Saturday, 2 February 2013

How much does an appendix weigh?

Ahhh where to begin.

I actually have no idea.

Firstly thanks to those who gave me supportive feedback on my last post: Some days are muddy stones.  I actually felt sick about publishing a fairly negative post yet I had a lot of love and support making me feel better about it.  I try and stay upbeat as much as I can.  I've had my share of the darkest days imaginable, don't get me wrong.  And I know sometimes I get sad and I show it, but for the most part I try and stay positive in front of others.

But sometimes it's hard to, so it was nice to be reminded that it's ok to be sad.  And that it's ok to tell someone when you're feeling like this.  A special thank you to my HBW gals who reminded me it was ok, to Ruth who offered me a shower, washing machine and electricity (!) and also to Greg for your message and others for your comments on my post - they really helped :)  My electricity got turned back on on Wednesday (Day 4) so I have been relishing the simple things like being able to see (!) and have put the candles away.

So that was that.

And then I had this pain.

It started a week ago.  It was on my lower right side of my abdomen - basically where I imagine my ovaries are.  The pain wasn't too bad but by Monday I was getting a bit worried.  #sillygirl though, I didn't book a doctor appointment straight away - because it was my birthday on Tuesday and I was completely determined not to have a repeat from last years birthday, being in hospital.  Maybe I subconsciously guessed what was to come...

I was also scared about it.  So I left it - and the pain increased until after a couple more days and a GP visit and advice, I ended up in hospital yesterday after work.  I still had mud on my arms from boot camp that morning and my sweaty Polar strap on - classy.  My GP had thought that I had a cyst on my ovary.  In hospital they thought so too, but after an ultrasound showed no cysts but a large amount of fluid in my abdomen, they changed their minds to thinking it was possible acute appendicitis.  They then started talking about surgery!  They suggested that they might need to take my appendix out (Appendectomy) - OR do a Laparoscopy, which is surgery to show what's actually going on.

I didn't want either!  I am terrified of surgery!  And my other concern of course was finale this coming weekend!  I was heartbroken at last finale that I couldn't do a full workout; I don't want the same thing in Brisbane.  So I immediately Googled "How long after having an Appendectomy can you exercise".  Google said 2 weeks - no way!  I comforted myself with another website that said 1-2 weeks.  There we go - 1 week! :)

Since this pain started I have felt like I have fluid inside me - which was now verified by the ultrasound.  But I also haven't lost weight, and sneaky weigh ins show that I've gained weight!  It made sense with the extra fluid.  This was so frustrating :(  Especially in the last week of the round, when I have worked so hard, to now have stupid fluid adding weight to me.

I was hooked up to a drip and given some Endone and other pain relief.  In the midst of this I remember Googling "how much does an appendix weigh".  Seriously!!  I thought that could be one blessing in disguise if it had to come out?  One website said 2.7kg.  I think it was completely wrong but it comforted me slightly at the time!  I can't believe I Googled that. :)

A surgeon came to see me and felt my stomach.  They still weren't sure it was my appendix as my symptoms were not typical to that.  They admitted me in for the night and put me in a surgical ward.  They said another surgeon would feel me again in the morning and they'd do another blood test and then decide what to do.

When I got to the ward it was around 2:30am.  Emotionally I'd been fine this whole time.  When I arrived onto the ward though they asked if there's anyone I'd like to let know that I'd moved out of Emergency.  I said 'no' - and that's when I got a bit sad.  I'm single (as single as single can be!).  It's how things are and I am so fiercely independent that I don't feel I need anyone anyway.  I would LIKE someone of course!  But I am so used to it and apart from random guys I've dated, I've looked after myself completely with everything since I was 18.  It's just how it is.  But last night I got upset when they asked me this.

It hit home a bit I guess.  I have the most amazing network of family and friends - I am so so lucky there.  And yes I could have told them - but it wasn't really a thing you tell people, you know?  It's not that no-one would care, it's just who would I tell?  My parents are away at the moment so I couldn't tell them.  I could tell my brothers - or a friend - so many people.  But it was 2:30am and it wasn't the thing to do.  This is something you tell your partner.  No-one else really needs to know that.  I know that family and friends would care - those who knew where I was were so supportive - but this wasn't something you'd wake them up for at 2:30am to tell them.  A partner, you would.  It was one of the few times in my life where I have felt the loneliest I have ever felt.

Best diet ever?
I got into my new bed and when I heard I was in the surgical ward, I got scared.  I was exhausted, in pain, upset, scared and I felt I needed something familiar.  Sometimes I find myself in these situations and I just freak out and think "how on earth did I end up here?"  I checked my emails and there was a blog post via email from the lovely Jules, which I subscribe to.  I read her latest post as it was something familiar and it took my mind off everything.  It sounds weird - a 12WBT related blog post is awesome but not exactly a teddy bear. :)  But it was such a comfort.  I have no idea what it said (I think I was smacked out on Endone!) so I have to re-read it :)  but at the time it was just what I needed.  It kind of grounded me.  Thank you Jules!

I felt better in the morning - not as emotional anyway!  I had been classed as "Nil by mouth" and I wondered whether that would help my weight loss ;)  I got prodded with needles and another drip and the surgeon returned.  In the end they assessed that they didn't know what it was - but that they assumed it was a small ovarian cyst that had possibly already burst, which is why they couldn't see anything on the ultrasound.  Either that or something to do with being mid-cycle.  (Sorry to all the guys reading this).  It still could be appendicitis - they really weren't sure.  So I was given the green light to go home and of course strict instructions to return if I get any worse.

Since I've been home though (like, 6 hours ago), I have been wayyyyyy off track with my nutrition.  I've been really silly.  I haven't binged, but I've just been eating constantly, and not good things.  I am so mad at myself for this and in addition, I couldn't train today either.  But I'm looking at the bigger picture - it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  One day or one week of not being ideal is not going to wreck anything.  My health's more important and I feel lucky I escaped surgery (for now anyway!)  Something Greg (Leitchy) said on my blog rang so true to me (thanks Greg):

You also need to remember that the real world takes turns that we can't control sometimes (floods, cyclones etc) and if we miss a couple of training sessions so be it, you are healthy, alive and ready to go when things get back to normal.

It's so true.  And I guess we can add bursting ovarian cysts to that list too.  This week has NOT gone to plan whatsoever.  But I am healthy - I am alive - and I am ready to set things straight again.  I've worked too hard to give up on myself.

I'll finish with one positive thing that happened last night...the nurse was doing my obs and took my pulse.  The machine started beeping and she said "your pulse is very, very low.  Do you play a lot of sport?" and said I was very fit.  How cool is that!!!  Ok maybe there was another medical reason for the low pulse?  But if not, this was very cool.  My pulse all through the night and today was between 44 and 46 and at one point it was 50.  Each time the machine beeped to warn us, and I smiled.  I don't know what my normal resting heart rate is but I'm pretty sure it's not that.  It was so nice to hear that.  Another win was the blood pressure strap didn't fly off my arm like it used to.  #itsthelittlethings

Anyway wish me luck for Week 12.  I'll just have to do the best I can.  And if that means a few variances in what I had planned - then so be it.  This is life.  And this weight loss thing is for life.  To say it again:

I am healthy, alive and ready to go when things get back to normal.



  1. Golly, you've been through the ringer.
    Glad you're still in tact and hopefully you'll be right for finale. Be kind to yourself in the meantime. Lots of virtual hugs from the West

  2. Good luck week 12 xx hope you start feeling better soon! I know what it feels like to be alone in hospital it's not the best feeling! You sound like a very strong woman xoxo

  3. Oh honey you have been in the wars for sure. It would have been scary not knowing what you were dealing with, this from someone who has made it to 48 without being a patient in a hospital once (apart from when I was born). You have handled yourself with aplomb. This is one of the curve balls that life throws at you, think of it as a big test from the universe to see how you'll handle yourself. Feel better soonest and get back on track. Until then let your body do its important healing work.