The Day I Needed an Appendectomy

It was 3:30am Sunday morning. I woke up to excruciating pain in my stomach. EXCRUCIATING. I got up and went to the bathroom, I felt a little better. I gingerly climbed back in bed, trying not to wake my husband and 5 year old.

4:45am, my stomach was cramping again, this time I was nauseous. I got up again. Thinking, I can’t be sick, momma ain’t got time for this.

In and out of the bathroom the rest of the morning, pain settling on my right side. If I lay real still on my right side, I hardly had any pain at all. 

But I knew something wasn’t right. 

I laid in bed while my husband quietly dressed the kids for church, leaving me home to sleep and stay as still as possible. Promising a trip to urgent care when they got back.

At 1pm, we check into Urgent Care. The gal takes my vitals. As soon as she is out the door, I’m lay on my right side. I remember telling my husband, “I’m a grown woman and I’m laying on the bed like an infant.” The Nurse Practitioner comes in, takes one look and me laying there and asks me a couple of key questions: “Where is your pain?” “When did it start?” “Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?”

By 1:30pm, we’re on the way to the ER, I’m frantically calling my mom to pick up the kids, not really knowing what the rest of the day was going to look like. But I knew it wasn’t looking good.

In the ER, I’m quickly shown to a room. It wasn’t too long after they took my vitals and hooked up a line for blood draws and a probable IV that a young doctor came in and asked a bunch of questions, “Where is your pain?” When did it start?” “Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?” He explained they’d do a CT to confirm they’re suspicions. And left with the promise of pain meds.

The lady that came to take me to CT breezed me down the back hallways of the hospital. I lay on my right side, wincing when we went over a bump. When we get there, I had to lay flat on my back with my arms above my head, I might have shed a few tears. Thankfully, the visit to CT was quick.

3:15pm, the attending doc came in. Telling us the CT showed appendicitis, he was waiting to hear back from the surgeon, but likely surgery. Sometime tonight.

My sweet husband, who had been by my side the entire day, hadn’t eaten lunch. He ran out to get something to eat, thinking it wouldn’t be anytime soon. The surgeon wasn’t in the building. It wasn’t a rush. As he was leaving, my nurse came in to give me morphine. I saw sweet pain relief and sleep in my future. 

Six minutes later, the nurse came in and said the surgeon called in and reserved an operating room. She closed my door and quickly helped me get into a stylish hospital gown and the rest of my belongings into a bag. Morphine is kicking in. I’m not positive I was that much help.

She wheels me to pre-op. Where I encountered the most wonderful group of nurses. They explained everything, they made me laugh even though it hurt. Even helped me take out most of my 9 ear piercings. Because morphine. And went to get my husband when he got back.

By 4:30pm they’re filling my IV with something to help me relax, and wheeling me to the operating room, but I don’t remember getting that far.

I immediately looked for the clock when I was waking up. It was hard to focus, I didn’t have my glasses, but I could make out 6:30. But I wasn’t sure if it was morning or night in the dark recovery room. My throat was sore, my mouth was extremely dry, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was not in a good place. With a breathing treatment and some anxiety meds, we hit the snooze button. I guess I wasn’t ready to wake up just yet. The next time was calm, I asked for my husband. My mouth was so dry; could I have something to drink?

Before I knew it, I was getting my clothes back on to go home. What a day!

I’m sitting at 3 weeks post-op. I still feel some tenderness on my right side, the doctor says that’s normal and will get better with a little more time. I started light exercise. 

Mommas, don’t ignore that right side pain. It’s not something to mess with – it happens so, so quickly! Get it checked out, ASAP. 

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