Kevin Vance - Quick version: I merely have a virus, my appendix won't have to come…

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07:33 pm

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007
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Quick version: I merely have a virus, my appendix won't have to come out.

Last night wasn't good. The pain on my right side got worse and worse. I caught two hours of sleep, and was in a new kind of agony when I woke up. I really wanted to wait another day before going to a doctor, but WebMD kept suggesting "appendicitis" which made me nervous. In fact, the doctor I picked at random* suggested I go directly to the ER instead of setting up an appointment since it sounded like appendicitis.

Luckily for me, I beat the ER rush and hardly had to wait. (The last time I went to an ER, it was Christmas Eve day, and I had to wait for hours.) The doctor couldn't determine whether it was appendicitis by poking and prodding at me, so I got a CAT scan! I guess it's old hat for everyone else, but passing my body through this technological doughnut... it felt like Star Trek to me.

It's also not quite like medical TV shows, in that once the doctor decides to do the CAT scan, there is no magic edit to the X-ray room. You have to spend a couple of hours drinking barium-laced apple juice first. Then you go through the doughnut once. After that, there is a contrast agent they inject you with. The technician told me it would feel warm, and then... whoa. Different parts of my body felt like they were heating up, but it didn't hurt. Then it was through the doughnut one last time.

By this point, my mom had come to visit, and we waited an hour for the results to come in. Appendix is fine, lymph nodes are big: it's a virus, not appendicitis. It should clear up in a few days on its own. So I could have gotten away with not going to the hospital this time, but it would have been a stupid risk. Now I just have to make sure I don't get boned by my health insurance.

* Our family doctor retired years ago, and since I'm on a different health insurance program anyway, I never picked a new one.
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[User Picture]From: wikle
2007-04-10 11:57 pm (UTC)
Golly thats pretty incredible. I got a lower GI once (or it might have been an upper, I forget how to tell them apart. I was quite young at the time so when my mother told me the mysterious drink in the styrophome cup with a piece of tubing for a straw was a milk-shake I believed her.

LIES they were all LIES!!
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From: c99koder
2007-04-11 01:38 am (UTC)
I had to have my appendix removed November '05. I had a lot of pain in what I thought was my intestines and couldn't sleep that night. Went to work anyway and worked for half a day, and finally had to leave. I thought it was just gas so I went home and went to bed.. a few hours later we rushed to the ER and they did the CAT scan thing and told me I had appendicitis and that they had to remove the appendix ASAP, and scheduled me for surgery the next morning (it was late in the evening when I got there).

The surgery itself was interesting. When they moved me into the ward before surgery, the person next to me started screaming in pain from whatever was wrong with him. The nurses and doctors all rushed over to him and gave him morphine and tried to calm him down. Not exactly what I wanted to see right before surgery.

They had trouble finding a vein to attach the IV to, so they had to put it in my hand but it wouldn't stay in. When they went to give me the anesthesia I felt it go all over my hand instead of into the vein. The last thing I remember before I went under was the nurse re-attaching the IV.

I was going to write more, but I realized this is just a comment not a LJ post :P Feel better!
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2007-04-11 01:51 am (UTC)
Crazy, man. Now I'm doubly glad I didn't need the operation!
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-04-11 05:24 am (UTC)
>The last thing I remember before I went under was the nurse re-attaching the IV.

That happened when I had my wisdom teeth removed, but it was even better. One nurse hooked me up. And the other nurse was like (!) No! Put it in this one like this. "Oh that's just fucki--*knocked out*"
--md, livejournal logged me out again, I think I'm done trying to remember and guess my password.
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From: monthigos
2007-04-11 06:38 pm (UTC)
You might remember I got an appendectomy earlier this year. I've had recurring pains over the years where the pain was so bad that I would sit on the toilet for hours just trying to get everything out of my system. Thanks to free medical in the Army, I finally got it check out. The first time they couldn't see anything, but the doctor suspected I had a 'smoldering appendix'. I was in Basic at the time so I let it slide because I was missing a lot of training.

The next time it happened the Army doctor had me take more tests but couldn't find anything. Not two weeks later I woke up with a searing pain and my wife rushed me to the hospital. The German doctors did an ultrasound of all things, and he told me that my appendix had swollen and was extremely large. I went into surgery the same day. BTW, German medical care excellent.
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