Tuesday, November 10, 2009

you're going to take out my what now?

Google: lower right abdominal pain

Causes: appendix

No..that can't be right. It's not my appendix.

"Tall one, what is in my lower right abdominal that would be hurting right now?"
He replies "You probably pulled a muscle".

Yeah...that sounds right, because it couldn't be my appendix. No way. That's crazy talk!

The tall one had a three week vacation from work and he stayed with me pretty much the entire time as he was in transition from apartment to new house. I loved being ambushed by baked goods, kisses when I walked in the door and the free flowing beer. However due to lack of hiking, well actually any type of physical activity that was not bedroom related, I became rolly polly and out of shape. Determined to get back on the wagon once the tall one returned to work, the first monday that was boyless I kicked myself into gear with a strict and intense work out routine.

Two days into it I was already feeling the soreness in my muscles, however that lower right hand pain had come back in a big way. 3:00 pm Wednesday afternoon as I was sitting at my desk it became sharp and very uncomfortable. I wandered around the office trying to work it out, but it persisted...and I googled: lower right abdominal pain. I didn't feel nauseous, I had no pain around my bellybutton (odd place for pain I thought at the time). I remembered the conversation with the tall one a couple weeks ago when he mentioned it may be a pulled muscle and I just assumed that the muscle was aggravated by my recent activity.

As it was the tall one's birthday and we have to give each other the most romantic gifts EVER, I reciprocated his touching gift of a car battery for my birthday with cleaning his apartment after he moved into the new house for his. I still had the pain, but only if I sat down. So I cleaned, drank the leftover champagne in the fridge and didn't sit down for a couple hours.

He finally got off work and, dirty and exhausted as both of us were, we headed down to Deluxe for $4.99 burger night. I slipped a candle in his burger and sang happy birthday to him over the ruckus crowd and we chatted about nothing...and everything. After sitting for 20 minutes the pain had become ouch and I was ready to go home and lay down. It was a slow walk back and when I finally did get to bed it was a struggle to find a way to lay down that wasn't excruciating.

The morning came quickly and the tall one and I hurriedly dressed for work. I bent down to put a sock on my right foot and tears sprang to my eyes.

"Go. To. The. Doctor. Yay insurance" the tall one said.


I had a meeting scheduled for 9 am that morning so I had to run into work to grab the number of the gentleman to reschedule for the next day. Overlake Hospital has an urgent care facility in Issaquah and as I seriously thought it was going to be something easy I went there first. I was there for 5 minutes before they said told me to go to the emergency room right away. I went to the closest ER, Swedish, in Issaquah and told the admitting nurse that I had severe right hand abdominal pain. Another nurse came out immediately, brought me into the first room where instantly there were like a hundred nurses in there. One held up a drape for me to undress behind, another took my blood pressure, my temperature, an IV was stuck in my arm before I could even say "OUCH!" and I was being told that I had to get a CAT Scan to find out what was going on.

Everything happened very quickly and within 20 minutes (after talking them out of trying to give me an enema for the CAT Scan. Them: "but it helps to illuminate the organs in really thin people. Me: "DO I LOOK LIKE A THIN PERSON TO YOU? THAT IS NOT GOING UP IN ME".) a nurse came in and told me I was going to be transported to Swedish downtown to have my appendix out.

I can't tell you I wasn't scared, but I'm a strong gal and I refused the ambulance ride and said I'd drive myself. However they refused to let me go since they had given me a nice dose of a narcotic through the IV...damn...so I called the tall one's mother and blubbered "I, um (sob) have to um (sob) get my appendix out (sniff sniff). Can you take me downtown (SOOOOOOOBBB)".

As I was waiting for her the security guard for the building came over to ask where my car was so he could look after it until I could have someone retrieve it. I pointed to it's location and was informed that it was actually parked in Costco's parking lot and needed to be moved. Which would have been fine, but they wouldn't let me drive. So I gave my keys to the security guard and hoped for the best. He came in a couple minutes later and said it wouldn't start. My heart raced for a moment and I thought Oh Great, on top of surgery now I have to worry about my car?! Then I remembered something and said to the gentleman "you know you have to push the clutch in to start the car, right?"

uh huh...

The tall one's amazing mother arrived after a harrowing ride through the hedge trimming on I-90 and drove me to Swedish Medical Center in downtown Seattle. Just as stubborn as her son she refused to leave me alone. She came up to the room with me and waited as I got situated, met my surgeon and learned of my surgery time. Apparently during this time the tall one had called Casey and my best friend appeared from behind the drawn curtain. I can't tell you how grateful I am to all three of those wonderful people.

The time came and they wheeled me over to the pre-op location. I met the guy who was going to knock me out (he kept calling the concoction 'champagne') and then was left alone to listen to the chatter of the nurses station. I heard one doctor come in and say "what's on the board" and one of the nurses said "appendectomy". The doc said "oh, well I can do one of those" and I peaked my head around the curtain and said "oh no you won't!" to the great delight of the nurses.

They came to take me to the surgery wing and wheeled me down a long corridor that had floor to ceiling windows with a gorgeous view of downtown. The nurse said it was the best view in the whole hospital and I said it better be, it's the last that some people will ever see.

The surgery rooms reminded me of what I had seen on TV shows when they show the hospital morgues, which was not a good sign, and as I moved from the gurney to the operating table I saw the massive amount of instruments used to slice into people and I remember thinking "I can't believe I can see all these things! Don't they think it will scare people? Where is my zzzzzzzzzzz"

Next thing I know I'm sputtering awake. It's a rude awaking when you come out of surgery and I was not a happy camper. Eventually they calmed me down and after a bit they moved me back to my room. The tall one's mom was waiting for me, and even Casey came back to check on me. I was in pain though, so the stay was brief. The tall one's mom stayed with me however, again can't stress the stubbornness of this family, but I'm so glad that she did. There was not one moment where I felt alone, where I didn't feel loved and for that I'm so grateful. As I laid there in a drugged haze she softly spoke to me about her life to fill the silence of the room. I learned a lot...

The tall one made it to me after work and after retrieving my car he relieved his mother and took over watch. I didn't want him to stay the night, but he sat with me for a few hours holding my hand while we both read. He returned in the early morning with the little things I might need to keep me comfortable. He held my hand, helped me to dress and move around and generally did the things that a man does for a woman he loves. Again...I can't thank him enough.

Once I was released he took me straight to his house where I spent the next 5 days in bed, being waited on, cooked for and taken care of. His friends would come into the bedroom to keep me company, his mother brought over dinner so we could eat and he didn't once complain about me being there. He wouldn't hear of me leaving.

I feel so freaking lucky that I have such a great support system around me, that my insurance provided me the care that I needed, that my doctors took care of me without even a second thought, that friends and family sprang to action when they heard I was going to the hospital and that I have an amazing boyfriend who nursed me during my recovery.

Seriously lucky. So. Freaking. Lucky.

1 comment:

keithkool said...

wow Ms. D! sounds like it was a good thing it all happened so fast. not a lot of time to really think about it. next time you have some/any pains have it check out a little sooner please!

p.s, i would have came to visit you too(=