It comes in different forms, as different types. It can be a little. It can be a lot. It can be a result or a symptom – maybe even both. It can change a person’s priorities. It almost always catches you by surprise.
I consider myself a person in general good health. Of course I have some aches and pains from time to time but nothing that sends me running to the doctor. In fact, I kinda avoid doctors as much as possible. I tend to doctor myself. Usually it works like a charm.
A few months ago it was not the case.
The same day I returned from a week-long visit to family and friends I had lunch with my parents. Shortly after lunch I felt a bit uncomfortable – much like one does after overindulging at meal times. Nothing comes close to the meals our mothers make, right?! It was not the first time I had this feeling and I didn’t think anything of it.
Over the course of a few hours my body doled out pain that ranged from a bit uncomfortable to extremely uncomfortable. None of my little self-help medications seemed to do the trick. When the pain got to the stage where it roused me from sleep I decided that it can’t hurt to run my symptoms by someone else before I taking more medication.
Long story short – after talking to my mom and my sister (who also happens to be a nurse) I ended up going to hospital. Turned out that my appendix was acting up, although I wasn’t diagnosed with appendicitis until the following afternoon.
I must confess that pain has a really strange effect on me. Or maybe it’s the medication they gave me at the clinic and hospital? If you’ve ever been around medical people you’ll know that they have a more clinical way of looking at the human body. That doesn’t mean that we feel the same way. At least, I find it difficult to objectify my body. But at some point during that 48 hours I stopped caring about being self-conscious, about enema and all the rest. I just really needed the pain to go away.
I suffered a little set back after my initial hospital stay. I was home only a couple of days. Again after lunch time (weird coincidence?) I got a really bad pain attack. It was much much worse than the appendicitis attack. The surgeon suspected infection and I went back to hospital for a longer stay and a very strong dose of antibiotics.
I’m blessedly good as new after a four-week recovery time and were able to return to work. Having my appendix removed was the only serious operation I had in my forty years and it took me a while to get back into a normal routine. One probably doesn’t think about it but things like this does have a psychological impact and it is important to take the time to come to grips with it.