Monday, 24 November 2008

Appendix problems

My Darling, Jira, has a history of intermittent heartburn and indigestion and last wednesday she started complaining about stomach pain and I thought "Ohhh, here we go again". Jira is particular that she can't drink any stomach tonics nor chew any medicines for stomach, so it's difficult to suggest treatments. It is also not easy to get stomach friendly foods here in Thailand as many dishes are stir fried and has loads of chillies....

Anyways, she was getting bad and thursday morning she was a bit better but after breakfast she got worse. She called a Doctor that recommended to take Ponstan painkillers. Ok, we got some of those and the pain was relieved a bit. For those who don't know, Ponstan is a painkiller that is somewhere in the middle of aspirin and morphine, lol. Ponstan's took her through thursday.

I consulted the Shipcaptain's Medical Guide and there was all the ailments that one could suspect. I was reading abt peritonitis, appendicitis, severe indigestion etc. There was even a chart showing where the pain is and a probable diagnosis, none of them fit Jira's pain description.

Friday morning she woke up feeling better but after breakfast Jira was saying her belly hurts more and I had a look. The whole belly looked a bit swollen, but she said the pain was on the left side only. At noon I said it is better to go and see a Doctor as she was not getting any better so she called a friend to pick her up. She left for the Phuket International Hospital and after a few hours she called back and said she had been diagnosed with appendicitis.

Not surprising as I can recall the Teacher from my medical classes that appendicitis can have quite different symptoms than the "school book" example: "the pain starts at the bellybutton and moves down to the right of the abdomen". E.g. my ex-wife Tiina-Maria told me that when she got appendicitis she was having dinner at a restaurant and woke up a day later in hospital with a stitched hole in the side. She had just fainted and was taken by ambulance to hospital where they discovered her appendicitis, operated her and she woke up after anesthesia.

To get back to the story, Jira called me after an hour again and told that she has been admitted to the Phuket Mission Hospital and asked if I could come and see her. Unfortunately my work held me up late and arrived at the hospital when she was already under the knife. Her friend Ying was holding her personal belongings and we waited for abt an hour when Jira was wheeled out of ICU to the hospital room at abt 7 pm. She was totally "out" from the anesthesia and was gradually waking up and nodding off. At 9pm her mother and brother came from Trang to see her, it was not much interaction as she was still groggy from anesthesia. At abt 10pm the relatives left back for home and at shortly after she was waking up and complaining of pain and I called the nurse that shot her up with a painkiller with same strength as Morphine.

After abt six hours she was given another shot. My nights sleep was very sporadic as nurses came and went checking bloodpressure, temperature, trip and whatnot, then Jira had a call of nature, I got up and stumbled to the toilet for the bedpan and after all was done did cleanup with a moist cloth. At 5.30am saturday lights came on and a new day started, Jira was saying she is getting hunger pangs as she has nothing in her belly. Nurses warned that she can't drink anything, only nutrition was by trip, her abdomen was still swollen.

During the day Jira received several bottles of liquid penicillin. In the morning at 9.30 am the Doctor cam on his rounds and checked Jira, he said the appendix had already burst when he had operated and that she was very brave to have been able to suffer for 3 days before seeing a Doctor. I agree. However he was not letting her out yet as there was still a risk of inflammation in the abdominal cavity. In the afternoon her son Ki came from Surat Thani to see how his mother is faring and in the afternoon some of my Indian crew went to wish her well and brought a lovely flower basket. The day went and evening came and Doctor gave permission to drink water. What a relief after all those hours with an itching, dry throat and no way to cough as the abs were cut open.

At home with all the "get well" flowers

Come Sunday and Jira could already take shower by herself, the abdominal swelling had gone down and in the afternoon the Doctor let me take Jira home. The whole bill came to 41.000THB (~1000 USD). She got a whole bagful of meds to eat and a follow up check after a week. In the afternoon my Filipino stewardesses visited and brought more flowers for Jira. Today Jira is well on the road of recovery and I am so happy for that.


Ravindranath said...

Hello, I hope Jira might have recovered well by this time and be playful with her kids.May God bless her!.

Dr Ravindranath Gollar

Jinggo said...

Hi Jari,

Best wishes for Jira. Do hope she'll recover fully.

Best of Luck also for the trip to India and BE CAREFUL !!


NB : Captain can play golf on board, you know ! ;-)

Cybercaptain said...

Can only play hole-in-one onboard ;)