Thoughts from an appendectomy patient
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18-09-2013, 04:18 PM
Thoughts from an appendectomy patient
Back in August I had to have emergency surgery to remove my gangrenous appendix, and from that I have to say the worst parts of my experience weren't what I expected them to be.

You'd think that, when recovering from severe abdominal pain from incisions and the appendix infection, the pain would be the worst part. It wasn't. Yeah, it hurt, but I could avoid the pain mostly by keeping still, staying in certain positions, and there were intravenous drugs available to help with pain when it got too uncomfortable.

The worst parts were actually back pain, boredom, and frustration.

Back pain because you can't get comfy in a hospital bed. If you're expected to be there for a short time you don't get the best bed. The beds are adjustable, but obviously designed for a much smaller person. No matter how I played with it, the bed would never support my back where it needed to. I couldn't sleep right and that caused some awful back pain. Apart from the bed, it was my posture that contributed to the pain. You can't walk upright after abdominal surgery; you're stuck hunched over and walking slowly. And you can't sit how you normally would without causing pain. So for most of a week I was barely mobile not because I couldn't walk, but because my back hurt too much. I couldn't walk very far or very fast, so my world was pretty much limited to a few hallways and half of a room.

That brings me to the second part; boredom.

When you can't go anywhere you get bored. I'm used to going on long walks and jogging. I didn't have anywhere to go and there was nothing to see. There were some window seats in the hallways, but the view wasn't much more than a road, parking lots, and a school. So I was stuck in a small space. And unlike the small space of my room at home, there wasn't any entertainment. I could only have what could be stored in a bag, and my family isn't exactly loaded with the latest in compact technology. I had an e-reader with some books on it, and solitaire on an iPod. That's something, but there's only so much time you can spend reading and playing cards when you are awake almost 20 hours a day (because sleeping in a hospital is hard). Nowhere to go, little to do. If I had to stay at the hospital for a few more days I would have gone insane. And no, I didn't have access to a rec room because it was being renovated at the time.

The last worst thing was frustration. I got to learn what it is like to live with a physical disability. Everything was hard. If I wanted to sit up in bed I had to be very careful when moving so as not to hurt myself. Due to the bed not being built for someone my size, it wasn't adequate for helping me sit up. I had to learn, through painful and tedious trial and error, how to sit up. Even using the bed controls was a challenge in itself. Again, the bed was obviously designed for a shorter man. My hands went nowhere near the controls on the sides. On each side they were in such a position as to be too close to use my nearest arm and too far to reach with my farther arm (since I couldn't roll over or bend my torso). Pushing a damn button was never so hard. The buttons were right beside me but almost impossible to reach without sitting up a bit, which was very difficult to do without the aid of the buttons I was trying to push. Lowering and raising myself in and out of chairs was also a challenge. You don't realize how much you rely on certain muscles until they hurt like hell when you use them. Simple tasks were so difficult. I empathize with those who face such challenges in their daily lives.

So those are the three worst things; back pain, boredom, and frustration. There were other things, like the regular blood tests, the blood thinner needles that felt like bee stings, and the both disgusting bland and disgustingly flavour-concentrated hospital food, but those weren't quite in the top three.

Overall an unpleasant experience.

Also, an old lady got to look at my junk. Sad

0/10 would not remove appendix again

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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18-09-2013, 04:38 PM
RE: Thoughts from an appendectomy patient
And now? You ok?

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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18-09-2013, 04:50 PM
RE: Thoughts from an appendectomy patient
Yep, been fine and pain-free for a few weeks, though I still feel out of shape from not engaging in the physical activity I normally would. It's amazing what a few weeks of inactivity can do. :O

I'm just going to have a few scars.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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18-09-2013, 05:09 PM
RE: Thoughts from an appendectomy patient
Hug

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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18-09-2013, 05:20 PM
RE: Thoughts from an appendectomy patient
I can relate! After my mastectomies I pretty much wasn't supposed to use my arms... was supposed to keep my arms to my sides and only had use from my elbows down...while still holding my upper arms against my sides. Makes even brushing your teeth a challenge.

One day, shortly after the surgery, I was home alone and needed to take a pain pill. The way they had made cuts and moved various muscles meant I could not twist the bottle open. I knew it would be hours before anyone came home. I would look at the bottle and think...hmmm, how am I going to open that? Can I chew through it...nope. I could go get a hammer and smash it...nope, not supposed to lift anything heavier than a glass of tea. Damnit...kept thinking and trying. Finally I set the bottle on the carpet and stepped on it with my heel and twisted my body. It came open! Yeah!

The following effects of nerve damage meant that my arms and hands would spaz out without notice. I threw sugar all over the kitchen one day and dropped more things than I can even count. But I figured it out. Then I had to do it again five months later...at least I had learned the tricks of the trade!

Glad you are feeling better...

...bet my scars are worse than yours. Tongue

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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18-09-2013, 05:26 PM
RE: Thoughts from an appendectomy patient
Hug Glad you're out and able to combat the boredom. Did you get good meds?

Here's some good crack to help you:

[WARNING, IF LAUGHTER MAKES IT HURT, DON'T WATCH THIS TILL YOU'RE FULLY BETTER]



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18-09-2013, 05:26 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2013 05:30 PM by Elesjei.)
RE: Thoughts from an appendectomy patient
Anjele Wrote:...bet my scars are worse than yours.

Your scars and your ordeal. Sad

I found it unreal being healthy one day and going to surgery the next. I actually started a regular exercise regimen days before the appendicitis. Well, that got delayed a bit... But it had a good effect; ensuring I had proper nutrition afterward inspired me to create a diet and exercise calendar. If I don't have a checklist of some sort my plans always end up ruined.

cheapthrillseaker Wrote:Did you get good meds?

Indeed - oxycodone. Effective pain relief, and it helped with my anxiety disorder. I miss it for the latter.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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18-09-2013, 05:44 PM
RE: Thoughts from an appendectomy patient
Just remember. You're intelligently designed.
Glad you're OK.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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