Me, six hours after surgery with Nurse, Molly Enochs.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY APPENDECTOMY

So, I have a story, a few funny things to say and a bunch of thank you’s to hand out! After all, I have all the time in the world today to blast your FB feed while in recovery. I am recovering from having my appendix removed yesterday! :) For this post, I will refer to the appendix/condition/surgery as “APPY”, not to be confused with HAPPY.

Just hour before it all started.

Just hour before it all started.

Many of you know, Sunday was my birthday. Sunday started off as an awesome day with a road bike ride to the Covered Bridge with my buddy, Robin, followed by a lovely breakfast. After riding from breakfast back home, I noticed a general tummy ache and felt very tired.  At 6 PM we met up with friends for my BIRTHDAY dinner on the patio at Monk’s, downtown Chico. Yay! What a beautiful evening and lovely friends to share it with! During our dinner, my pain had increased considerably, BUT if you know me, I hate to leave a party….especially my own!

“Uh, another glass of champagne please!”

As the minutes ticked by I quickly realized how horrible I felt, and couldn’t wait to leave. So, finally the moment came and we departed. By this time, the pain had spiked! The moment we arrived home, I did what most people do when their stomach has been hurting for EIGHT hours. Yep, discarded my insides. At that point I thought that I had the flu. I told Craig I would sleep on the couch. The pain mounted and mounted. I realized it had localized to my lower right navel area, sharp. This was about 3 AM.

Enter the iPad.

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A 15 second google search rendered that I had met every condition for an APPY. Crap (I wish, haha). denial. Maybe it’s just really bad gas. For the next three hours I debated the ER. If I went in and it was just gas, well, uh, that would be one embarrassing and expensive visit. Since the girls were still asleep, My mom came over at 6:30 AM and drove me to the ER. Drove is actually a nice way to put it. Bless my mom. She has one of those “little” cars. The kind that when you drive them they catch air on a crack in the road. She speeds off, taking corners like Mario and running red lights. RUNNING RED LIGHTS through downtown. My mom is also a nurse. She dropped my off at the ER entrance and went to park. The moment I walked through the hospital doors and saw the person at the desk, I started to cry. I was so happy that I had arrived someplace that could help me. I said, “I’m pretty sure I have an APPY, please take it out.” (visualize a scene from Aliens)

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From the moment I arrived at Enloe hospital, I had the best care. From my ER nurse, ER doc, surgeon, anesthesiologist, and recovery nurse….ALL excellent! I was in surgery about three hours after checking in. My ER nurse gave me Morphine while I waited…at that point I told him that he was my favorite person. Oh happy day, take my pain away. Mind you, I have an extremely high pain tolerance and am normally conservative when it comes to meds. APPY pain, in my opinion, is WORSE than labor pain. I have given birth to two babies, both sans drugs. Labor contractions give you little breaks between. There is no break with the APPY. On a pain scale I give it a consistent 8 to 9 with an occasional 10. Load my IV up and take this appendage, colon sucker out!

I have to stop here and tell you about Craig. He doesn’t do well with medical anything. At 5 AM that morning (after listening to me moan all night in pain) I told him that I though I had an APPY and needed to go to the hospital. He did his own 15 sec. google search, read about he procedure, and almost passed out. He sat right down on the floor, grabbing his forehead. He loves me and had watched and listed to my pain now for 17 hours. This was something he couldn’t fix, that’s tough for a guy.

My wonderful anesthesiologist gave me the drug,Versed, during the surgery. I think her name is Jaimee Neben. This is what I call a happy drug. When you wake up, you are smiling and have blurry vision. You want to say hello to everyone walking by and tell them what a great job they did in the O.R.. Thank you, thank you for taking my pain away. You guys are the best. “Hey, is it normal that everything is blurry?” BTW, did I tell you what a great job you did?! I’m only guessing, but Jaimee gave me a perfect dose, because I never had an ounce of nausea after the surgery.

I requested my recovery to be on the first floor with my long time family friend, Molly Enochs, a nurse at Enloe. Molly is my sister Sarah’s best friend. She was my girl’s second babysitter, ever. She started watching them when Mira was only one. So, it was awesome to have her familiar face all day. You know, someone who I could feel comfortable bossing around. :) Molly told me that shortly after my surgery meds wore off, we would get me on my feet and try to walk. She also mentioned, if I could walk, then I could eat. Again, if you know me, then you know I will do anything for food…even the hospital junk. I made it down to the nurses station, which was about 50 meters. No problem. Craig offered to go get me some Hunter & Farmer (Paleo Friendly Truck food) but it was Monday…no service. BUM-MER! Needless to say, I smashed my entire tray of hospital grub!

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Over the next six hours I slept, ate, watched AAPY surgery videos on my iphone and walked around some more. I ran into my surgeon in the hall on one of my walks. I was like, “oh, hey!” He took one look and said, “I don’t see why you can’t go home this evening.” YES!

 

Me, six hours after surgery with Nurse, Molly Enochs.

Me, six hours after surgery with Nurse, Molly Enochs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is wear I have to stop and say a few things about nutrition and fitness. My husband Craig and I eat a very clean and nutrient dense diet. But, mostly I have to thank him for cooking most of my meals and always being vigilant about our health. He started us on our Paleo lifestyle over two years ago and is always the voice of reason.  I also have to give a HUGE thank you and shout-out to NorCal Strength and Conditioning gym here in Chico. I have had the pleasure of strength training there for the last 1.5 years. Every single coach/trainer there is amazing! Really. They inspire you to work hard, make sure you are lifting and moving safely, make it fun, and push you just hard enough (ok, well, maybe harder than you would ever like, but here I am thanking them for it!). I was on my feet, discharged and walking to the car SIX hours after my surgery. I owe this to exceptional care, a healthy diet and a STRONG body. Having an APPY takes all your abdominal control and makes it very hard to bend, get in/out of bed and use the toilet. Having strong leg, chest, back and arm muscles completely saved me. It gave my body the structure to be strong even though my core was weak. I have to add, before surgery, the doc asked me if I had any questions. My first one was, how long until I can hit the gym.

Also, thanks to you, all my sweet friends for advice, well wishes, jokes (please not too many as it’s hard to laugh), and words of encouragement. You really made my Happy Birthday Appendectomy a little easier!

Cheers from me, minus one APPY.

~Lisa

 

 

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