Friday, July 19, 2019

Appendix is finally gone

After my last two posts, you might have thought that our trip / appendicitis adventure was finally complete and that you would not have to read about it any more. That is certainly what I thought. I could not have been more wrong.

The short version is this: On Friday, July 12, they removed my appendix along with about 8" of bowel. I have been recovering normally since then. I got out of the hospital yesterday, July 18 with no further complications.

That is the short version. For anyone who wants a longer version, keep reading.

On Wednesday, July 10, I went for my normal chemo appointment. I felt pretty good. Certainly no abdominal discomfort. My oncologist insisted that I consult with a general surgeon. I made arrangements to do that, but the surgeon insisted on a CT scan before he would see me. I managed to get the CT scan that same day. Barbara and I left happy after that very long day at Dana Farber.

The next day as I was literally packing the car for our first visit to NH, I got a call from the Nurse Practitioner that I had gotten to order the CT scan. She told me that the radiologist did not like what he saw and that I should get myself to the BWH Emergency Room as quickly as possible and "let them deal with it."

So, Barbara and I headed to "The Brigham" as we call it. The checked me in and told me that they would operate at the end of the day (Thursday).

They didn't. At the last minute, they decided to delay due to my having injected myself with blood thinners that morning. By this time, I was getting sick of cooling my heels there, especially since there was no discomfort in my abdomen. I sat in a hospital room all day Friday. Late in the afternoon, they came for me. They explained that they would try to remove the appendix laparoscopically which means through a small incision assisted by a couple of tiny poke holes and that this should take about 90 minutes. They also explained that if things looked worse once they got in there, they might have to make a full incision and that this could take about 3 hours.

They tell me that they carved on me for about 6 hours. The removed not only the ruptured appendix, but also about 4" of bowel on either side of the appendix. Barbara, finally went home exhausted.

I did not feel too good, the next day, but it was not all that bad. By Sunday, I had developed severe indigestion. By the time they gave me a pill, it did not do much good. Eventually they installed an "NG Tube". It took them 7 tries. This was unpleasant, but relieved the indigestion.

From there it was onward and upward. On Tuesday or so, they started allowing me to eat liquids. On Wednesday, I could eat solids and on Thursday, they kicked me out.

Barbara, needless to say, was terrific all the way through.

So, we are currently at Fox Hill Village, I am pretty draggy, and my belly has a 5" incision that looks like it was stapled shut by a 3 year old using a power stapler for the first time. I am trying to psychologically deal with the realization that I will never again look quite as good in a Speedo.

So, hopefully, this is now behind us. I have thought this before, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Normally, I like to liven up my posts with photos, but I decided to spare you.

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