I Want To Hold Your Hand…..

Two weeks ago, I was looking forward to a fun-filled weekend with my hubs and kidlets – a Monster Jam show for my son, a little Nana & Pop Pop time for my daughter and then wrap it all up with the big game, the Super Bowl on Sunday night.  Instead, it all changed when barely after midnight Saturday morning, I felt a pain I had never felt before.

Fast-forward to 6:30 AM: I was being wheeled into the operating room, prepped for emergency surgery.  I wasn’t sure where to look – there were lots of doctors and nurses buzzing around.  My head was dizzy from following them all.  I saw the clock on the wall and just focused on that. I watched the second hand rotating around its face.  Time was ticking by and it seemed to go by so fast.

Had it really been merely five hours earlier that I was in bed lying next to my husband when the pain in my abdomen became so unbearable that I woke him and told him I needed to go to the emergency room?

“They’ll probably just tell me it’s gas,” we joked to each other, but somehow I knew in the back of my mind that it probably wasn’t.

Luckily, it wasn’t a busy night at the ER. In fact, there was only one other patient there and she was being transferred, so I got to see the doctor right away.  I didn’t have a fever, I wasn’t nauseous and aside from the pain, I didn’t feel “sick.”  However, the moment the doctor touched my stomach the pain was unbearable.  He told me he was sending me for an MRI, but it seemed likely that it was my appendix.   I was given two vials of some plastic-tasting drink, a shot of dye into my IV and then off to the MRI.  It took longer for the tech to take me to and from the actual MRI than waiting for the final diagnosis.

They quickly confirmed it was my appendix. It was severely inflamed and they told me I was lucky it hadn’t burst. But it had to come out: surgery would be imminent.  The doctor said he would go make the arrangements with the surgeon, but before he left I asked if I could use my cell phone.

It took me a few tries to get my home phone number correct.  My hands were shaking and I kept dialing the wrong number.  After dialing the correct number, The Hubs picked up the phone and asked me “what time is it” and “where are you?”

I told him “It’s 4:30 and I’m still at the hospital.  It’s my appendix and they’re going to send me as soon as possible to surgery.”

There was a long silence from each of us.

I lay there on a gurney in the empty ER, fighting back tears so I could hastily make arrangements with my husband.   I told him I’d call my sister and ask her to come over to the house ASAP.  He would call his brother and ask him to do the same.  We both agreed that it would be best if my husband would stay home until the kidlets got up that morning, and explain that mommy was sick and had to go to the hospital.

As soon as we hung up the phone my tears started to pour out.   Sure, I’d been to the ER many times before, but never for myself.  I had been there holding the hands of my kidlets  for the various bumps and bruises they got from falls, with my hubs when he got a nasty lung infection, and recently when both of my parents dealt with serious illnesses.

Now it was my turn, but no one was there with me to hold my hand.  I had never felt so small, alone or scared before in my life.

Though I’ve birthed two children, I’d never had an operation in my life and certainly had never been put under full anesthesia before.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I met about a dozen different technicians, nurses and doctors who all came at me asking a million questions:

Could you be pregnant?

When was the last time you ate food?

If necessary, would you want a blood transfusion?

Are you allergic to any medications?  What about latex?

All your personal items, including your wedding band and engagement ring will be put in the security safe, if something were to happen to you, who should we release the items to?

Who is your next of kin and can you give me their cell phone number?

One of the nurses, sensing and clearly seeing my fear tried to reassure me.  “Don’t worry, getting put under is nothing.  In fact, it’s probably the best sleep you’ll ever get.”

My mind, however, wandered to dark places, imagining a string of terrifying scenarios. “Will I ever see my family again?” “What if something happens during the operation?” “What if I don’t wake up?”

Yes, it started to seem like the beginning of a tragic Lifetime movie.  All I wanted was to have my husband there with me, holding my hand.  At that very moment my Blackberry buzzed with a text message.  It was from my husband.  It said, “I love you” quickly followed by “I will be there as soon as possible.”   The moment I read that, I got a total sense of zen-like calm.  He was holding my hand – virtually at the moment, but he would soon be by my side and all would be okay.

I sent him a text back, saying “I love you too” and send this picture:

As I looked at the clock in the operating room tick away the seconds I thought, the kidlets must be up by now and daddy’s probably telling them about me, they’re thinking of me and I’m thinking of them…they were holding my hand too.

The next thing I knew, my name was being called.  I was in the recovery room.  I opened my eyes and the first thing I saw was a clock – now it was 8:30 am and as I groggily looked past the clock and the nurse, I saw my husband being brought to my side.

The first thing he did was hold my hand…

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  1. says

    Wow… this brings back memories! Except mine had actually ruptured. It was 5 years ago, and I was terrified. This is a girl who doesn’t go to the doctor unless my husband makes me!!! Praise the Lord you were alright, and I’m so glad you shared your story. :) You’ve made me remember something else to thank Him for today!
    Katie @ simply[his] recently posted..Consider it JoyMy Profile

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Wow – it actually burst, how tremendously scary. I certainly did say my prayers while I was there – goodness knows I had lots of alone time to think….Thank you for letting me share my story with you. I hope you’ll be back Katie.

  2. says

    I’m glad to hear that you are OK. I think that it’s one of the scariest and hardest things to be sick and in a hospital, especially now as a mom. It was different when it was just me or even just me and my hubs. But now that there are these little people that I love deeply and that depend on me, it’s different. It is amazing how having someone hold your hand or hold you makes all the difference.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..OverwhelmedMy Profile

    • TheHarriedMom says

      So true – I kept worrying of how they would take the news that mommy’s sick and not there…and even when I came home, how they would react to me. But kids are resilient and luckily mine bounced back pretty quick! And the hubs hasn’t left my side since.

  3. says

    Isn’t it funny how much scarier things are when we have spouses and kiddos in the mix? It’s so much easier to be there and take care of them than it is to think about us not being able to do that. Even for a short time. So glad you’re feeling better. And that you felt strong enough to share the story with us. Hope the kids are taking it easy on you.
    Maegan recently posted..Candy Hearts and Chocolate KissesMy Profile

    • TheHarriedMom says

      It totally is scary – usually it’s me worrying about them. And even in this case, I was worrying how they would all react! It’s the mom syndrome you just can’t snap out of it. Thank you for sharing with me – making my first post like this so welcoming Maegan!

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Thanks Heather! I am and I’m certainly lucky that the hubs is still holding my hand. He really is my best friend…

  4. says

    This brought me to tears. I’ve been stuck in the hospital so many times and potentially alone. But just when I think I’m alone someone would be there, usually my mom, many times my aunt as well. Now, it’s my husband. Once I was alone, totally alone and it was one of the most painful times of my life. All I wanted was to have someone there just to talk to me at the least. So I understand this 100%.

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Oh, it’s so horrible – and so sorry that you’ve had and are going thru that. Being alone I think would be the worst ever prison sentence or torture for me. Hope everyone is okay Sarah!

    • TheHarriedMom says

      It is…just that little comfort makes all the difference in the world. Thanks for coming by Sara – hope you’ll be back!

  5. Kathryn says

    SO glad you are okay. I was following your tweets when it happened. And I am glad you went to the hospital when you did, too! My brother-in-law had appendicitis this fall and had to get taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Thank you Kathryn for telling me that. I was alone there in the ER and Tweeted to keep myself busy and trying to find anyone out there who could “be” with me since I was so scared! I’m doing much better now, back at work this week – but still no heavy lifting for a few more weeks! Thanks so much for coming by & commenting. I really appreciate it!

  6. says

    I have been there and it is scary as hell. For me appendix pain was worse than any of my 3 labors! I had just gotten back from my Grandmothers funeral on the opposite coast. I have NEVER been is such intense pain. I woke my husband up at 4 am (he gets home from work at 2) begging him to take me to the emergency room. Luckily my brother had flown back to Cali with me and was at the house with my 1 and 3 yr olds.

    Congrats on your first PYHO post!
    Robbie recently posted..BlankMy Profile

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Thanks! I was so nervous, but sharing on PYHO has been fun today! My hubs asked me to describe the pain, and I couldn’t really articulate what that pain felt like. I agree, it was worse than labor – a different kind of pain. Glad that you were okay too!

  7. says

    Darn you for making me weep. I’m so glad you’re okay – and that it didn’t burst. I was on the other side of the experience – husband with a *burst* appendix at 4 am – and it took us a lot longer to get him into surgery! It was terrifying, and I’m glad it won’t happen like that again…his appendix is gone!

    Thank you for sharing. It’s a wonderful story with a happy ending.
    Kristin recently posted..Laugh and Cry with Love, Loss and What I WoreMy Profile

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Yikes! The doctor basically yelled at me for actually driving myself to the ER – said I should have called an ambulance, b/c it could have burst at any time. I still can’t figure out what an appendix is for anyway….I was hoping maybe the surgeon would throw in a little lipo for the trouble, but no such luck 😉

    • TheHarriedMom says

      It certainly is – someone needed to be with the kidlets and thought it would be best if it was the hubs. The kids, hubs & my whole family were incredibly supportive and so helpful during all of this. I’m a lucky gal!

  8. BalancingMama (Julie) says

    Oh, wow. How frightening for you! You have such a sweet and supportive family. Glad it all worked out. Hope your recovery is going well.

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Thank you! Yes, they are – and they did pamper me all last week. The hubs did EVERYTHING for me – I felt so bad for him, he felt like he had let me down by not being there. I’m feeling much better and actually at work this week….

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