I was having stomach pain – which I always attribute to my gastroparesis. It eased up and then got bad, then eased up again. Then, on Wednesday, it got really bad. I took something for the pain, and hoped I could sleep. I didn’t. It was a horrible night with severe pain and nausea. But the pain felt like it was right around my belly button. I figured I was having a severe gastroparesis attack.
But then, at 3:00 in the morning, I felt like I was running a fever. The pain meds hadn’t helped at all. So I got up and took my temperature. I had a fever.
A fever is not part of my normal GP issues. So I sat down in the living room, opened my computer, and tried looking up my symptoms. I figured it might an intestinal infection or a real bowel obstruction (they call my bad GP flares a pseudo obstruction) or maybe an appendix (but the pain seemed like it was in the wrong place for that). By 4 AM I knew I was going to have to get to the ER. But Bill was sleeping so peacefully, and I hate the ER so I decided to try to wait it out a bit longer.
At 6 AM, I was in such bad pain I couldn’t take it anymore. Bill stirred, and so I quietly said, “Honey, I think we’re going to need to head to the ER”. Instantly he was wide awake.
We started getting ready and debated whether I should try to see the GI doc or go straight to the ER. But I was in such pain, that I knew if I went straight to the ER they would get me on some real pain medication much quicker than if I went through the doctor channels. So I packed a bag thinking I might be looking at 4-5 days dealing with a severe shutdown of my stomach. I had a horrible time bending down, it hurt so bad. I was dizzy and sick to my stomach. Every bump we hit on the road hurt. We were just past the bumpiest part of our street, when I realized I forgot my ID. So back over the bumps, bill got my purse, and back over the bumps again. UGH!
We picked a great time to arrive, because there were only 2 other people in the ER so everything moved pretty quickly. But it wasn’t until the doctor started pressing on my stomach that I really suspected the appendix. The moment he pressed on my lower right abdomen, I knew. It really hurt! But I’m not a screamer, so I don’t think the doctor noticed.
They sent me for a CT scan and then came the waiting game. Finally, he came back and said that, to his surprise, I had a very inflamed appendix!
Now, here’s the thing that only my ME/CFS friends can probably understand. I felt a huge wave of relief!! I had something hundreds of normal people get and it can be fixed! Diagnosed and fixed within 24hrs! That is SO cool!!
I was treated so well by every staff member I came in contact with. I was able to share about ME/CFS and the current scientific understanding as well as the problems and stigmas, with several nurses, a nurse about to take his exams, and several doctors!
I discussed some of the issues of anesthesia for people with ME/CFS and for those with excessive mast cell activation with the doctor prior to surgery, and he apparently did a great job, because I did fantastic. Yeah, it hurt, but I came out of the surgery great, and I’ve healed well. We’re now 3 weeks out from my surgery and I am just about back to what I was pre-surgery.
Unfortunately, that’s not real great. It’s been a long hard winter, with very little relief from ME/CFS. I’ve had some challenging days and even had to go back and read my own words about the value of my days, and persevering on.
But as emergency procedures go? It’s was as good as it could be. And it’s fixed!! IT’S FIXED! Hahaha…. HOORAY!