Sunday, June 24, 2007

 

Appendicitis

Friday night we got word that my niece was having surgery, pretty much with no advance warning. Her brother sent an instant message to our daughter saying that she was having her appendix removed. The previous weekend our niece had returned from her father's with a giant stomachache. She was in tears and couldn't get comfortable. Her mom said she hadn't been feeling well the previous week, but had perked up some toward the end of the week. We were all thinking that she had a stomach bug that was exacerbated by the anticipation our niece felt over taking her written driving test. She took the test and passed, which is quite the achievement considering what we now know about the situation. She had her surgery Friday night and we got word Saturday morning that she was doing fine. We are immensely relieved and wish her a speedy return to good health.

Her situation reminds me of my brother, who is the only other person I know who's had an appendectomy. He, too, had been feeling ill, but no one thought much of it. During his illness, we went sledding and he hit a tree with his back. Within a few days he was having surgery. When the doctor opened him up, he found that his appendix had burst and abscessed, probably as a result of hitting that tree. Normally, the appendix is only as big as the tip of a pinky, but his was the size of a breakfast sausage. If the abscess would have burst, he would not have survived. Scary how something so serious can be so easily missed, or brushed off. Happy, in both situations, that it was caught in time.

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