31 December 2007

An Eventful Trip: Exploding Appendix!

This was the scary part of the Christmas visit. And here I thought scary was supposed to be limited to Hallowe'en!

On Sunday, 23 December, we had a lovely breakfast of pancakes, bacon and sausage patties. Everyone pretty much ate the same things, so we were all a bit surprised when my little sister (for the youth out there, my little sister is 45 years old) began to feel sick. She felt like she needed to throw up and finally had to make it happen, but that didn't really help how she was feeling.

The next day, she woke up even more sore, and thought that it might have been the violence of the throwing up that had pulled some muscles, which were then extremely sore. This continued through Christmas, and included a serious loss of appetite.

On Boxing Day (26 December for the uninitiated), we left for her house, about three to four hours away, with my sister behind the wheel. (She has a bad habit of driving long distances in pain, but that, too, is another story.) We arrived, we opened presents with Tracy, we prepared dinner and Tracy and I ate ours, by Syd was unable to.

Tracy then insisted that we go to the Emergency at the local hospital and it's a darned good thing we did.

The surgeon on call diagnosed a problem with her appendix, which, when he operated very shortly later, proved to have exploded and spread infection, abscesses and gangrene throughout her abdomen. She was probably only hours away from some serious and lasting consequences (not wanting to say the D word). What is interesting is that a small city like Williams Lake B.C. has a surgeon who is as talented as this guy apparently is — they offer him unlimited OR time and he gets to do a huge variety of surgeries. I, for one, am very glad that this guy is there and was the one on call that night.

The surgery took a little over an hour and he cleaned everything out that needed to be. It took her several days of recovery to get to the point of actually passing gas (the stomach and intestines had shut down and needed time to restart). Tracy and I did our best to help and to keep her spirits up (flowers, happy face balloons, a little bee hand puppet and a bunch of games of cribbage).

I am relieved to have heard that she got out today — I even got to talk to her at her house on the phone — and that she is back eating, if carefully for a while.

I might recommend NOT spending your holidays this way, along with NOT avoiding going to the doctor for a real diagnosis of what's going on.

I'm just glad I still have my little sister!

(I have some pictures, but I decided to let her decide who to share them with, as they are a bit personal…)

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