Well, thank the LORD, the fantastic staff at Lake Forest Hospital, my amazing wife, and all of you: I am now at home recovering from an emergency appendectomy, sore but snug in bed.
Here are a few things my crazy mind thought about during my brief time in the hospital:
1. It’s amazing what counts as a “success” and “victory” as a hospital patient:
-since you can’t leave until you pass gas (proving that your g.i. system is working well), I was ecstatic when I finally farted, proudly telling my nurse who simply smiled and said, “Great job.” I never get that response at home when I toot; usually just a quickly emptied room and some dead plants.
-the nurses told me it’s also important to be able to urinate on a regular basis to make sure the “plumbing” is working. SO they had me go “number 1” in a plastic container and show them after I did so. Well, I became the talk of the nursing ward when I completely filled up the container three times in a row over a nine hour period–32 ounces of “pee pee” each time. Now that’s impressive! 🙂
-moving around a bit is important to the healing process as well. So getting up and walking to the end of the hall and back a few hours after surgery left me feeling so sore and tired–yet so proud and accomplished–that I was hoping for some kind of trophy when I arrived back in my room. Needless to say, it took me about 20 minutes round trip!
2. Hiccups, coughs, and sneezes become medieval torture devices after an appendectomy. Seriously.
-I have arachnophobia and I would rather have a spider crawl on me right now than have the hiccups. Fo sho.
3. I am so thankful for fantastic health insurance and living close to superb medical facilities. What a completely undeserved blessing from God.
-In many other parts of the world, my appendicitis would be a death sentence at worst and at best weeks of excruciating pain, fever, and infection as my body would have fought off the poison unleashed from a burst appendix.
4. I am a blessed man to be surrounded by so many friends.
– Thank you all so much for your prayers, texts, emails, visits, well-wishes, encouragement, meals, and support. You are the dessert in the meal of life.
5. I really like hospital food.
-I can’t explain it, but I thoroughly enjoyed the two meals I had yesterday and this morning. Makes me joyfully anticipate possibly having my gall bladder removed someday!
6. Your core/abdomen is involved in EVERYTHING you do.
-Seriously. Everytime I so much as twitch I feel pain in my abdomen. And don’t even get me started about what it takes to get out of bed. Wow. I even tried sitting still and just blinked my eyes a few times–I SWEAR it made my abs hurt!
7. No offense to old men (my dear 92 year old Dad is one), but I’ve felt like a senior citizen over the past 2+ days.
-I’ve been walking around like an old man for the past two days and it’s not pleasant! Stooped back, grimaced face, short strides, and slow pace. I’m starting to think next on the list will be dentures and, in the famous words of Billy Crystal from the movie “City Slickers,” dinners at 3pm, lunches at 10am, and breakfasts the night before!
8. Nurses are the unsung heroes of the medical field.
-I was blessed to have both male and female nurses, and they did an amazing job making me feel right at home. Thank you Debbie, Amy, Allen, Tami, and Aeleen!
9. I am SO THANKFUL that doctors have to go through so much training, learning, and overall suffering to complete medical school.
-What a complex, dangerous, and delicate procedure it is for both the anesthesiologist and the surgical team to remove an appendix without the patient feeling a thing–making three tiny incisions, inserting a small camera in one of them, and then using instruments through the other two holes to tie off the appendix, enclose it in a small baggie, and then remove it through one of the holes. All in 45 minutes. Wow.
10. Lastly, a few other things that I enjoyed over the last 36 hours:
-My Mom cut up my chicken dinner last night (cuz it was painful for me to do!). That hasn’t happened in nearly twenty years. I really enjoyed it very much.
-Seeing my amazing wife and children visiting me (though when 3 year old Autumn laid eyes on me lying in my bed with an IV hooked to my arm, she started sobbing saying, “PLease don’t let Papa die!”).
-Having uninterruped hours to sleep and read. Wow. It’s been almost ten years since I’ve enjoyed that. Hmmm…I only need ONE kidney, right?
Thanks again loved ones–I’m getting hungry now for some pancakes and bacoN!