Aside from having my tonsils out as a child, I was never in the hospital. I don’t even remember visiting a doctor regularly as a child. But I will never forget the Saturday in 2001 when I experienced the worst pain of my life.
A couple of weeks before this I had been experiencing some pain and discomfort, the real ordeal began around 7:00 a.m. I had this piercing pain in my side and I was seriously nauseous. To be honest, at the time I thought it was a bad case of acid reflux. However, as the day went on, the pain increased and by 11:00 a.m., my husband was driving me to the emergency room. I was miserable. The pain was not decreasing at all, and they didn’t know what was going on. At around 9:00 pm I had a CT scan, and at 11:00 pm that night the ER doctor entered my room and explained to me that my appendix had ruptured and I was going to need emergency surgery.
At the time I was a preschool teacher, and I asked how long I would be off work. He told me “At the most two weeks, but it would be more like one. I asked him how it was that I would be able to return so quickly and he replied “We no longer do an actual incision. We do what is called a laparoscope. “The laparoscope is a thin telescope attached to a video camera that allows the surgeon to inspect the inside of the abdomen through small puncture wounds (instead of a larger incision). If appendicitis is found, the appendix can be removed with special instruments that can be passed into the abdomen, just like the laparoscope, through small puncture wounds. The benefits of the laparoscopic technique include less post-operative pain (since much of the post-surgery pain comes from incisions) and a speedier recovery.”
When I woke from the surgery, I felt like I had been hit by a baseball bat in the stomach, but I was able to walk and went home the next day. I was back to work a week later. I was given pain medication, but to be honest, the pain wasn’t bad enough to warrant it and other that the two follow up visits with my surgeon, I haven’t had any issues.