Thursday, September 23, 2010

Appendix.....Who Needs it Anyway

About two weeks ago I started feeling sick. I woke you with a pain in the middle of my stomach. I had gone out to dinner with family earlier and thought that maybe I had food poisoning. After a night of shouting Europe to the toilet I thought I would feel better.....nope! The pain started moving down to my lower right side. Still thinking it was food poisoning, I figured I'd be better in a day or two. I didn't have a fever and my only symptom was nausea and pain. It wasn't until the 3rd day I got a fever of 102 and chills. I took a hot hot bath and was still shivering. Rick decided to call the dr and get me in. By this time I was ready to just go straight to the hospital! The appointment wasn't until 1:30 in the afternoon. The drive there was not very enjoyable! Every bump and pot hole we hit was agony! I longingly eyed the hospital as we drove right past.

We arrived at the Dr office 30 min early. All the dr's were still at lunch. I ended up sitting on the floor balled up in the corner. A nurse came and asked if I would like a pillow......ummm yes! lol!
She ended up getting us a room for me to lay down. The Dr came in, took one look at me and asked a few questions. He said "If I were teaching a class on what an appendicitis looked like, you would be a text book example!" He didn't bother poking me (probably would have smacked him if he had!) or doing any tests. He told us to go straight to the ER.
So back in the car we went. Since our insurance had changed we had to go to Davis Hospital. Not my first choice! Had my fingers crossed that they wouldn't kill me. We've had some less than pleasant experiences there in the past.

I got checked in. First thing they did was give me an IV with pain meds. Morphine to be exact! I've decided I don't care much for morphine. It makes me loopy but doesn't do much for the pain. I guess it makes me not care as much about the pain. lol! Next the nurse came in with a big ol jug of bright yellow liquid marked with the time in 30 min intervals. I had to drink it all so that they could do a CT scan. by this time I'm thinkin "For heaven sakes! Just take the dang thing out!" But I guess they wanted to make sure it was my appendix. Despite me being a "text book" case. Three hours after we first checked in, we get the results back from the CT scan. Well, guess what? It's my appendix! And not only that....its perforated! (or ruptured) JOY!!!
Time for surgery! Rick gives me a kiss goodbye and they wheel me to the OR. The OR looks very stark and uninviting. Unlike when I had a tumor removed from my mouth 6 years ago. I walked into the OR and the surgeon was doing paper work listening to the Doobie Brothers "Jesus is Just Alright." Anywho, they drag me over to the table. They place the mask over my nose and mouth (stinks like plastic!) and within seconds I'm out.
Next thing I remember is waking up and the nurses telling me that I was all done. I get wheeled to the recovery room and then dragged to the bed. I'm so out of it but, hey! No pain! Rick is there waiting for me. I look down and see that I have a drain attached to me.

So.....Let's talk surgical drains!

Here is a pic of they type of drain I had. The nurse would come in every so often and empty the drain. All night long I was woken up by the suck sound of the drain being emptied.

This is in place to help drain all the yucky stuff left from the burst appendix. It looks harmless enough! The bulb and about 2 feet of tubing is left outside the body while the rest is stitched inside.

Now remember I'm still out of it! So I'm told that the drain is there to help me get better!

Awwww What a nice drain! It wants to help me! I had the drain in for about a week. Little did I know that while I was recovering, the drain was transforming inside me!

See there is this part of the drain that changes from tube to solid plastic. The transition at first doesn't look too bad. But after a week of healing it feels like its grown spikes as they rip the drain out of you!The day for drain removal has arrived! I was oblivious to what was involved. First thing was to remove the stitch that was holding it in place. The Dr then told me that it would hurt but only for about 15 seconds. Then said "But you can handle it!" Suuuuuuure!!!!

With one smooth, fluid motion the Dr pulled that sucker out! Now I consider myself to have a pretty high pain threshold, but I was not prepared for the intense burning, pulling, ripping sensations that I felt. I must say it was worse than labor! In fact I think it would be an excellent form of torture! As the Dr walked out of the room he handed my the lab results. Official diagnosis: Gangrenous Appendicitis. And with that said "Anything with gangrene isn't good!"

So with the drain removed I can finally concentrate on getting better.

So all in all my experience with Davis hospital wasn't bad! All the nurses were wonderful and the surgeon was awesome.

And to the surgical drain designer.........I don't like you! :p


Cara said...

Hospitals are not fun. I don't like morphine either. It gives me migraines.

GailinVirginia said...

What a nice post of a least you made us smile some while reading it; never had any problems in that area but I hope to have paid attention to your symptoms...glad you are out of hospital and hopefully will continue to just feel better and better:) Looking forward to visiting again and maybe seeing some of your prim dollies, take care, Gail