Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Adventures in Appendicitis

Looking pretty happy for a guy in a backless dress! (thanks Gina for the title,lol)

The last four days was spent learning a lot about the mindset of the medical establishment. That mindset for the most part is very closed. After having a crazy big meal on Friday night that included Sushi, alcohol and the biggest bowl of ice cream ever, my hubby developed appendicitis. On Saturday, he felt like throwing up but forced himself not to. Perhaps if he did, whatever toxin was coursing through is body would have been expelled. By Sunday, he was running a bit of a fever and complaining of pain in the lower right area of his stomach. I've dealt with gastro issues my whole life and I knew how to deal with inflammation so I got him started on certain teas and citrus to basically help clean out whatever toxin was attacking his appendix. However, we felt he should probably go have a cat scan to make sure it wasn't burst so we went to the emergency room at the local hospital where he had bloodwork done and the cat scan. He had already begun to feel better by this time, his pain having lessened quite a bit over night. My hubby is involved in the health care industry and as someone who is vice-president of a company that creates software for home-health care and nursing homes, he has a bit of insight to new research and findings. He had spent the whole weekend researching appendicitis and discovered a recent study in the Harvard Medical Journal as well as a few other studies that showed two-thirds of appendectomies were unnecessary and that an antibiotic therapy was more effective. Recent studies also show that the appendix is not a useless organ but that it helps to produce good gut bacteria.
Here is a recent blog article about the research.

So, what did all this mean? It meant that we were going to be met with skepticism, condescension and rudeness that really shocked me. They immediately checked my hubby into the hospital and began prepping him for surgery. We protested. The cat scan showed only a thickening of the wall area around the appendicitis. There was no perforation, no tear, no abscesses, no blockages. We opted for antibiotic therapy but no one would even consider that. They sent surgeon after surgeon down to scare the crap out of him. One surgeon even said in a condescending manner "I don't care what your little computer says there but I have 30 years experience". Not one of them would even look at the research. They refused to give him food or water. During this time, he began to feel better and better, the pain lessening even more. Even after signing the form to refuse the surgery, they refused to check him out or give him anything to eat or drink. And they still sent surgeons down to tell him how stupid he was. Finally, he checked himself out and we decided the next day to go to our regular doctors office and see if he would get him on the antibiotics.

The next morning, when we showed up at our primary care doctors office, they refused to even talk to us saying that neither of us had been there in three years (I'm sorry! Punish us for being healthy why don't you!!) and that he should just go to the hospital. When I saw my doctor through the window I tried to say something but the receptionist closed the window in my face. We stood there in the waiting room for a few minutes trying to decide what our next plan was when suddenly the window opened and the receptionist said "Why are you still standing in our office? You need to leave." Well, I was forced to call her a bitch, which I did quite loudly. This is my husband and I'm a she-tiger when it comes to him...don't mess with me when it comes to the love of my life! Needless to say, we'll need to find a new primary care physician and I probably won't be getting my medical records anytime soon. :-)

Finally, we ended up at The Cleveland Clinic, a top-rated clinic that is also a research hospital. We hoped they would be open-minded. And they were. Our surgeon was from China and he was aware of the research. The USA healthcare system is very behind compared to other countries. At Cleveland Clinic, we were treated with respect, they looked over the research and after a blood work-up that showed everything functioning normal, they hooked him up to IV's and began the antibiotic treatment which they agreed was the best course of action in his case. He is now home and we can look back and laugh about our adventure to take on the medical establishment. Still, it's not over. We have to make sure he introduces food back in slowly and he finishes his oral antibiotics. The only way we will have truly beaten the establishment is if we are successful in NOT having to go back. But we learned that you really have to stick to your guns. YOU are responsible for your health care and YOU have a right to have all options available to you before you make a decision.

Finally at the Cleveland Clinic! Another bonus of this locale? All the doctors were McDreamies!

The main thing you do in hospitals is wait, so of course I had to snap a few pics with the Hipsta:



 Yay! Intravenous antibiotics and perfect blood work!

 Going Down

Hospitals are creepy.

Homeward Bound!

A celebratory selfie of a good team!

 Cloud Reflections

Someone is very happy to be home! 


Catherine... said...

Hi Laura, so glad everything is ok. My daughter nearly had her appendix whipped out...the nurses and emergency team had her preped and ready to go, when the Dr looked at her scan properly he discovered that it wasn't her appendix giving her the pain it was an egg that had burst through the wall of her womb. Very very painful but not a problem. She was only 13 at the time, very scared and in alot of pain, the nurse told her not to be such a cry baby. Mother tiger here was not pleased and showed a fang or two... the nurse thought my daughter was older than she was. Still no excuse. When your in pain I think it's normal to cry. My daughter was crying silently, she wasn't making any noise. (I taught my girls from a very early age to cry quietly...I couldn't stand the noise they made.) Anyway. good for you for sticking up for yourselves...I hope you go back to the hospital and let them know that your little computer was right... :) take care, hugs Catherine

mom said...

I am glad my She Lion(my daughter) knows not to back down from the medical establishment when our family has strong women who know their bodies and we will protect the love of our life/soulmate with claws and always the media as a backer because no hospital wants the media in their face looking over their practices and faclities. Glad you are home Charlie and I told your experience to Dad so he didn't over eat when we went to the Golden Dragon yesterday as he hates hospitals and KS has Hept C on the loose.

Laura said...

Thanks Catherine! Wow, that sure does sound scary what happened to your daughter. And to be so young going through that. So glad it all turned out okay!

Thanks Mom! So glad our experience may help dad not to over eat,lol.

phoebe said...

Ok, I wrote a big long comment and when I tried to post it I got an error message :(
So this time no big long comment, sorry, but I will say that I'm glad that Charlie is ok and that you were so strong in the face of opposition and I'm sorry that you had to deal with so many assholes along the way!

Floyd V. Doc DeVore said...

Great post.

Laura said...

Thanks Phoebe! Charlie is doing much better today. We ended up going back in because the antibiotics were making him sick but he got a good-to-go report and was able to stop them a bit early.

Thanks Doc! Having this post will be good for future reminders NOT to overeat,lol.