SOUTH MAIN MUSE: Jamie Miles
Recounting appendicitis: “The Day Mom went Down”
Mommy never goes down -- even when she can’t make it from the bedroom to the kitchen without lying on the floor. Experiencing horrible abdominal pain, I thought surely this was some run-of-the-mill internal hydrogen gas bomb that would pass. Nothing passed. Well, I almost passed out a few times. But, mom doesn’t go down.
A trip to the doctor Monday revealed nothing conclusive, but since my lower right abdomen hurt, he ordered a CT scan. The scan showed nothing. So I popped pain reducers figuring stress ran amok in my GI track.
A painful Tuesday and Wednesday passed, but homework, ball practice and meals took priority. Thursday morning, the pain affected everything. A chronic, seven-day-a-week runner, running sounded as appealing as stomping barefoot on a bed of tacks. That I couldn’t ignore, so I went to see Dr. Hall. She thought appendicitis.
An appendicitis? Wasn’t that some ancient affliction striking children back in the '70s? I remember dire cases on “Marcus Welby,” but no one gets wheeled in to the ER for an emergency appendectomy on “Grey’s Anatomy.” That sounds about as sexy as Dr. McDreamy operating on an acute ingrown hair.
But my tummy ached, so off to Athens to the Emergency Room we raced. Donning a lovely cotton gown and stretchy opaque white stockings, we settled in for a long Thursday night. The upside was that hospitals dispense morphine.
More tests and nothing conclusive, so more morphine administered. Drifting in and out, I dreamed of rescuing a poor large lizard lying hopelessly covered in ants and looked down to wave just as an alligator strolled by my bed. I sensed they knew how my side throbbed; and that something (although not Grey Anatomy’s super sexy something) was terribly wrong.
After waiting over 24 hours, they took out my appendix. Away the beast went, flung into some great surgical trash can in the sky. By that point, he looked so ugly only a mother could harbor affection for him. Being his closest relative, and extremely low on love and patience, I wished I could beat him with an ugly stick. To celebrate his demise, I joined my new best friends lizard and alligator in a rousing chorus of “Na, Na, Na, Na -- Hey, Hey, Hey -- Goodbye” in the Recovery Room.
These hectic days, if we can remain vertical, we keep going no matter what. Listen to your body, even the smallest thing, if ignored, can get the upper hand in a big way.
It takes a village when mommy goes down. But thank God for doctors, excellent nurses, my dear husband, family, sweet reptiles and countless concerned friends who caught me as I fell. Or at least rushed to tidy up the crumpled lump on the pavement.
Printed in the April 30, 2009 Edition