From GuestBlogger, and Husband-sans-Appendix, Will .
About a week ago my stomach was bothering me but I didn't think much of it; I had been having stomach issues for about ten days. Over the course of a week and a half I had thought of several reasons to explain the pain away:
1) It was something I ate
2) I have a virus
3) It's stress
4) There is a gnome in my belly
It hurt but I hadn't gone to the doctor, I felt like I was too busy to seek basic medical assistance. My job, which I have in part because of the good health insurance was taking priority over the very thing that insurance is supposed to cover. When I went to sleep on Wednesday night I hoped that when I woke up everything would be alright.
A few hours later I woke up, it was 4:00 am and all was not well; I was in pain, not just bothered but in PAIN. I told my wife I wasn't feeling well but there was no reason to worry then I got out of bed and tried to walk it off. For the first time since the stomach issues started I felt that something was seriously wrong. I tried to go to the bathroom and couldn't, this was not a good sign.
A full week earlier my wife had asked me if I wanted to go to the ER and I declined because LOST was on and I didn't want to go to the ER and be told it was gas.
That morning, I spent about 20 minutes trying to go to the bathroom and thinking of all of the reasons not to go to the hospital:
1) I could not miss work,
2) It might just be gas
3) LOST was going to be on that night
Then I thought of my wife and how mad at me she'd be if I died because I:
1) Put my job ahead of my health
2) Was embarrassed that it might be gas
3) Didn't want to miss LOST
When I could neither go to the bathroom or convince myself not to go to the hospital I went inside, woke my wife and said "I need to do something about this."
The pain was bad but not unbearable, in fact, I drove myself to the ER. During the drive I had convinced myself that I had probably developed some sort of intestinal blockage. I'd probably be given some antibiotics and a stern talking-to about a high fiber diet and that would be that. I'd miss a day of work but I'd get caught up, no big deal.
We checked into the ER at 4:45 am and by 5:15 I was getting looked at, after explaining my symptoms I was examined, poked at and finally prodded. I knew the prodding was coming but there is no way to be
truly prepared for a stranger's hand in your butt.
After the doctor left the room I told my wife "I think he used like 8 fingers". The doctor came back a few minutes later to say..."It doesn't look like there was any blood...didn't taste like blood either".
I was scheduled for a CT scan, where they prodded me some more. I had been at the hospital for nearly three hours and I felt like several doctors owed me dinner but I'd gladly pass on them just to have a
diagnosis. Finally, after five hours in the hospital I got one: I had appendicitis and it had to come out right away. The surgeon came in to ask me some questions:
"This says that you've had pain for ten days, is that true?"
"Most people find the pain unbearable after 2-3 days"
-"I was going to come in sooner but I was busy and then LOST was on."
He walked me through the process; they usually no longer needed to make a big incision. The could go in on the side and through the belly button and just snip, snip. It's called a lapriscopic procedure. As long as there were no complications I'd be out in a day. Of course these was a small, teensy-tiny chance that they might not be able to remove it using the in invasive method but even that would be pretty easy...a small incision and then 2-3 days recovery. I signed all of the consent forms and waited.
It took several hours to get an operating room for the surgery but once everything was ready they told my wife and I that the procedure would take about an hour then I'd be in recovery for about 30 minutes before she could see me. She told me she was going to grab a bite and then wait for me to come out. Just before I went into the operating room I handed Nina my wedding ring; she said:
"Try not to marry anyone else while you're in there."
I promised not to and said goodbye, there was no need to worry.
Now the next part of the story happens with me being under general anesthesia so I'll leave this part to my wife who wrote about it as it was happening:
Will went into surgery at 4:54pm, and the doctor told me it'd be an hour, with maybe 30-45 minutes in the recovery room. Go get something to eat, Will told me, I'll see you in a little bit.
I kissed him on the forehead and walked out the door. I was concerned but not worried. While surgery, an appendectomy is a relatively routine procedure, while the doctor said there might be a chance he'd have to be cut open, they'd probably be able to do it lapriscopically. I met younger slackbrother j. at Jerry's for a quick bite, and together we headed back to the hospital. It was 6:15pm.
I called the Recovery Room. Can I come back and see my husband? I asked.
He's not out of surgery yet, the nurse replied.
I got the same answer at 6:30pm.
At 7:00pm, I knew something was wrong.
At 7:30pm, the surgeon finally came out.
He's fine, but there were complications.
A short while later I came to the sound of a nurse in the recovery room telling me to breathe deeply. I was disoriented and kinda scared. I couldn't understand what she was saying because only a few words were getting through.
The next thing I remember is being in a private room with several people standing around me. I could feel there was something on my stomach, it was a very big bandage. Nina came in and the doctors explained to me what had happened. They tried to take it out lapriscopically but they couldn't, and they couldn't make a small incision on the side and just take it out because my appendix had swollen to a size that none of the doctors had ever seen before
The surgeon drew me a picture and it looked like I had grown a second, gigantic penis on the inside of my body. They explained that they had removed it but also had to take some of the rest of my insides out too, and to do so they had to cut me open right down the center of my stomach from my ribs to my belly button. My stay overnight at the hospital was turning into something serious and there was a team of doctors all waiting to take a look at the extra penis I had somehow grown.
All in all I spent six days in the hospital getting my appendix out but I'm finally home and continuing to recover. This has been an unpleasant experience but there are a few positives that have come out
1 - An inspection of my gigantic appendix and the portion of my colon that was removed revealed nothing cancerous or life threatening.
2- I appear to be otherwise healthy.
3- I spent six days in the hospital not smoking and I'm trying to continue that streak. After too many years smoking and several attempts to quit, an appendectomy may be the thing that finally makes me a non smoker.
So what have I learned from all of this? Well, first I should have sought out medical attention about a week earlier than I did and second, and this in no surprise, Nina is an absolute saint. Throughout this whole process she's been at my side making sure I was ok and keeping my spirits up all while keeping the house together and working. She is amazing and while the doctors did a great job Nina is my real hero. I hope you never ever get sick but if you do I hope you have someone like her to keep an eye on you.