nonionay: (goddesscross)
Sunday night, my appendix decided to do its annoying thing, and get all ouchy. It wasn't as bad as it's been in the past (no throwing up this time) for which I guess I'm grateful. Given that it seems to be connected to stress, it seems like the razor thin time between taking care of Mom and starting Grad School seems like an appropriate time.

Well, my appendix (mostly) no longer feels like someone punched me in the gut. I got a lot done yesterday; lots of running and bussing around. A morning of errands was followed up by the Graduate Student Orientation. I got there pretty early, and sitting in the auditorium, reading the brochure on Jesuit values, I realized I really wanted to cry. Crying was, in fact, exactly what I needed to do, given that I was wound up so freaking tight.

Crying in an auditorium didn't sound appealing, but I'm at a Jesuit college, and so there was a beautiful chapel just outside the doors. I didn't cry, but I did get in some quality meditation, and burned off some excess emotion.

I won chocolate and an umbrella at the general orientation. Woo! Then came the MAP orientation. (MAP=Master of Arts Psychology) There are 26 people in my cohort, which is unusually large. They all seem pretty awesome. (duh!) There was dinner and talking, and afterwards a bunch of us went out for drinks. Even though I was tired, I went for a drink, and I'm glad I did. I need to build up my social safe zone.

Still too tightly wound to even relax properly. Hopefully that will change by next week. There's still a lot to do.
nonionay: (Default)
So shortly after my last post, in which I gleefully considered the possibilities of relaxation and productivity for today, I started to have abdominal cramps. At first I thought it was food poisoning, and who knows, maybe it is. Soon I was shaking and sweating and feverish. I managed to make myself puke a couple of times, which made things a tad better. Soon, it became clear that my old friend, The Appendix, was acting up.
It was a long time ago, but I think the first time wasn't too bad, just scary in it's mystery.
Part One: February 1, 2002
It was during midterms in college. Like every time, it started suddenly, during my poli sci exam. It ended in the emergency room, where the school nurse had sent me just in case my appendix was exploding, even though she wasn't sure. Two CAT scans and a huge bill later, the doctors had no idea what was wrong with me, just that I had a thick appendix, which might be how mine normally is. And thus I had my one and only emergency room adventure. I still remember everything vividly. The triage nurse--a harpist named Karen Hardy. My blood flowing out as a thick sludge because I'd been avoiding food and water in case of surgery. The IV to hydrate me. The first doctor, who had an EMT in training with him, and demonstrated where the appendix was (halfway between the belly button and hip bone.) The guy who took me to the CAT scan ("You're the first person with abdominal cramps I've seen be able to walk under their own power!") My roommate Claire, who stuck with me the whole time. They didn't remove my appendix, and I went home.

Part 2: September 26, 2002

My mother had just made her second illicit journey to Washington DC, and this time, it was my turn to go back there to get her. This time, she was safe in a hospital. I was spending the night before leaving in my parents' motor home, and it was there that the cramps started. I remember getting up several times to puke on the lawn by the back tires, too weak to run inside the house. I didn't bother with the emergency room that time, and the next evening, I was descending over the light-limned outline of Chesapeake Bay, feeling the final cramps fading.

Part 3: This afternoon

Today will be remembered for kneeling on my tiled bathroom floor, sticking a finger down my throat to puke and relieve the pressure. The strangely pleasant taste--chocolate and berries from the Cliff Bar and sparkling water I'd been drinking. Cursing my broken thermometer and trying to think of who I could call to take me to the emergency room if it came to it. Lying in bed trying to finish A Dance With Dragons, wishing I had a less cumbersome book. When I did finish it, rolling around in a feverish chill, flannel sheets tangled between my legs, moaning involuntarily as I flipped from side to side, and trying to keep my freshly showered hair from sticking to me. Praying that it was just a bit of badly digested food stuck in a corner of my intestines, and not my old friend the appendix.

I'm fine. I'm not going to die from this today. I just hate not knowing what causes it. And will, someday, my appendix finally explode?

I thought maybe it was stress that caused it. Certainly the September incident is one of the more stressful events of my entire life, but saying that midterms were stressful enough to anger my appendix was stretching it. Still, I held onto that hypothesis until now. There have been so many times I've kept a careful eye on my wayward organ, thinking that whatever experience was stressful to warrant it. But it never happened. And right now, while my life is hardly stress free, is overall full of joy and literal sunshine.

Anyway, now I'm glad I was lazy and didn't venture out to take the water taxi to West Seattle, like I'd been pondering. Having this happen when I was halfway across town sounds nightmarish. I'm also grateful it didn't happen yesterday while moving Keffy, or tomorrow while I was at work.

Now I'm down to the stage that features nothing but dull pain over the appendix. It'll be like that till morning, probably. And then life will carry on. At the moment, I'm still weak and shaky, but I'm enjoying a hearty meal of dry toast (I'm also grateful I was indulgent last time I bought bread, and got the white stuff, rather than the healthful kind.)

I love you, little appendix. Why do you hate me?

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Sep. 26th, 2002 07:13 am
nonionay: (Default)
I know how i am. So-called stressful things are like bungee jumping to me. I yell and scream and make a fuss, until I jump off, and it all goes well.
So Sunday night, I was having a horrible attack of nerves and abdominal pains.But I knew that once I was on my way, it would get better. It sort of did, I mean, ulitmately it did. I don't know if my repeat of my earlier appendix incident (this time sans hospital and massive bill) was brought on by stress, or if there is actually something wrong with me. Here's the pattern: Abdominal cramping for one night, accompanied (and relieved) by vomiting, which itself may be accompanied by a little blood, by the next morning, all the cramps are centered on the appendix, and aren't terribly uncomfortable. By the next day, it is almost completly gone, by evening it is gone.

Whatever it is, it went away, and I had a great time in DC. I went through the National Gallery, and got lost in Arlington national Cemetary. My mother's doing great, I'll see my boyfriend soon, life's great.
nonionay: (Default)
So I had this vague fear I had appendicitis. I had a couple of very mild symptoms, but not all. Two blood tests later, the doctor at Western recommends I go to the emergency room. I'm skeptical at first, my chances of having appendicitis are small. But I realize how stubborn I'm being, and go in. They were backed up, so we mainly waited. And waited. I got to have a CAT scan. And an IV. The CT scan's kinda sexy. you have to lie down with your pants down, hold your arms over your head, and take orders to hold your breath. All the while being slid back and forth through this big hole. Apparently my appendix is "thickened" So they didn't take it out, but I have to keep an eye on it, since I can still feel it. So it may go bad, it may not.
Above all, I'm happy with my handling of this. I didn't stress out at all. I've had problems with that in the past. And I'm very grateful to Claire, who stuck with me through the whole boring ordeal, despite hunger and weariness.
Afterwards, I was dialoguing with my dear character Raymond about it. He, who tells me things I don't really want to admit to, said that I love such things, and that I'm content to pay whatever exorbitant fee they charge me, just so I can have the experience. It's true, and it bugs the hell out of me. I'd love to have my appendix out, just for the experience. But my far more practical side remembers that it would cost A LOT.

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