WSAW - Blogs - Jeff Thelen

As They Say on M*A*S*H... "Best Care Anywhere"

So, Saturday morning at 4am I wake up with a pain in my side like I've never felt before. I tried laying in bed for a while, taking a pain pill left over from hurting my back in January, eating chocolate (I was desperate!) and a couple other things, but after a few hours of doubling over in my kitchen, I finally gave up. I called a buddy to take me to the walk in clinic the minute they opened up. He didn't ask any questions and just drove me right over there. He even said if any of the waves of nausea I was feeling did result in me throwing up all over his SUV, I shouldn't worry about it, the leather seats could be cleaned.

At the walk-in clinic they rushed me right to the exam room. (sorry, to all the other people who were waiting there before me) The same Doc who treated me when I hurt my back sent me immediately over to the ER to get some tests.

There, some morphine finally took the pain away. That was followed by a cat scan and a surgeon coming in to say even though the pain wasn't in the classic area of an appendix, it was probably an appendicitis. Well, after a day of pain and drugs causing me to be woozy, I bolted right to attention when he mentioned surgery. Visions of missing at least of week of work, huge doctor bills, a catheter, spring work around the house being delayed, my dog going unwalked and all the other worries that go with an operation all dashed through my head. Then, I sat in amazement as he explained that an appendectomy is now laproscopic and I would probably be out of the hospital by the end of the day. Remarkable!

I was wheeled from the ER just before 2pm and the last thing I remember is the mask going over my mouth and nose as the anesthesiologist said take a deep breath. Then, I woke up in the recovery room noticing that while the three little incision from the surgery hurt a little bit, the pain in my side was gone. Fantastic! I was wheeled out of the hospital by 4:30pm was eating a cup of chicken noodle soup (hay, it cures everything) by 6pm.

Wednesday I came back to work, but as the day wore on, I felt more and more light-headed. As it continued the next morning I went back to the doctor. Turns out I had low blood pressure and they cut my blood pressure medication in half. By the next Sunday I was back to normal. (or as normal as I'll ever be)

That's the bread and butter or nuts and bolts of the story. Here's the more touching stuff.

First, to all the folks at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

The ladies at the front desk who checked me in... the nurse who took me to the little room in the ER... the nurse who gave me the meds that finally got rid of the pain... the young ER doctor who ordered the CAT scan... the technician who gave me the scan (and let me tell you, part of the preparation for the procedure was not pleasant for either one of us)... the nurses who wheeled me to the operating room... the anesthesiologist who told me to take a deep breath and put me to sleep... the nurses who gently woke me from the sleep and help me get ready to leave afterward... and the surgeon who explained to me what was causing my pain and eventually got it out of my aching body. You are the best! You were professional, kind, helpful, gentle and laughed at my jokes that were probably even less funny than normal because I was in pain or on painkillers. God bless every single one of you! It's no wonder you always make those lists of best hospitals in the nation.

Now, to my family and friends.

My Mom and Dad were already headed up to help with a painting project that morning. Not only did they hold my hand through the medical emergency, they managed to get the painting project all done, shampoo the rug in the room that was painted while the furniture was out and do my grocery shopping for me. I love you! My friend Al who didn't think twice about carting my hurting butt to the ER. My friends Al and Sue who didn't think twice about coming over the next day to help my Dad paint while I sat in my easy chair, recovering from surgery. I love you guys, too! My friends Al, Mikel and Chris (who also helped my Dad paint) who helped move the furniture back in the room after it was painted, again while I watched from my easy chair. And to Jason, Lucas and Ben who helped me move the furniture out of the room to be painted before I knew my appendix would turn into an enemy of my well-being. I like you guys a lot! (trust me, these guys would be wierded out if I told them I loved them)

Seriously, I'm blessed with the best family, friends and medical care anywhere.

J

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