This week marks 10 years without my appendix.
If we lived in medieval times I’d definitely be dead. That’s a weird thought.
Modern medicine (whilst still having a way to go in finding cures for all the bad shit) isn’t half bad sometimes. Nor is the NHS. It’s thanks to them, alongside Lancaster Royal Infirmary, that I’m here today (dramatic.)
The story of my appendicitis isn’t a wildly exciting one, but it’s really an ode to the NHS. They are wholly brilliant. I experienced fantastic care whilst in hospital, and even got my own room at one point during my stay!
Having spent a day off university in absolute agony, vomiting copiously (fun fact: bile really is fairy fluorescent green) my university housemates returned home from lectures and decided I could probably do with a visit to the out of hours doctors. One taxi journey and some agonised screaming later and I was in a second taxi on my way to hospital; the lovely doctor already having called ahead to warn of my impending arrival.
During this taxi journey I called my mum:
“I’m on my way to hospital, they think I’ve got appendicitis.”
“Don’t be ridiculous; you’d know if you had appendicitis. It’s probably just a bad hangover or alcohol poisoning.”
Oh the faith she had in me. In my mum’s defence I spent quite a bit of university drinking heavily, so her assumptions weren’t unfounded. She has, however, yet to live it down that she didn’t believe me.
The following day, after being attached to a drip, having x-rays and generally being poked and prodded by a range of medical professionals I was informed that I had appendicitis and that they’d be operating on me later that day. An overly dramatic, tearful phone call home ensured my mum was on her way from Yorkshire to Lancashire fairly quickly.
After a little debacle (they didn’t believe I was old enough to sign my own operation consent form. Weirdos. I was 20) some visits from lovely university friends, and my first ever experience with morphine I was finally taken down to theatre.
I awoke, knickers under my pillow (carefully placed there by the nurse/surgeon?) to find that I no longer had an appendix. Which was fortunate as apparently by the time they’d got to the little bugger, it had perforated. That’s not a good thing for an appendix to do.
In my own room, attended to by amazing nurses I made a great recovery, aided by tiny shot glasses of morphine they provided to manage my pain. Under this influence I apparently made a phone call to my brother which I cannot remember at all. I think he said I was talking about dinosaurs. Go figure.
Anyway, it is thanks to the wonderful NHS that I received all this treatment without actually having to spend a penny. I really think it’s important that we support our NHS and all the genuinely brilliant people working for it. They are, quite literally, saving our arses. Cheers NHS.