Taste the Pain…

Wow, what a weekend! For the first time in my life, I was cut open by a doctor to have an inner piece of me removed. My appendix, which no one seems to understand the purpose for, decided it didn’t care to be inside me anymore. So with no concern for my plans to go sledding with the kids over the weekend (due to the great new dump of snow we got up here in Michigan) it revolted in a flurry of excruciating pain. I was so overjoyed with this interruption that I tried to ignore the fact that it was a potential health risk. While half-way to the ER on Friday night, the pain subsided. So like the dork I am, I decided to fore-go the visit with my medical saviors and instead go shopping at Target followed by a trip to Krispy Kreme for some deep-fried sugar. Yummy… 🙂

So yeah, I was stupid. Fast-forward to Saturday afternoon, and Sheila finally got fed up with my stubborn act and drug me in to the ER while I whined that it was probably just bad gas. The well-educated individuals at the ER however, thought otherwise.

CAT scans are interesting. You get to drink two large cups of a horrible liquid that I believe they claim to be kiwi-strawberry flavored. I found it to taste more like slightly sweetened hair spray. Then after waiting an hour and a half wishing I could at least suck on a breath mint, I was rolled down to the radiology department. My journey had the added benefit of being on the one bed in the whole hospital that the nurses all knew as “the Sidewinder”. What this actually meant was that every turn we made turned in to a struggle for the poor nurse/technician/assistant to keep me from ramming in to the wall. The one time that the bed did roll in to a wall, my internal (then revolting) organ noticed and kicked back.

I then got some sort of fluid injected in to my bloodstream making my entire body feel warm immediately, leaving a metallic taste in my mouth. As I lay in the CAT scanning machine I looked around studying the equipment. I was fascinated by a pulsing light above my head and was quite content just staring at it until I glanced a little to the side and noticed the big warning sticker that said, “Do not look directly in to the light!” So I closed my eyes and waited.

The machine started up, sounding somewhat like a jet engine. The bed I was on moved in to the machine and at that moment I realized that maybe, just maybe, I was a *little* bit claustrophobic. The machine then barked at me, “Inhale!” so I did. “Hold your breath!” it then ordered as the bed moved. Holding my breath for a long time has never been a big issue for me which helped out a lot when I was in life-guarding class in school, but when your internal organs are trying to divorce you, it becomes a much harder endeavor. I managed, and they wheeled me back to the ER room where Sheila was waiting.

About a half-hour later, the nurse came back in to inform me that the lovely liquid I had drank down had not made it far enough down through my digestive system to see what they needed to see, so I would be going back for another scan. Sledding would have definitely been more fun this weekend.

Back we went, on the “the Sidewinder” as a new technician got to experience the thrill of playing “Keep the patient from feeling like a pinball.” They got the scan they needed and there it was. My little appendix was no longer little, and the doctor said that it needed to come out. Now.

Since my religious beliefs do not allow me to accept blood transfusions, I felt it time to bring it up. Over the next half-hour I talked to the doctor who first saw me and a few others including the surgeon. Papers (legal releases) were signed and others were copied. I felt pretty comfortable that they understood my stance and that they would abide by it. Whew! That was a first for me and I really didn’t know what to expect. No one gave me any grief over it so I was thankful.

So without boring you too much, I had the surgery. It went off without a hitch and I’m home again. I’m still a few days off from being able to return to work and it’s driving me nuts. The pain-killers are keeping me comfortable but at the same time keeping me from being able to focus on much of anything, Hopefully this post is somewhat readable, but if not, I have the drugs as an excuse.

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