Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Six Long Weeks

Six weeks may not seem to be a long time.

As you may or may not recall, six weeks ago today I reported in a brief post that I was feeling ill and felt there was a possibility my appendix was the culprit. Here are the details from the situation.

The night before, I had gone to sleep feeling quite lousy. I had an abnormal bit of indigestion and heart burn. I went to the bathroom and dry heaved a few times, and thought that maybe it was something I ate. I lied down and had a fairly sleepless night. I kept awakening with a pain in my side, but at the time, just felt it was something I had eaten. (I believe I had Italian that night, which commonly causes these types of gastrointestinal issues for me.)

I awoke Wednesday morning and felt equally as ill as the night before. I got up, prepared myself for the day, and went to work. I sat down at my computer to come up with something for the blog, but couldn't. I just didn't feel well. The pain was centralizing in the lower right hand side of my gut, and I began to suspect appendicitis, as I wrote in my post that morning.

I wrote my post rather hastily and left my office as my work required me to go to the doctors office of an abused child to supervise the check-up of said child. On the way to the appointment, I called my wife on my cell phone and told her I was not well, and that I was nervous it was appendicitis. She laughed at me and said I was just "being dramatic." She also told me to ride it out, and if it lasted until tomorrow, then I should go see the doctor. I agreed that this was probably a wise course of action. When I arrived at my client's Doctor's office, I reported that I felt I would need to go to my personal doctor's office and be checked out. My clients told me I did not look well.

I got in my car and started driving back to my office, when the pain started doubling. At this point, the indigestion and sick feeling were gone, but the pain was now directly in the area where my appendix would be. I figured it was my gall bladder or my appendix and I called my Doctor up and made an appointment for later that day.

I went home where I met my wife, and told her I had the appointment. She laughed and asked if I wanted her to come. (she had plans with her sister.) I told her no, that I would call her if it was indeed something serious. I waited until the time of my appointment and left.

At the Doctor's office, my Doc had me jump up and down, which hurt. I described my symptoms to him. He then started poking and pushing me, most of which was quite uncomfortable. He told me that he thought I had appendicitis and that he wanted me to go to the emergency room and be CT scanned right then.

I left the office and went to Alta View Hospital, which is but a short drive from my Doctor's office. I arrived, checked in, and was immediately taken back to a patient area. After 20 or 30 minutes, a nurse came and took me in to be CT scanned. The CT took about 25 minutes and was mostly fine, except for the part when they inject an intravenous contrast that makes you feel like your whole body might melt for a minute or two. The nurse then wheeled me back to the waiting room.

It only took about 2 minutes for a doctor to come see me and tell me that my appendix was infected and needed to be taken out. I would be taken to the OR room in about 1/2 hour. I called my wife, who had inexplicably gone to Ogden (50 minutes or so from where I was.) She still, for some reason, found this all funny and said she was on her way. I told her that if I got taken back before she got there, and if by chance I died in the operation, that I loved her. (I have done this every time I have gone in for surgery. There is just something so sadistically funny about saying "If I die, I loved you" as they are wheeling you in for an operation.)I then called my parents, Ross and Eleanor, and they said they were on their way.

The waiting time was more like an hour, and my wife did make it to the hospital with my baby about 15 minutes before they took me back. (I also told my 9 week old baby that if I died, I loved her:) Then the Surgeon came in and explained what he was going to do, and all of the ways I could die from it. I joke, but he really made me nervous with all of his prattling about how he could hit my artery and kill me. This is a typical surgeon thing to do, as it seems surgeons are born without common sense or courtesy, though this guy was pretty nice and gave me his time, which I appreciated, even if it was time he used to scare the balls off me.

After another 30 minute wait, I was wheeled back and spoke with the anesthesiologist, who went over my medical history with me. Then the doctor came over, they wheeled me in to the operating room, and had me scoot my naked butt over onto the operating table. The anesthesiologist then told me I would be getting sleepy and the next thing I knew, I woke up in another room.

I have had 3 previous hernia surgeries, a tonsillectomy, and wisdom teeth removal in the past under general anesthesia, and I always remember waking up in the recovery room. Not this time. I apparently blanked that whole thing (over an hour) out and remember coming to with my wife, baby, and parents in the room. I felt pretty lousy and that was when they broke the news to me that not only had they removed my appendix, but when the surgeon opened me up, he saw that my twice repaired belly button hernia was coming undone again. He had to re-secure the mesh with some heavy duty screws he fastened into my gut. I was in considerable pain and was also very, very groggy.

I had to stay overnight in the hospital unfortunately, but I slept pretty well because of all the drugs I was on. In the morning, I spoke to the Doctor, who gave me no assurances that my hernia would not open again, in fact quite the contrary. (He was a pleasant dude, but Lord, was he the harbinger of bad news.) He let me know if it opened again, he would put in a whole belly patch that would do the job. He also let me know how much worse that would hurt than what I had just went through. As I was in fairly bad pain, that news did not lighten my mood. Then he told me the bad news: If it had just been my appendix, I would have to take it easy for 2 weeks, but because of the hernia, I had to go six. Six long weeks. No lifting. No exercising. No sports. No sex.

Well, my friends, six weeks have come and gone and today I start my life again. This morning, I shoveled my driveway. When I get home from work, my wife better be in some skimpy lengerie, and tonight, I return to the basketball court 20 pounds heavier, even slower than before, but happy to be out there. I hope I don't twist an ankle. Six more weeks would be a killer.


Jim said...

welcome back Boyd. I've missed you and if I die before I see you again, just know that I loved you.

Boyd said...

Thanks, Jim. Too bad you are the only one who cares enough to post. By way of update, last night was not pretty. I stunk too badly of garlic for intimacy, and stunk even worse at basketball to enjoy myself.