They cut through my abs.

It has been a very interesting Christmas and New Year for me. On my last day of work for the year, the day before Christmas Eve,  I began feeling odd. Since it was a general, all-over abdomen pain and random nausea I decided it was just the unusual pizza I’d had for tea the night before. I had only one piece of toast and no lunch. We were supposed to have a work lunch, but it was cancelled. After eating dinner that night, I had nasty upper stomach spasms. The next morning, Tony and I drove up to Whangarei to visit our families. The painful spasms returned after breakfast and dinner (no lunch again; we planned poorly).

The general pain worsened on Christmas, and on Boxing Day I finally went to see a doctor. They said that appendicitis was possible, but it was more likely that my stomach was upset due to eating rich Christmas foods over the past few days. I got a prescription to stop the stomach spasms and was advised to come back or go to hospital if it got worse.

It got worse. That night my mum had given me a hot water bottle. It felt comforting and I thought it would help… Google later told me that heat makes the appendix inflammation worse. At 4am I gave in, Tony and I went into the Whangarei hospital A&E.

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I spent 38 hours in the hospital in total. Most of it waiting… But I got seen promptly by the nurse when we arrived, the doctors were thorough in making their diagnosis… Many tests, a lot of tapping and poking, and a few bruises from missed veins. Appendicitis was eventually diagnosed that afternoon. An ultrasound confirmed there was nothing wrong with my gall bladder and right ovary, and that my appendix was inflamed. I went into theatre at 9:40 that night.

I stayed in the hospital during the following day. The nurses encouraged me to walk around and to shower, to prevent forming a blood clot. In the evening, I decided to go home. I probably should have stayed another night, but I didn’t really like sharing the hospital room with two other patients.

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Since then, I’ve been hobbling around rather slowly and painfully. It has almost been a week since I went to the hospital. I feel like the slowest person to recover from a common surgery. They removed my appendix laparoscopically, which should mean a shorter recovery time. They made three small incisions in my stomach, instead of making one big cut. I have three cuts with big yellow bruises now. It still hurts to cough, laugh, or sneeze. Getting more to the point, I am not allowed to lift anything heavier than 2kg. And I won’t be able to for at least a month. Walking around tires me out quickly.

While I lament the temporary loss of use of my abs, I am also very thankful that I have become stronger over the past year and a half. I’m really thankful that my arms aren’t weak any more, and that I can use them to help me move from lying to sitting in bed, or gently lower myself into Tony’s ridiculously low car seat. I don’t know what I would do otherwise; being even more helpless than I currently am! Hopefully my recovery picks up, and I can start doing some light cycling at the gym. It will be good getting back into the routine again!

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