An appendix looks very similar to a small dog’s tail. And it’s a completely useless organ that we haven’t needed since we were cave-people. And every so often, it swells up and causes the worst pain you’ll ever feel, after which a nice lady will tell you it needs to come out. And then a weirdo that’s supposed to give you your anesthesia explains the process and freaks you out a little because seriously, who annunciates that much?
I’ve been saying my appendix needs to go for a while. Years, in fact. And finally, last Thursday, I was right.
Ask my parents, sisters, or really, anybody that knows me at all. I’m a hypochondriac, remember?
Since about high school, every time I have had severe stomach/abdominal pain, one of the first things out of my mouth has always been “It’s probably appendicitis.” Cue everyone telling me I was pointing to a spot on the wrong side of my body – my appendix was nowhere near there, plus if it was appendicitis, I would know it. Plus, you know, I worry too much.
Cut to Tuesday, when my stomach started hurting something awful. I told a co-worker it must have been something I ate – a lunch that included a couple dairy products, re-enforcing my suspicion that I am mildly lactose intolerant. Seriously, I get a stomachache whenever I eat macaroni.
After work I went home and crawled into my bed and complained and whined and called my mom, like I do whenever anything is wrong. Anthony asked what was wrong with me and when I didn’t know, I did what anyone in pain would do – I looked it up on the Internet.
According to WebMD, Wikipedia and some other random websites that came up when I searched “intense abdominal pain” it could have been any number of things. Imagine that. The responses varied from “Uh, you need to go to the bathroom” to “REMOVE APPENDIX NOW.” Naturally, I thought it was the latter.
Went to work Wednesday where it hurt to do any of the following: sit, stand, lean, drive, eat, breathe, think about what was possibly wrong with my body. I complained most of the day, talking to a friend at work who also happens to be a hypochondriac. Eventually, it got unbearable and when I couldn’t take it anymore I asked to leave with the promise of an early-morning doctor’s appointment the next day.
After another night of lots of pain and not a lot of sleep, I rolled out of bed at 7:30 a.m. Thursday to get to my 8 a.m. doctor’s appointment. She was perplexed but, like the Internet, thought it could probably just be that I needed to use the restroom. Just to be safe, though, she sent me to the hospital. For a CT scan. NOT SCARY AT ALL.
I spent an hour waiting to see the doctor at the hospital, during which time I watched an entire episode of Regis and Kelly, learned how to do The Dougie and realized that there may never NOT be a time when people don’t scream when they hear/see/smell/think about Justin Beiber. Oh, I also drank a lemonade spiked with dye that would make my insides change color so they could see my organs in the machine. Delicious.
Guys, I had to get an IV. And lay on this thing that pushed me into the middle of a giant metal doughnut-looking thing and hold my breath for a minute, which hurt – on account of JUST BREATHING HURT.
Afterwards, when I was thinking of worst-case scenarios, I kind of hoped it was appendicitis, because then they could just get it done and I’d get medicine and it’d be over with and I’d be under anesthesia so I wouldn’t have to deal with anything. Fifteen minutes later, I was right. I was texting my mom and roommate – sorry Jennifer, you’ll be up there next time I have an organ removed – telling them that after years of speculation, my appendix had finally decided it was time to go. What hypochondria? Yeah. Don’t ever doubt me again.
They rolled me upstairs in a wheelchair and put a gown on and an IV in AGAIN and I waited for my parents to show up. I was seriously the only patient in the hospital. And I didn’t know what to expect at all. All I could think of was that episode of Full House where Becky’s going into labor with the twins and Jesse has to have his appendix taken out and he screams a lot but gets really good drugs.
The surgery was quick but left me looking like I’d gotten in a prison fight. My stomach still, four days later, looks like I got shanked – there’s three giant bruises on my abdomen where they went in to get that stupid thing. I have stitches that will allegedly dissolve on their own and I have to not use steps, drive, play Wii or do much of anything but sit here for the next five days.
Luckily for you – that means lot of reading material. For me, that means lots of naps, Netflix, court television and wishing I could be anywhere but confined to my bed/apartment waiting for my stomach not to hurt.
I still can’t believe I had to have the surgery. And I can’t believe after years of saying it was my appendix I was finally right.
But I was.