Sunday, September 20, 2015

Weekend Plans

Let me set the scene - it's such a beautiful weekend here in Oregon. I had plans with friends to go on a wonderful hike today and then go to a new brewery for some delicious beer. I worked Wednesday-Friday night, and planned on having a great couple of days in the sun.

But then, an unexpected adventure began.

I woke up Friday in the middle of the day with some vague belly pain. It almost felt like hunger pains, which since I didn't have breakfast after work didn't really sound that weird. I got up and had a banana, and it didn't help at all. I went back to sleep, not restfully, but figured I had one day left of work so I'd just stick it out and go.

Halfway through my shift, I felt terrible. I had this awful periumbilical pain which was just constant, I didn't feel hungry at all, and then the occasional wave of nausea would hit. Pepcid and tylenol didn't help, and I continued to feel worse. Towards the end of the shift, it hurt to get up or sit down in my chair to chart. I couldn't stand up straight and constantly hunched towards the right. I went and talked to the overnight doc because I knew deep down what it was but didn't want to believe it. After hearing all my symptoms he just gave me a look and told me to go check in as a patient.

Side note, I bet most ER nurses can back me up on this - we rarely check in as patients in our own hospitals, and must essentially be on death's door step to do so. It's the whole "no foleys between friends" rule, I guess. But I digress.

I continued to stick it out the rest of the shift, miserably. When the day shift came on, I handed off my patients to my replacement but before I could do anything else the charge nurse and night doc corralled me to ask what I was going to do. Then they pulled the day shift doc over, and told him my story. "Oh yeah," he said, "you've definitely got appendicitis. I walked around like you are right now for a whole shift and then mine ruptured."

Long story short, he did a quick exam and I had all the classic textbook signs for an appy. I agreed to check in, my WBCs were 14K, and he didn't even bother with a CT before calling the surgeon. I ended up in the OR by 10:00, and this is what they found:

So yeah. I totally had appendicits. And it sucked. You know what else sucked? Being a patient. This was my first time ever going to the ER, first time getting surgery, and first hospital admission. All while being across the country from my family and my fiance. There will be another post about how strange it was to be on the other side of the bed rails, but in the meantime I will say that my coworkers were absolutely fabulous. From offering me places to stay, to visiting me in the hospital room, to bringing me pajamas so I wasn't bareassed in a thin gown all night, they were fantastic.

To end this story, I just want to say how awesome norco is. I hurt right now, but nowhere near my pain from yesterday. Thanks, narcotics! I won't be thanking you when I'm constipated for the next three days, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Also, I'm totally blaming any grammatical or flow errors in this post on the fact that I'm taking pain meds.

TL;DR - I went to work Friday and didn't go home after my shift. Instead I worked 12 hours feeling like shit because I had appendicits, then I went to the OR and said good riddance to my useless vestigal organ. Then I spent the night in the hospital feeling super dopey in my stupid socks and wheelie IV pole, and now I'm back home with awesome pain meds writing terribly edited blog posts. Huzzah!


Nurse Dee said...

Yep, that's gotta suck! At least the appendix didn't rupture!

Know personally about how it sucks to be the nurse on the other side - I would rather be the one poking and probing others than being the pin cushion

Hope you recover quickly!

Christina RN LMT said...

Shit! Enjoy the narcotics and drink LOTS of fluids (but then you know this...)
Feel better soon!

Shash said...

Wow, that's quite a weekend! Glad the others herded you to check in and glad you are recovering so well. I hate narcotics because I suffer from side effects (beyond the dreaded constipation) but they can be a real blessing too.

Enjoy your surprise mini-vacation. Drink lots, sleep lots.

Solitary Diner said...


jon spencer said...

Is it now in a jar on your desk?
I do know of one that was kept for personal display.

Aesop said...

Better to have it happen in the hospital, than to have it go off while you're out on safari in BFE, and have some witch doctor taking it out with a sharp piece of glass while you bite down on a leather strap.

Other bonus: your scar will have healed up and blended long before next spring/summer's bikini season kicks in, so you don't have to worry about the scar getting sunburned.

And the topical silicone patches help diminish scars.

So best wishes for a speedy recovery.
And don't chew on your stitches, or they'll make you wear the Big White Cone Of Shame.