As of Friday, February 10, 2012, I had never broken a bone, never had surgery, and never lost an organ. By Saturday, February 11, two of those claims suddenly became untrue. As of today, I no longer have an appendix and have had my first (hopefully last) surgery. I'm sure many of you out there have had operations before, perhaps even an appendectomy. However, based on all the observations I've made the past few days, I felt compelled to blog about my overall experience. I quickly realized I would not be able to fit all my thoughts into one blog post. So here is the 1st part of what is sure to be 2 or 3 more posts regarding my recent appendectomy.
I suppose this appendix gone bad actually started several weeks ago. Those of you who know me personally know that I've weighed roughly the exact same weight since high school. I graduated from high school roughly 8 years ago and have fluctuated maybe 5 pounds during those 8 years, always settling back around what I weighed back in 2004. Throughout the month of January and into the month of February, I began to notice the dreaded tightness in the waist. Pants that fit mere weeks ago were now just a bit too smug for me. I chalked it up to too much feasting over the holidays, a sedentary workplace, and my love for sweets. I cut back and started to exercise more. This seemed to be helping, yet I still noticed a pudginess in my stomach that wasn't there before. I exercised more and thought nothing of it. Simply the reality of getting older...or so I thought.
Last Thursday evening, I ate a salad for dinner and felt particularly bloated afterward. I didn't eat anything for the rest of the evening and hoped the sensation would go away. I took a few antacid tablets anticipating they would settle my stomach. I woke up Friday morning and felt strong cramps around my "bladder area." The beginning of a kidney stone? Bladder infection? I had no clue. I called into work and let them know I wasn't feeling well and planned on working half a day. I slept a few more hours and went into work around 11. Throughout the day the cramps got worse. Friday evening, they were unbearable. The worst part? I began to notice a sharper pain in my lower right abdomen. That's when it hit me...appendicitis.
I tried my best to sleep through the night, hoping the pain would cease, praying my diagnosis was inaccurate. By 11am Saturday morning, I knew I had to see a doctor. Rather than go to a standard walk-in clinic, I went straight to the ER. Prior to going in, I spoke with one of my in-laws who's an ER doctor. His quick phone diagnosis? Classic signs of appendicitis. At this point, I felt pretty certain both of us were right; so much so that I packed up my iPad, phone charger, and a book before I set out for the ER.
After a series of pokes and prods, blood tests and CT scans, a doctor came back into my room with the results. "Looks like you were both right. You have appendicitis and you're appendix is probably coming out today."