My Adventures with Appendicitis: Day 2 (Sun)
More readings! Dan Brown! Dan Brown! Well, the night shift nurses seem to have a meaner demeanour (the day nurses are pretty nice). She asked if I felt like ridding my body of its watery by-products.
Weird question. I've not eaten or drank anything for the past 18 hours, I have a big goodness knows how long an opening on my right, I'm bed-ridden, sedated, immobile; sorry, but I have the least inkling of doing that right now thank you very much!
Dan Brown time again and same funny question about my bodily urges. There's a new twist this time round. She tells me that they may be forced to use an aid to help me extract my watery bodily waste matter if I'm unable to do it on my own by the doctor's rounds at 8.
Fine, I'll give it a try. I don't know how that aid worked since I had no access to wikipedia then. I mean technology can't possibly be that bad right?
I huffed and puffed to get up from my bed. Tried ... no luck. Sorry nurse (sorry me as I was to find out later!).
Ah, here comes the good-looking junior physician from yesterday. Great! Oh no, are you giving me the same sermon as the night shift nurse? No doc! You don't look so good now!
Wait a minute. The aid is intrusive, causes a lot of discomfort and may cause infections if not done properly? Now why didn't the nurse say so? Thank you doc! I have the incentive to do something about this by 8!
The nurse helps me up again. No luck! Cursing myself.
Time is running out! I ask for help getting up again. I'm handed the portable human aqueous by-product container to try my luck again. I must be doing it wrong somehow.
Maybe it's because my feet are planted on the floor but my body's leaning against the bed. I need gravity to give me every single bit of help! Ok, let me try doing this standing up ... slowly (and yes, the curtains are drawn in case you're wondering).
Doc isn't here yet. Grrrrrrr
Oh, new doc. This isn't my attending physician. Same junior physician though.
Sunday Doc: Good morning.
Me: Good morning doc.
Sunday Doc: So any pain this morning?
Me: Only if I move.
Sunday Doc: Have you passed gas (human gaseous by-products from the nether ends for the politically correct)
Me: Er... no... (dammit what's up with these medical professionals and their morbid interest in my private matters?)
Me: Oh wait, I do have pain. I've been having some gastric pains from the lack of food and water. Any chance of eating a little or drinking something?
Sunday Doc: I'm afraid not. You're still running a temperature and will need to be on an IV drip. No food or water. But we'll give you an injection for the gastric pain.
That's plain evil doctor!
One of the staff assistants says I have to go for an X-ray.
I learn that nearly every single body movement requires the use of one's stomach muscles e.g. tossing in bed, wriggling in bed, sitting up in bed, attempting to stand up from the bed, attempting to sit in a wheelchair from a standing position.
I also learn that there are actually maneuvers to isolate the muscle contractions to one's LEFT stomach muscles, mostly anyway.
I learn that wheelchairs need suspension systems like cars, and they need proper tyres!
I felt every single bump on my way to the X-ray centre!
The radiologist also needs to lighten up.
Radiologist: Are you able to stand up?
Me: Not really.
Radiologist: No problem. We'll take an X-ray with you sitting in your wheel chair.
He makes me sit up a little and pushes the film down between my back and the wheelchair.
Radiologist: Smile ... (no, he didn't say that, just my silly humor).
Radiologist: Great! Now I need you to get onto that (very cold and very hard) bed (plank!). I need another shot.
Me: (protests meekly) (#$#@$&^%$#)
I've been drifting in and out of sleep trying to ignore my hunger pains. The gastric jab is giving me some relief so that's good.
It's also a good thing I picked the B2 ward. With ceiling fan spinning at its max and causing my leg muscles to cramp up, who needs air-conditioning? And I definitely do not have the energy for TV or phone conversations!
Oh yes, and the great nurses at AH explained to me why the medical fraternity had this unusual interest in my bodily functions. General anaesthesia causes these tracts to shut down. If I'm unable to clear my body's by-products, it means my body isn't functioning normally yet and hence, I'm not allowed food or water. See, that was simple. Now why didn't the doc explain that to me?
So you can guess what I was hard at work at the rest of the day!
Relatives came over around lunch time so that was good for the spirit.
Yet another doctor. No sign of doc who has his name tagged over my hospital bed.
Evening Doc: So did you ...
Me: (trying to sound chirpy) Yes, I did doc.
Evening Doc: Great, we'll start you on clear fluids and move you up gradually
I did the silent fist pumps from my hospital bed. Finally!
Dinner time! Clear soup! Sweet! Must remember not to gulp it down too quickly. I don't want to start coughing!
Nurse gives me some panadol to control my fever. I find out later that it's pretty normal to run a slight temperature after an operation. She also hands me a clear liquid -- laxative.
I'm thinking to myself, I haven't had a bite to eat for 2 days. All I had for dinner was clear soup (and I only finished a third of the bowl) and I'm expected to clear my body's solid waste matter? Am I missing something here?
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