Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Many of you may have already heard that I had my appendix removed yesterday. So here's the inside scoop.

Saturday night, I stated getting a little bit of a pain in my stomach. Nothing huge, just a little annoyance. Sunday, it was a little worse. I blamed it on the poor eating habits I had developed over the weekend. We ate burgers and fries Friday Night, then Sunday night we went to Hayley's sister's place and ate fondue. Wonderful fondue, but the mix of fruit, veggies, cheese, BBQ, and chocolate may not have been the best idea. Monday, my stomach ache was worse, and I actually complained out loud about it. I thought after breakfast I would feel better. But it didn't really get better.

I thought maybe after lunch I would feel better, but again I didn't. I even had a pretty bad stomach ache while eating. After lunch, I drank a lot of water and thought that would help. I texted Hayley and threatened to come home from work early, but after drinking the water, I thought I could stay and finish things up. I did eventually leave about half an hour early, and shortly after arriving at home, I threw up. Hayley had called and asked me to look up how many points a six inch grilled chicken sub from Subway was. When she came home, I was huddled around the toilet. I even thought I was fine, and thought we could go on a walk. Instead, I went with Hayley to get Subway, then she dropped me off and went to get a free Monday movie from Redbox. While she was gone, I threw up again. I was moaning in pain at that point, and she said she was going to take me to the doctor. I agreed, and apologized, and threw up one more time.

We went to the instacare, where I threw up in the parking lot, and tried to get inside. I made it to the first chair as they were telling Hayley to just take me to the ER because I was probably going to need an IV from the throwing up and they couldn't do an IV at the instacare. We went to the ER, I staggered in, and sat on the first chair I could find. Hayley talked to the receptionist, and I sat an moaned and groaned in pain, occasionally swearing. When the receptionist called us over, I was a wreck. I don't remember much, but I remember her asking me to rate my pain. Yelled at her, WHAT? She said to rate my pain on a 1 to 10 scale, and I immediately said "TEN!!" They told us there was a room and asked me if I wanted to go in a wheel chair. I was so ready to be in a bed, that I just started walking. Hayley sort of directed me, and I clung to the walls.

The ER doctor came in and gave me some morphine, and tried to talk to me. When I didn't really respond, he told the nurses to give me some deloted. Whatever that is. Apparently it's 10 times stronger than morphine, and actually helped me calm down some. I told them what was wrong, and they started me drinking this stuff in thirty minute intervals that would dye my insides, allowing them to check and see if it was my appendix. In the mean time, Hayley had called my mom and dad, my brother, her sisters, and her mom and dad. My dad and brother came to the ER and gave me a blessing. It was really nice to have a blessing. Also very nice to visit with those that could come to the ER! I seemed to be doing better with the pain killers, but I think I was a little loopy... I remember some periodic laughter at some of the things I said, so I must not have been making much sense... or making sense, just talking a little crazy.

After 2 hours of drinking gross liquid, which the nurses thought would be better mixed with sprite and/or cranberry juice, I finally got a CT scan. The results came half an hour after that. By then, it was about 2 o'clock in the morning. Everyone had left, and they admitted me to the hospital. For some reason, they decided to put me back on morphine and not the deloted stuff. The nurse from the ER said that if it wasn't enough, they could call the surgeon and get it boosted back up.

Turns out, we had the worst night nurse ever. She took 20 to 30 minutes to respond to anything, including my need for pain meds. I told her what the ER nurse told me, and I still doubt that she even talked to the surgeon about it. She told me they were going to do a pain pump with morphine, but when the morning nurse showed up, the night nurse hadn't even ordered the pump. I hated her so much. She told me at one point, the reason she was slow to respond was because she had 7 other patients. Like I gave a $*&@. I was in the worst pain of my life, and she was neglecting me!

The morning nurse was much better. I actually slept for a bit until my surgery. They took me in and I moved from my bed to the operating table. They gave me some oxygen and something else, then I don't remember much after that. I woke up later back on my bed. I felt a little bad because that means they had to have lifted me from the operating table to my bed. While I am losing weight, I'm still a hefty guy. If you want to know what they did, check out this video.

Basically, they made two incisions on the sides of my belly and one in my belly button. They pumped my belly full of carbon dioxide, and did a laparoscopic surgery. When the appendix was cut, they put it in a bag and pulled it out of my belly button!!!! How crazy is that!!! I still can't get over it. Thus the title of my post...

After that, things aren't quite as eventful. I am now on lortab rather than morphine. But I'm still loopy. In fact, I wrote this post at nearly the peak of loopiness... so I hope it makes sense... but there ya go! Oh, if you want to see what it looks like when they pull out the appendix through the belly button, check out the video above at about 5:58 and you'll see them put the appendix in a little sack, then tug on it through the belly button. The surgeon told me that mine was pretty big and my belly button might be sore because they had to cut it a little bigger to get it out of me. It still freaks me out. And I still want to find some footage of an appendix being taken out of the belly button, but from the outside...

Thanks for everyone's concern and kind words! Thanks for visiting, too! I'm ok-ish now. Just need to get through the next week. I'll keep you updated. And maybe post updates that are a little more coherent.


Hayley said...

scariest night of my life, i think.

one of these days i'm going to share on my blog some of the funny things you said. you were so high.

i'm glad you're home with me. i'm glad you're doing better, too. i love you.

Brandy said...

i'm so glad you're feeling better garrett! they didn't do the belly thing in 1989, and i have a massive scar on my abdomen. so, i guess you're lucky in that respect :)

Tori said...

The thought of anyone touching my belly button makes me cringe. And now that mine sticks out a bit, I'm VERY protective of it. Glad you're o.k. and that it didn't end up being something worse, not that what you went through was a walk in the park. Love you and take it easy.

Bonny said...

whew! Glad you're ok G! That does not sound like fun at all!

Carrie said...

I'm glad to hear you survived this ordeal, Garrett. I heard from Mike that you were out getting your appendix removed - yikes! And this whole time, I just thought it was the swine flu (I sort of feel bad that I joked about that now when you were actually in such pain on Monday). Sounds like you got to try some cool narcotics, though. LOL Get well soon!

Christy said...

Glad to hear you are ok. Let us know if you need anything!

Deb and AJ said...

Good to hear your doing better. Same thing happened to our son after he got married, I was so glad that he was married at the time cause she's a nurse and took him to the ER. I probably wouldn't have as soon as she did.
Keep getting better.

TheFirstWard said...

Glad you are feeling better Garrett! What an ordeal. We knew you were in a lot of pain that night. You have always had a high pain tolerance. Like when you broke you leg, the pain didn't bother you half as much as this did. Get better soon!

Jared said...

My favorite incoherent Garrett comments from your first night in the hospital:
3. Doctor: "Hey, you're looking pretty good."
Garrett: "You're looking pretty good!"
2. Nurse: "You're young, you'll recover quickly."
Garrett: "I have a lot of gray hair, though."
1. Garrett: (after peeing in a cup for some lab work to be done, with strict orders to get at least 30 drops) "Where's my PEE?"
Hayley: "The nurse took it and you did a good job, so she is happy."
Garrett: "Why is she happy that she has my pee?"

Seriously though, I am glad you are ok. You had us all a little freaked out there for a minute. Sorry you had a rough time in the hospital, but at least you will have a cool story to tell your kids: "...and then, they pulled it right out of my belly button!"

tiburon said...

I am so glad you are doing well!

Hayley said...

oh jared, you just made me laugh so hard i cried. i knew there were funny things being said, but i've had a hard time remembering them because i have been so tired & scared. but those were definitely good ones. thanks for reminding me!

Elizabeth Ward. said...

Remember that pain and then you can sympathize with Hayley when she has a baby. I'm glad that you are feeling better.

em said...

We were in Vegas with Tiff when we heard about your surgery, sorry that we weren't there for you. I'm glad that you are doing better.

Jared's list of things you said while drugged totally made me laugh, just what I needed today.

Kristen said...

I just heard. I'm glad you're doing okay. Please let us know if you need anything!