I woke up on Tuesday morning, and everything seemed like a normal day. All of a sudden, around 9am, my abdomen started to hurt. The pain kept getting stronger and stronger every minute. It became so strong that I felt nauseous, but throwing up did not take the pain away. I didn't know if this was just a bad stomach bug or something worse. At 12pm, the pain was so severe that I made an appointment with my doctor for 4:30. 30 minutes later, I knew I there was no way I was going to make it to 4:30, so Jared rushed home from work and took me to the Emergency Room. I have never felt anything quite like what I was feeling. I read some articles online and thought it might be my appendix. While in the ER, they performed a CT scan to take a look at my abdomen. The only thing that made waiting in the ER bearable was the Morphine and something called Dilaudid (another pain killer). The report from the radiologist said that my appendix appeared normal. The doctors didn't know what was causing so much pain, so they decided to have an Ultrasound done as well. After 9 hours in the ER, they concluded that I had an ovarian cyst that must be causing the pain, and sent me home with instructions to make an appointment with my GYN.
Around 3am Wednesday morning, the Dilaudid wore off and the pain returned with a vengeance. I took the prescription pain medication that the Doctor sent me home with, but it barely took the edge off. Jared made an appointment with my GYN as soon as their office opened. The car ride to the doctors office was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. Every single bump in the road and turn made me double over in pain. Once we saw the GYN doctor, he said that the cyst could not be the cause of so much pain. It was actually a very small cyst, that he would consider completely normal in other circumstances. He thought there was probably something else going on, but wasn't sure exactly what it was. He gave us 2 options: be admitted to the hospital, or schedule an appointment with my family doctor so that he could refer us to a specialist. Neither of those options seemed desirable. A hospital admission would be SO expensive, and we weren't even sure it was necessary. At the same time, I couldn't imagine going home again in so much pain. We passively decided to go home and were walking out the door, when the GYN changed his mind. After seeing me hunched over, barely able to walk, he STRONGLY recommended that I were admitted to the hospital. That way, they could control the pain and figure out what was going on all in one place.
As soon as I was settled into my hospital room, a Surgeon came in. She had been consulted by the GYN doctor. She said that she took another look at my CT scan from the day before and it was DEFINITELY appendicitis. She said that I was going to be rushed down to the Operating Room for emergency surgery. I was so relieved that the doctors finally knew what was wrong, but also scared about having to go to surgery. Jared said that this Surgeon was really good and would do a great job. That gave me a little bit of comfort. A few hours later, I was waking up in a hospital bed and the pain that had been my constant companion for over 30 hours was finally gone. It was replaced with a dull pain from surgery, that was much easier to deal with.
By the time the surgeons began the appendectomy, my appendix had burst. They were able to remove it and clean everything out successfully. The surgeon told Jared that most of the appendix was dead, and had become gangrenous by that point. Luckily, the part that was attached to my large intestine was still alive, which made the removal part easy. Had we waited a few more hours, part of my intestine could have died and needed to be removed as well. In the end, everything worked out. I was discharged from the hospital the next day (Thursday) and am recovering in the comfort of my home now.
Throughout this scary, traumatic, and painful experience, so many people stepped up and were willing to help. Within an hour of being in the ER, I was able to receive a Priesthood blessing from Jared and another Elder from our Church, who happened to work at the hospital. I am so grateful for that. We had no idea what was wrong with me or what was causing the pain, but I received a great deal of comfort through that blessing. Jared also gave me another blessing of comfort right before surgery the next day. He was by my side the entire time, and even slept at the hospital on one of those uncomfortable fold out chair/beds. While in the ER, Kyler was whisked away in caring arms by his former nursery teacher from another Ward. The next day my Relief Society President and my brother Calvin took care of him. Another dear friend Amanda, and one of Jared's co-workers also took turns watching him. Another one of our friends took care of Bauer for a few days, and others brought us meals. I am so grateful for the many words of support and prayers that were offered in our behalf.
|Day 3 of my hospital stay- the day after I had surgery.|
I now find myself at home dealing with the reality of what all just happened. The whole experience was traumatic for me, and I'm still having some anxiety about whether or not I am healing properly, but I do find comfort in re-reading some talks that were given at General Conference last week. One of my favorite talks was given by Jeffrey R. Holland. While I was in pre-op there were a few moments where I think I was starting to have a panic attack. The nurse had briefly left my side to get something, and I was overcome with worry and pain. I flashed back to the blessing my husband had given me, and I took the time to stop and say a prayer of my own. Today, as I was reading Jeffrey R. Holland's talk I flashed back to those moments I had in the ER, and received and am continuing to receive comfort. These words I know to be true:
"So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters so movingly last Saturday evening: “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.”4 Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.5
The full link to his talk is HERE . Again, thank you again friends, and family for taking such good care of us and for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. I really do feel them. Love you all! -Char