It was May 2, 1988. I will never forget that day because it was my husband’s birthday. While I had already got him a small present, I still had to run to the store later on in the day to get him something else. Well, I never got the chance to do this that day.
That morning, he woke up to go to work and he said he was feeling sick. He tried to eat some toast but said that he was going to call off work. Then he mentioned that he had a pain in the right side. I asked him to show me where. I knew right away what the problem was. I told him he needed to cal his doctor and get to the emergency because it looked like it was his appendix.
To make a long story short, he was soon in the emergency room, hooked up to fluids because he was dehydrated. About an hour after he had an ultrasound done, his doctor came in to give his the results. He had acute appendicitis. His only option was to have surgery.
The hospital that we went to did not do surgeries. Therefore, he was transported by ambulance to another hospital which is about five miles away. He could not get operated on right away because they had to wait since he had eaten before he went to the hospital. At least he was not in pain, since the doctors had put pain killers though an intravenous hookup.
The surgery itself took about an hour to perform. The procedure used is known as a laparoscopically The technology is advance so that the procedure was done through two small incisions through the stomach. The scaring in very unnoticeable; it is not like the large ugly scars on the side.
Usually when an individual has an appendectomy, he can go home after an overnight stay at the hospital. However, with my husband, that was not the case. He had to stay an additional five days. His appendix was very close to bursting and it had become infected. Therefore he had to remain on fluids until the infection was out of his body. He had a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line inserted directly into his vein. He had to have this done because he was doing to require home health care for two weeks. When he was finally released to go home, the infection was not fully cleared from his body. The treatments at home would finish clearing his body.
Seeing my husband go through his appendicitis was a struggle. While the surgery is a short procedure, the healing process takes a longer time. While he was in the hospital, I had to learn to balance my work, family and household when he was not there. Then when he was recovering at home, I had to attend to his needs, such as learning how to use the PICC Line to do his fluid medications.
From my experience with my husband’s appendicitis, it was a stressful time. However, it also provided a learning experience as well. I know this condition is not something to mess around with. It is not something where the symptoms will eventually go away. If my husband had ignored my advice, the pain would not have gone away, but got worse. Eventually, the appendix would have burst and, at the best, he would have been in the hospital for a longer period of time.