Saturday, September 1, 2012

Shmurgery

Friday, August 17th

We went to the County Fair with the Neitzey's. I had barely noticeable stomach cramps, but thought nothing of it. Considering it was the fair, I ate pretty well.

Saturday, August 18th

I woke up pretty early and did the final day of Couch to 5k week two. It consisted of a 5 min warmup brisk walk, 1:30 jogging and 2:00 walking alternating 6 times, and a 5 minute cool down. I was dogging it. Sluggish, unmotivated, and generally just beat down, but I didn't know why. I returned home and had really annoying stomach cramps. They would go away after a few minutes, but bloat and general discomfort would follow.

After a shower, we had breakfast with the Neitzey's and went to JMU for Football Day, aka Let the Average People Walk Around The Clubhouse Area and Spend Money Day. I was able to eat half of a hot dog, but basically my stomach was in knots. Acid and gas relievers did nothing, but we had a busy weekend so I toughed it out.

I barely made it through a dinner party that night. I ate what I could, turned down what I thought would make me worse, and tried to laugh through the near-constant cramping. Sleep would surely bring improvement.

Sunday, August 19th

The discomfort was still there, only now pressing on my belly brought on a bit of pain. I went to the bathroom, at which time Kacey decided I was going to the hospital. While in the bathroom I coughed. Then doubled over in pain. Hmm, let's try that again. Cough, followed by searing pain in my right lower abdomen. I walked out, looked at Kacey, and said "I need to go to the emergency room." "Yes. Yes you do." So at 8:30am we made a trial baby run to the hospital.

The intake person looked at me after I described my symptoms. "Do you have your appendix still? You might not for long."

I can't remember my doctor's name, but it was awesome and he was awesome. He didn't offer up platitudes or bullshit. He had a great sense of humor and kept us both calm. The worst part of the day was after all of the tests had come back except for the confirming CT Scan. At that point we knew I was in terrible pain and my white count was up. If it wasn't my appendix, what the hell was it? When the doctor returned at about 3 he said "Well guess what" and off I was to surgery 40 minutes later.

The surgeon came by to shake my hand and brag about all the holes he was going to make. Then he made a funny joke about using staples to put me back together, which I later learned was neither funny nor a joke.

Then they knocked me out. Good times.

I woke up shivering in recovery, luckily with the sarcasm half of my brain still intact. It was a tough crowd in there. At about 5:40pm on Sunday I was pushed into my room, down an appendix but having made friendships that would last forever. It was the best summer of my life. That may have been the drugs, though.

Blatantly going against what all the doctors said would happen, I didn't feel that groggy and I went to sleep after midnight. However, I did need help to get up on my own at 9pm to go to the bathroom.

Monday, August 20th

Man, they really want you out of the hospital when they think you can go home. One of the nurse's even tried the "it's not you, it's me" line. Eventually we got tired and left.

Monday night I took my one and only dose of painkillers ("the good stuff"). There's an entire bottle left. Why am I against painkillers? They make me feel weird. Also, they can be a little TOO fun, and I don't need anything replacing my cupcake-shaped hole in my diet. But most importantly, and I can't stress this enough, they make it hard to poop. And I was having enough trouble doing that.

Afterword

After a week of hardcore recovery, including daily stabby pain, I started to walk a bit more (about 5,000 steps a day). Now two weeks in, I'm looking forward to getting my staples out Thursday the 6th. And I'm looking forward to getting back to my jogging program. But most importantly I'm looking forward to carrying my baby around.

Yes, this has caused me to take a few steps back from a food and exercise perspective. But I'm not going to obsess over it. I still haven't eaten dessert, I had two sips of soda, and I've actually hit the 22 pounds lost mark since June 30th (32 pounds from my peak in the spring). A little slowdown won't stop me as I try to become an annoyingly health-obsessed father.

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