Saturday, December 24, 2011

A December to remember

Happy holidays!  Okay, right off the bat -- I hope the title of this post didn't mislead you into thinking that I'm going to give you an exorbitant luxury car with a big red bow on it.  No, it's just my way of summing up a month that... well, let's just say bring on 2012, okay? 

December started off uneventfully, but I woke up on Sunday, December 4th feeling really lousy -- zero appetite, totally exhausted, feeling like I was getting a cold.  After sleeping half the day away, I awoke the next day with the same symptoms but now with an added bonus -- an odd pain in the right side of my abdomen.  Uh-oh... is this what appendicitis feels like?  I dunno, I've never had it before!  But the pain didn't have me doubled over or anything, it was just... weird.  So I vowed that if I still felt bad the next day I'd make an appointment with my primary care doctor, which I did for the following afternoon (Wednesday).  My doc, who I love dearly, wasn't available, so I saw her nurse-practitioner -- a rather brusk Russian woman who, upon hearing my symptoms, was convinced that I had a case of salmonella!  That sure didn't seem right to me, so I started asking, "Could it be my appendix?"  She stuck to her salmonella guns and was about to write me a prescription for an antibiotic when I adamantly suggested that she really should be checking my appendix. Her response: " (sigh) Okay, lie back on the exam table." Her: Poke, poke, poke. Me: "Ow! Ow! Ow!"

Suddenly she sent me across the street to the hospital for a STAT CT scan, then it was right back across the street to my doc (who. thankfully, was now in the office) to get the results -- congratulations, it's appendicitis!  (Oh, and a kidney infection to boot.)  Once again across the street to the ER, where I was admitted pronto, and a few hours later I was sans appendix.  Quite the whirlwind! 

Fortunately I bounced back from the surgery really quickly, with a little help from Vicodin and a lot of support from Steve.  I have a negligible 1 1/2-inch scar thanks to the expert work of my surgeon, Dr. Maki.  Even my nurses were remarking how teeny the incision was!  Within a week I had my surgical follow-up, which I passed with flying colors.  I felt fabulous!  And I was jonesing to get off my butt after doing pretty much nothing for a week and a half, so Dr. Maki cleared me for light exercise (walking, jogging, light weights).  I immediately treated myself to a 30-minute walk on a gloriously sunny afternoon.  Life was great! 

Wouldn't you know it?  The very next day I awoke with a wicked cold, which turned into my annual bout of laryngitis, which meant missing more work on top of the four days I had already missed due to the surgery.  But it was more than work that I was missing -- I  was stuck sleeping through all of the holiday hustle and bustle that we often complain about every December but, deep down, would be bummed about not being a part of.  Regrets were sent for holiday party invitations, Christmas cards remained naked and unsent, our apartment treeless and devoid of its usual holiday decorations.  Bah humbug.

Well, I'm pleased to announce that I'm feeling much better, just fighting through the last stubborn vestiges of my cold and now finally, on Christmas Eve, I'm jumping into the holidays with gusto!  Before I left for work today I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and the yummy beginnings of what will become candy cane truffles!  Yep, my inner Martha has been pent up all this time and ain't nobody gonna keep her down!

So if you were expecting me at your yuletide party or you were wondering why you didn't get my annual Christmas card, I hope you understand.  A big thanks to all of my family and friends who weighed in with well wishes.  And while December has more or less sucked for me until now, there were some amazing bright spots earlier in 2011.  Among them were my long-overdue graduation from Penn State and my joy in witnessing Steve triumphantly take on a second career in the wine industry.  And my fingers are crossed that I just may have a major announcement after the new year!  Can't say any more now, but check in same blog time, same blog station.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays... am I missing anything?  Oh yeah, thanks for reading my blog. :-)