I had my Land’s End red, flannel pajamas on and had settled in for a long winter’s night. My blue eyes had been asleep for about an hour and woke up as my husband was brushing his teeth, preparing to go to bed himself.
A gnawing pain in my abdomen grabbed my attention, along with the fact that I was now shivering uncontrollably. And it wasn’t because I was cold. It seemed my body was really going through something. I wrestled within myself as to whether or not I should go to the emergency room. I really didn’t want to go. However, my then 17 year old daughter just had an appendectomy last year and I was worried it may be my appendix!
My husband discarded his green and blue plaid, flannel pajamas for jeans and we proceeded to the hospital at 12:30 a.m. I had to literally hold my jaw closed on the ride there just so my teeth wouldn’t keep chattering. I had never had anything like this to happen before. I’m the healthy one. I generally don’t get sick. Mom has to stay strong for the rest of the bunch, right?
Fortunately, once I completed the necessary registration paperwork, the nurse called me back to triage. It was pretty miraculous that the waiting room was completely empty! From there, once she took my vitals, she got me situated in a room in the ER. She had me change into the hospital gown, which, by the way, is entirely frustrating to wrestle with! Upon shifting in the bed, this gown literally could choke you. I pondered a better design…maybe an elastic neckline? After all, the patient is already encumbered by a plastic tube in their arm, otherwise known as an i.v.
The cheery nurse brought me morphine for the pain and a medication for the nausea. Interestingly enough, despite the morphine, I could still feel the pain.
My poor husband was restlessly attempting to nap on two, hard chairs beside my bed in the midst of all the circus. I don’t know if he ever got more than two winks. He was up all night and still went to work! I felt so bad for him and prayed for strength.
It took a couple hours before the doctor came in and then more waiting for my blood work to come back. Depending on the results, she would order an MRI if it was my gallbladder or a CT Scan if it was my appendix. I was also feeling nauseated, so I think everyone concluded it was likely my appendix. I even was preparing myself mentally for the possibility of having emergency surgery.
Around 4 a.m. the male tech wheeled me down to radiology to have a CT Scan. The nice tech noted that we shared the same birthday. He injected a dye in my i.v. for the scan and I forgot the odd sensation one receives along with that. Glad when it was over.
Well, we finally got the news from the doctor that it was, in fact, not my appendix. Everything looked fine. For a split second, I felt a little silly there, laying on the hospital gurney, having abdominal pain for nothing. Until the doctor explained…
There were some “incidental” things noted on the CT Scan. For one, apparently I possess a “fatty liver”. I thought there must be some mistake. I don’t drink, never have. It’s called “Non-alcoholic fatty liver” and from what I’ve subsequently read, 1 in 4 Americans have it. They likely just don’t know. It’s when more than 5-10% of your liver is fatty. The heartening news is that it is completely reversible through proper diet, lots of vegetables. But it can take over three years to rehabilitate. Untreated, it can lead to sclerosis of the liver, which can lead to liver failure. Well, that’s good news in the wee hours of the morning, isn’t it?
I thought I was having appendicitis… But, wait, there’s more …
I also have Diverticulosis, small holes in my colon. If those holes become infected, then it becomes Diverticulitis. Both, not good. But, with a proper diet, can be treated. Well, looks like a more stringent diet is on my horizon… But, wait, there’s still more for this 45 year old body…
Gee, apparently, I’m not as healthy as I thought! Ironically, despite the fact that I am overweight, I eat very healthy. Probably the most healthy I ever have. My now 18 year old daughter preaches, lives and breathes healthy living to all of us. How can I not? No, the truth is, because I lost my Mom to breast cancer when I was 23, I have been on a quest for optimum health ever since. But, I digress…
So, the third bit of good news this ER doctor shared was that I have a sizable fibroid tumor. Upon further research online, this explains so many other symptoms I’ve been experiencing, but I had no idea.
So, I have three doctor’s appointments scheduled for next week: the G.I. Dr., my primary care physician and the GYN. I’m looking forward to having many questions answered.
My husband and two children have been wonderful, taking care of me as I try to rest in bed. Even my daughter, who has POTS, has made hot tea for me and brought me snacks when she’s up to it. Today is not a good day for her, so hubby and my son are filling in.
Now that I’ve given hubby instructions on how to operate the dishwasher, he loads and our son unloads. Last night, the kids collaborated on dinner. Part of the time I heard fussing and the other part was mutual laughter. It’s always interesting how things come together when mom is out of commission. I call them kids but they are 16 and 18. I’m thankful they both know their way around the kitchen very well and are very kind and thoughtful.
I’m so thankful for my family, for good health care, for our home and for the hope that I have in God. The hope that He is with me every step of the way, even if that includes upcoming surgery. He is a God who walks beside me and that gives me great comfort. I also know that He is working ALL things together for my good and His glory! I will not fear the future, but will rest in knowing that God is already there, for He transcends all time and space. Nothing catches Him by surprise. And all my days are planned by Him.