So the events of the last few days all came as a huge surprise to me.
For the relatively few years I’ve been alive, I have been
quite healthy. I’ve never really had to go to the hospital. Not even once.
But it all started 2 days ago when I woke up. At about 8 am, I began to feel a sharp pain in my right lower stomach. I thought it was nothing serious, and in fact I had felt that sort of pain before. However the pain started to become worse.
It had started in my ‘belly button’ area then it progressed lower to the right end of my stomach, near the bottom. I managed to carry on through the day, even going to school.
But by the time my last class arrived, I was done. I felt so such pain in my abdomen and was drained out of energy. It felt as if someone had punched my stomach really hard and left a hard object there that just stayed, torturing me.
So I came home and my parents gave me some Tylenol to relieve the pain. I went to rest and tried to have a nap in my room in the afternoon. But it was just too much. Sleeping with so much pain was virtually impossible. I kept turning around in my bed, writhing at the huge pulses of pain in my abdomen.
Later something happened that triggered the need to go to the hospital – and also provided me a source of relieve. At around 10 pm that night, I vomited. It’s been quite a while since I’ve vomited, probably over a year at least.
At that point, my dad decided that it would be quite necessary to take me to the hospital to get me checked out and sorted.
We left for the hospital at about 11:00 pm. The road was so quiet on the way. When we arrived at the Emergency Room I was asked questions about the pain and any medication I was taking. After a few hours in the waiting room which at the time felt endless, (clutching my belly) we met with a doctor.
He checked my stomach and we went through all the procedures: urine samples, x-rays, blood tests. This took us till morning the next day, when I found out that I definitely had appendicitis. The signs of appendicitis were quite obvious to the doctors who relayed the information to me.
The surgeon approached me and said:
‘You get to have a visit with our surgeons, You know what that means?’.
For those of you who didn’t know, Appendicitis is when your appendix becomes inflamed, and so the doctors have to remove it quite quickly otherwise it could burst and infect other areas of the abdominal cavity. Simplified explanation. To learn more about appendicitis and other causes of tummy upset visit this awesome website: www.abdopain.com/appendicitis.html.
Honestly, I was pretty terrified at the thought of having surgery. First time, and I was not sure what to expect. After many hours of sleeping on a hospital recliner, I was also wondering when exactly I would get out.
Later in the afternoon, I got booked for the surgery. I braced myself for whatever would come next.
A few hours later, a hospital porter came to pick me up. I was still hooked to my IV (which I kept forgetting was attached to me, to keep me hydrated etc.) So I got on the stretcher and watched the hospital walls and ceilings move around as I was transported to the surgery room.
The hospital staff were really wonderful though. The whole process of getting ready for surgery, and events afterwards impressed upon me the amazing way hospitals are organized and the high level of communication from doctor to nurse, doctor to patient, nurse to patient and so on. I was really impressed with the smoothness despite having to wait patiently.
The staff kindly explained to me the procedure, how I would meet the Anesthetist, the surgeon doing the operation, and also the nurses. To be honest, as soon as I entered the room and was talked to, it calmed my nerves and I knew I would be in good hands.
Within minutes of being in the operating room, I began to black out. This was even before they placed the oxygen mask on me, and I think it must have been the anesthetic. Then I felt a sharp pain through me as they injected something through my arm. And that was it.
The next thing I remember was wriggling around on a stretcher after the surgery. I remember finding it hard to breathe for a while, and asking the nurse if I was ok?, since it was such a weird feeling.
I think I had a little panic attack, since my body was in a strange post-surgery mode.
Then I was taken to a ward, where I was taken care of till I was able to leave the hospital. I had not eaten from Tuesday late afternoon to Thursday morning so I continued to be connected to the IV, and having regular blood pressure and wound checks in the middle of the night, just as prior to the surgery (well, the blood pressure checks).
The first solid meal I had was breakfast on Thursday morning, a breakfast muffin and mango yoghurt. On Wednesday night I found out that I would be allowed to leave the hospital on one major criteria, that I was able to pass urine. Thankfully I was able to and on Thursday early afternoon I got ready to go home.
Post operation, I am so happy that I don’t feel that horrible tug in my lower stomach from appendicitis. I am recovering nicely, and even though I’m still sore from surgery I feel relieved that everything was sorted out.
It is nice to be back home, have warm showers and food and see my loved ones.
Thanks for reading my appendicitis story/ my first real hospital experience.
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