My first trip to the hospital
Holy smokes. Where to start? This whole post is TMI. You've been been warned!
Thursday afternoon, around 3pm, I peed as per usual, stood up, and experienced a sharp pain in my right abdomen. I thought it was a huge gas bubble, sat back down, and took a #2. Still had pain. Huh.
I walked around for like 15 or 30 minutes and realized the pain was not only still present, but constant and getting worse. It was like a massive PMS cramp that wouldn't let up. It didn't come in waves, but stuck around. Knowing that the right side of my body had some vital organs, and in light of my recent ultrasound due to tenderness I had, I called the husband and said I probably needed to go to the medical aid unit or the ER. He decided to leave work and take me.
I called my doctor and asked which one I should go to. They said if I went to the medical aid unit, I would probably pee in a cup, they would see if there was anything wrong, and if not, they would have to send me to the ER anyway and that would be time wasted. So I went to the ER. The ride over there was agonizing. I was a 7 on the 1-10 pain scale. Every bump on the road went through me with stabbing pain. Long story short, I didn't have to wait long. In about 30 minutes (which I have to admit did seem like an eternity) I was escorted to a part of the hospital for testing. I had to get in that crazy robe and everything. At least I was able to leave my tights on.
The room was freezing and I had to ask for like 5 blankets. They were all toasty warm, out of a dryer. I had blood and urine tested. The results came back lightning fast like a CSI episode. My white blood cells were double what they should be. This told the doctors 2 things. It was most likely:
a) my uterus or
b) my appendix.
I was hoping on the latter. I'm not too keen on having kids, but the idea of having that decision stolen from me was not exactly a picnic. The next step was a CAT scan. By this point I was feeling OK and turned down the pain killers the nurse wanted to give me. It got it the point where I thought maybe I dreamed up the pain. How embarrassing was this going to be?! Maybe I really did have this huge *** gas bubble and I would release a huge stinky fart and magically feel better.
After drinking what seemed like a gallon of watered down, sugar free grape popsicle juice, and waiting 2 hours for the CAT scan, the pain began to flare up again. This time the nurse pulled back the curtain to check on me and could see the pain right on my face. 5 minutes later she put a pain killer similar to morphine into my IV - I think it was demerol. I was expecting it to take affect in 15 minutes or so, like an aspirin. 15 seconds later I feel a tingling in my glands and then WOOSH. Wow! It was unbelievable. Pain magically gone and boy, so was my anxiety. So yeah, that was awesome and pretty damn impressive.
Got the cat scan results quickly after that and that's when it was pretty definitive that my appendix was the cause for so much pain. It's interesting because at that point I realized that I had experienced the sharp pain in my stomach before, but I thought maybe I tore a muscle or something. That had been going on for maybe 3-4 months! They started antibiotics.
At that point it was 8 p.m. or so and they decided I would have surgery in the morning. So after another blissful pain killer, I was rolled upstairs and transferred to a way more comfortable bed where I spent the night. My experience at that point in the hospital was amazing. I was very well attended to and made very comfortable.
The husband left for the night to go take care of Remi - who I was missing something fierce already. Nothing eventful happened during the night, though sleeping in a hospital is practically impossible. They woke me up every couple of hours to check my blood pressure, and I buzzed them every 3 hours like clockwork for more pain killers. I let it take me to sleep and enjoyed the little bit of peace I could get. I also took this time to email all my clients about any upcoming meetings I'd miss and any project deadlines.
When morning came, I got a few visitors. My sister brought me mentos, thank god. I snuck them when the nurses weren't looking. I was getting a little cranky because the nurses wouldn't let me take my anxiety/depression medication (they didn't want me to eat or drink before surgery), and I could see myself getting a little snappy. I think I was mostly grumpy by the fact they wouldn't let me have anything to drink and I hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours. My throat was sore as hell.
The surgery I was supposed to have in the morning didn't happen until about 1 p.m. By that time I was in a world of hurt. The pain had moved from my right side all the way to my navel area (above and below) and even moved to my chest, shoulders, and neck. I'll be honest. The whole experience was kind of awesome to be fussed over so much. But at this point, I was ready for it to be over. I wanted my surgery and to get the hell out of there. The iv machine kept beeping nonstop if I ever bent my arm or moved a certain way. I wanted to murder it with a chain saw. The day staff was way busier and not as attentive, and sometimes I had to wait like 10 minutes for someone to come fix the thing. (First world problems, I know, but at the time, I thought I was going to lose it ha ha ha!) One of the staff was so annoyed, she started swearing at the thing. Haha!
By the time they rolled me into the surgery area, 10 doctors came up to me and asked me the same freakin' questions. Do I know what's happening? Where is your pain? What is your birthday? What are we going to do in the surgery room? It was probably procedure. My family said I was so out of it that I ended up yelling answers to questions they were asking OTHER patients in the next sectional. I was definitely annoyed and grumpy. And... so out of it.
The rest is pretty boring. I get rolled into surgery and woken up 3 hours later, and I felt AWESOME!!! Barely any pain. I ate dinner, which was pretty good (spaghetti and meatballs) - and left that same day (Friday). I have 3 small incisions - in my belly button, and 2 others on my lower abdomen. Crazy right?? I was actually able to work yesterday (the day after surgery) while on painkillers which is AWESOME. I was super concerned I would be in bed for 3 weeks, which would be a huge challenge since I run a business.
By the way - when the hubbie went to check on Remi after I got out of surgery, he was in for a mini surprise. Whoever said dogs don't have a sense of time is out of their mind. After 8 hours (2.5 hours more than he's ever been in a crate before) he had kicked out the bottom black tray and his bed was somehow above him and he was sitting on the carpet. He didn't pee either. He just threw a big fat temper tantrum. Ha ha ha!! He was surprisingly gentle with me when I got home, thank god. So great to see him.
So yeah, that was my first trip to the hospital. Wasn't that bad to be honest. It's so amazing how far technology has come... but I figured I'd share with you because it was probably the craziest experience of my life.
The hilarious part is that an article I read about appendicitis said that people usually get their appendix removed between the ages of 10-30. It caught me at the very tail end!! Apparently it was inflamed enlarged due to a blockage of pooh! HAHAHAHAH!!!! Which is crazy because I'm so incredibly regular.
Pain isn't too bad most of the time - I can sense whatever was keeping me kind of numb in there is wearing off though, so I've been using the painkillers they sent me home with. I'm feeling confident I will bounce back pretty quickly and be back to my regular scheduled programming.