Monday, August 19, 2013

My Appendectomy Adventure.

Wow, this Monday is sooooo much different from last Monday.  In a good way.  Because today, I do not have my head in a toilet, and I'm not all curled up on the floor crying because my stomach hurts so bad I just want to rip the whole thing out of my body Alien-style and throw it out the window.

Let's rewind a bit, shall we?

So last last week - like two weeks ago - I was complaining to my girlfriends about my horrific case of PMS.  My exact words were, "I think this period is trying to kill me."  I felt dizzy, lightheaded, stupid, and my poor belly was very very sore.  Cue Monday morning, 3am - I woke up with a sudden jolt of sharp and intense pain in my stomach, and shit went downhill lightning-fast from there.  I spent all of Monday feeling like 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag, until finally I tearfully admitted that clearly this was not PMS, that something was really wrong and that I had better get my sorry ass to the Emergency Room, pronto.

Now, it needs to be noted that this girl does NOT do hospitals.  I have had two children and that is the extent of my medical history.  No broken bones.  No stitches.  No high fevers.  No tonsillectomies.  Nothing.  In fact, once I was there, I realized that this was actually my first trip to the ER (for myself), ever.  And, funny enough, as soon as I got there I started to feel better - it was as though my body decided to self-heal and thought, 'you know, this doesn't look fun, in fact this looks like a whole shit-ton of NOT fun, let's get you better through the power of your own mind and get the hell out of this joint.'  Long story short, I was there for four hours just to be told to come back the following day for an ultrasound.

So, I spent most of Tuesday baking banana bread and convincing myself that I was actually OK, that these sharp, jabbing, sometimes-debilitating pains were just indigestion or too much Hydroxycut, and when the woman from the ultrasound place called and told me to come in at 2:30, I seriously considered telling her not to worry about it, that I was totally all better now.

Good thing I didn't.

The ultrasound showed an inflamed/enlarged appendix, my blood work came back with high white blood cells (or something like that, I don't really listen that well), and before I knew it I was being stabbed with IV needles and put into a gown and told to lay in a bed and wait for the surgeon to call me up for an appendectomy that night.

GOD.  As if I have time for this nonsense.

And you know, I am not a very good patient.


1. I told Nurse #1 (who was very nice, by the way), to...uhhh..."go away".  But I didn't exactly say "go away".  I said something a teeny bit more colorful than that.  She was trying to put the IV in my hand.  I told her that when I was having my son they missed four times and I passed out and that was awful, so please please please don't miss.  She said she'd try not to miss.  Whoa.  Hold the phone.  Excuse me?  She'll TRY not to miss?  Doesn't she know that dumb saying "do or do not, there is no try"?  So then my already-high anxiety shot up about 500 million times higher, and I was crying and flopping around dramatically and just overall losing my shit.  She told me very nicely that I needed to calm down or she couldn't get it in.  I told her not so nicely that it would be best if she, uh, "went away."  She did.  Then I ugly-cried into Shawn's chest for 15 minutes straight.

2. Nurse #2 came a half hour later to attempt the whole IV business again.  He had a friendlier approach - trying to chat with me about summer holidays, my tan, people we knew, etc.  I wanted no part of this small talk.  I wanted him to take his big stupid needle and, well,  "go away".  He got it into my arm on the first try (points for Nurse #2).  However, when he finished, I informed him that I was quite sure it was in the wrong spot.  He very nicely told me that it was absolutely in the right spot.  I insisted that he obviously did it wrong, and that it was for sure going to break in there and I'd be left with needle chunks floating through my veins and would probably get an infection and die.  He politely told me that none of that would happen.  Then he left.  I don't know why - we were having a perfectly delightful conversation.

3. I had an argument with Nurse #2 about my underwear.  He told me to take it off when I put on my gown.  I told him that I was not going to do that.  He said I had to.  I said too bad.  He said you have to for the surgery.  I said I don't really care.  He said seriously, you have to be naked under your gown.  I said seriously, I will NOT be removing my underwear.  We went back and forth like this for awhile.  My underwear stayed on.

4. When it was finally time to have the operation, at about 8:30 at night, the anesthetist guy that gives you the good drugs came over to get some information.  He asked if there was anything they should know before going in.  I said, "actually, yes, you should know that I really hate this, I think it completely sucks, I don't like you or anyone in this hospital, and I really don't want to be here, and do people ever die from appendectomies?  And also I'd like to go home now."  He just nodded and made a little note on his clipboard.  I'm pretty sure it said "this bitch is crazy."

5. Once I got wheeled in to the Operating Room, I started to freak out because it was very cold in there.  I was sure something was wrong.  I demanded to know if this was the appropriate temperature for an OR.  I was assured that it was.

6. I informed everyone in that OR that I was, quote, "their worst nightmare."  Then I asked the surgeon if he was SURE he knew how to do this.

7. When the anesthetic guy started pumping something into my IV, it was very very cold, and I started to panic. I was crying and yelling that my arm really hurt and it was much too cold and that I was totally going to be paralyzed on my entire left side now because clearly, YOU PEOPLE USED THE WRONG STUFF!!!  He said no, they did not use the wrong stuff, then the OR nurse gave him a little nudge, raised her eyebrows, and held up the rubbery mask full of gassy druggy goodness as if to say "shall we shut her up right now?", and he quickly nodded and she quickly stuffed it over top of my face and while very sweetly wiping my tears, told me to breathe...breathe...breathe...

8. ...and then I woke up.  And immediately asked if I could have a Diet Coke.  I wish I was making that up.  I'm not.  (For the record, they said no.  But I did get to have some lemon Jell-O.)  And when I woke up, as luck would have it, I was also shamelessly belting out the song "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line.  I truly believed that it was only happening in my head.  I was quietly and discreetly told that no, it was not actually in my head at all.  Now, my singing voice is horrific at the best of times.  My singing voice after a surgery that included having a tube shoved down my throat?  Well, I'm just gonna go on believing that it was all in my head.

And now, here I am, almost a week later, minus an appendix but with my first ever ER story to tell.

Worth it?

All of the medical professionals who had to deal with my crazy ass probably don't think so!

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