Thanksgiving morning, I woke up to some sharp pains in my abdomen. A little back story ... I had arm-wrestled a very strong woman the night before and thought that maybe I had pulled a muscle ... moving on. I went about Thanksgiving day as normal. Eating what I could, laughing when I was able. Unfortunately the pain was there the whole time. I went to sleep that night after fighting with fevers all evening.
The next morning I woke up and the pain had gotten worse. My initial thought is that I need to get my appendix looked at. I get to my Mom's house and she insists that I go to Urgent Care and get looked at. This wasn't something I was thrilled with doing. Yes I have insurance, but I don't have the extra money to cover whatever bills I may incur. Also, I'm what the medical profession calls a "Hard Stick" (laugh now.) Every nurse has trouble finding my veins, and as a result, I get stabbed with needles a lot! This visit was NO exception. 5 brand new holes later and I was sporting an IV.
My CAT-Scan results come back, and sure enough, I've got a perforated appendix. Time for removal. They send me on my way to another hospital where I have a team of surgeons, and a private room waiting for me. I get there and my perforated appendix has miraculously turned into a ruptured appendix. No biggie. They're going to cut me open either way. I let them do their thing to me, and apparently I surprise them in the middle of surgery. Some more back story ... my older brother had his appendix burst and he was misdiagnosed. He made it to surgery just in time after his torso had filled with gangrene and they saved his life just hours before it would have ended ... So here I am, asleep on the operating table. They slice open and BLAM! There it is, looking them in the face. A torso full of ... MUCUS? That's not normal. As a matter of fact, the doctors performing the surgery had NEVER seen this before. When your appendix bursts, it's because something was caught on it, and bacteria attacked. Then your body rejects it as it fills with poisonous infectious fluids and eventually blows up. Well, I had none of this. So what they do is what I would have done. Put the surgery on hold (while i'm opened up) and call in a Pathelogist from home. She wasn't busy, don't worry. They consult with her, finish me up, and let me sleep. They went to talk to my Mom and Leslie to let them know how things went.
"We found something unusual. We think there was a tumor on his appendix. It could be cancerous."
Well crap. Just what my family needs, more cancer. A few hours after being put to sleep, I awake to find breathing tubes and what not.
My body was in pain, but the nurses were amazing. After a couple days in my boring room, I got upgraded to a better room. This room looked over the World Class Torrey Pines Golf Course where Tiger Woods frequents. Just beyond the golf course is the best ocean in the world. Not bad! To top it off, my room was named after the founder of the hospital AND was the room that Mother Teresa stayed in a couple times when she came to San Diego and had heart problems. So good things surround this room.
Painful moments: Removing the Catheter, Standing/Sitting/Moving in general, Removing my drain tubes (oh these were awful, like being punched to death)
Finally, after spending 4 (thousand) days in the hospital, they let me go!
I couldn't even have water for the first day and some change. I was a serious surgery case, and so they had to start my stomach at the basics. Jello was a HUGE blessing to my tongue. Over the course of this experience, I've managed to lose between 10 and 14 lbs!!
Although I look happy, it's slightly bittersweet. I am alive, I am cancer-free, I am healing and doing wonderful. I know that when I hit "publish post" and head to bed, it will only lead to heartache. When I open my eyes in the morning, I will be opening my eyes to a day that I'm supposed to fear. It's been a year since my dad died. I haven't been to his grave site yet. Not since we put his ashes in the wall. I'm not big on visiting graves. Once the body dies, it's gone. No place on this earth can contain what that person once was. This is my dad. I need to visit, because I need to cry. My body hurts too much to cry, but my mind is ready for it.
Goodnight December. You were always my favorite. Why did you have to go and do this to me?