I am a daughter, a fiance, a friend, an athlete, and a teacher… But lately, I have also been a nurse.
Let’s rewind to Thursday [aka Thanksgiving] night…
For Thanksgiving, I had the pleasure of spending quality time with family and friends. We shared stories about recent adventures, we drank, we ate, and we celebrated- it was a blast! About an hour after dinner, my Dear started experiencing pain in his abdomen. He knew he didn’t stuff himself [we hadn’t even had dessert yet], nor did he drink a lot… After we finished washing the dishes, the party reconvened in the family room and my Dear was still in pain. We continued sharing stories, watching football, ate some pumpkin pie [a la mode, obvi], and called it a night.
Friday morning I woke up before my Dear, I made myself some breakfast and scoped out some of the Black Friday deals. Throughout the week, my Dear expressed interest in buying a new TV [FYI: he bought a new 50 inch plasma TV a couple of months ago when he moved into the new apartment]. Since I didn’t have my eye on anything, but had the urge to experience Black Friday and see what all the hype was about, I woke my Dear up and told him that we were going shopping… Within 5 minutes he was dressed and ready, ha 😛 We ended up buying a beautiful, 60 inch plasma TV for the family room to replace the “old” 50 inch TV which got moved into our bedroom [and replaced the old-fashioned “tube”]!
After shopping we went home, and while my Dear unpacked the new TV, I made us some lunch. After finishing his sandwich, my Dear started experiencing pain similar to the night before- we began to worry and searched for “abdominal pain” online… After reading the likely causes, we knew he needed to see a doctor.
After spending almost 8 hours in the emergency room, blood tests, and a CT scan, the nurses informed us that my Dear’s pain was not from overeating at Thanksgiving dinner. His blood tests came back normal but his appendix was enlarged. Within a short period of time, my Dear was getting rolled back and prepped for laparoscopic surgery to remove his appendix. It all happened so fast. I guess it was a blessing that we didn’t have much time to dwell on having surgery, but it was overwhelming since it was so unexpected…
Within an hour, my Dear was out of surgery- the surgeon said all went well and that my Dear was very lucky to have had the surgery before his appendix ruptured. My momma and I met him in the recovery room before the nurses wheeled him upstairs to a private room where his dad was waiting. I ended up sleeping at the hospital [in the most uncomfortable pull-out “sofa” chair] because I couldn’t imagine leaving his side. No one got much sleep… When my Dear woke up the following morning, he was still in pain but not where his appendix used to be, but where the incisions are. The nurse gave him three conditions that had to be successfully completed before he could go home: to pee, to eat, and to walk. Although it wasn’t easy, all three tasks got completed and when the doctor came by to check in, he told my Dear that he could go home- yay!
The past couple of days, I’ve been”Nurse Allison” 🙂 I’ve been trying to do everything for my Dear to ensure that he has a quick and painless [as possible] recovery… I’ve been making him meals and snacks, we’ve been going for walks, helping him reach things since he can’t bend at the waist, and making sure that the apartment is clean, as well as starting to decorate for my favorite time of the year! I took yesterday off from work but I’m back in school today… It’s been difficult for my Dear not being able to do much by himself, but as I keep telling him, I’d do anything and everything for him, always and forever ❤
After we got home on Saturday, I did some research and I thought I’d share some appendix facts from WebMD with y’all:
- The appendix is located at where the small intestine meets the large intestine in the lower right abdomen; it’s a thin tube about four inches long
- The appendix contains specialized tissue that can produce antibodies but the function of the appendix is unknown… One theory suggests that the appendix acts as a storehouse for good bacteria and helps to “reboot” the digestive system after diarrhea related illnesses, while others believe that the appendix is useless and is just a remnant from our evolutionary past… We do know that
- Appendicitis is when the appendix becomes inflamed or infected which causes severe pain in the right lower part of the belly and requires surgery to remove the appendix… If left untreated, an inflamed appendix will eventually burst and release infectious liquid into the abdominal cavity, which can lead to peritonitis, a serious infection of the abdominal cavity’s lining (the peritoneum) that can be fatal unless it is treated quickly with strong antibiotics and surgery… For this reason, all cases of appendicitis are treated as emergencies
- Appendicitis occurs when the appendix gets blocked [by fecal material, a foreign body, cancer, or an infection]
- Classic symptoms of appendicitis: dull pain near the navel or the upper abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen; loss of appetite; nausea and/or vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins; abdominal swelling; a temperature of 99 to 102 degrees; constipation or diarrhea with gas; inability to pass gas
- Appendicitis symptoms are vague and can be extremely similar to other ailments [bladder infection, colitis, Crohn’s disease, gastritis, gastroenteritis, and ovary problems]
- Appendix tests: a medical examination; a CT, MRI, and/ or a PET scan; an ultrasound; a CBC [complete blood count]
- 1 in 15 people gets appendicitis in the U.S. and is most common between ages 10 and 30
- Appendectomy: [the traditional approach] the appendix is removed through one large incision
- Laparoscopic: three to four smaller incisions are made and a laparoscope [a thin telescope-like instrument] is used to view the inside the abdomen and remove the appendix
- There is no way to prevent appendicitis, although appendicitis is less common in people who eat foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and vegetables
*REMEMBER: Always listen to your abdomen!*
“There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.”
~ John Connolly
Question: Do you still have your appendix?
Question: Suggest some fun activities [that don’t require much movement]to keep my Dear occupied… I think he’s bored watching hours of TV and movies