I had been having a pain in my side for the past three days. At times it was unbearable and at times it was faint. It was always the worst at night when I laid on my back. There were moments I could hardly breath it hurt so badly. But, it always got better. In fact, by the fourth day I hardly noticed it at all. But, I had mentioned the pain to my school nurse, my mom, my friend LuAnn, and Todd. Everyone thought I should go get it checked out. So, finally, on the fourth day, I called the local clinic to set up an appointment. I told them my symptoms and I was scheduled for a 3:30 appointment that afternoon. But, the receptionist was hesitant to let me wait that long. She had me talk to a nurse who had me talk to an RN who basically said they would just send me to the Emergency Room at 3:30 so I may as well go now. She explained that they didn't have any way to do an ultrasound or anything like that to see if it was my appendix. Now I was starting to realize this might be a bigger deal than I thought. So, I called Todd and he left work to be with me. I called school so they could start finding a sub. for me. Then I went in to school to write some sketchy lesson plans.
Before long Todd and I were in the Emergency Room waiting our turn. We had to wait a loooong time. I'm glad my appendix didn't rupture while waiting on those hard chairs with the sounds of "The Price is Right" blaring all around me! Once in our room a doctor came and asked questions and pressed on places on my tummy. He didn't think it was my appendix because the only time it hurt was in one particular spot on my right side. But, we did a CT scan anyway. I had to drink a large bottle of water that had "contrast" in it before the CT scan. I couldn't eat anything until they got the results from that. I had been feeling sick to my stomach for a couple days, so I thought it was a good thing that I was feeling a little hungry. I didn't end up eating until 8:00 that night.
The results came back and we were all surprised to learn that I definitely had appendicitis and I absolutely needed to get that appendix out soon. They told me that in parts of Europe, doctors are experimenting with giving medication to try to heal appendicitis instead of doing surgery. I wasn't volunteering to be one of the first to try that method in America! So, surgery was set for 4:15. We called my parents and Todd's parents. We called Pastor Rob and he prayed with us. An IV was put into me and blood was drawn (I have enormous bruises to prove it). I donned a surgical gown and bright yellow socks and was wheeled down the hall to meet the surgeon and anesthesiologist. I thanked them both for taking good care of me. Then Todd had to leave and I was wheeled into the surgery room. The room seemed overflowing with nurses! They moved me to the surgery table and put special pillows on my legs to help with circulation. I felt scared, but tried to be cheerful and made a joke about wishing I had taken time to shave my legs that morning. They all seemed to like that and joked along with me. I could feel myself getting hazy......
The next thing I knew Todd was there and I was in my hospital room. I spoke so slowly and it was hard to think clearly for a while. Eventually things cleared up and I learned that three incisions had been made for the procedure. Two were on top of my scar from my cyst surgery and one was in my belly button hole! Nice! I'm so thankful to not have lots of new scarring! I ate sherbet and chicken broth that night and watched some TV with Todd before he headed home for a good night's sleep. I don't think it's possible to have a good night's sleep in a hospital room. But, I was being well taken care of. All the nurses were excellent and friendly. I'm grateful we live in a computer age, though, because the nurses were always checking the computer for what needed to be done. There were lots of nurses and without the computer I'm afraid someone might have gotten mixed up. They documented everything - even how many times I tried the "take a big breath" machine I mentioned at the beginning of this blog. It hurt to take deep breaths because of the incision spots, but I worked at it. I couldn't get over 2500. Todd, being a trumpet player, could get up to 5000 when he tried!
Friday morning the doctor came to check on me and then I was able to go home. I was so glad it was Good Friday and I didn't have to worry about missing another day of school. I just had to miss out on playing violin for the Good Friday service at church. I was able to hobble in to school over the weekend and prepare lesson plans for the week. I get to have the same substitute teacher all week. That stability is so good for the kids!
|flowers from Remmele RTI Medical where Todd works...|
|flowers from the staff at my school...|