That appendix thing is not nearly so simple as I had imagined.

The only involvement with my HMO I planned to have a week ago Friday was the flu shot I received at the medical offices early that morning.

How little I knew.

By early evening, I had a pain my lower abdomen and a suspicious, tender bulge there. I called my doctor’s office around 7pm, got the answering service and was told someone would call back. No one did and I was halfway pleased, knowing that a strange doctor filling in on the night shift with no real information about me was almost surely going to say “go to the emergency room.” I talked myself into believe that what I had was a groin pull (though there was no reason in the world how I could have managed same) and went to bed.

BY morning, there was little argument about that emergency room trip. My daughter drove me in to Phoenixville Hospital around 10:30 and in less that three hours I was on the operating table. When I awakened, I was told that I had a perforated appendix.

In my mind, I thought it was going to be a simple matter. I had always thought that an appendectomy was a simple procedure (mine was done via laparoscope), one where you stayed in bed for a day and then you went home. That’s not true, of course, especially in the case where the appendix has burst.

Even as I felt worse and worse for nearly four days straight and nurses would tell me they were worried about me, I just kept thinking “it’s only my appendix, what’s the big deal?” I kept assuring callers that it was no big thing and I’d be home soon; I wasn’t trying to mislead anybody; I just didn’t grasp the situation.

That damned thing, that organ nobody quite understands, can kill you. And while I don’t think it ever got all that close, it definitely took a shot at me. I didn’t have a thing to eat for nearly eight days and several of those days included no fluids as well. My lower body was basically shut down.

I got home yesterday and will be out of the loop a bit, both for recovery time and to try and catch up on a lost week. As of this evening, I figure I’m somewhere around last Tuesday morning in “real time.”

I deeply appreciate all your calls and emails and other kindnesses and will post further about that as I find the time.

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