Sunday, January 29, 2012

Farewell Appendix

Apparently my body likes to get rid of body parts after having a baby.  After Breanna I had my gallbladder removed.  After Ethan I had a root canal (ok....doesn't really count, but was not fun).  After Luke I had my appendix removed.

About 9 days postpartum my afterbirth pains were almost gone and very tolerable (they were really painful for quite awhile with the 3rd baby, yuck!)  But, I started getting "episodes" of pain.  I would feel like I was having a contraction start and then it would feel like it wouldn't end for an hour and a half. wasn't pretty.  It was so painful I couldn't walk/talk/move.  I had painkillers at home b/c of having the baby so I would take one and it pretty much would do nothing....I just had to wait it out.

Believe me, an hour and a half is a long time when you don't know what's wrong.  I had one wake me up at 2am.  I had another one the next day at 8am.  Then one more another time that I can't remember.  The rest of the time I felt fine.  Tender down in the lower abdominal area but no extreme pain.  I thought I might have an infection in my uterus or something so I got an appt. for Mon. morning and went to the OB/GYN.

They checked and there was no infection.  Dr. said that he wanted me to get a CT scan just in case to check everything out.

The CT imaging place said they would get me in the next afternoon b/c I needed to fast for 4 hours before the scan and it was too late in the day to do it Monday.  So....Tues. 3pm was my appt.  Fasting for 4 hours is not fun when you are nursing (especially cuz you can't have anything, including water)!!  They were running behind and didn't get me in til 4pm.  Scan went quickly and I went home.

We had a BIG dinner cuz I was starving.  Right before dinner I got a phone call (about 5:20PM) from the on-call OBGYN.  She said she wanted me to come back to the ER and get checked out.  My appendix looked a little sketchy and they wanted to check that and also I guess the uterus looked like there was maybe leftover stuff from the birth and so I needed an ultrasound to check that out.

I cried and Rob decided to stay with the kids and send me and we would see what happened....if it was nothing I would come back home and if it was something then he would figure out something to do with the kids.

My mom was in California (she had left that morning) to help my sister Michelle move.  She and my dad decided to send him down to the ER for moral support.  I'm so glad he came!!

It was the craziest experience ever.  I have never been waited for at the ER.  The nurse and Dr. both checked me out, I was given an ultrasound, had a urine and blood test and the surgeon came to see me all within an hour.  Seriously!?!?

Withing 2 1/2 hours I was being brought to surgery for my appendix.  The surgeon said it looked borderline.  My white blood cell count was borderline and the only thing that made him for sure want to take it out was the physical exam.  He said there was a 10-15% chance that it was healthy but he would remove it anyways.  As he was forcing the paper to me to sign consent for surgery my Dad was trying to slow him down, ask questions and make sure that it wasn't the leftover in the uterus that might be causing pain.  The Dr. said that the radiologist said anyone 13 days postpartum would have remaining stuff after giving birth so they ruled that out.

My dad was wondering why he was rushing so much, thought maybe the guy just wanted to get home....but apparently not (my dad saw him there hours later).  Just wanted to cut me open I guess!

They rushed so much that thankfully my dad was able to coordinate with Rob and come up with a plan for the kids.  Rob's parents were amazing and immediately left and started driving to our house to take care of our kids (including the newborn).  He was able to get to the hospital, but everything went so quick that it wasn't til I was in recovery after surgery that he made it.

I was a bit in shock as I was up in pre-op as they hurried me along.

 Random side note #1: The nurse who was taking care of me in pre-op is actually lives in our basement apartment! We have become kind of friends and it was so nice to have a friendly face beforehand.  She also offered to help watch the kids if we couldn't find any one to do nice!

Random side note #2: The anesthesiologist was the same guy that did my epidural less then 2 weeks before. I think they could all tell I was scared and so he put something in my IV before they even rolled my bed down the hallway.  All I can remember is he said, "You were such a good patient last time, you get something special this time." And then I was out.

When I woke up all I could think was that appendix better have been infected b/c I hurt!  Yes, I had appendicitis and it needed to be removed, the surgeon told me this after the surgery.

I was out of the hospital the next evening by 5pm.  Rob's parents stayed til 7pm and were wonderful.  My mom came at 9pm and helped me through the night for the next few nights b/c I could barely move, plus I had a newborn to take care of.  She took care of him all night for several nights, just waking me up to feed him.

My sister in law came up on Friday and helped take care of us all day!  My sister took the kids for about 4 hours on Saturday for us.  The next week our ward helped out by volunteers taking my kids (just the 2 older ones) for a couple of hours every morning.  Rob would take them to the daycare in the gym in the afternoon and then take care of them the rest of the evening when he was done with work.  We also had meals provided for us about 5 nights of the week.

I am feeling good now, 2 weeks after surgery and 4 weeks after having a baby.  All I can say is I am SOOOO grateful for all the help that we got.  Also, I don't want to go back to the hospital for a LONG time!


jess bahr said...

Oh my goodness Brooke - that is crazy! You poor thing, I can't imagine going through that right after a baby. I am glad you got some good help and are recovering well!

Michal Thompson said...

wow, you are a trooper, that is a lot to happen all in a few short weeks!