Saturday, November 28, 2009

not the plan I had

Last Friday I made the plan for Thanksgiving. I knew the cooking and chores that needed to be done each day. I had the menu ready and the grocery list made. Duane and I did the bulk of the grocery shopping, even got the turkey. I knew what I was cooking in the meantime to plan to have minimal leftovers by the time Thanksgiving arrived. I even knew I was working Friday, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday nights. I had it figured out how I would get it all done. I even made Grandma's cranberry relish recipe.

But Friday night I didn't feel good. I started getting a pain in my lower right side. So after dinner I took a nap before I went to work. That night I had a hard time sleeping when the baby was asleep. I just couldn't get comfortable.

Saturday morning Duane had to take Aleena to a rehearsal. I still felt lousy and now really tired. I gave the other kids some chores to do. We were going to a brew party in the afternoon and they were motivated to help before they had some fun. My pain was not going away. I didn't want to do anything but stay in my bed.

I talked to a friend of ours who has more medical knowledge than we do. He thought it might be the big A word like I was dreading. But I was still in denial.

D took the kids. I made it to the couch and watched TV. Chores hadn't been completed but I didn't care. I didn't knit or crochet. I just laid in front of the TV. Family came home. D felt around in my belly. He could feel the same lump on the right side that I could feel. Not good. I went to work, still feeling lousy.

I still didn't sleep much. And I wasn't eating much.

Sunday morning I went to church and sang like crazy. I was in pain but I focused on what I needed to do. Home, napped, hung out with my brother for a bit. Consulted with a HCP. Starting to run a fever, and the lump was getting bigger.

Now, yes, I am crazy stubborn, but that's not the only reason I hadn't gone to the doctor yet. We are some of those people who don't have insurance. Our kids are covered by a state subsidized program, but there's nothing like that for adults. We barely make ends meet the way it is, and we just can't afford insurance. And most of the time we don't need it.

Our fabulous HCP talked with hospitals and surgeons, networking to help us get care without going broke. (Hospitals and doctors can be quite generous it seems.)

Finally at 11 on Sunday night, we headed into the hospital. Had the dreaded ct scan. Not dreaded because of the procedure, but dreaded because of the cost. (Hopefully radiology departments will be generous too!)

My appendix, normally the size of an average thumb? Now it was 13 cm, or over 5 inches. No wonder I could feel a lump. The ER doc didn't think it had ruptured yet, but it was only a matter of time. I was scheduled for an appendectomy at 6:30 Monday morning. The surgeon came in to see me around 5:30. He looked at the ct scan and could tell it had ruptured...that was the mass. But it was contained. That was very good to hear.

Everything went well. I did fine other than having a lingering fever off and on. I came home Wednesday late in the afternoon. My wonderful family took care of Thanksgiving dinner and all the prep work. They cleaned the house and all.

Our friends and neighbors have been wonderful. I think the kids are getting tired of having a sick mommy. On Thursday morning, when I was getting more water, Jack and Kelli asked what I was making for breakfast. Um, nothing, sweetie! And Emma wants to know when I will start cooking again...when the food will be normal again.

Now I wait until Monday morning to get my drain out of my belly. (Surgeons don't have office hours on holiday weekends apparently!) And we wait to hear from the hospital regarding the financial assistance they can offer us.

Now I'm going back to bed for a nap!

1 comment:

Kathy said...

A ruptured appendix could have been so much worse! Thank goodness for that. But your situation is a reminder of how much our healthcare system in America is broken and in need of a fix. I fear as long as it is a political item that we will never have a satisfactory answer.

Take care of yourself. It will take a while to fully recover.