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!