Thursday, May 01, 2008

Getting better - sans Appendix.

Hi All. Thought I should get back to posting again and try to explain my absence of the last few weeks from the blogosphere.

The quick story is that I suffered a ruptured appendix, which was (eventually) detected, removed, and I'm now recovering.

Want a longer explanation?
I first presented to the local Medical Centre thinking I had food poisoning or something in late March, had blood tests (which showed an elevated blood white cell count), and then an ultrasound (to cross off appendicitis as the problem).
The ultrasound didn't find anything wrong with the appendix (though I'm now told ultrasound is not the best tool for checking the appendix - a CT scan is). It did find a few other problems, including a hernia in the 'area of pain'. Aha! I was then referred to a surgeon for a hernia op. Sorted (or so we thought). Trouble is - I continued to feel progressively more and more unwell, becoming 'profoundly unwell' (I put it down to a virus or something, and tried to 'work through it').
Eventually, at work a week or 2 later, I ran into the proverbial brick wall, utterly fatigued, and feeling the worst I can recall feeling , ever. I went home early (1 1/2 hr drive), and rested. I think that is the day my appendix ruptured.
Next day, felt substantially better (I'm now told that is common after the appendix 'lets go') went to work, but again cut the work day short - not due to pain - which strangely, I didn't have a lot of - but fatigue. I just ran out of puff. That was Friday, tried to make a medical appointment, but none available until Monday. Spent the weekend resting, but feeling worse, and worse.
As this site puts it, I was VERY fortunate (perhaps someone is looking after me?). The body has a defence mechanism, which thankfully kicked in and saved me from septis, and probably saved my life;
"...Occasionally the body is able to control an appendiceal perforation by forming an abscess. An abscess occurs when an infection is walled off in one part of the body....
...The most serious complication of appendicitis is rupture. The appendix bursts or tears if appendicitis is not diagnosed quickly and goes untreated. Infants, young children, and older adults are at highest risk. A ruptured appendix can lead to peritonitis and abscess. Peritonitis is a dangerous infection that happens when bacteria and other contents of the torn appendix leak into the abdomen. In people with appendicitis, an abscess usually takes the form of a swollen mass filled with fluid and bacteria...".
Monday, saw doctor, who packed me off to the Hospital Emergency Department. Things moved quickly from there, blood tests, CT scan, admission to hospital.
They didn't operate immediately, I was 'stabilised' first (which seemed to involve nuking my system with several antibiotics and 'stuff'). I was operated on on the Tuesday (my first ever general anesthetic).
I woke up in recovery with canulas, drips, catheters, drains, oxygen hoses in my nose, and, surprisingly, not feeling bad at all (Due it seems to 4 hourly morphine shots for the next few days - that worried me, as I didn't want ANY chance of getting too dependent on that particular medication. They wound it back for me).
Spent the next week or so in hospital (the nurses at Bowral Hospital are GREAT! - as was the emergency staff and my surgeon and anesthetist, who explained everything that had happened, or was about to).
I'm now back at home, slowly recovering (getting looked after by wife and daughter). I've lost (besides an appendix), about 10kg. Still very wobbly and fatigued, but improving daily. Hopefully back to sort of normal (and work), soon.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Worldman said...

Hello Pgil, welcome back.

This is good news and nice to hear from you.

You must really have gone through an ordeal.

Don't overdo it and be careful with work.

And I guess you are now eating a lot of medicaments.

But soon you should switch to something that will give you good health again: A nice glass of wine.

The more so, as you have lovely ones "down under".

Best wishes

Peter

Friday, May 02, 2008 3:02:00 am  
Blogger pumuckl said...

Phil, glad to see that you are back. that was quite some story you had to go through... it is sad that sometimes even if you try to find out what is up, the diagnose is not right and it just does not get better.

luckily in your case it is a happy ending with good doctors and great nurses.

all the best with your recovery, looking forward to read from you again more often now :-)

best wishes
pumuckl/christine

Saturday, May 03, 2008 4:07:00 am  
Anonymous Phil said...

Thanks all.
Had an appointment with the Surgeon yesterday and things are healing well.

Well on the way back to 'normal'.

Saturday, May 03, 2008 9:13:00 am  

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