Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wordier than usual...

My Appendectomy.

This is one of those annoying things in life that I never thought would happen to me. However, now that I am on the recovery side of things, I can say that it wasn't as bad as I would have feared. That is actually one of the good things about an emergency surgery. There is no time to be fretful or anxious. You just cope.
If you are easily bored, do not continue. Yet if you are one of the morbidly curious, this should be a good post.

Last Wednesday I was being so timely and made Tanner's 9th birthday cake a few days early. Margaret and I licked the batter bowl clean, of course. So later that afternoon when I felt sick, I blamed the raw eggs. In fact, all I could think of was the many times Jason has warned against eatting uncooked dough and giving it to the kids. I thought I was in for a little nausea and started watching for Margaret to show signs as well.

When the boys got home from school, I was feeling worse. At 5 I called Jason and told him I was so queasy, that I wouldn't be able to make dinner. When he got home I fell asleep in Meg's room, where we had been reading books. Yes, I should have gone to bed then. No, I really didn't feel like getting up and into bed. It was then I realized the pain in my stomach wasn't as bad when I stayed still. Moving hurt and required me to grab at my abdomen. I stopped blaming the cake batter and started to think I had a flu.

That night I woke up again and again, still with this sometimes dull, sometimes severe pain on my right side. Around 11, I felt sure this wasn't viral and started taking Tylenol. I remembered once having a bladder infection without any symptoms. I began to think I must of had a UTI that left untreated became a kidney infection, and was now very painful.

I debated going to the ER that night, but decided that if this something that would be treated with antibiotics, I might as well wait until morning.
Thursday morning I told Jason I thought I had a kidney infection and he urged me to see someone asap. I think seeing me slump around made him nervous, but I assured him I could handle getting the kids to school and sent him off to work. My great kids basically got themselves ready and I dropped the boys off as usual.

I couldn't get into Dr. Belfer until 10:45, so I actually kept my scheduled hair appointment that morning. I know, I was the crazy lady getting her hair done while her appendix was getting ready to burst. But all you do at the salon is sit there, and sitting wasn't the problem, just moving made me cringe. In hindsight, I still think this was a good call. THe salon was down the road from my doctor's office and when the time came I drug myself to the car and drove the few blocks to finally get some relief, at least I thought so.

When Dr. Belfer (one nice man, by the way, he worked me into his schedule even though I hadn't been to see in in 5 years) told me I didn't have a UTI, but looked like someone with a bad appendix, I think I laughed. You know the kind of nervous laugh that only comes out when you really shouldn't be laughing. He felt my abdomen, while I cringed and gave him threatening glances, because it really hurt. Of course, he said it could be a ruptured ovarian cyst and only a scan would determine the difference.

So off I went to the hospital, still thinking I wouldn't need surgery. But as the afternoon progressed, my pain increased and when the scan came back positive, I was actually glad that relief was on the way. This was one instance where being a wimp, paid off. If I had endured the pain longer, my appendix may have burst inside me. That is much more serious and requires weeks to fully recover.

I started making a flurry of phonecalls to make sure the kids would be taken care of. All of a sudden, I realized Jason wasn't there and that I really needed him. So he hightailed it over to the hospital and made it just a few minutes before I went into surgery. Everything happened so fast once they determined surgery was needed, it is really like a whirlwind in my memory. At one point a nurse asked if I had brought anything to put my contacts in. I realized that I woke up that morning and thought I needed a prescription. By 12 I was at the hospital and at 2:30, I was prepping for surgery. No, I didn't have a contact case with me.

I had never had general anesthesia before. I think the surgery went fine. Dr. Dressen made sure I was well taken care of. However, waking up after the surgery was awful. It was definitely the low point of my entire experience. Going from no conscious thought to extreme pain and confusion in a few seconds was not fun. I think I threw a little fit, and it was then they decided to admit me for the night. I was happy to stay.

Since then, I have been feeling a little better everyday. I was basically useless this weekend, but have been doing basic Mom duty this week. When I got home, Andrew asked if I had a baby while at the hospital. Either he asked because that was his only memory of me being at the hospital or because I looked like I had just had a baby. Swollen belly and all.

I can not say enough about all of the kind help we have received. Family took over and cared for the kids. Friends have brought in dinners and run carpools. And just about every Mom from Margaret's pre-k class has offered to help out. I have felt so loved and cared for. Thanks to all of you.


Lis said...

Crazy! So glad things are better now and that you have friends and family taking care of you! What a blessing! Here's to a speedy recovery!

Amy Craig said...

Wow! It is crazy how things just never go as planned right! Glad you are recovering!!