So I got out of the hospital today. I had surgery last night.
Allow me to explain.
Wednesday afternoon I was set to take my mother-in-law home from work. She would have to wait two hours for my father-in-law to come get her or I could use my lunch break. Since I usually just grab something and come back to my desk, I was happy to help.
On the way home, my abdomen began to ache. Really, really badly. Like doubled over, howling in pain to noone, kind of pain.
Needless to say I didn't make it back to work.
Thursday was okay. Not great, I was generally uncomfortable all day long. But it was 'managable.' At this point I thought it was my Hiatal Hernia. The Prilosec I've been taking every day must've stopped working. My belly was swollen and I was half nauseous/sick the whole day. Yesterday morning, however, was the worst. I woke up and felt fine. I hugged on my daughters who had, as usual, snuck into bed with us, and I got up to use the bathroom...
And I barely made it to the toilet before the pain began. Huge waves of it, doubling me over and giving me a few dry heaves. After using said bathroom, and while I was in there howling, Ericka had called my work and told them I wasn't going to be in. The problem with this is, this coming Saturday I fly out to San Antonio, where my job has a week-long conference. I have a bunch of stuff to get done, and not a lot of time to do it.
So we search desperately for doctors and I find one. The first sent us to voicemail, the second said they could see me in 45 minutes. I showed up on time, waited another half hour, and finally saw the doctor.
I tried to explain what was wrong. But it was when I told him I had seen another gastroenterologist that he stopped me.
"I can't treat you," he tells me. At this moment, I begin to panic. My abdomen is on fire, and now I've got to go to this other doctor, this doctor whose insurance mine doesn't cover...
"My insurance doesn't cover him," I say desperately. I honestly felt there may have been some begging involved if things didn't turn around.
"Oh, okay," he said. The relief alone made me feel a bit better.
Then he got to poking. It was obvious that it wasn't my stomach. It was my lower abdomen. On my lower right side, he pushed in--ow--then when he let go, holy shit that hurt.
"It hurt worse when I let go?" he said.
"Oh hell yeah," I said, still wincing.
"Son, you don't have gastritis. You have acute appendicitis."
Oh. Well. Then. Shit.
"You're going to need to get that taken out."
I nod. I'm not one to fret over such matters. Three days in, you don't really give a damn what they do to you.
Off to the ER. "Now," the doctor says to me, "don't be a nice guy. Go to the front desk and demand to see Dr. Berman." I nod and try to not be a nice guy, but I still end up waiting about 10 very long minutes for them to call my name. The girl said she had been working there for just five days. I concurred.
After the IV and the X-Rays were taken, on came the contrast for the CAT scan. Now contrast is apparently Swahili for shitstain, because that's about what it tasted like.
The nurse told me, "Think of it as a bad martini."
Oh, it was bad all right. Keeping it down was a chore in and of itself.
After the CAT scan they doped me up pretty good. The next time I woke up, Ericka had arrived and was holding my hand.
"Honey," she said to me, looking me in the eye, "you've got appendicitis and they're going to put you in surgery in a few hours. The doctor will be back in a little while to talk about it."
All nice and clear. I smiled. The morphine was doing just fine.
The operation was quick and I woke up with the shakes. I hate the shakes. Makes me think I'm hyperventilating and I can't catch my breath. There were nurses around, doing things. Trying to calm me down.
"Mr. Erwin you're okay."
"Mr. Erwin you're in the hospital, you're out of surgery."
"Breathe Mr. Erwin, remember to breathe."
Then I would pass out again.
I woke up in my private room, on the bed. It was getting late and me and Ericka sat through a mediocre episode of CSI: Miami.
The doctor came in and told me it looked like that was the problem, everything else looked fine. He was a young guy and he needed some work on his bedside manner. But overall, cool guy and I thanked him for his work.
It's amazing how you can go from hurting in the morning to surgery in the evening, isn't it?
Anyway, now I'm sore and aching and a little whiny, but my wonderful wife puts up with it. She's gotten me a dinner for kings (or, at least post-appendectomy kings) in the form of biscuits and mashed potatoes and gravy from KFC. It's a "soft" meal that shouldn't make me sick. I hope.
So special thanks to my wonderful wife for being there for me the past few days, my friends and coworkers for their concern, and you guys for still reading this old rag.