This weekend, my appendix said “Screw you guys, I’m out.” And within two days, it was out. Needless to say, I didn’t get anything done around the house.

My appendix decided to let me know it wanted out by torturing my insides all day on Thursday. By Friday, the pain had moved down to my lower right side, which is a classic sign of appendicitis, so my Doc called and reserved a spot for me at the ER and told me to get my butt up there. I let Blanche out, thinking “Well, I’ll be back in time to let her out tonight.” Such a laughable thought now.

I picked Stan up from school on the way there, and the two of us waited in the ER. I wimpily winced at getting my IV put in, then they sent me for a CT scan. Weird experience. Have any of you ever had one? When they put the iodine through your IV (for contrast so they can see what’s going on) it feels so weird. It feels like steamy hot chocolate running through your body.

While waiting for the CT results, a couple of medical students came and asked me if they could do an ultrasound on me just for practice. I told them that I guessed I could take a break from twiddling my thumbs. They showed me my heart, kidneys, and bladder. Stan held my hand as we watched my heart beat, and I laughed inside that we were holding hands looking at my heart, and not a baby. It just seemed funny for some reason. Anyway, we asked them how long a recovery is for an appendectomy, and one of them said “I dunno, you can probably be running again on Monday.” It was Friday. Well it’s Sunday now, and that guy was full of crap! I ain’t running nowhere tomorrow.

Anyway, the doc came back with the CT results and said “You have acute appendicitis.” Even though it wasn’t surprising, I started bawling because I’m a big baby. Surgery is surgery, and it’s always a little scary. Plus it’s hard to poop afterward- who wants to deal with that? But I pulled myself together, the doctors answered all my questions, and then we were left to wait some more while they prepped a room for my surgery. When they left us alone, Stan and I actually started laughing, because… seriously? We don’t have enough going on? I have to get an appendectomy? But we agreed that if I had to have something go wrong, this is probably one of the better things, and at least it didn’t happen closer to the wedding.

They wheeled me up to the surgery ward (it was all very dramatic) where the surgeons told me some of the risks and possible complications, including “We might cut your lip, because we use a metal blade to put the breathing tube in”. I laughed- um, really? Can you just kinda pull my lips out of the way first? “Metal blade”, huh? I think they were a little taken aback to see me laughing and chiding them for their clumsy breathing tube insertion methods. Then they put some “liquid courage” into my IV and wheeled me into the operating room. I watched them arrange things around me, and then the next thing I knew I was waking up with a scratchy throat. The nurse or whoever welcomed me back, and I told her I liked their snowflakes (they had paper snowflakes hanging from the ceiling- at least I think they did). Everything remained blurry for about 40 minutes (I know, because I kept squinting to look at the clock) and then they wheeled me into my recovery room where Stan was waiting- truly a sight for sore eyes.

Proof that I really did have an appendectomy

 

Seriously, that man proved himself a million times over the next couple days (and continues to do so). He did everything right- staying with me, leaving only to take care of the dog and cat and sleep at his own house, bringing me flowers, spoon feeding me soup when I didn’t want to bend my IV arm, asking if I needed anything, helping me go for walks, making me feel pretty despite my hospital head hairdo, helping me brush my teeth, making me smile but not expecting me to laugh… I am truly blessed. Now that I’m home he continues to baby me, making me soup for dinner, picking up goodies, taking care of Blanche and Jesse… but the thing I appreciate the most is that he truly makes me feel beautiful. I feel so pathetic, having to shuffle around the house and barely able to pull myself upright (I had no idea how much I use my abs in everyday life until they were cut open!) but I can see it in his face that he has nothing but love and compassion for me, and not pity. I am sorry for the incoherent sap-fest (this Percocet is strong stuff!) but it’s true. I keep looking at him and tearing up because I’m overwhelmed. I feel like I might burst from love.

Anyway, now it’s Monday, and I’m still on the Percocet, which is making me feel like I might burst from something else (vomit). I’m still taking it easy, but I was able to take Blanche on a short walk today and I’ll probably be able to go back to work tomorrow or Wednesday.

An appendectomy is considered a “major surgery”. (I think basically anything where they put you under is.) However, this ordeal is nothing compared to what others go through, and the other feeling I’ve been overwhelmed with this weekend is gratitude. I complain so much about running, cleaning the house, my to-do list… but you never know how wonderful it is to be able to do all that stuff until you can’t. I have three small incisions in my belly, and those are enough to make laughing, sitting up, walking, and coughing painful. I can’t imagine having a more serious surgery with a longer recovery time- I’m simply too wimpy. I’m so thankful for my normal health. I have so much respect for anyone who has to go through more serious and chronic medical problems. I’m so thankful for Stan, and for the support I’ve gotten from my wonderful family and friends.

And I do apologize that this is not very well written- I really am pretty doped up on pain meds (which, by the way, are not as fun as everyone says they are). Thanks for reading!

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