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!