nice medium between pain killers and anti nausea meds, anti gas meds, stool softeners and so on. Um, there isn't one. I ended up in awful pain in my head and tummy back in ER for 8 hours (most of this waiting.) I got another wonderful CAT scan (the lady warned me this cocktail might give me diarrhea, I said I can only hope so) that told everyone, surprise surprise, that I was compacted. HMmm. So they sent me home with a milder pain killer, an industrial laxative and wishes of luck in getting my bowels to move.

I took the advice of my neighbor and drank a quart of coffee and a pint of water this morning. I mixed in the industrial laxative and miracle of miracles I managed to make dirt. And, dancing on the wind of my success I inhaled a lovely bowl of soup, some bulgar salad and a Kombucha and I am once more swollen, bloated and in pain. Please, I hope these days pass quickly.
I know I am lucky that my appendix did not blow up in my gut. I am also lucky that Kristin covered my ass and that my customers are patient and wonderful.

  1. Blogger Kim G. said:

    Howdy neighbor! Stubmled on your blog by way of "Delightful Blogs". I live in Hillsboro, OR so I knew just what the ER waiting room at ST. V's looks like! Sorry to hear about your recent surgery and hope you have a quick recovery!
    Blessings!

  1. Anonymous Lisa F. said:

    Hi Andrea,
    Wow -- I've been out of touch with you lately, checked Babywit.com, and saw the link here. Glad to hear you're OK. I've had my share of abdominal surgery and heavy duty narcotics. The highs and lows are mindblowing.
    Best,
    Lisa F.

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