So… the past three weeks. Intense is, I think, one of the words springing very easily to mind. It was the 16 of September and I was supposed to prepare for something or other with college, having just gone back to university. (Story for a different time.) Anyway, the whole Friday I felt iffy. My stomach hurt. They had been feeling strange for a couple of days at this point, but I had thought nothing of it. Especially since pain in the body is something I react slowly to these days.
Anyway, eventually, after having spent the better part of the day considering what to do (I couldn’t really move without pain by then), I decided to call a nurse and ask if they had any ideas. I had also, stupidly, checked the web at that point, and all sorts of very dangerous and lethal possibilities seemed very probable.
The nurse did sound a little worried, and ordered me to go to the ER. Now, the ER from where I live is at best a 45 minute drive away. At that point my mother called happily telling me she’d just bought a new iPhone 6S, and that she needed help installing it. I promised to help, and started getting ready for leaving. She then called again from a cafe having become worried. I sounded funny to her on the phone. Was something up. I told her. They want me to go to the ER. She asked why, and agreed when she heard that my symptoms had gotten worse over the course of the day.
In retrospect I probably shouldn’t have made that drive. I felt woozy, I was in pain, and I later found my temperature was rising rapidly. But somehow I got to the hospital in Kristianstad. I paid for parking (I still find paid parking at the ER weird, not to say idiotic) and went in.
Waiting for the triage was the worst. Nervous and in pain, but at least you do feel it’s ok from the point of view that if something happens, at least you’re in the hospital. I decided to meditate as I hadn’t yet done that that day. And it helped! I mean, I wouldn’t say it was night and day, but it certainly helped me feel calmer and more centered. It helped me get some distance to the endless fear-mongering my mind was engaged in. And I just felt more able to handle everything. It was surprising to say the least.
After about an hours wait I got to the nurse, and they checked my vitals, my temperature, drew blood and asked me for a urine sample. Fortunately I didn’t get stage fright… Then it was back to waiting again. Seems to be what you do most as a patient. I asked one of the very friendly nurses for a blanket, and tried to feel as warm as I could. I’ve actually had worse waits!
I don’t know how long I waited after that, but around seven I was shown in to an examination room. Again, I had to wait. And about an hour (during which I actually managed to nap!) a young, somewhat distant, doctor entered. He checked various thing, including the ‘drop trou’ bit; though thankfully they seemed to think my prostate was fine this time… Then he announced: I think you have appendicitis. We can probably treat it with some antibiotics, but I’ll check with a senior doctor.
More waiting, and then a doctor who had to be a very good man, he shared my name, entered. He was much gentler when testing my abdomen, and thanks to that I could actually feel what he was asking for. Not so with the young, much rougher, doctor. But this guy announced: appendicitis and I think we should operate. No use treating with antibiotics, you will likely have more problem anyway. Okay, sure. Then he said: “Unless you have any strong feeling agains surgery?” I was somewhat taken aback by that question, but agreed it was probably for the best.
My next question seemed to amuse. But since everything else I’ve had to do with this hospital has been taking months at best, I wondered how soon the surgery would take place. Figuring it would be relatively pronto, I suggested I could come in Monday. Both doctors smiled and said: “no, I think we can have you in in two hours if you have been fasting.” As I do intermittent fasting anyway, this was the case.
And boom! Next I found my self wheeled around the hospital, washing my self in some sort of ‘detergent’, wheeled around some more, and then suddenly my legs were incased in ‘leg-mittens’ and I was given some sort of vert nice thing intravenously. I don’t know what it was (they told me, but…), but it felt like the scene from How I met your mother when Lily and Robin drink Absinth. I felt as though I was floating, happily, on a cloud. Then I was gone.
Waking up later that night, I was sans appendix. For some reason they had decided against keyhole surgery and instead opted for a more traditional insition, but I’ve yet to find out why. (I also don’t know why my leg was shaved. Belly, sure. But leg?) I came back to the wing where I was supposed to be sleeping, and actually fell asleep.
The next morning, I felt surprisingly well. Sure, sore and my wound hurt. But I could feel the intravenous antibiotics had taken the fever and all that. After a while, I could pee (a requirement for getting to go home) and my mom and her husband came by to say fetch me.
The whole experience was very intense. But I came out of it better than I went in. Of that I am sure. I obviously needed to get rid of my appendix. I learned to ask for medical help when I feel weird enough, I learned that I can keep relatively calm even under extraordinary circumstances etc. On the hole, it was surprisingly positive. Now, sure, I missed more than a week of studies; I still am somewhat behind. And yes, I can’t carry anything heavy yet (hence the iPad Pro thing) which makes coding Java at school a bit of a challenge to say the least. Nor am I healing very fast, I still need bandages. (Oh, and I can’t practice singing with quite the same vigour.) But that said, it was an unusual experience that taught me things I feel enriched by. Even if I am a part of my body short.
Even so, I would again like to thank the wonderful nurses, and the good doctors. Thank you!
As an aside. Turns out you actually can get fined if you overstay in the ER parking lot. Stupid! But thankfully mom and Claes showed up in time to pay for a new ticket. And the first thing I did when I got home? While waiting for a nice keto lunch (hospital food is… well, not great), I had to do a complete reset of mom’s new iPhone 6S, reinstall iOS9, and then re-upgrade it to iOS10. Turns out the store had screwed it up for her, and the second store didn’t know how to fix it. The state of education for people working in electronics- and phone-stores is abysmal!