This is Swan. She is on my daughter’s dresser. I put her there before I went to bed last night. I gave her to my daughter last June to celebrate her first ballet recital. Less than a week after that recital I had to have an appendectomy. I ended up in the hospital for 4 days. After I came home it was clear that Piper was very worried about me. She constantly asked if she could check my incision and got very anxious at bedtime. She didn’t want me to go to bed before she went to bed and needed to be sure that I was checking on her after she fell asleep. Then she started waking up in the middle of the night insisting that I didn’t check on her before I went to bed. I would try to assure her that I did but that since she was asleep when I was in her room I had no way to prove it to her. I was having a lot of trouble sleeping at the time because I was still uncomfortable from the incision. I needed what little sleep I could get so I had to think of something to settle Piper down. That’s when I got the idea to use Swan. After Piper would fall asleep I would move Swan from her place on the shelf to Piper’s dresser. I told Piper that if she woke up in the middle of the night and looked at her dresser and saw Swan there she could be sure that I had been there to check on her. It worked and she stopped coming into my room at night to tell me that I didn’t check on her. She did wake me up at 1 am the other night to tell me that her water cup was empty but that is another story.
My appendectomy came as a total surprise to me as I guess it often does. I started feeling kind of sick on a Monday afternoon. My stomach was hurting but I thought that it was just because of some cherries I had eaten. The feeling went away by dinner time. I had just started training for a TNT half marathon so I was running fairly regularly. I had a run afterwork and felt fine. We went to Piper’s Kindergarten graduation and all was right with the world. Tuesday afternoon I had some more cherries and the bad feeling returned for a little while. I felt well enough to have another run after work because I was anticipating hot weather at the end of the week and wanted to get my miles in. I felt pretty good after the run and decided to celebrate with a brownie after dinner. That did me in. I started feeling a horrible heartburn pain right under the sternum and it just didn’t let up all night long. Tuesday night was totally sleepless. I was tossing and turning and taking Mylanta but nothing seemed to touch it. I went to work on Wednesday thinking, hey, I only work a four hour shift how hard can it be?? I couldn’t make it through the whole thing. I had to go home early to take a nap. After my nap I still felt terrible and had my father-in-law drive me to the urgent care clinic. They took blood and had me take a cat scan. This all took 5 hours. They gave me a shot for the pain which was good because while I was waiting there I discovered that my period had started and I started having really bad cramping on my right side in addition to the heartburnie feeling. I guess that the right side pain should have been a flag for appendicitis but I was still clueless. So after the cat scan the doctor came back in and told me that he felt that it was just a gastro intestinal distress thing. Maybe I had IBS or a bug. He gave me something to settle the belly and sent me home. I was thinking, great another sleepless night is on the way. Pretty much as soon as we got home from the clinic the phone rang and it was the same doctor calling me back. He said that the radiologist had reviewed my film and felt that I had appendicitis and a possible abcess and that I needed to go to the emergency room right away. What fun! Glenn had already gotten home so my in-laws drove me back to the hospital and took me to the ER. It wasn’t entirely clear if they were going to admit me at first but once they got hold of my test results from the cat scan I was scheduled for an operation that night. The surgeon told me that my appendix looked like a “bullseye” on the cat scan so I’m not quite sure what that first doctor was looking at. I guess that I should be glad that they check up on one another. I went in for my operation at 4 am on Thursday 6/25. This incidentally was the same day that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died and watching the all day TV coverage from a hospital bed made it all the more surreal. The procedure was only supposed to take 45 mins to an hour but it ended up taking 3 hours. Poor Glenn, no one came out to tell him what was going on with me!! Apparently the appendix was so deteriorated and there was so much pus by the time that they got there they couldn’t just cauterize the connections like they normally would. They had to take out part of my colon and small intestine and then put them back in again to be sure that they got all the pus out. All in all I’d say that the care I received was great – all the nurses were wonderful with a few real stand outs, but there is nothing like being in the hosptial – it SUCKS. I was whisked out of my life for 4 days and there was absolutely nothing that I could do about it.
Maybe I was thinking about appendectomies last night because of Bret Michaels (he had one on April 12) or maybe I just felt bad about letting Piper go to bed without a cuddle. When I went up to her room before bed to check on her I moved Swan to her place on the dresser. I wanted to let her know that I checked on her before I went to bed and that I love her all the time and always.