I woke up in a haze of pain. It was all dark, and I was alone. But the beep of monitors and the pain assured me that I was still in the hospital. How long had it been, I wondered. What did the surgeon find- the worst as he had expected; or the middle ground I’d prayed for? And my pain seemed to have spread from my stomach to pretty much everywhere. Was too weary, so just my eyes close again……...don’t know what day it is.
Jan 21st 2011: When I came home from work, I knew it was going to be a busy weekend ahead. I had a long list of things to do's- earlier done, the better. But I was pretty beat up then, tired, and quite edgy. After a simple dinner, I started a load of laundry, put my feet up and watched the girls play together while A wrapped up work. By 10pm, I was in bed, exhausted.
Jan 22nd 2011: That nagging tiredness and unease was still here this morning. But nothing's wrong with me. Took a quick mental note of my monthly calendar. It definitely isn't that time yet. So I shake myself up, get breakfast going and shake the kids out of their beds for swim class. A doesn't budge- who knows when he went to bed last night. Rather than be late waiting for the designated driver, I drive the girls to their class. After lunch, I settle them in front of the TV, as I start checking off the to-do list. Clean house (that cleaning lady skipped again this week), get the guest bed room ready (A was having a house guest over to stay with us Monday through Wednesday), one more load of laundry; and packing! And there was this blogging event that'd caught my fancy- so I wanted to especially make something to write about. A helps me with some cleaning and by 8pm, I am done everything except packing. That'd have to wait. I wasn’t up to it. After feeding the girls and tucking them in, I'm in bed by 9pm.
And I drift off to sleep thinking about tomorrow – our 11th wedding Anniversary. A friends’ carpool was taking our older one to her Hindi class, and another friend had offered to watch baby P during that time. A & I could do something together- a movie and lunch sounded perfect. With that plan, and a smile in place, I fall asleep.
Jan 23rd 2011: It isn’t morning yet- it’s pitch black outside. But I’ve been up for hours. Very uncomfortable. I get up to go the bathroom, and that leaves me breathless. My head is spinning and I feel nauseated. I make it to the bathroom, and heave in the sink. My stomach turns inside out. I spend the next few hours huddled over the toilet bowl. Drained of energy, I call out for help. A helps me back in bed, and I ask him to put a trashcan by my side for the rest of the night. It’s still 4:30am, so I ask him to sleep in with baby P. I am vomiting every few minutes for the rest of the day. I’ve heard of a stomach bug going around and all I can think of now is to protect the kids from catching it from me. I banish everyone from my bedroom, and make A go around the house with Lysol and Purell every hour. I will feel better tomorrow. And we’ll celebrate our Anniversary when we go to Cancun on Thursday.
Jan 24th 2011: The nausea is gone, thank goodness. But my stomach hurts – no doubt from throwing up all day yesterday. It also feels much distended to me. Our house guest has arrived, but I’m in state to meet her. I send my apologies, ask A to make me some vegetable soup and get ready to feel better soon. A has some meetings to go to, and I let him. Soon I am left breathless by a wave of pain in my abdomen. I lie there sweating, unable to breathe for I don't know how long. Then I curl up, and cry. The rest of the morning is lost. A calls around 2pm to ask about me and I barely reach the phone crying for him to come back. He comes home to find me shivering in bed with a fever of 102, and an acute stomach ache. He calls the Doctor’s office. A fever and ache following stomach flu is nothing to worry about in a healthy person, the nurse informs us. If those are your only symptoms, you can come in for an office visit tomorrow afternoon.We accept.
Jan 25th 2011: The doctor didn’t find anything wrong with me, despite her battery of tests. I’ve been in bed with a hot water bottle held against my stomach for 3 days now, but the pain is worse than ever. I feel 4 months pregnant. We leave the doctors’ office with a prescription; follow up appointment for tomorrow and an assurance that we’ll still make it to Cancun.
Jan 26th 2011: I’m thankful when we get a call pushing up our appointment by an hour. One look at me the doctor orders us to the ER. We’re expecting a big snow storm and ER is the only place they can help me. By 6:30pm, I’m writhing in pain despite heavy doses of morphine. That’s when the surgeon came in and announced his verdict.
Surgery is your only option. The appendix has ruptured, you have massive peritonitis, and it might have some gut involvement too. We have to take the appendix and part of the gut out, and wash your abdomen.
While I get hysterical, A arranges for the girls to stay the night with friends.
Jan 29th 2011: I’m finally awake. The pain is still intense, but I am sitting up. And A brings the girls to visit me.
Jan 30th 2011: I request an early discharge- I’ll be better off at home.
A tells me I was in the ICU for a day and in the recovery ward for another day before I opened my eyes. I had acute appendicitis, but no gut involvement. Thankfully. I am looking at another 2 weeks of recovery period. However, between yesterday & today, I have felt good enough to pen this down.
To share with you my hopes, and my fears. And also, my blessings.
I'm blessed for being on the road to health again; and for my circle of friends who jumped in to help in my hour of need - with child care options, food, and by just being there.