Thursday, February 9, 2012

My 'Appy' story

I'm mostly writing this so I don't forget what happened. It's probably not going to be a super interesting post, and there aren't going to be any pics. You've been warned. I had my appendix removed last night, and it's not even what was causing my pain. Here's the story. It all began Tues. afternoon when I was driving home from my sister-in-law's. We'd had a fun pizza lunch with one of my other sisters-in-law, all our kids, and my mom. Afterward, as I neared my parent's house (to drop off my mom), I started to get pains in my lower abdomen, they progressively got worse after I left my parent's and headed home. I was white-knuckled towards the end, and when I pulled in the garage I called Jer to come out and get Ella because the pain was so bad. I could barely breathe and move. I went inside and laid down for about an hour and a half and the pain seemed to lessen so I got up to rejoin my little family. The pain started back up again, which made it hard to hold Ella because she kept pushing right where it hurt most. We did our bed-time routine and Jer had to do most of it since I couldn't move very well, which broke my heart because Ella kept reaching and asking for me :( After she was in bed I realized we needed to go somewhere to figure out what was wrong, so Jer called his mom to come over and 'watch' Ella while we went to Urgent Care or the ER. We ended up going to the ER at the U of U medical center in Daybreak because it's so close. Luckily we did because Urgent Care wouldn't have had the testing stuff we needed. We got there around 8:30 and the waiting room was empty, so we signed in and were taken to a room. The Dr. came in and asked a bunch of questions and pushed on my stomach. They put in an IV with fluids and pain meds in it (after 2 tries, ouch), did a pregnancy test (negative), an ultra-sound, x-rays, and a CT Scan. First thing they ruled out was a tubal pregnancy (which I was a little afraid it would be), the other things they thought it might be was my appendix or an ovarian cyst burst (which doesn't leave any evidence after bursting). I had a fever of 101. They found that I had fluid in my lower abdomen, and couldn't see all of my appendix. After awhile they decided they'd better send me to a hospital where there were surgeons and more equipment on hand at that time of night, so we headed to the U of U Hospital in SLC around 1 a.m. Even though I was in pain, I was just wishing we hadn't even gone and that I was still home in bed, I was feeling SO awful. We could have taken an ambulance to the hospital, but for some reason I just really felt like we shouldn't, so Jer drove us. The U has an awesome network and staff, we just handed them my papers and they took us directly to a room. There was a lot of waiting around, but it wasn't like we had anything else to do. I saw a bunch more Dr's and surgical teams and Gyno teams, all trying to help us figure out what was wrong. I was more thirsty than I think I've ever been, but I couldn't have any water or ice because they didn't know if I'd need surgery. They did another ultrasound on me, trying to see more of my appendix but they couldn't. All they could figure was that it was only slightly enlarged, not enough for it to be appendicitis. After more waiting they put me in an extension of the ER. My parents stopped by and my dad and Jer gave me a blessing. They left and there was more waiting so Jer went home for awhile to do some stuff. While he was gone the surgeons came in and suggested that they go ahead and do surgery so they could take a look around inside to see what the problem could be, and they'd take out my appendix no matter what. This freaked me out and I was crying (because Jer wasn't with me and they'd just given me more pain meds which made me super emotional and I didn't want surgery because I knew that would limit how I could care for Ella). I waited to make the decision when Jer got back and we figured it would be better to be safe than sorry. I went down to get prepped for surgery around 7 p.m. and came out around 9. Everything went well, they didn't find anything wrong. My appendix even looked fine, but it was removed anyway. I was wheeled to a room where we could settle in for the night. I had cuff/sleeve things on my calves that would fill up with air and let it out to keep from clotting, and a breathing apparatus to make sure I didn't get pneumonia. After I got comfortable, I made a list for Jer and sent him home so he could get some good sleep and bring me my stuff in the morning. And FINALLY I was able to eat. Starting with water, jello, and crackers, then some toast. It had been 32 hours since I'd eaten and what a relief it was to finally get food in my stomach again. And luckily it didn't make me sick. I didn't sleep very well, kept waking up about every hour through the night, but my pain was more under control so that made a difference. They brought me French toast and a banana for breakfast. I swear the toast had pepper on it, it was odd. The nurses took good care of me all through the night, and after the shift change my new nurses were just as nice (which if you've read/heard any of my other surgery stories, this is a big deal). Jer came back and brought my stuff so I could feel more human (my own jammies, deodorant after a paper towel bath, and a ponytail holder). We took a couple of slow walks through the halls to help my circulation, and he napped while we waited for me to be released. They brought me a surprisingly tasty lunch of grilled chicken caesar salad, roll, tapioca, and a chocolate. I had a lot of messages on FB and texts expressing concern and asking if we needed help, it was so nice of so many people to care and worry. I was released around 1:30 and am so happy to be home, though it felt weird at first after being gone so much longer than we thought I'd be. I miss my baby, but she's better off for right now being where she can be held and taken better care of than I can give in my condition. I've never been away from her for this long before. So, it wasn't my appendix, but if I ever get pains like this again, we know what it isn't from, so that will narrow it. I'm thinking it was an ovarian cyst burst, but I have no idea since I've never had one, but what else could have brought on such awful, intense lower abdominal pain? Hopefully I won't have it again and won't have to worry about it. It's interesting when these kinds of things happen to find out just how much people care. My next door neighbor made us some yummy soup for dinner, and lots of people have offered to help with Ella or anything else I might need. It means a lot, especially since I know they're being sincere (I've known far too many people who were all talk, but didn't ever mean it). My father-in-law was so concerned he kept calling my mother-in-law yesterday about what was going on (he was out of town), then stopped by tonight with flowers and chocolate and to check on me. It's overwhelming to feel so cared about. Thank you everyone, it really means a lot to me!


EBeauty03 said...

Wow! Well, I guess they ruled out one thing at least. I had very similar pains years ago but it for sure wasn't my appendix and they never really figured it out...except I haven't ever had them again (knock on wood). Heal and get better, Ms Ella will be waiting happily for you to play with her again :)

P.S. When I had my tonsils out it was horrible for me to not be able to do anything for my little guy (he was 2.5). He just wanted me to read him a book and I couldn't even do that...I feel your pain there.


Endless Days and Northern Nights said...

You shouldn't be so surprised silly! You are pretty darn wonderful! I'm just so sad I'm not there to take care of you! I'm glad you are in good hands. Did they rule out kidney stones?

Angela said...

That sounds like ovarian cysts to me based on similar experiences of 3 people I know, but I sure hope not. I'm sorry you had to endure that! :(