Now I will attempt to give an account of the appendix ordeal, from start to finish. (Just so you know, I’m going to be very open about bodily functions. So if that grosses you out, I don’t recommend that you read this.) Seriously, if you don’t like the words diarrhea or vomit, DO NOT READ. P.S. This is really long and I don’t feel like editing it. So, if there are mistakes, I’m terribly sorry. Don’t judge my grammar skills based on this post!
It all began Sunday night. I was extremely nauseous that night when I went to bed and my nausea continued all through the night. I was miserable. It would be so bad in one position that I would convince myself if I rolled over it would be better. But rolling over was even WORSE! Finally at about 5 a.m. I decided to take some tums and try to eat something. (When my acid re-flux gets bad sometimes eating something helps.) So I crawled down out of my bunk bed and opened a pack of grits. The smell as soon as I opened the pack was absolutely repulsive to me. So I went for the tums. The process of chewing the tums was quickly interrupted by a quick sprint to the squaty potty as I proceeded to throw up. (At least the tums made it look nice and colorful 🙂 ) After throwing up I felt much better so I got up and went back to sleep. (After eating the grits, of course!)
A couple hours later, Holley woke me up saying she didn’t feel well, so we went to our friends* house. We napped some and ate. I was keeping my food down fine so I figured I was good to go and I blamed the vomiting incident on some medicine I was taking. Later that afternoon we ended up going to the hospital (more like a walk-in clinic) so she (along with two other teammates) could get some IV’s. Two of them were dehydrated and Holley was a little as well, if I remember correctly. I was a little nauseous but now bad so they just gave me an antibiotic to kill whatever was starting to go on inside my body. It was like a preventative measure. Then we went back to school.
The next day, Tuesday, I was fine most of the day. Then around 4pm I started to feel TERRIBLE. I had the chills and my whole body ached. I tried to go to super that night with the girls and just couldn’t bare it. So one of my precious best friends Courtney went back to the room with me. I probably laid there for a good hour and a half maybe, or maybe just an hour. (It felt like FOREVER.) I was freezing and had a big blanket on top of me but if you touched my skin, I was very hot to the touch. I could feel the heat beneath the blanket but I had the chills so I still kept it on. Finally, after sitting there discussing with Courtney whether I should take a cold sponge bath to help the fever go down, I was interrupted by that sudden urge to throw up, yet again. So I climbed down quickly and threw up the only thing I had eaten that day. And since I was already in the bathroom, we went for the cold sponge bath. That was TERRIBLE! Courtney was so precious and patient with me, not complaining once that I cried/moaned every time she touched me with the cold water. Then we got some Tylenol in my system and praise the Lord, the fever broke about twenty to thirty minutes later! I threw up the Gatorade I’d been drinking later that night before going to bed. And that was Tuesday evening. Quite honestly, this was the most terrible I’ve ever felt in my whole life. (How I felt right before the surgery is an extremely close second.)
So the next morning, Wednesday, I went back to our friends* house to rest and eat again. I was feeling pretty good by dinner time and we went to dinner and celebrated one of our teammates birthdays!
Thursday morning my stomach didn’t really feel right. I was kinda nauseous, with random stomach pains. But I was determined to get better! I was even going to go and watch Kong Fu! On the way to class I passed a teammate and she was going back to the room. So, I changed my mind and went back to the room instead of class because I was only going to be watching anyways. Well during the next two-three hours I had diarrhea like 5 times. The last two times there wasn’t even anything of substance coming out. It was essentially water. Not like the substance was watery, I mean like it was colored water. (I know it’s gross but I warned you!!) So anyways, the diarrhea was sketchy but what really got me and my teammate concerned was that it was becoming bloody. Now I know you never get a handbook telling you what your poop should look like, but clearly, that is not normal. (Thanks to Elizabeth for enduring all this with me and going through all the tests with me at the hospital.)
So after figuring out how to get a hold of someone, we finally managed to get a ride to the hospital and our friend* met us there. The first doctor I saw had me law down on a table and was poking around and he hit this one spot and it almost sent me off the table it hurt so bad! And as soon as he did it it was like I felt insanely nauseous. So the doctor says, “Appendicitis.” But he wanted an ultrasound and blood work done to double and triple check.
Funny story….for a minute I got Mono and Appendicitis confused and was freaking out because I know with Mono you can’t do anything for like 6 mths or something because of your spleen. And I was like “What am I going to do about camp!?!?! They’ll just have to find me a job in the office or something because I have to be at camp!” Then I realized I was thinking of mono and that I just had appendicitis. SCORE 🙂 I’d be fine for camp!!
Anyways, we went to get the ultrasound done and both the technician and the doctor said appendicitis. My blood work however was completely normal! (Personally, I think it’s because of the antibiotic I’d been taking.) But we still went to the hospital to see the surgeon. (The actual hospital was a building behind the clinic area that we had been in.) So the surgeon says it’s appendicitis and we’re going to do surgery. At this point I’m honestly thinking, “Okay, sweet, we know what’s wrong. Now please get this thing out of me so I can feel better!!” Seriously, we called my mom to tell her I was going to have surgery and I told her I was fine, I just wanted to feel better so if taking it out fixed it, then I wanted it out.
So I was waiting in my room and the anesthesiologist came in. Well, even though at this point 4 doctors had said appendicitis….he says wait. What was throwing him off was the diarrhea. (Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that Thursday for lunch I had two things of fries from KFC….ooopps 🙂 ) So he says he thinks it might be dysentery and since he had more stars or rank (It was a Military Police Hospital) , what he said went! So they said we’d wait the night and see if anything changed.
I’d say an hour to two hours later, I had diarrhea again but this time there was actually substance!! We had just sat down (if I remember correctly) and were celebrating the substance when all the sudden here it came…I leaned over the side of my bed where there was a bucket and vomited bile, all over the floor, because the bucket had been moved. (I want to add that my faithful friend Courtney was there through all of this. She came to the hospital that evening and stayed with me through the night.) As bad as it sucked, as soon as it happened they said….”okay, surgery!” (Funny story…when they took me to the operating room, I’m pretty sure my poop was still there, un-flushed, from where we were waiting to show it to the doctors. haha 🙂 ) We got into the operating room and it was SO clean. Like it was glowing white. Seriously, it was the cleanest place I’ve seen period, especially in China. I remember them giving me an IV and rolling me over on my side and curling me into a ball to give me an epidural. (I was SO nervous about this part but I don’t even remember feeling the needle or however it is that they put it in.) Then they rolled me on my back again and I remember them asking if I could feel some cotton swab or something and I remember trying to wiggle my toes but it getting harder. Our friend* was in there translating for the doctors up until the point I fell asleep. Next thing I know, I woke up to the precious little doctor on my right saying, “Okay, Okay!”
If there was any moment that I was actually uncomfortable, it was the moments that followed. Once I came to enough, I realized that they were done with the surgery and one of the doctors brought my appendix over and showed it to me. I was too out of it to say anything so I just kind of grunted and they all laughed. At this point I was shaking really bad and I just wanted my friend* in there to translate for me. So after probably about five/ten minutes (What seemed like forever because of the transition from the operating table, to the rolling bed, the elevator ride, and then the transition to my bed…) I was finally back in my room with blankets on top of my and pain medicine pumping through that thing in my back.
The next couple days involved so many IV’s that I lost count, lots of slow walks to the sqauty potty and slow squats while carefully holding my abdomen, and rest. I had the surgery around 2 or 3 am early Friday morning (China time) and left the hospital Saturday afternoon after my last IV of the day. They said if I could go without the pain medicine I’d been using, that I could go to our friends* house and just come back for IVs. They gave me these two peels and told me if the pain got unbearable, I could take them. But seeing as how you took them by inserting them into your butt hole, I automatically wrote it off as NOT AN OPTION. I went back for a couple hours every day for IVs until Tuesday which is when I was officially discharged. Then I just went back every couple of days to get my dressing changed. The next Monday, I was finally permitted to shower! WOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
The healing process has been great since then and I have no complaints! I was never ever scared. The Lord gave me a peace the whole time. I’m so grateful to my friends who were there with me through it all and for the Father who didn’t make me go through any of it alone! My doctors were absolutely fantastic!!
Funny story, I went through all of that and they never even knew my first and last name. haha. They used my Chinese name Bei Qi for the whole process. And the whole thing, surgery, tests, IVs, hospital stay, phone calls to my mom back in the states, cost a grand total of between $480 & $500 USD. Hmmm, isn’t our God faithful.
So there it is, the whole story!