The Saga of the Bad Appendix by Erin Rogers

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Saga of the Bad Appendix
By Erin Rogers

It all began on the afternoon of Saturday, October 22nd.  We were in Michigan for a show we were really excited about with Hope Community Church.  It was their fall harvest festival, complete with potluck, games, and live music by Scenic Roots.  We had a marvelous time with everyone.  The food was delicious and the fellowship was sweet.  And then my stomach started to feel a little upset.  “No big deal,” I thought as I took a couple of Tums and a probiotic.  With all the traveling and different kinds of food we eat on the road, we weren’t surprised by a little upset tummy.

Following our concert, a family invited us to their home for a yummy homecooked meal.  By the end of the meal, my stomach was a little grumpier, but I still thought I would be fine.  I would just go to bed early and sleep off whatever was making it angry.  We arrived at our host home for the night and I laid down rest for a few minutes before getting up to shower and tie up the loose ends from the day.  I wanted to have everything ready for our 5am departure the next morning.  Unfortunately, things did not go according to my plans!

I never made it out of bed that night, except to throw up every couple of hours.  Gross!  I was quite thankful that the bathroom wasn’t very far from the guest bedroom where Amber and I were staying!  By morning, we made the call to cancel our two Sunday shows, which was a big disappointment for both of us.  It’s easier to make that call when you can’t stop throwing up though.  Our host family was incredibly gracious and made us feel as much at home as possible when you’re far from home.

It also turned out that our host mom, Debbie, was a pediatrician!  She came up to check on me several times throughout the day on Sunday.  By mid-afternoon when I had barely kept any liquids down, was complaining of intense pain in my abdomen, and started running a low-grade fever, she recommended that we make a trip to the Emergency Room.

What happened from there is a bit of a blur.  There was a LONG wait to get into a room, but they got me started on IV fluids and a shot of morphine while I waited.  The attending physician in the ER thought my symptoms sounded like a bad appendix from the get-go and ordered an ultrasound to be sure.  I thought I might die while they pressed the ultrasound tool deep into my abdomen, but a little more morphine kept me happy. Sure enough, my appendix was having a bad day, a very bad day.  It needed to come out as soon as possible.  I went into surgery around 2am and was out by 4am.

Meanwhile, our host family went above and beyond to make sure we were well-attended.  Dr. Debbie took us to the hospital she works at and made sure she knew the attending doctors on-call that night.  She helped us through the check-in process and sat with us right up until they took me to get the ultra sound.  Another young couple  from the church, Daniel and Yohanna (sp?), came to sit with us when she left, and Yohanna was a nurse practitioner!  They brought me a teddy bear to snuggle with and some comic books to keep our minds occupied.  Pastor Paul from the church also came by to visit and pray with us before I went into surgery.

Dr. Debbie came back to check on us one more time before my surgery.  She told us that the surgeon on call is her favorite surgeon in the entire hospital– a Christian and very skilled and experienced physician.  That was reassuring.  Yohanna stayed through the night to sit with Amber while I was in surgery.  She also came back the next morning to relieve Amber for a few hours so she could take a shower and grab a nap in a real bed (as opposed to uncomfortable hospital chairs).  Several church members called to check on me while I was in the hospital as well.

I was released from the hospital on Monday afternoon.  Our amazing host family once again opened their home to us so we could spend Monday night in Michigan. Our friend, Sterling, from Nashville was able to fly in to the Detroit airport on Monday evening so he could help us drive home.  Pastor Paul came by for another visit and brought me a happy Tweety Bird balloon (have you seen our Tweety seat covers in the van?!).

We set out for the trip home late Tuesday morning, spent the night in a random hotel along the way Tuesday night, and made it home on Wednesday evening.  Sterling flew back to Nashville bright and early Friday morning, and the saga of the bad appendix came to an end.

As difficult as this little “bump in the road” was, we felt so blessed to be where we were.  If we couldn’t be at home, we were in the next best place.  Here’s a big thank-you to everyone in Michigan who took such good care of us!  We’ll never forget our first ever trip to your great state!

We did have to cancel all of the remaining shows on our fall tour.  We were definitely bummed to have to make that decision, but my body appreciated the time of rest.  I have recovered well with lots of TLC from my family and sleeping in my own bed.  I am, however, eager to get back out there and make some music– shows resumeNovember 15th!  See you down the road!

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