Thursday, January 8, 2009

Farewell Appendix!

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling a little sick to my stomach. I thought I might be coming down with a stomach flu or something but as the day went on I started to feel worse and the pain localized to the lower right portion of my abdomen and the pain got so intense that I knew something was wrong. At around 11:30 am I told Giselle that I was feeling so bad that I probably needed to consider going to the hospital. My symptoms included: Hot flashes and severe chills, goose bumps all over my body, intense abdominal pain and pressure, wanting to get in the fetal position and never move again, and other similar things. So, Giselle drove me to the Urgent Care and they directed us immediately to the ER (by now it was 1:30pm) where I was admitted and diagnosed with appendicitis. The did a CT scan on my stomach and confirmed the infected and swollen appendix. I was then given a morphine injection which I must say was one of the most interesting feelings I've ever had (warm fuzzies x100) this immediately eased the pain and I was able to feel more rested. I was taken up to the operating room around 6:30 pm and was prepped for immediate surgery. I remember the feeling of starting to go out as the room got fuzzy and before I knew it I was waking up, an ounce lighter, and without the pain and pressure. By 9:00 pm I was moved to my room and enjoying a few good laughs with the nurses, docs, Giselle and Nate and Celeste (they all claim I was somewhat more "happy" and "talkative" than normal, but I think I was just being myself). Nik made it in around 10 pm to come see me and then we called it a night. This morning Giselle and I woke up around 5 am and she was able to get ready and go to work and around 8 or 9 am Nik came by to hang out with me. I was feeling sore but with quite a bit of energy, I was able to get up and use the restroom and walk around a bit and by 1:00 pm I was ready to come home! Now I'm just relaxing at home but I was able to walk outside to check the mail and even walked to the gas station with Nik and Giselle to get some milk so I can have some cereal (my real medicine). All in all, it's been quite an amazing experience. I'm very grateful for the doctors and the hospital and the wonderful technology that makes appendectomies much less invasive than before. Instead of one big cut, I was given a laparoscopic appendectomy (see definition below) I'm out of commission as far as exercising for at least a couple of weeks but other that that I feel ready to resume most of my daily activities! Thanks again to everyone for their love, prayers and support. Thank you Nik for your help and visits. Thanks Giselle for being such a trooper and staying over night with me!
What is a laparoscopic appendectomy?
The laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgical technique involves making several tiny cuts in the abdomen and inserting a miniature camera and surgical instruments. As many as three or four incisions are made. The surgeon then removes the appendix with the instruments, so there is usually no need to make a large incision in the abdomen. The camera projects a magnified image of the area onto a television monitor which helps guide the surgeons as they remove the appendix.
What is the benefit of laparoscopic appendectomy?
Most cases of acute appendicitis can be treated laparoscopically. The main advantages are:
  * Less post-operative pain
  * Faster recovery and return to normal activity
  * Shorter hospital stay
  * Less post-operative complications
  * Minimally sized incisions/scars
In most cases, patients can be discharged within 24 to 36 hours. By contrast, the hospital stay is typically two to five days for an open procedure.
This is a picture of me right before going into the operating room:

This is a picture of the blood that spilled while they were putting my IV in. This was my first experience with and IV and the nurse struggled putting this in. My arm was soaked in blood and the sheets as well. This picture was taken after they cleaned it all up, so you can imagine how much was there before!

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Billie Sue said...

It all happened so fast! I just hope and pray that your recovery is as quick as the surgery! I kept in touch with Giselle throughout your episode and felt quite helpless. It is wonderful that there are those trained to help us in our times of need! Speedy recovery!

Rasheta Family said...

It was amazing to see you get out of surgery and then immediately start getting up and walking around and the next day you went to work! I know they have improved the surgical process so that its less invasive but I think a big part of your recovery and process has to do with your attitude and mental strength and resilience. I'm just glad I got home in time to help a bit and be there for you. Anything you need just let me know.

This experience was just a reminder for me of how much I love you and wish I could do anything to avoid you going through pain and discomfort. Glad it appears to be over as quickly as it came. Love, Nik (Your slightly older Big Bubba)

Rasheta Family said...

I am a little jealous and dumbfounded how fast you bounced back. My experience was much worse. It was crazy how we were in the car and found out you were at the Drs. office. Before we made it home you were moved to hospital, diagnosed, had the surgery and out of it calling Nik on the phone!! Crazy. I am happy you had a better experience than I did, I am glad you are OK! We miss you guys. CAn't wait to catch up tonight. I love you to! :) Love, Anissa

Billie Jo said...

Wow, It sounds like Giselle was a little more sympathetic than Olivia. If you were Rick you would have driven yourself to the hospital. Giselle is a tropper and I was sad that you live so far away that we could not help. I would have made a weeks worth of food for you too but apparently I could just send down a case of cereal and you would be happy. It seems like when these things happen you need your family so it great you have Nik, Nate and Celeste.

The Gunnerson Family said...

First of all, I feel I must defend myself since it has been stated that I was not sympathetic when Rick has his appendix out. I happen to be at work in Provo and Rick stayed home from work sick. He went to the doctor during the day and they told him to get to the hospital in Salt Lake. He was in Park City, just 30 minutes to Salt Lake and I was in Provo. So if he waited for me to come to Park City to get him it would be an entire extra hour before he got to the hospital! It was when he was having his "gallbladder" problem in law school that I was totally unsympathetic to his problem.

Anyway....I am glad that things went so well, and it sounds like you are already up and going. Rick's surgery was not done like yours and he was at home on the couch for almost a week. (And I did take care of him). Funny enough I was pregnant with Luke when Rick had his appendix out, and now Giselle is pregnant with your first little boy! What are the odds?

McNeil Family said...

Noah, I'm so glad you are ok and that you at least had Giselle and your brother to take care of you! I'm sorry we weren't all able to come visit. It was over before I even found out so I'm glad you are ok. It's even better that it was minimally invasive and that you have such a positive attitude. I hope you are 100% (minus one bum appendix of course) soon! - Patrice

Giselle and Noah Rasheta said...

Just wanted to post an update in the comment section...

University of Phoenix HR department required Noah to be at work today in order to keep his job (the training schedule is not flexible), but they were able to let him leave early. He was working, but a little useless since the prescriptions drugs are making him a little loopy. I, luckily, have an awesome manager and team of back-up counselors who have been wonderful through all of this, and I have been able to leave work early the past 3 days to 1-take noah to the hospital 2-take noah home from the hospital and 3-bring noah home early from work today.

He's doing well. Just walks around a little hunched over. The three incisions are not as small as I imagined they'd be (maybe 1/2 inch or longer) and they are located in three places. #1 is actually a vertical cut right inside his belly button (this is where they pull the appendix out). #2 is horizontal on the left side, right where his waistband fits, and #3 is horizontal, in the center of his pelvis between his hip bones. It's crazy!

Anyway, Noah is doing well...taking a little nap and very ready for a weekend of recovery. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers - sorry to my family that not everyone knew. It was so sudden that I think I just sent a mass text to everyone who was in my recent sent folder and called it good. We really appreciate Nate and Celeste, Nik, and our home teacher Kevin for coming to visit at the hospital and being so awesome. We know if the circumstances were different, you all would have been there for support. Thanks again, and we love you all!

The Cox Family said...

It is amazing how fast appendicitis happens. I have seen some horrible ones and bad outcomes, so I am glad that it went so well. You are lucky to have such a great wife to help you! We hope you continue to feel well.

Chelsea Johnson said...

I'm so glad you got to the doctor and taken care of so quickly. It sounds like you're recovering nicely.

The baby stuff looks cute, the ribbon is definitely a cute idea! Can't wait till the shower!

I love your Christmas tree. I would love to have a "pretty" tree someday!

Aaron and Mandy said...

Hugs back - Aaron and Mandy