Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jumping Jack Flash...It's a Gas, Gas, Gas!

I had an emergency appendectomy last week.  I totally thought it was a gas bubble but my mom coerced me into going to the doctor.  Which led to going to the ER, which led to an ambulance rider, which led to surgery.  Mostly the story is too long to blog about because I get so damn wordy, but here's some highlights in timeline form.

Wednesday morning:  Wake up.  Feel shitty.  I feel bloated and like I have menstrual cramps, but the timing is wrong.  Finally call my mom (retired nurse practitioner) who makes me go the hospital.

Wednesday 2pm: Check in to the ER where I am immediately swarmed by a team of people.  One is asking me questions and filling out forms.   One is putting me in a hospital gown.  One is taking my blood pressure and heart rate and the other is setting up an IV drip.  It's total overkill for a goddamn stomach ache.  I mean, this is just a stupid gas bubble and I probably just need to fart...really bad.

 One the good side, when they tell me they need a urine sample I get to watch the surprise (or was it horror) on their faces as I pull out a grocery bag, duct tape sealed mason jar and hand it to them.  This is the benefit (or is it?) of having a retired nurse for a mom.  When I tried to pee before we left, she handed me a jar and said "They'll want a sample." So I now have the added embarrassment of being sure it's a gas bubble AND arriving with my own pee sample.

It's diesel fuel, but it grossed you out didn't it?  Also, I did not have THAT much pee.  This picture reminds me of this one time when I was driving back from Bend, Oregon and got stuck on a back roads highway for over an hour and no restroom in sight and just an empty 16oz Smoothie cup.  I swore to never wear skinny jeans on a roadtrip again after that.

Wednesday 4pm:  Doctor comes in, presses my stomach and orders a CT scan.  This is going to be the most expensive gas bubble I've ever had.  I'm grateful I have medical insurance and wondering if they kick you off when they find out you went to the ER because you had to fart.  So we do the CT scan and wait and wait and wait.

Wednesday 6pm:  Doctor comes back and says "Appendicitis.  We're scheduling surgery and you'll have to go the big hospital."

"Fine."  I say.  "Let me just go home and take a shower 'cause I'm gross and then my Mom will drive me over.  What time do we need to be there?"

The doctor smiles the way you smile at really stupid people when you realize they don't understand anything.

"We'll be transporting you right away.  The transporting is complimentary so don't worry about it."

Complimentary makes me think of a complimentary mint on your pillow.  It's an offering, a suggestion.  It's free.  But if you're not hungry, you don't HAVE to eat the mint.  So I say "Oh, thanks for the offer but I'm not in THAT much pain.  I'll just run home and take a shower and we'll head right there.  It will be a fast shower.  I just live across the street."

He doesn't bother with the pity smile this time, just says "The ambulance is on it's way and we're just waiting for the surgeon.  We'll keep you posted."  Then he lets the nurses take over, hooking me up with antibiotics in the IV and asking if they can get me anything.  Well, anything except a shower.  Or food.  Or water.  But I can have lemon flavored Q-tips.  Who needs steak when there's lemon flavored Q-tips?

Dinner is Served!

Wednesday 6:15 pm:  Ambulance drivers arrive and I have to wave them off of lifting me from one bed to another.   I took a selfie because I'm hoping this was my only opportunity to ever ride in an ambulance.

I actually asked the ambulance technician if he could scoot over so I could take a selfie.  He was very good humored about it.

Wednesday 7pm:  I had to wait a few hours for surgery, so I figured that was a good time to text my husband.  Not only did I text him, but I texted him while he was in China on a business trip.  Luckily, he was already at the airport getting ready to head home.  He immediately did what any freaked out Engineer does.  He googled "appendicitis" and began asking me all sorts of terrible questions.  Like "How many incisions are they going to make?  One or four?"  I asked him to stop texting me please.  Then he got on a plane.  I'm sure that was an enjoyable flight for him.

Wednesday 9pm:  Surgery was anti climactic.  I started to freak out so I asked for anti anxiety medicine.  The surgeon (who totally looked like a very hot lumberjack) said "Oh, sure." and before he could even finish that sentence, the IV meds kicked in and I was all happy.  Then I waited for the part where you count from 100 backwards.  Yeah, they don't need that anymore.  They just say "Ok" and then you're out.  And next thing you know you wake up telling the recovery nurse how much you wished you had taken a shower and not worn Hello Kitty underwear and that you would have put on more grown up underwear had you known everyone was going to see them.  And the recovery nurse somehow finds this amusing, even after the fifth re-telling.

I do not own these underwear....or this butt.

Wednesday 10pm:  This is the awesome picture that I had my Mom take right when I got out.  I thought I was smiling, but clearly my face hadn't started working yet.  Also, the recovery nurse arranged my bangs for me, which was very thoughtful of him.  It's probably because he felt sorry for me and my Hello Kitty underwear.

That's Hammy, the stuffed animal Turtle bought for me before I went in to surgery.  The doctors and nurses dressed him up for surgery and when I woke up, he was next to me all outfitted in his cap and mask.  He looks much more alert than I do.

Wednesday 10:15pm:  They gave me Percoset for my recovery.  They should rename that shit Perky-set because it kept me up all night.

Thursday  4am:  Did you know there is not much on television at 4am?  I watched re-runs of America's Funniest Home videos.

Thursday 10am:  I was discharged that morning and got home before Dave even got back from the airport.  I have been home recuperating (angrily, very angrily....I am NOT a good invalid) ever since and am now cleared to get back to regular exercise.  Which means I'm cleared to go back to thinking "Fuck, I should exercise" and having another cookie instead.

And that's the story of the gas bubble that wasn't a gas bubble at all.

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