So my absence from the blog had been mostly just forgetfulness-related, however recently it shifted from that to medically-related.
Most of my friends and family know the gist of the story, but for the sake of documentation, I’ll try and get some of the main points down here. Hey, it might be of interest to other people googling the same thing. I know I would’ve appreciated reading some other people’s accounts of the situation.
So, in short, my appendix burst. Well, to be accurate, according to one of my surgeons, it straight-up exploded actually. Imagine a bag of microwave popcorn after someone slams a fist down on it, that was my appendix. Blown out on two sides, apparently.
I started having an achey stomach on a Friday night, but I had started a new ab workout that week and figured that it was just residual muscle soreness from that. I should’ve known something was up the next day when I could only get 2 miles into a 4 mile run because my stomach was too sore when I lifted my legs, but again, just thought it was the change in workout.
Saturday night brought the pain, I actually woke up and googled appendicitis, but decided to wait until the next day to be sure. Sunday, the pain was a lot less but unfortunately brought with it, um, digestive tract issues (detail I do not wish to go into). So I thought, “Well, this isn’t typical of appendicitis, I probably just have Gastroenteritis or something again,” since it seemed similar to my symptoms from that in the past. The GI issues lasted until Wednesday, but faded a bit everyday, so I assumed I was getting better, but made an appointment with my doctor for Thursday anyway.
Thursday rolls around, I’m feeling pretty good, probably at around 90% of my usual self. I go to JYSK before the appointment and lug a new comforter around. See the doctor who agrees it’s probably just a stomach virus, but orders tests anyway. I get home and everything starts to go bad, I’m in massive pain, can barely walk and can’t eat.
Made the mistake of going to Misericordia ‘Urgent Care’ that night (which I will later find out is NOT Emergency, which, oh, I don’t know, they could perhaps TELL YOU or refer you to a different hospital if you come in with a serious problem). Waited about 4 hours to see a doctor who told me I was very good at describing the pain but that it doesn’t help him (which again, what the hell? What else am I supposed to tell him about?). They took an x-ray, blood and urine (which at this point, looked like rust) and basically did the tests my doctor ordered, decided that I had a Urinary Tract Infection despite a complete lack of evidence and the fact that I have had that before and trust me, it was nothing like this was. They put me on an IV of antibiotics and told me to come back the next day for another.
I hobbled around for most of Friday, feeling a bit better, but still terrible and with a horribly swollen abdomen. Went back to Misericordia on Saturday morning, where a nurse snapped at me for not being able to walk. The doctor administering the IV was at least decent and said I should get a CT scan, but the office at Misericordia was CLOSED on the weekend, so I should schedule one for the week. I agreed and we left with a prescription for more oral antibiotics.
Took the antibiotics and attempted to eat and drink on Saturday but I started throwing up anything I ingested, to the point where it was pure bile coming out. Idiotically, we went back to Misericordia one last time, where the ONLY decent nurse there hinted that if we went to the Health Sciences Centre, we could get a CT scan done right away. Why no one told us this earlier is beyond me. My mom showed up and we left to go to HSC instead.
And I should note, that on the way out of Misericordia, Nik overheard the nurse saying something to the effect of, “The nerve of some people, don’t they know this isn’t an Emergency department?”. The answer is: NO, MAYBE THEY DON’T. PERHAPS YOU COULD INFORM OF THIS FACT WHEN THEY COME IN WITH SERIOUS PROBLEMS INSTEAD OF LEAVING THEM TO PERISH IN YOUR WAITING ROOM. Also of note, the first night we were there (Thursday), the doctor and nurses were within earshot making fun of one of the other patients. Now that’s care! Also, the floors of the (non)emergency patient area, with the beds, were filthy.
Now, HSC, I only have nice things to say about. They got me into an Emergency room within an hour, the doctors were very caring, they listened and also took the time to explain to us what was going on. They diagnosed the burst appendix pretty quickly, with a CT scan to confirm it. They waited a day to do surgery as they attempted to reduce the massive stomach abscesses I had with antibiotics, and performed surgery on Monday evening.
The surgery, presumably, went well as I’m still alive. Along with removing the appendix, apparently, they also had to essentially take out most of my organs and wash all the toxic stuff off them in order to get rid of everything that was in my stomach cavity and to prevent my organs from shutting down or going into septic shock. My details may not be perfect here, but that’s pretty much how it was explained to me and after the fact, it quite frankly scares the hell out of me.
I spent another week and a half in the hospital, full of IVs and tubes and drains that went straight into my abdomen to drain all the excess bad stuff out of me. Good times. The only positives about the whole thing was getting the chance to watch ‘The Price Is Right’ (the choice of invalids everywhere) everyday and learning the lesson that Misericordia is easily the WORST hospital in Winnipeg and will almost kill you and not even care about it.
So that’s the story. I still kind of feel like hell, my stomach is still insanely sore, I lost about 15 pounds I didn’t need to lose and I now have a giant, crappy scar from my naval down. Yay.
And because I’m totally bitter, I will pretend for a moment that this blog isn’t attached to my professional design site which I use in order to attract clients and issue a giant ‘fuck you’ to Misericordia for almost killing me. I hate to come down on hospitals because I honestly think they do the best they can with their resources and our healthcare in Canada is still very good, but honestly, everyone there, except that one doctor and nurse that were decent, can go to Hell as far as I’m concerned. Everyone makes mistakes but the lack of care and concern there was absolutely appalling.
To end on a more positive note, cheers to the doctors and nurses at HSC, particularly the first doctor (whose name I unfortunately didn’t catch) that saw us when I was admitted and Mulleina (probably spelled this wrong too) that saw me most mornings. A bit of care and respect go a long way.