Friday, April 18, 2008

Small pain, big problems

I had been in pain since Sunday night but was choosing to ignore it. I didn't even tell anyone about it until Tuesday, assuming that it was probably nothing and would go away. I don't like to be sick, I don't like to go to doctors, and frankly, I was just too busy. By Wednesday, the pain was getting a bit worse, I was feeling a little queasy, and I decided to work from home. I was getting peer-pressured to go to the doctor and so out of guilt I made an appointment with my doctor. He ordered a bunch of tests, including a CT scan of my pelvis and abdomen, but told me as I was leaving that he didn't expect that they'd find much of anything and this would probably just go away. I laughed and told him that's what I'm always hoping for.

The problem was, as I was shocked to find out as they rushed me off to emergency surgery after my CT scan that evening, that my appendix was actually 4x its normal size. I was lucky to be walking around, they were shocked that I had been working even up to my appointment, and it could have burst at any point, causing a MUCH bigger problem.

That's really the problem with small, consistent problems. If its not enough to disable you, then you will probably ignore it to deal with the bigger and more immediate problems. Until that small, consistent pain blows up into a much bigger problem that could have been avoided with just a little attention. I'm wondering what other little problems at Tandem I've been ignoring that have "appendix-bursting" potential.

BTW, appendectomies evidently require less recovery time than childbirth--I was discharged in less than 24 hours and am back working at home. Just don't ask me to lift any heavy objects yet.

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