It hasn’t been all that long since I did one of these “Where I’ve Been” posts, but I thought it was time to knock out another one since I have been “absent” for a few days now. If we’re not friends on Facebook — or if you’re not in the habit of reading captions on Instagram — you are probably clueless as to why I’m taking the most recent (unplanned) break.
If you happened to see my Five Things Friday post last week, you might know that I was really looking forward to heading home to Pennsylvania for a long weekend at home with the family… and a huge WVU football game. Well, you know that well-known quote about “best laid plans”? It’s ridiculously appropriate here. Friday started off super normal for a typical travel day for me and I sure didn’t think I’d find myself in the hospital getting ready to have emergency surgery before the day was out. But that’s exactly what happened.
So, long story short(er), once I made it to PA, my mom and I headed out to run errands and get lunch. We were about halfway to Morgantown, WV when I found myself in HORRID abdominal pain. Think girlie week cramps on crack. I literally went from dancing and singing along with the radio to being doubled over in pain. We turned around once we made it to Morgantown (about 20 minutes away) and went back home. I thought maybe I needed to eat or use the bathroom or just rest, but after about half an hour of trying to get comfortable on the couch, I realized nothing was helping. Mom insisted on taking me to the emergency room to get checked because this was not normal pain. (It was anything but normal.)
I’ve not been to the ER many times in my life, but I was going to spend plenty of time there on Friday. It was around 2:00 when we got there. I got to go through all the fun ER things: having blood taken, getting an IV put in, being poked and prodded and, eventually, getting a CAT scan of my abdomen. That’s when they told me they thought it might be my appendix and that they were going to ship me off to a hospital half an hour away so the surgeon could evaluate and likely perform surgery. Apparently they don’t do emergency surgery at the hospital in my hometown any longer. Good to know. So anyhow, a few hours and a ride in an ambulance later — which was also a first — I was admitted to the hospital in Washington, PA. The surgeon came in and said that, even though he couldn’t fully see my appendix in the CAT scan, it sounded like that was the problem and it’s better to just take it out. I began being prepped for surgery (another first) around 8:30 pm.
I’m not even going to lie, I was scared half to death of surgery. It’s times like last Friday that I wish I had never watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. The thought of being under anesthesia was scary as hell. I had a great surgical team, but I couldn’t stop all the “what ifs” from going through my head. Thankfully, it all turned out ok. It also turned out that I did not, in fact, have an appendix problem. It was actually a ruptured cyst on my ovary that caused the problems. According to the surgeon, there was about a small soda can worth of blood in my stomach cavity. (I know, gross. I’m sorry. At least you didn’t have to look at the pictures.) They cleaned that out, glued my two incisions back together and sent me off to recovery. Which, let me just say, waking up around 11 pm in a nearly pitch black room with only one other person, unable to see anything because your glasses were removed during surgery, was disconcerting. What a weird, out of body experience.
Obviously I was pretty out of it when it was all said and done. I was feeling the anesthesia and on pain meds. I was tired as hell. I was wheeled into my (thankfully private) room and assisted into bed. It was all very strange, but I had an amazing team of nurses. They were all so very nice and helpful. Despite being exhausted and drugged up, I didn’t get much sleep Friday night. It’s hard to get comfortable in a hospital bed. It’s even more difficult when your IV is in a place where every time you move, the machine it’s attached to starts beeping. Thankfully everything went as planned and, when the surgeon visited me around 8 am on Saturday, he said I was good to be released. Mom and Dad drove up to get me and I was so very glad to go home. (I was also ridiculously happy to wash my face and put on pants again.)
Needless to say, I wasn’t going to any football game on Saturday. Instead I watched from the couch, on pain meds and with an ice pack on my incisions. As disappointed as I am that my weekend didn’t go as I had planned, there are so many things to be grateful about…
- I’m glad I was in Pennsylvania when it happened.
- I’m grateful my mom knew this was serious enough that I shouldn’t wait it out and insisted I go to the ER.
- I’m thankful that everyone from the nurses to the EMTs to the surgeon and anesthesiologists were amazing, kind and skilled.
- I’m happy to work for an organization who cares about their employees and that I have co-workers who have checked in on me, offered help and didn’t bat an eyelash when I said I would need a week off to recover.
- I’m appreciative for all the friends, family and acquaintances who have said prayers and sent positive thoughts and checked in on me through this whole process.
- And, most of all perhaps, I’m grateful it wasn’t something more serious.
While I was originally supposed to head back to Virginia on Monday, it was pretty obviously fairly quickly that wasn’t going to happen. I’m healing nicely. I’m not in pain… only have some discomfort around the surgical incisions — one above my belly button and one on my left hip. More than anything, I’m just tired. Like, taking a shower wears me out, tired. I’ll get a burst of energy and then it’s gone in minutes. It’s a crazy feeling. But all that said? I’m kinda going out of my mind. It’s hard to sit up and use the laptop, so I haven’t been blogging. I find that I’m lacking the attention span to do a whole lot of reading, though that has gotten better the last couple days. Basically it feels like I’m just laying/sitting around and staring at the TV. I guess it could be worse though.
So, that’s what’s been going on with me. When I do something, I do it big. I have at least one more day of recovery in Pennsylvania before I think about heading back to Virginia. The mere thought of sitting in a car long enough to make that drive (about 4 hours) makes me twitchy. I’m afraid the stomach discomfort will be too much. I was originally planning to head back to VA on Thursday, but it’s going to rain all day. Driving that trip in the rain is tough under normal circumstances. I think it would be absolutely miserable this time and, since I’m not in a huge rush to get back, I might as well stick around another day… even if I do miss my bed… and my kitties.
Now? I think I’ll go take another nap. And then maybe read some more.
So, did I miss anything while I was gone?