Lessons we Learned from Appendicitis

This isn’t exactly fun to write about, but it shouldn’t go by unrecorded.

Just over three weeks ago I came home from class and found Jim curled up in a ball with stomach pains and a fever. I was immediately alarmed, but had no idea if this was a flu or food poisoning or something worse. I followed my first instinct and called my mom, because moms always know what to do. I’m also fortunate to have a friend whose husband is in a doctor that we were also able to consult. It took two conversations and about 10 minutes to determine that we were off to the hospital.

An unpleasant experience at best, it did make for some interesting observations and a few valuable lessons:

1. When you see someone writhing in pain with an incredibly high fever, you should definitely trust your instincts and take him to the ER.
2. Appendicitis isn’t always localized pain in the right side of your abdomen, it can hurt all over.
3. It’s always good to know where the closest hospital is to your home. By some stroke of luck I had looked this up a week before Jim got sick.
4. ERs are super creepy at night. Even when you’re not the sick one.
5. It’s not convenient to forget your health insurance card when you need surgery; fortunately the staff at St. Joe’s is very understanding.
6. A supreme level of irony can be attained by watching an episode of Scrubs while sitting in a hospital room.
7. There is nothing worse than watching someone you love suffer. Nothing. (Mom, Dad – I finally get how it was when I got sick as a kid).
8. As upset as I was sitting with Jim in the hospital, I was well aware that we were in a far more pleasant situation than the majority of other people there.
9. We’re grateful to have health insurance, and good insurance at that, but how is it that we owe over $3,000 for this?
10. I am not functional or pretty at 3:30 a.m.
11. Support and care from our friends and family meant to world to us.
12. Support and care can come from unexpected old friends (or rabbi’s).
13. It’s far more convenient to get appendicitis when you’re home, and not traveling in a remote area. We’re pretty lucky this didn’t happen in Belize last summer.
14. Boys, like puppies, are resilient. No matter what you throw at them, they always seem to bounce back with enthusiasm.

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3 thoughts on “Lessons we Learned from Appendicitis

  1. Thanks Jessica for a great list of emergency/hospital reminders. As to the $3000 owed, hospital bills are always shockers. Peter’s little fall off the cliff last September was an additional $4k that we hadn’t expected–and that was after insurance!!!! Here’s hoping you BOTH are recovering well.

  2. Yikes so glad you went to the ER! Scary! Hope he feels better soon. Also that comment you said about nothing worse than watching someone you love suffer, just wait til you have kids, it gets so much worse! 🙂 When I had kids is when I really understood what my parents went through with us. I will forever worry about them, its crazy. You think when you are in JH or HS that your parents don’t need to worry about us b/c we of course knew everything at that age, but oh man, when my kids are to that age that is when I will probably worry the most haha.

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