Losing Your Appendix and Other Extreme Sports

Updated: Oct 29, 2019



To be honest, I don't like to to talk about the things in my life that are currently happening. I tend to get overwhelmed and begin to spiral. It's a really difficult scale to keep balanced, so most of the time, I just leave it alone on its table and don't go within ten feet of it. I really should be more open about the things that happen in my life, but sometimes, I just need to take some time to process.


I can tell I don't want to talk about this because my shoulders are really tight, and I'm clenching my jaw as I'm writing. I really try to avoid forcing myself, but I think this is pretty important. After all, a lot has happened this past two weeks.


Aside from having an appendectomy and a super rare tumor (check out this post for more info), a lot has happened. So, let's start simple.


3 Things That Have Changed Since My Hospital Visit:


School:


This is a pretty big change for me actually. As many of you know, this semester, I was a junior at University of Texas at Dallas. Unfortunately, due to my absolutely wonderful health issues and professors that were unwilling to work with me, I had to pursue a medical withdraw from all of my classes. I'm still not well enough to be walking around on campus, and I've missed two weeks of classes.


I only had one professor who was willing to work with me, and it was for a class that I really wasn't a big fan of. One of my other professors (if you are an education major, message me! I'll tell you who not to take) was completely unwilling to work with me. I had already missed a total of four classes, and after two missed classes, for each class missed it's a letter grade lower.


My petition to withdraw still has to go to the Appeals Board, so I'm praying that they let me take a medical withdraw. Otherwise, I'll be forced to take the F's and will have to dispute it.


Next semester, I was going to take a break, but I'm actually going to return to Collin College to take a few classes, which leads me to the next thing that changed.

Career:


My career ideals have gone back and forth a lot as I've gotten older. I was originally attending UTD for my Bachelor's in Literature. But, I've decided I'm transferring back to Collin to enter into their Phlebotomy Technician program. I recognize this is a huge change, but let me explain it.


If you know me, I've gone back and forth a lot between my career being in some form of English or medical. So, this isn't too much of a surprise. As I was pursuing English at UTD, however, I hated it. I hated my classes with a burning passion. Which, actually, really upset me. I have a deep love for literature and English, and for me to hate it so much? Well, it bugged me. A lot.


"You don't need an English degree to write a novel."


My mother has been telling me that for years. And honestly, me being hospitalized was just confirmation that I needed to be done at UTD.


Why Phlebotomy?


For those of you who don't know, phlebotomist are the people who draw your blood at the doctor's office or in hospitals. I've personally had a lot of really bad experiences with having my blood drawn or having IVs, which I found out is because I have small veins. But, when I went to the lab at the oncologist to get my blood drawn, the phlebotomist there was a lot of fun and it literally didn't even hurt when he drew my blood. He saw the bruises on my arms from the ER and hospital and actually got really mad that they'd done that and didn't know what they were doing. In fact, the guy in the ER even made a joke about how he'd messed up. I still have the bruises from him on my arm.


So, yeah. Phlebotomy. It shouldn't hurt if it doesn't have to.


My Outlook On Life:


How has all of this changed my outlook on my life?


The first time I was able to shower on my own after getting home, I broke down crying with relief. There's something about it all that scared the crap out of me. Honestly, the night after surgery was horrible. It was a truly horrible experience, and I literally thought I was dying.


The night after surgery, the surgeon cleared me for normal food and strong pain meds. I was not allowed to eat normal food, because the night nurse didn't want me to. Thank God for Madelyn bringing me a four pack of dairy-free pudding. I ate the entire package because the night nurse wouldn't let me eat solids, and then I went to sleep. Before I went to sleep, my mom pointed out that my IV wasn't running. The night nurse flicked it and said it was. It wasn't. In the middle of the night, well, probably four in the morning, I woke up and had to go to the bathroom. And I was in excruciating pain.


I hadn't had any pain medications since 7 o'clock the night before. It was 4 in the morning. The night nurse was supposed to be running pain meds through my IV while I slept, and she didn't. She said she wasn't going to give me pain meds until after I went to the bathroom.


Okay. So. Major surgery. The surgeon cut through my abdominal wall. Y'all. I've never had surgery before. I could not use my entire core.


The night nurse comes over, tells me to throw my legs off of the bed and stand up. The woman would not help me up. So, sobbing and I'm not exaggerating, I had to heft myself up into a sitting position. I try to stand up. I remember saying something, but I don't remember what. Then, I was swaying and falling forward. I remember then waking up in a chair.


It took five nurses to get me back into bed. I didn't get to go to the bathroom, and I still didn't get pain meds.


I frequently had to go to the bathroom, but was never allowed to get up to go. The night nurse kept sliding a bedpan underneath me and trying to get me to go that way. I couldn't. This is probably TMI, but y'all, I couldn't use my abdominal muscles, and my butt was elevated at a weird angle. I couldn't get enough leverage to push down on my bladder to pee. It was horrible.


And still. No pain meds.


The next morning during the day/night switch, my day nurse pointed out that I should have pain meds. The night nurse declined. The day nurse, Deni (my superhero), insisted. The night nurse relented to give me 0.25 of a dose. Y'all. That's a baby dose.


Apparently, when my surgeon came to see me, I was literally white and green. She looked at my IVs, asked about my pain (I told her I didn't have any pain meds all night), we mentioned my fall, and then she took my BP/pulse. She smiled and left for a moment. Now, I really don't remember much of this other than the misery, and being exhausted. I remember it vaguely, so most of this is from my mom.


Dr. Kennedy (my surgeon) dragged the two nurses in and asked them why my IV wasn't running. She also asked why I hadn't had pain meds. She asked why I hadn't been fed. Dr. Kennedy is my hero.


Deni was my day nurse for the rest of my stay, and she made sure I didn't have that night nurse again. Then, everything was fine until the internal bleeding.


That night, I had literally thought I was dying. I was in so much pain it was inhumane.


My point with that is, I'm grateful I didn't. Anything could have happened. They could have not caught my internal bleeding, but they did. On accident.


Things happen all the time, and it's made me so grateful for the people in my life. I love the people in my life. It's given me a different sort of drive or passion. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. None. For all I know, I could just up and die. I don't mean that in a pessimistic way, but in a "I need to live my life to its fullest" way.


Things are so different now, and I need to live like there's no tomorrow. So do you. Don't wait for life to just fall into your lap. No! Stand on your own to feet and leap forward, take life by the hand and throw yourself into it. Just jump. Don't think about it. Just live.



Date Written: Monday, October 28th, 2019

Song of the Day: Live Like There's No Tomorrow - Selena Gomez

A Skill I Wish I Had: I wish I could speak another language.

Something I'm Thankful For: My dogs!


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