As we all enjoy scaring ourselves, gorging on candy and sweets this Halloween, I for one am just grateful that I am able eat at all.
Last Halloween was the scariest of my life. It was the fall semester of my sophomore year at Northwest College, in Powell WY. Midterm projects were in full swing at the photographic communications program and I hardly had time to sit down, let alone plan any Halloween festivities. Weeks prior, I had some stomach pains and thought nothing of it. Must be the stress of college right? I was sadly mistaken on the scariest night of the year….
12:00 a.m. I went to bed at my normal time. The following day was going to be business as usual. As I sat in bed thinking of my to do list the following day I drifted to sleep.
I suddenly awoke with the sharpest stomach pain I had ever felt. It got so severe I thought I was going to maybe puke. I waddled into the restroom unsure of what to do. After a few minutes of just standing there like a lost sleep walker, I decided to head back to bed and sleep off the pain. I laid back into bed and tried for quite some time to fall back a sleep. The pain just kept getting worse
At this point the pain started to change. I knew in my gut (literally) something wasn’t quite right. I waddled down stairs. I had to wake up Annie and ask her what to do. On my way to her room one of the RA’s noticed me sitting on the couch (I had to take a break on my way to Annie’s room…). They asked how I was and I said “My gut hurts pretty badly” The RA said they could get me some pain killers and I agreed. After the RA handed me the pills, she went on her way and I continued on my long 25 yard journey to my sweethearts room.
Before I got to Annie’s room I decided maybe I could just call her instead of being in the girls hall (which was against the rules at that time of night). Well…. after the 11th call I decided I better knock on the door. When she answered I could see the panic in her eyes as I explained to her that in my best judgement I could use a hospital trip.
As we walked out I thought I also better update my father. So I called him and told him the situation. He told me ‘good luck, let me know what happens’. Sitting in Annie’s car we both realized that we had no clue where the hospital was…. we had been living there for almost 1.5 years. After a quick google search (shout out to google for being awesome and helping me adult and pass high school) We were on our way.
3:20 a.m. We limped into the ER where the hoodie wearing receptionist greeted us. I told her basically I felt like my insides were on fire, she replied with a “Ok” followed by “Do you have insurance? Whats your name social and bla bla bla. It so great that you gotta do some paper work before getting help. The next few moments of the night became a blur to me, The pain may have had something to do with that. I do remember having a male nurse that seemed to actually know more than the doctor. At least he thought he did. The doctor thought I had appendicitis. The nurse however was for sure certain that I was a drunk college student that mixed my drink with too much candy and sweets and should be sent home. The doctor gave in and sent me home saying “If its not better by tomorrow… come back”
Awesome right? Well I went back to college and tried to sleep. Instead I got a severe fever, I was shaking uncontrollable and needless to say didn’t get any sleep that night.
8:00 a.m. I woke up, and decided I needed to poop. And crazy enough after I did just that my pain went down by .01%. Improvement! But I did not feel better. If i sat I could feel somewhat normal but walking I could not even stand straight. After a botched breakfast attempt, Annie and I decided to go back to the ER where we were greeted with the same “do you have insurance, whats your name and social security number?” They always need to know they are gonna get paid before saving your life. Its just great, I always feel like I’m ordering food or signing off on a new car.
They sat me down and asked the same questions as the night before, and this time knowing I still felt like crap decided to run more tests on me. My tired self almost ruined that chance though. As I was sitting in the mos pain free position on the ER bed the doctor asked me what my pain level was on a scale from 1 to 10. I calculated in my mind that for the current setting and time I was at a 2….. yes a 2. Annie almost slapped me into a 200 knowing I was more at like a 50 out of 10. Biggest blunder of my life? Maybe.
They finally diagnosed me with appendicitis. The big question was how far along was I? Well considering the urgency of the surgical staff that stole me away from the dumbest set of ER staff I have ever seen, I was guessing pretty badly. I was ready for surgery a few minutes later. Under I went.
Now this is the fun part of the story. I was basically high as a kite from here until I went back to school. I was groggy, tired, and polite. Pretty sure I was silly too. I guess the doctors told Annie that they had a hard time cleaning out the infection because my appendix had burst. I wasn’t very far away from being in really bad shape if not dead. But at the moment I wasn’t concerned, instead I was more interested in telling Annie how pretty she was and letting her style my hair like an old man.
The next few days recovery came, I was allowed back to school where I immediately jumped to catch up on my homework as well as try to keep on track. I went to at least one photo shoot still unable to lift 5 pounds and still high on pain meds. Still nailed the shoot and walked away with an A. If that isn’t a measure of how your chosen career field is right for you then I don’t know what is. Maybe they should drug all applicants to see their true character before hiring? Just a thought.
In the end, I almost died. I felt the strongest scale 2 pain in the history of 2’s, and had a wicked story to tell. Moral of the story, know where the hospital is in your home town, don’t mistake a good poop as a solution to your health issues and never ever ever have appendicitis on a major holiday. They will think you just drank too much.
Enjoy Halloween! I for one will be handing out candy to all the neighborhood kids in my viking costume. from the worst Halloween ever to the best!