*EDIT: I started this on Nov 8, and did not finish it. Now that it's nearing the end of November, I feel like I'm ready to start feeling grateful and thankful again.
It's November, so it's a month to remind ourselves to be grateful for everything we have in our lives. In the past few days, I've been reminded about how much I have. A brief list:
On Saturday, I started feeling really sick to my stomach and I couldn't keep any food down. We called the 24/7 nurseline that is linked with my insurance, and the nurse on call told me to get to the hospital right away. I am so thankful we have resources like this available to us all the time.
At the hospital, I gave them my insurance and I knew that an emergency room visit would only cost me $100. I didn't have to worry about paying for this procedure or that procedure or how much in debt my family would have to go into in order to pay for my treatment. I am extremely lucky to have insurance that covers nearly all of my needs.
At the hospital, I was cared for by an amazing team of nurses, doctors, technicians, nurse assistants and others. I was given an extensive ultrasound that looked at nearly every organ in my body. I was given blood tests, and put on IV fluids. When the ultrasound didn't reveal my appendix, I was given a CT-scan (super cool, even if I was sick). The scan revealed my unhappy appendix and I was admitted to the hospital. I was at the best hospital in this area, being taken care of by the best people around using the best and most advanced equipment possible. I am so grateful I have access to all of these things.
Once I was admitted, I was put into a super nice (shared) room and the nurses helped me constantly, even sneaking me some ice chips to wet my mouth. The hardest part about this whole thing in the beginning was that I couldn't have anything to drink and my mouth was so dry it was uncomfortable. Pain meds helped me sleep a few hours until it was time to go for the surgery.
Just as I was being transported out, Alex and D showed up and walked me up to the surgery area. They kissed me and hugged me and I was so glad I got to see them. While I was in the ER the night before, Alex was amazing and took D all over the place, got him some chocolate bars and they watched lots of things on the phone, waiting for a diagnosis. It's got to be hard to watch a kid, wonder what's going on with your wife, and also take into account all of the things the doctors are saying to you. I am so thankful that my family was there, watching out for me, even though it was really hard and inconvenient.
My surgery took 4 hours, 3 hours longer than predicted. The surgeons said there was excessive dissection to do to get to my appendix, which was situated in an unusual spot. As Alex waited, he called on some friends to talk about the surgery, and many people offered their help, support, their house as home base, or anything else they could do. It was such a generous outpouring of love and support from our friends that it was really meaningful.
After surgery, I was in recovery and the surgeons called Alex and told him what was going on. I was taken back to my room, and Alex and D were waiting for me as I entered the ward. I was so glad to see them. They stayed for a bit, then we all were tired and they went home to get some rest. Alex said that D fell asleep in the car ride home, did not wake up when they got home and he put him right into bed, clothes and all. In the middle of the night, poor D peed the bed, fell out of bed, and Alex just changed him and put him in bed with him for the rest of the night. Poor kid was pooped.
The night at the hospital was a bit rough. I stood up for the first time and I barfed all the clear liquids out that I had been given. I was in a fair bit of pain. But the pain meds worked pretty well. And the nurse told me that to get out of the hospital, I needed to be on oral pain meds, so I didn't take any more IV pain meds after that. The nurses were fantastic - checking in on me regularly, making sure I took my pain meds, helping me to the bathroom. It's odd to be a fully functioning adult one day and then be dependent on someone else the next day. Stanford nurses are stellar, and I had some of the best.
Once surgery was over and I was on my way to recovery, I started telling my co-workers what had happened. I received some of the funniest texts from them - threatening to twerk their way to the hospital and sing loud songs. It was amazing. I love my co-workers.
I came home on Monday evening, and I am so glad to be home. The hospital is a really hard place to rest up, and I never got more than a couple hours sleep at a time. Being home, I can rest as much as I want.