So, just thought I’d better update people as a number of you became quite concerned after my last post, with its mention of appendicitis (something I’d previously known exactly nothing about).
It ended up being a tiring, challenging, stressful and scary week. I could not really stay home and rest as it’s end of term and there was so much to do be done. I continued sick, with the pain in my stomach having moved down to the right side of my belly, causing the appendicitis scare. The whole purging thing didn’t let up and I couldn’t eat at all until last night (Tuesday) so i was not only losing weight but energy. For a while I didn’t even want to drink and got a bit dehydrated. I know that’s the critical thing – not to get dehydrated – but putting anything at all inside of me caused so much discomfort, I just didn’t want to, no matter how much people lectured me.
Anyway, life continued; exams were held, marking began, grades were documented, etc., etc. and I just dragged myself through it in a kind of dumb, numb fog. Meanwhile, the kind and caring Dr. Dara continued to come to my office on a daily basis to ask how I was, even performing private examinations in my office, with the ever-efficient Heidi there, and sometimes Dr. Dara’s lovely wife, Dr. Noura. On Sunday, the doctor believed (along with my research teams: a) Heidi and her American doctor friends she skyped with daily and b) our friend Eric in Vancouver who was consulting with his father in Saskatchewan who’s a doctor) that I almost definitely had acute appendicitis and must be hospitalized and probably operated on – or at the very least – have intense anti-biotics injected into my insides (both of which appalled and, in the former case, scared me).
And, no time to think it through it seemed; if the thing bursts, “horror story”, followed by “alternate horror story”. So, I was in an uncharacteristically dreary, woe-is-me kind of state, I confess, and not a happy bunny at all. It had been initially decided by the local team of Dr. Dara and Heidi, with me, nodding unhappily in the background, that the team would go to the hospital for further tests on Sunday after the Writing exam. Then, upon further consultation, it was decided that since we’d waited this long and there was no fever or acute pain (just intermittent pain and general malaise – but that didn’t factor into the emergency aspect of things), we would go on Monday.
So, on Sunday evening, Heidi came down to check on me as Dr. Noura had called her instead of me: “we don’t want to disturb her” to find out how I was: was I eating anything? was I drinking juice and not just water? and… how was the pain? has it worsened? They were all talking about my needing nourishment, as was the facebook friend I was chatting with, but… I couldn’t eat yet…just couldn’t. This degree of kindness and solicitude was very much appreciated, even comforting, as I was still feeling pretty upset, no – panicked – to be accurate, about going to the hospital to be admitted.
The next day was the grammar test and after the invigilating, I went back to my office to meet with Dr. Dara and, I thought, be accompanied to the hospital by him. And there, as Heidi cracked her gum and worked on her computer, as a student helped me with my excel spreadsheet formulas, Dr. D came in and started asking me his many questions, and when I answered him about where it was hurting now (and not as much) he realized that, whoa!, it seems to have moved over to the other side of the belly where…………………… drum roll…………………it can’t be appendicitis! Maybe a paltry little inflamed bowel part or something but not the life-threatening bogey-man everyone had been talking about.
I actually started to breathe properly again.
The sense of relief I felt was like I’d been bound to the ground by some horribly heavy weight and now, all of a sudden, the weight was being lifted and I began to feel lighter and lighter. Dr. D. talked on, lectured me a bit on eating properly and then told me that he was there for me; I only had to call and he would help me with anything.
I felt like I’d won the lottery. No compulsory hospital visit, no forced antibiotics that would destroy my immune system and, best of all, no surgery plus immune-destroying antibiotics. That evening when I got home. I started to feel a little better and had some rice cakes with peanut butter and chamomile tea with honey while I did my marking.
Tuesday was the Reading exam and the students’ final day; certificates were handed out, photos were taken and, after having tea with one of my classes, I began to feel much revived, happier and almost back to normal. In the evening, as I finally felt like I had a bit of energy, I made myself a small pot of vegetable soup in chicken broth and ate a couple of small bowls of it.
Then, this morning, (Wednesday, a week after the chicken) I had an egg before going to work and at work I had a vegetable / meat stew thing with salad, all reasonably sensible choices. Mid-afternoon, however, my new-found sense of well-being led me to a bit of nutrition-foolishness and I ate some cake smothered in whipping cream (hello? aren’t you dairy and wheat intolerant?) that had been bought for us to celebrate the end of term. And then, tonight, apparently not quite over my foolishness and feeling quite heady with being out in the world, I went out for dinner and had a “grilled cheese salad”. Turns out to be a salad with a bunch of fried halloumi in it. Probably not just what the doctor would have ordered but it was CRAZY good and I relished it.
So, all is well now; I’m almost entirely back to normal and if I don’t slow down on the eating, I’ll be getting fat.
Just so my home people know, I am in very good hands here and am so deeply appreciative of my new doctor friends, Dara and Noura. They came again today (with their adorable 6 month old baby) to check on me in my office.
And to my friends here who either helped me navigate the system, or who hugged me, or listened to me or brought me Ester-C and told me I could call anytime of the day or night, thank you. I love and appreciate you very much 🙂
And now, a photo of my Level 3, Section 6 Grammar class, with their certificates: