Well, my exciting weekend began on Friday May 18. After I woke up I felt a little pain in my back. Instantly I assumed it was related to me relocating the monstrous 36” JVC television, old school with the big tube, from the living room to the garage a couple days prior. I decided that I would just rest for the day. I’m quite active at a minimum running 5-6 days a week and lifting weights 4-5 of those days. Icing my back and lying in my bed I soon found my self unable to keep down most of my breakfast. As the day progressed my condition worsened and I lost everything that was in my stomach. The only thing I was able to keep down was a cup of yogurt. The next day I found myself bloated and had some pains in my stomach. I went out with my mother to get some anti-gas medication thinking that the problem would be quickly resolved. It wasn’t. By the time we got back home my pain had not decreased so I thought I would take a nap. I was foiled again as the sharp pain in my stomach increased (on a scale of 1-10 it was a definite 10) it became apparently clear that this was no simple gas pain. So, with mom as my wheelman I headed to the emergency room. We hit every red light on the way.
We arrived at the hospital at 10:30a and I was moved via wheelchair into the emergency room. After taking my info some of the ER nurses gave me a mini-physical and told me I would be called shortly. However, at this point the pain manifested itself about every 45 seconds and I was moaning like I was about to give birth. Sensing my increasing pain I was wheeled directly into the back and taken to a room. I waited for about 10min before a doctor came to give me a preliminary diagnosis. I told him the situation and he pressed down on different abdominal areas and asked me to rate the pain 1-10. After isolating the location he asked me a simple question.
Doctor: “Do you still have your appendix?”
Doctor: “Not by the end of the day.”
He told me that they needed to do a CT scan to confirm his prognosis and a nurse would be in shortly to put me on an IV to help alleviate my pain, which took three hours of preparation for. The first nurse came in and asked which arm I wanted the IV in and I told her either. She stuck the needle into my left arm and after a few seconds of digging around couldn’t find the vain. She made a second attempt on the right arm with the same results. Needles don’t bother me since I donate blood on a regular basis, plus the sharp stabbing abdominal pain was the focus of my attention. Another nurse came in to give it an attempt. Fail. Finally they called in a Filipina nurse that my mother and I were conversing with before and she found a vein on the first attempt. Shortly after came the pain medication. Good stuff. It took a minute or two to kick in but once it did the sharp stabbing pain went away and I was able to relax a little. The nurses explained I had to consume a drink hourly for the next three hours so everything would show up on the CT scan. Pain meds in effect this didn’t bother me in the slightest. I passed the time listening to my iPod and watching the television. Nothing eases the pain like watching Steven Segal beating the crap out of people
. At 1:30ish I was on my way to radiology for my CT scan. Quick, painless, and the attending nurses were cute. A short while later back in my room in the ER I was told that my appendix was indeed the source of my woes and I would be immediately prepped for surgery. I received a laparoscopic appendectomy.
What is a laparoscopic appendectomy?
(info from the University of Maryland medical center website)
The laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgical technique involves making several tiny cuts in the abdomen and inserting a miniature camera and surgical instruments. As many as three or four incisions are made. The surgeon then removes the appendix with the instruments, so there is usually no need to make a large incision in the abdomen. The camera projects a magnified image of the area onto a television monitor which helps guide the surgeons as they remove the appendix
Surgery was a success and I was transported to a room for recovery. I spoke to the surgeon who performed my operation the next day and he informed me that he was surprised at how I looked before the surgery. He said considering the mess he found inside me that I should have looked significantly worse. I remained in the hospital until Monday, May 18. I’m still not at 100%, but I’m slowly but surely feeling better. The only major issues are…
-Between three medications I’m taking (2 antibiotics, 1 pain relief) I get a combination of the following side effects: nausea, loss of appetite, and dizziness.
I had no insurance. I had a recent lapse of insurance and finally found some affordable insurance and enrolled last week, but it doesn’t take effect until next month. I applied for assistance from the hospital, so hopefully I’ll get some relief there. At the very least I have a $1200 bill for the anesthesiologist.
Looks like I’ll definitely need to hold a lowball sale sometime soon…