A new appreciation

March 27, 2020

A week ago today I went into the hospital for what turned out to be appendicitis. While I was waiting for my CT scan that morning, my appendix burst. I got out Tuesday this week with a boatload of heavy antibiotics to clean out all the sepsis from my blood, etc. If all goes well, in 6-8 weeks I’ll have the surgery to remove this now even more useless item, and some other things they found in need of attention.

I’ve discovered that I have what they call a “smoldering appendix” — not the traditional, knife-in-the-gut pain, and earlier in the week I thought it was merely a stomach virus. The long slow increase in fever to the middle 103s let me take an active role in my care, and feeding additional diagnostics to my Doctor via secure message, giving him additional data to make better recommendations.

I’ve been blessed to have never been a hospital patient until now, and I got a chance firsthand to see the incredible work that hospital staff does. I got to also see and discuss some of the preparations they were making for Covid-19. I kept myself in my room, doing my part to both limit contact with others and not being a bother to the staff.

When I left on Tuesday, the staff was doing their utmost to clear out the cases that could be treated at home. That night at 5 pm, no visitors would be allowed in anymore — minimizing further the risk to potential infection within the hospital, and flatten the curve.

When I got out, I felt a little like Sheriff Rick Grimes in “The Walking Dead:” driving to the pharmacy and then home, everything felt different than it was four days earlier, or even eight days when I went down at home with the initial pains. The new reality of social distancing out in the community had come on in full-force, and it saddens me but I also understand it’s vitally important.

Here’s wishing you and your families’ weather this storm and come out the other side stronger…

One comment on “A new appreciation

UPDATE: So after that hospital visit, it was good to get home but I still didn’t feel spectacular. Fever started creeping back up, along with white blood cell count, so on April 10th I went back for an outpatient procedure of installing a second drain, on the second abscess.

This one stayed in for one day shy of two weeks; I just got it out last Thursday the 23rd, but earlier in the week they cultured the contents of the drain and said: “Yeah; still got a bit of bacteria in there we don’t like; we’re gonna put you back on Cipro for a week.”

Even so, I’ve been tons better — able to resume LIFE (such as it is): planting all those plants that have been in limbo since early April, fixing things, etc. etc.

The next item is mid-May when I hopefully go in for the actual surgery to deal with the appendix and gallbladder.

I’ve said to my neighbors and close friends that one the worst parts of being appendicitis in a pandemic are: as a Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity planner for most of my professional life, I feel like I’ve been stuck on the bench in the middle of the Big Game!

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