Thursday, August 7, 2008

Appendix Blogging

I had planned on doing a big 'ol series on this, but the more I think about it, the less I want to think about it. Here's what I learned from all this:

The beginning:

Symptoms of appendicitis don't always begin with pain in the right side. I had about 24 hours of pain located in the center of the abdomen, right where the stomach is. It did eventually migrate, and the doctor figured it out pretty quick. Of course, a white blood cell count of 17k helped in the diagnosis, I'm sure.

Why did I wait so long? Specifically because of where the pain was (wasn't), and the fact that it wasn't *that* bad. In hindsight, any time you have abdominal pain (and a low fever) for more than a few hours, get your ass to the doctor.

The operation:

Don't remember this, of course, but I am glad beyond words I live in these times. They did it laparoscopically, meaning they didn't have to lay me open, they just poked a few holes in me and did their thing. That thing, of course, was removing my perforated appendix.


First thing is, recovery isn't laying around letting your incisions heal. It's hard work. In the case of abdominal surgery, the focus is getting up, moving around, and getting your guts working again. They tend to shut down after surgery. One big thing that held me back was the fact that I wasn't in shape. The extra weight around the middle and lack of core strength was like a ton of bricks on my gut, weighing me down. The sense of helplessness was frustrating. I plan on rectifying that situation.

Another thing I got to deal with were dreams. Between the infection, the pain meds, and all the other, my dreams were crazy. Of course, I don't remember them much now, but I do remember the "subject" of one of them: Non-Euclidean Physics. Take that, Lovecraft!

Then there was TV. The first night after the operation, here's what I was treated to:

NCIS - The victim was knifed to death, his guts laid open.

Some other cop show: Our hero took two shots to the gut

Crap, I think to myself, I guess I'll watch History Channel. No gut shots going on there, right?

Riiight: "The victorious (dinosaur) eats the stomach out it's still-living opponent."
(insert Rachel Lucas "Jesus" remark here)

TV off, I'll take my chances with the dreams.

At any rate, I took heart with the fact that my recovery went along quickly. At the end of each day, I could look back and see how much progress I had made. That helped. I also had great nurses (love y'all), and the support of friends and family.

Thanks to you all, I appreciate all the thoughts and wishes. You all are the best.

One last thing I noticed. When you're gone, unexpectedly, for a week, all the green jumps out of your grass and into your pool.

No comments: