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4:17 pm EDT 63°F (17°C) in Johnson City, NY
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Boy, I couldn’t have even predicted this one on Friday morning. This is, to the best of my recollection, the first update I have ever typed with an IV in one hand — I am at Wilson Hospital here in Johnson City, approximately 26 hours after having had my appendix removed. I’m basically resting, albeit with a little bit of mandated physical activity (mostly getting up and walking around a few times a day), and thankfully, I am not in too much pain right now.
That was more than I could say about 36 hours ago, at roughly 5:00 am Saturday morning. A very sudden abdominal pain, almost identical to the one that put me in the University of Michigan Hospital a year ago, just hit me out of nowhere. I tried some antacids and a trip to the restroom, but nothing at all was helping it, and finally, just before 7:00 am, I called 911 for an ambulance. An extremely cute EMT named Derek (yes, even when I’m in deathly pain, I still like my cute boys ) helped me to get to Binghamton General Hospital, a few miles away from here, where I finally got some IV fluids and pain and nausea medications. The doctor there immediately suspected appendicitis, but as BGH lacks operating-room staff on weekends, they had to transfer me here to Wilson.
About three hours after I got here to Wilson, and after a shitload of paperwork had been thrust at me, they wheeled my ass into the operating room. For obvious reasons, I really don’t remember much else until about four hours after they were done, and for that matter, I was still pretty loopy through most of last night. What I was told later is that they had done a laparoscopic appendectomy, in which a tube with a camera on the end of it was inserted into my abdomen through my navel and snaked around in there to the appendix. They extended some sort of lasso-type cutting tool out of the tube to cut off the appendix, and then applied suction to suck it right out. Had that not been done, I was told, the damn thing would have ruptured within the next 12 hours, and then I would be at least stuck in a hospital for over a week, if not dead.
I can definitely tell what the surgeons’ entry and exit path into my gut was — that’s one of the few places I still have any pain at this point. Sitting around is not painful at all, but trying to move and especially to bend over is still painful. I’m told I will have soreness for up to a week, and I’m not exactly sure when I will be able to get back to driving; hopefully, that will only be a couple days.
This is the kind of humor that only my friend Marc would find hilarious, but believe it or not, one of the big goals they have set for my progress is needing to pass gas again. <Marc>Yes, that’s right, GAS from my ASS! (hyena laugh)</Marc> In all seriousness, both the appendectomy procedure itself and the general anesthesia needed to knock the patient out have the tendency to slow or even stop the bodily process of peristalsis; passing gas, particularly in appreciable quantities, is a sign that the intestines are working as intended post-surgery. P-U! NYAAAAH! NYAAAAH!
Other than that, I don’t have a ton to report. I know I’ll have little or nothing to do in the next few days, though, because of this appendectomy, so don’t be surprised if I pop in quite a bit in the immediate future.