I am fortunate to have a job that sometimes takes me to places that I would otherwise be unable to afford; I have had the opportunity to stay in some really nice hotels while away at conferences and training seminars. Every time a new training opportunity pops up in a “good location” I secretly thank the organizers of the event for having good taste. A few weeks back I learned that one of these opportunities would be presenting itself this month… a night away at the Kingfisher Resort and Spa, wow. I started to get excited, afterall, this was going to be a whole night away all by myself; bed to myself, room to myself, time to myself- I told everyone to forget the fact that this is a work trip, it is going to be a vacation to me. So I started psyching myself up for my first night away from baby because I talk tougher than I am. For all of this giddy night to myself business I also had a bit of anxiety about not being at home and not being able to do my nightly “signs of obvious life” check before I go to bed myself. Slowly but surely the excitement began to overtake the anxiety, I knew I would be ready by the time March 18th came around.
And then I woke up with a stomach ache on March 1st. Now I am no stranger to the stomach ache having IBS for the past 3 years, but this one was special. It had started a few days before, I was waiting for the tell tale lower bowel feelings that it would all be over soon but those feelings, after two days had not yet come (if you know what I mean- gross I know). It was 3:30am when I woke up. Everly had been sleeping since 8:00pm, she has been doing so well since January. I decided to take some tums and try to go back to sleep, but no luck. 3:30am became 4:47am, which became 5:25am, which became 6:05am and that’s when Everly got up (good sleep Everly!). I nursed her painfully and tried to put her back down to sleep but she decided she was up for the day; Murphy’s Law. I told my husband that I didn’t think I could take care of her by myself, that my stomach hurt too much and I felt nauseated and dizzy and just not right, he suggested I go spend the day with my cousin or his mom and he left for work. I was scared to get in the car because I thought that might be the moment that my bowels decided to end this tummy ache!
Around 8:30am the pain wasn’t getting any better despite the aforementioned bowels doing their job and then some- (double gross I know). I decided to look in the Health book… I didn’t like what my symptoms brought me to so I called the 811 health nurse. After 5 minutes on the phone with her she told me to go to the hospital, she thought it might be something serious, she agreed with the health book. Dammit I thought, did the health book and health nurse not get the memo that I don’t have time for something serious? I called my husband and said that I was heading to the hospital at the suggestion of the nurse, he asked me to call him when I knew something.
I found Hulk strength like any good mother bear and packed Everly into the car and drove to the hospital. I have layed on the floor of the playroom with her in the Emerg in a hell of a lot of pain. I peed into a cup in the bathroom while she mouthed the plumbing of the sink, thank you for realizing that I was defenceless and for taking advantage of that Everly. My father in law came just before the blood tests, I can’t imagine how fun it would have been to have held her on my lap while vomiting and getting my blood taken. Oh yes, I was throwing up too, kind of like the return of an old friend, but an old friend that you don’t really enjoy the company of.
After my blood tests the doctor said that my white cells were elevated and that they needed to do a CT. I watch Grey’s Anatomy, I know about white cells. So I connected the dots, brought myself into a Grey’s episode… patient is presenting with, intense localized abdominal pain, vomiting, the runs, elevated white blood cells, dizziness… ding, ding, ding; it’s my damn appendix, the health book was right- damn health book. The CT confirmed it, the appendix needed to come out. I pictured residents fighting over who would get to do this routine surgery as their potential first, I hoped that none of them won and that my surgery went to a Dr. Bailey type. Funny how tv shows change your perception of the functioning of some places. I will never think of a bakery the same after watching Cake Boss either.
Everly went home with my cousin, once we realized that it was something serious that I was going to need surgery for I knew she shouldn’t be there anymore. I also realized that I could now take something for the pain that was ripping my insides out. I resisted pain meds before this point because I still wanted to be able to breastfeed that night if it just ended up being something less serious. So I rallied for the drugs and I rallied for a place to lay down, neither of which came easily. I had to lay down on the floor in a pain induced stupor to get a cot, ps. if you are ever looking to get attention in a hospital lay on the floor, within minutes I had 3 nurses trying to help me. This wasn’t my intention at the time, my intention was to get rid of the pain and I knew that laying down felt better so I just went for it, but I will remember this one. As for the drugs, well I am not sure why they held out on those so long… some nurse kept telling me things and I don’t know what she was saying it hurt so much. My cousin said can’t you give her pain meds and then try talking to her, this hadn’t occurred to the nurse.
I had the surgery at 6:00pm that night, they pushed me up in the line because my appendix burst and I could not stop vomiting despite all of the Gravol. Thank goodness my surgeon was more sympathetic to my cause than my first nurse, if it had been up to her to perform the surgery I probably would still be waiting. I know they are supposed to do their jobs to the best of their ability and all of that, and I am sure that she was and she should probably be fired. Absolutely no bedside manner, why do people who don’t care about people want to be nurses? Or maybe they don’t go into school that way, maybe nursing hardens them over time. I would like to think that is what happened to this nurse. They said the surgery went well, when I woke I disagreed, referred pain is a GIANT pain in the shoulder.
The “patient porter” brought me to my room and my cousin and husband were waiting for me. I was feeling no pain at this point and I remember that I kept thinking what nice teeth my cousin had, all perfect and straight and she hasn’t even had braces! They both kissed me goodbye and I was alone, my first night without the baby… this was supposed to be pure bliss. I don’t know what was worse, recovering from the surgery or the bitter feeling that I had been cheated, lol!