Friday, June 1, 2012

Ticking Time Bomb

No picture today.  I have spent the latter part of the week dealing with a dodgy appendix with no spare time to be all creative and stuff.  The trouble began on Wednesday morning.  I had an "edgy gut"--a non-identifiable edgy gut.  It was odd enough that although it was too early to tell, I took a pregnancy test to see if that was the cause of my troubles.  (It wasn't.)  This progressively got worse until I was prone on the couch in some serious pain.  (Think intense labor contractions but without the break).  A hot shower and some motrin helped ease the intensity, and I was able to fall asleep.

The next morning, I felt sore--the type of soreness you associate with touching a bruise.  And it seemed located mostly on the right hand side.  It was suspicious enough that I felt like I should go to a doctor.  But wait!  I don't have a regular doctor!  I called up Mr. F.'s doctor (who I would like to be my primary doctor anyway) to schedule an appointment.  The receptionist told me they weren't taking any new patients until July although she would check with the nurse.  Ha ha.  Like I can wait until July, missy.  I have an potential appendicitis here.  I think I need to be seen earlier than July.  Luckily, the nurse thought so too and I was able to be seen by the doctor that same day.  The Doctor too thought that it was a possible appendicitis and sent me to the hospital to get some blood work and a CT scan done.

Do you know why I gave birth in a birth center?  It is because I have a strong dislike of hospitals.  Hospitals like to stick you with needles every chance they get.  "Hey, lets put this heparin lock on you just in case we might need to use it."  "Since most people are dehydrated, we are just going to automatically stick an IV in you and pump you full of fluids."  "Here, let's withdraw a bunch of blood to run tests on."

For some people, this might not be a problem.  But if you just happen to have the world's hardest to find veins, this is nothing short of traumatic.  So, I had to get blood work done.  Fine.  I have one decent vein on my left arm.  Next I had to drink a liter of rubbery tasting water that contained "contrast" for the CT scan.  Fine.  No big deal.  It was tolerable enough.  I go in to get the CT scan done, and they inform me that they need to do a scan with an IV containing contrast.  But wait?  Didn't I just already drink the contrast for the scan?  Why do I need more contrast?  And what is this about an IV?

Turns out that it highlights a different portion of my insides than the one I drank.  Yeah.  So now comes the joy of them trying to find a suitable vein.  The only decent one has already been used so that is out.  They try their luck with my right arm.  They think they find one they can use at my wrist.  NEAR THE BONE.  No go.  It collapses on them, and I am crying out in pain.  They try one on my forearm.  Again, NEAR THE BONE.  No such luck, although they did some significant groping around....while I was crying out in pain.

So here I am, sobbing, uncontrollably shaking from the trauma, and they are like, "Are you o.k.?  Are you cold?  Is that why you are shaking?"  If I wasn't so overcome, I might have hurled some of those needles back at their faces.

While this is going on, the one tech has been joined by two others.  They all stand around me, contemplating my non-existent veins.  They look at my left arm appraisingly.  One of them thinks they might have found one near my wrist......yup.  You guessed it.  ON THE BONE.  They promise that this will be the last attempt.  I am ready to hold them to that promise.  Luckily, (I guess?), it worked, and I was able to get the scan, although I left the premises severely traumatized.  According to my dad, who happens to be a doctor, there are things that one can do to help find veins.  Warm up the hands and arms, etc.  I am not a little annoyed that they chose to just stab me multiple times instead.

And although the orders were marked STAT.  They hospital decided to wait 4 hours before sending the results to my doctor.  I don't have any particular love for this hospital, I can tell you that.  My blood test results were normal, but the scan showed an inflamed appendix.  All this boiled down to a "wait and see" approach.  If it gets worse, I go the the ER.  If it doesn't, I see a surgeon, and we talk possibilities.

As of today, it seems better.  Less sore.  Less swollen.  But I feel uneasy.  Like the whole thing could go off at any moment.  BOOM!   




heidikins said...

I can't donate blood anymore because, inevitably, they have the phlembotomist who got certified 10 minutes ago. Last time she hit the tendon in BOTH my elbows and ever since I have elected to write a check to the red cross instead of let them near me with needles.

Hope that things go okay, and that fewer needles are involved. (My Mom--always a jumpy vein person--says she always requests an anesthesiologist because they can do wonders with needles and veins.)


Washington Hills said...

Oh, Lady Susan, huge-huge yuck! So sorry!


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