Thursday, June 09, 2005

My Adventures with Appendicitis: Day 1 (Sat) Part 1


I've been having this odd abodominal pain and mild bouts with fever recently. My family doctor tells me I overstrained my muscles but I said my overstrained stomach muscles never felt strained inside. Anyway, it is back again this morning and the pain has gone a little lower on my right side. It doesn't feel right; I'll head back to the doc after breakfast.


Family Doc: (Spot A) How does this feel?
Me: A little painful
Family Doc: (Spot P) And here?
Me: Owwww! Yes, definitely painful!
Family Doc: (Spot C) Here?
Me: Not there
Family Doc: (Back to Spot P) Here?
Me: Owww! Yes! (hey, didn't you feel that already?!?)
Family Doc: (scribbles something on a memo) You better head on over to the A&E ...

I peeked at the memo - "Possible acute appendicitis". Uh oh!


So here I am at the Alexandra Hospital (AH) A&E. The registration to see the A&E doc is pretty smooth. They actually have an administrative assistant walking around helping the nurses with people traffic direction and registration.

A&E Doc: (Spot A) How does this feel?
Me: A little painful
A&E Doc: (Spot P) And here?
Me: Owwww! Yes, definitely painful!
A&E Doc: (Spot C) Here?
Me: Nope
A&E Doc: (Back to Spot P) Here?
Me: Owww! Yes! (@!()@%(@& are you guys in cahoots or what?)
A&E Doc: Ok, I need to take some blood and run a few tests
Me: (First you prod me where it hurts BAD, now you want to "poke" me?) Ok doc.


The results are back. My white blood cell count is high and I'm to be warded immediately and have my appendicetomy done the very same day. The A&E doc pages for the surgeon and asks that I complete the administrative work to check myself into the hospital as soon as possible.

Oh, and I'm not to eat or drink anything before the surgery. Nothing, zip. Ok!


Decisions, decision, decisions. The staff at the payment counter explains to me the various wards that are available in AH i.e. A1, B1, B2, C (the policy maker must have been inspired by his/her GCE 'O' level results ... obviously someone wasn't very happy about getting A2s).

A1 - I'd hate to be in an isolated ward and the charges are crazy.
B1 - 4 to a ward, air-conditioned, personal TV, personal phone ... sounds good.
Wait, B2 - 6 to a ward and some euphemistic word for non-air-conditioned ward.
So if I had to stay a week, I'd fork out about S$1,000 for a B2 bed; I pay an additional S$2,000 more I get to enjoy air-conditioning, TV and phone! Joy!



The attending doctor (the doctor's name that they put over my hospitable bed), the junior physician (good looking too I must say) and the surgeon are by my bed. They put me through the same pain as their brethren before finally concluding that they have to operate on me later at between 2 to 2:30 pm. Again, I am told not to eat or drink anything. Roger that!

Joy, more paperwork. Some consent form that I've understood the implications yada-yada-yada.


Waiting. I've already changed into my operating gown.


Still waiting.

Note to self - I think doctors have a problem with punctuality.


Finally! I get wheeled off to the operating theatre.


So here I am, lying in the operating theatre, jokingly asking the (also good looking) anaesthetist what they will do with my appendix and if I could take a picture of it when they're done with it. She laughed and said that they'll grind it up and feed it to the dogs ... That was a joke! She said they'll send it to the lab for tests to find out the cause of the infection.


They start giving me injections and wiring me up to the thousands of probes. I feel like Cypher being re-inserted into the Matrix ...

Anaesthesist: Ok, we're going to administer GA (General Anaesthesia). When I put this mask over you, I want you to breathe in deep.
Me: Will do doc.
Anaesthesist: (fixes the breathing apparatus over me) Now breathe
Me: (takes in about 3 breaths) Huff puff huff puff huff puff
Anaesthesist: Are you breathing? Please breathe...
Me: (takes in another 4 breaths ... of course I am breathing! That's what you told me to do!)

I think she got a little "pissed" with my resistance to the "gas" and upped the ante! I could literally smell the "gas" after the initial 7 gulps and was out cold after the next 3! Yes, I counted!

(to be continued)

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