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29 May 2011

An appendix...

Ok, so a bit of a lame title but anyway...As if my TTC journey hadn't had enough delays, detours and set-backs, on Monday night my appendix decided to start misbehaving.

It started after dinner with what I thought was just gas/indigestion.   Within a few hours the discomfort had shifted  from generalised cramping to being very definitely focussed on the lower right hand side.  So at 3 AM I found myself up with "Dr Google" researching the symptoms of appendicitis.  Having experienced symptoms of pressure and discomfort in that area before (although generally more on the left) I still wasn't completely sure the problem wasn't something to do with my "lady parts".  As the pain wasn't excruciating I went back to bed and actually managed to get a bit more sleep.

In the morning the pain was still there.  I did the whole "do I, don't I go in to work" thing.  Then once I decided I probably wasn't going in to work, I tried to figure out whether I should wait to see if it got worse before heading over to the GP.  In the meantime DH, who had been through this with his brother, was getting increasingly concerned and suggested he take me to the hospital.  Having visions of myself driving to the GP, getting an excruciating cramp and causing an accident, I thought it might be better to err on the side of caution.

Well it's amazing how quickly the words "right-sided abdominal pain" will get you checked out in the ER (especially when there's only one other person in the waiting room).  Before I knew it I was having blood taken and a cannula inserted by a cute young nurse.  I was offered painkillers but really didn't feel like I needed them (the pain was nothing compared to the cramps I had on Misoprostol before my last D&C).  I was examined by an ER Dr and a surgeon, who told me I had classic signs and symptoms of appendicitis.  By this stage I was pretty sure I wasn't going in to work (and neither was DH).  They started me on prophylactic IV antibiotics.

I was admitted to Jessie McPherson private hospital and the consultant surgeon came to see me and told he would be doing a laparoscopic appendectomy.  I told him about the other pain I'd been having and he said he'd check my tubes and ovaries while he was there.  Apparently in about 10-15% of women another condition will mimic the symptoms of appendicitis.

Unfortunately, I was in a four-bed room, not a private one, despite my top level hospital cover.  One of the patients was a 95-year-old woman who was still as sharp as a tack.  Amazing!

A couple of irritating things happened while I was waiting to be taken into surgery.  The first was that I couldn't eat or drink (d'uh) and people were eating and drinking around me...always a sucky experience.  The other thing was that the cute nurse in the ER had put the cannula right in the crook of my right elbow, which meant that every time I used my right arm I would cut off the flow from the IV and set off the alarm on the pump!  And of course with all that fluid going through me I had to keep getting up to go to the loo...and taking the IV (which I nicknamed "my Pole-ish friend") with me.

Anyway, surgery went well apparently and I was discharged on Thursday after 2 nights in hospital.  Apart from feeling (and looking) like I'd been kicked in the guts by a mule, the recovery hasn't been too bad.  I am living in track pants at the moment as I can't stand having anything tight near my belly button.  The Dr certified me unfit until 10 June but I think that's a bit excessive so I'm planning to go back on Thursday.

Of course this had to happen right when I was about to ovulate.  This month is therefore another wasted month.  On the positive side, however, I guess at least this way I should be ready to try again by the next fertile period, whereas if it had happened at the end of my cycle I might have had to wait for 2 cycles. Also, the surgeon said my tubes and ovaries looked fine, so it the end I kind of did get my laparoscopy, although not exactly the way I thought I would.  Plus, at least it didn't happen while I WAS pregnant, which I think would have been MUCH worse!  So it's a setback, but hopefully only a short-term one.

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