Thursday, May 26

How I Celebrated the Anniversary of My 27th Birthday

Sunday evening, I got a stomach ache. Not badly enough to tell anyone. Just a general ache.

By 12:30am, I was in intense pain. I contemplated calling 911. Dan and I decided that I must be having a gallbladder attack. I popped a couple of morphine pills (doesn't everyone have morphine on hand?) and went to sleep.

Monday was Victoria Day, so Dan was home from work. I didn't feel any better and decided that I should continue taking morphine while supplementing with Tylenol 3. Mum took the kids for 6 hours, and I sat on the couch trying to figure out why I was feeling so badly. But I didn't like any of the answers that Google was giving me, so I dismissed them and remained perplexed.

Tuesday morning, I was still in a lot of pain. I took my morphine, and my Tylenol 3, and Advil. And then I went to work. Because I'm tough. Because it was my birthday and I didn't want people to think I was flaking out. Because I was sooooo drugged that I lacked the ability to think straight.

I left work at lunch time and went to the hospital. No, I didn't go to any of the hospitals in Ottawa. I went to a hospital an hour away. Because when one is beginning to think that they have a medical condition that is quickly becoming critical, one tends to leave the city (and some of the best hospitals in Canada), and head for the country.

I had to wait three hours to see a doctor because order is based on the urgency of the case. The lady who needed 3 stitches and the man who needed a refill on his crazy meds were, apparently, more urgent than I was. Sigh.

Once I was seen by a doctor, everything went rather quickly. The doctor thought that I had appendicitis but needed to do a CT scan. I complied when I was asked to drink 3 enormous glasses of water laced with iodine. I reacted negatively when I was informed that I was about to have an enema. I simply said "No". Over and over again. Finally, the poor technician whose job it was to perform the enema left, and Mum said, "They're going to send in the Big Guns now.". And indeed they did. The doctor came in and explained that this enema would help make the CT scan better and my appendix would be more clear. And I looked up at him, with tears in my eyes, and whispered, "But it's my birthday". And the doctor said, "OK, we can do the CT scan without the enema". And Mum's jaw dropped. She was shocked that the doctor had given up so easily.

Guess what the CT scan revealed? Yup, I had appendicitis. The surgery team was paged to come back to the hospital (because they were all at home). The surgeon expressed some doubt about whether or not I had appendicitis because I couldn't have possibly endured the pain for 3 days. I said that if he was having doubt, then maybe we should postpone the surgery until he knew for sure. This annoyed him.

I was wheeled into the OR. The nurses were getting everything ready. The anaesthesiologist got to work. He gave me some medicine which would make my sight become blurry. Then he administered something else, and said, "You will fall asleep... NOW". But I didn't. Because I was fighting it. He asked me not to fight the medicine, but I couldn't help it. I have had bad experiences with anaesthesia in the past. I lifted my head up, looked directly in his eyes, and said, "Are you going to make sure I'm asleep before the operation begins?". Yup, this annoyed him.

In case you're keeping track, I have now pissed off both the surgeon and the anaesthesiologist.

I wake up from the surgery, and you'll never guess who my nurses were. Their names were Katie, Sarah, and Elizabeth. REALLY! What are the odds?

The next day, the surgeon came to see me. Again, he express shock that I had gone so long before seeing a doctor. He said that my appendix was huge, and he contemplated taking a picture (I wish he had!) and that half of it was hard as a baseball bat. He seemed awed by how sick I had been and how tough I am. I was pleased. Because I am  pretty tough.

The surgeon gave me a prescription for OxyContin and sent me home. The best bit? After arriving home, the pharmacy called and said that they had not filled the prescription properly, and I am entitled to TWELVE more OxyContin pills! I thought narcotics were hard to come by, but I seem to be as well stocked as any pharmacy!

Anyway, that was my birthday. It sucked. I missed all the nice weather. I missed out on spending the holiday with my family. And I missed my kidlings. Oh, and I was gutted. That sucked, too.

I'm thinking about starting a petition. I'm going to try to get a "do-over" for my birthday.


Lara said...

You should definitely get a do-over. And next time your insides are about to explode go to the doctor sooner dude! ;)

Glad you're ok.

Gwen said...

Lara, I'm a tough cookie. Remember after I had my knee surgery? Ummm... you and Dad lay on my bed while I STOOD!!! I believe I have a picture of that somewhere... :) Oh! And the next day, you hauled me out car shopping. I have to be tough, eh?!

Double the Giggles said...

Ugh! What a bust! I say Birthday Re-Do! Glad it's over and that you're on the road to recovery. Take it easy and heal. There'll be plenty of time for cleaning, laundry and children-chasing when you are all better!

Anonymous said...

Conisder this my official signature ("Nancy Cape") on your petition for a do-over. You definitely deserve a birthday,with lots of presents and laughter and a brightly iced cake!!!!
I am very sorry for your pain and bad birthday, but AGAIN you made me laugh out loud!!!!!

Mary Anne said...

MY DEAR FRIEND: Your birthday was so differant from mine. Jeff through me a surprise birthday party as I am now considered to be "Of Old Age".
My advise to you is to celebrate your birthday over and have fun.Having surgery is no kind of birthday gift for anyone.
I do have to admit though that I love your story telling as it always makes me chuckle. You are really a hoot. Happy belated birthday to you.

3LittleMonkeys said...

Wow, you are tough girl! I'm so glad that you ended up going to the hospital when you did...that is serious stuff!

And, you definitely deserve a birthday do-over...I'm thinking a whole week ;)

Bibliomama said...

You TOTALLY get a do-over - send anyone who disagrees to me and I'll take care of it. I have issues with anesthesia too - maybe not quite as well-founded as yours.

Heidi said...

Um yeah, no petition needed, do-over for sure!

So glad you are on the mend!

Alicia said...

First of all, Happy 27th Birthday :) And 2nd of all you are crazy for enduring that pain for so long. You ARE one tough cookie. Oh and thanks for making me LOL...haha GUTTED! You deserve a do-over!

Gwen said...

Thank you guys for your support. It cheers me up!

I have to confess, I find it a LITTLE BIT disconcerting that so many of you find this story funny. I did not laugh. :)

Twins Squared said...

Oh my gosh!! How horrible but glad you are okay! Hope you recover quickly. That is far worse than my 30th birthday - spent it in labor & delivery for a false alarm while a surprise party waited HOURS for me at home. At least they released me!!

Nan | WrathOfMom said...

Yup. I think you deserve a do-over. And I thought this was hysterically funny. Sorry if that wasn't the reaction you were seeking, but I thought you were being very droll.

Gwen said...

Thank you.

I watched as my mother read this post. She laughed. Then I made her point out the funny bits. I "get it" now. :)

Yabut said...

My grandsons both have birthdays just before Christmas. I feel sorry for then so we tend to celebrate again in June or July with an UnBirthday party.
I'm sorry you ended up in the hospital, but now you have to replace that memory with a good one. Pick a date and have an Unbirthday, complete with cake and gifts and guests and enjoy yourself.

Gwen said...

An UnBirthday is an excellent idea. Ihave been eyeing the calendar...perhaps June 24th...

Lara said...

Hehe. You know you wrote it to be funny ;)

Gwen said...

You crack me up.

Yabut said...

June 24th eh. I should have some Blooming Tea by then. Maybe I could even bake a cake ;)
(First I really need to find a glass teapot so this wonderous event can be witnessed by whatever guest shows up to drink it.)