I got an appendectomy for Christmas. It took place the morning after Christmas to be honest, but it was a total surprise. Wasn't expecting it at all. So after literally suffering through all the preparations for Christmas Eve and Christmas, I missed all of the fun parts. And while the white Christmas everyone was oohing and ahhing over barely registered in my miserable brain, I learned about a whole new side of life called The Hospital.
First, just let me say that these hospital worker people were some of the nicest I've ever met anywhere. As I shuffled into the ER in my pajamas, red clogs, and a Canadian sherpa hoodie, no one even raised an eyebrow at my attire. In fact, I was even complimented on my speaking voice. I guess they are trained to look for something good in everyone that waddles up to that desk. I didn't even have to wait but a couple of minutes to be questioned, examined, and given the privilege of an IV, offered morphine, and a CAT scan. At the mention of CAT scan I had them bring in my husband from the waiting room. I told him I was ready to go home. The nice doctor convinced me to stay, which was a good thing as the scan soon proved what she suspected: the appendix was "rotten" (her word not mine, though I agree), and it had to go.
I was admitted into a room to await this "emergency" appendectomy . . . which took place some 12 hours later. No wonder they kept pushing the morphine. But it was a holiday, then a Sunday, and there was snow. I appreciate every single one of those people who cared enough to slide into work on a snowy Sunday to take out that rotten appendix. I should buy them all a gift certificate or something nice like a scarf ... except I am not even sure how many there were ..?
Except for finally being released from that institution, the actual surgery was my favorite part. I don't remember a bit of it. And I woke up smiling. I smiled as they pushed me and my oxygen down the halls to my room. I smiled. I was ready to go home. Still smiling :))
After a "fever spike" prevented them from letting me go home the next day like I'd imagined, I cried. I cried almost the whole third night in that place. Then I decided that I'd show those people, and I tried to wash my hair in the sink ... alone. It made me feel a little rebellious, a little fresher, and a whole lot tired. Sadly, the IV prevented me from drying and styling my hair well, so I was looking somewhat deranged until my sister came and helped me the next day so I didn't have to come home like that.
I made some observations while in the hospital. I would like to share them.
a) There are all manner of beeping things in that joint. Beep. Beep. Beep. This beeps and that beeps. The IV commenced beeping every time I moved my right arm. It was like the whole world was a french fry cooker.
b) Hospital workers aren't even a little embarrassed when they bring you a breakfast tray with coffee and a popsicle. What the heck kind of breakfast is that?
c) Nurses are especially chatty at the nurses' station on holidays. I recommend earplugs if your room is within a mile of the nurses' station. Also, if your husband snores at home he will also snore in the chair by your hospital bed. You may have to send him home eventually.
d) Every person will ask you, the suffering and pitiful person, your name and birthdate and if you are allergic to anything. Over and over. They make you wear that bracelet, but I don't think they like to read it.
e) Nurses offer you morphine like it's the real reason you came to the hospital. They really, really want you to have it and served with an intravenous side order of some anti-nausea drug they speak of in hushed and reverent tones. Neither of them work. Well, maybe that nausea one works, but I'm not going back to find out.
f) Those hospital people throw a lot of jargon at you. I didn't know what any of it meant. I'm still not sure, but again, I am not going back to find out. "Lappy appy" was one of the confusing titles. It means laparoscopic appendectomy NOT Labrador Retriever and Lhasa Apso mix.
g) 80% of the time they're coming at you with a cup it's not a good thing. The other 20% of the time they're bringing cubes of jello.
h) 100% of the time they're coming at you some sort tube it's not a good thing. They like to stick them places.
i) If they apologize in advance, you can bet someone's going to be sorry at some point during that procedure.
j) Harvest Gold and Mauve are alive and well and working as throw up receptacles at area healthcare facilities.
k) Nurse assistant dudes who play the Geico little pig commercial on their cell phones while wheeling you to the CAT scan room are special ... even if it hurts to laugh.
l ) Nurses wearing reindeer antlers are gentle on Christmas night.
Today I am finishing the last of two industrial strength antibiotics. There isn't a bacteria left in my body. I feel like it's a fresh start to collect new and improved bacteria, and I think I'd like to begin my new collection with the kind of beneficial bacteria delivered by strawberry yogurt. If I find out that the "fever spike" causing the extra night's stay and ultra-antibiotics was, as I suspect, brought on by being under a blanket in an 85 degree room on a rubber bed during a hormonal night sweat, I am going to be mad.
So, I missed Christmas, but it's a new year. I'm starting it with a clean gut and no pain. Things are looking up :)) And I'm home!
Happy New Year!!