The man who planned to kill me was quite pleasant. He greeted me and explained in detail what he was going to do. How first he would knock me out. I watched him slip the needle in. Then his cohort explained how he would cut in to my body and slice out my heart. Wait, no, it wasn’t that he was aiming for, it was my appendix. Fortunately he has good aim.
“Appendicitis (or epityphlitis) is a condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix. All cases require removal of the inflamed appendix, either by laparotomy or laparoscopy. Untreated, mortality is high, mainly because of peritonitis and shock. Reginald Fitz first described acute appendicitis in 1886, and it has been recognized as one of the most common causes of acute abdomen pain worldwide.”
–Wiki on Appendecitis
I have been having some abdominal pain since at least June, possibly even as far back as a year earlier. It wasn’t too bad, maybe a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the pain of having your arms ripped off. It was easily ignored and I was a bit busy. I mentioned it to the doctor at my checkup but he found nothing wrong. This past week it intensified to a solid 4 with spikes of 5 or 6. Tuesday I went into see the doctor but he didn’t find anything. He did a blood work up that found nothing on Wednesday. On Thursday he had a CAT scan done. After the CAT scan they sent me home. When I arrived home, a long drive, I got a call from the doctor asking me to turn around and come back in. He explained it was appendicitis. That my appendix was about ten times as large as normal – in otherwords, rather acute little thing.
I asked how quickly I needed to get back in. He hemmed and hawed. “Okay,” I asked, “how about next week.” “No, that’s too long, it might burst,” he said. “Do I need to leave immediately?” I asked. He replied that I should come in tonight. Fine, so I had some things to tidy up and I would get there tonight which to me means by midnight.
An hour later I get another call from the doctor who is upset that I’m not there yet. He chews me out. I retaliate in kind. He hadn’t told me it was critical, just to come in that night. I wasn’t about to go into the hospital without up-to-date Power of Attorney, Will and Health Care Power of Attorney. On top of that Apple computer called and they had screwed something up and I had to waste time on the phone with them. I was not in a good mood by the time the doctor called and he was wasting time. I was not too pleased with him and pass the phone off to Holly so I can finish up my work and leave.
Frankly, I wasn’t happy they had had me drive all the way home and then come all the way back. They should have read the CAT scan and had me stay if it was an issue. I suppose it is to much to ask for efficiency. I’ve been living with this pain for months, for all of this week the doctor has known about it, he had said come in sometime tonight – now all of a sudden everything was rush, rush, rush. If it had waited this long it could wait another hour.
We got back to the hospital, filled out all the papers, met the surgical team and the Anesthesiologists explained how he would kill me. Wait, that’s where this story started. He wasn’t actually killing me, just taking me close. That’s what his job is all about. He was very nice and competent. And tall. At some point I lost track of what he was saying.
The surgeon, also very nice and competent although not so overly tall, had previously explained that he would be doing laparoscopy through three holes on the lower left side of my abdomen in order to do a laparotomy removal of my appendix which is over on the lower right side of my abdomen off of the colon. He said I was an ideal, otherwise healthy, candidate for the surgery and he didn’t expect any complications. Turns out he was right.
The next morning when the surgeon visited. He said that he used five small staples to lock off the appendix from the colon, bagged it and pulled it out through the larger, furthest laparoscopy hole which they had to enlarge slightly due to the size of the appendix. He said that fortunately the base of the appendix, where he needed to staple was still healthy so it went well. Apparently the appendix, while quite swollen, had not burst. It was a little slimy on the outside. As per normal, they were sending it down to pathology to check it to make sure there were no surprises.
I count my blessings. In the hospital room the gentleman in the next bed over had also come in for an appendectomy but had not been so fortunately. He ended up with a complete coloctomy and was now on a ‘bag’. I wish him the best of luck. I am glad mine seems to have gone well without complications.
Holly and Hope came to the hospital the next morning and picked me up to go home. I have a bit of tenderness at the incisions, some gas pain but feel better than I was earlier in the week. No stonewall building or other strenuous work for a little while.
So I say a big thanks to the surgical staff, the nurses and the cleaning lady all of whom made my approximately 12 hour stay at the hospital more pleasant and took care of this little detail.
In the past, the appendix was viewed as a useless vestilary hang over from the past. More recent research suggests it may have several functions relating to immunology and repopulating the digestive track with good bacteria. Hopefully I won’t miss mine and it will heal up fine and quickly.
Outdoors: 67°F/53°F Overcast – 16″ of Rain in July/August
Farm House: 70°F/66°F
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F