by Jessica Moore-Irvin
Jessica is the founder of Old Town Yoga Studio in Ft. Collins, and a longtime friend-from-afar and supporter of elephant. “Elevision” is now known as elephantjournal.com’s “Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis”. ~ ed.
It all started one lovely afternoon. I was super thrilled because, for the first time since Elevision’s inception, I 1) had a sitter and 2) had an open night and my husband to accompany me. I didn’t know if I would be so bowled over from the event that I’d temporarily lose my ability to drive or not, so I needed an accomplice.
We were preparing to meet my parents in Longmont and drop my daughter off for the night. I started feeling a lot of sharp pressure in my lower abdomen so I took a bath and asked Jonathan (aforementioned husband) to help get Caley (11 month old) ready. I attributed the uncomfortable feeling to Mother Nature, although I wasn’t accustomed to these feelings. I had heard that these things change after having a baby so I thought that this was my time to experience such a thing.
We loaded up and I asked Jonathan to drive, which was abnormal for me since I normally have a need to be behind the wheel. The ride down from Fort Collins to Longmont was full of squirms and moans from the passenger seat. We met my parents and I could barely stand up upon greeting them. They were concerned, but I said that I really wanted to see my friend, Waylon, in action; so we ventured onward to Boulder. The next half of the ride was even more painful and I thought several times about turning around and going home. We finally arrived and the jolt of endorphins I received upon seeing the Boulder Theater helped me to get out of the car and make it to the entrance where we were very warmly welcomed.
I thought that I was out of the woods upon entering. We walked around the eco expo for a few minutes and Jonathan grabbed some eats at George’s. We both indulged in a glass of red wine, as I thought the wine would circumvent any additional pain.
I found a table for us in the far back of the theater and had a seat. I seem to remember some banter on the big Twitter behind you in reference to your shirt. I managed to make it about 15 minutes as you semi-expertly interviewed Paper Bird and, by the way, thanks for turning me onto them. Excellent!
Enter Hosea Rosenberg and exit me. I excused myself to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Not only did I look ghastly, but nausea had also set in. I stayed there for the longest five minutes of my life and hightailed it back to our table, promptly telling Jonathan that we needed to go to the hospital. You see, I had been through a partial natural labor only months before and this was beginning to feel just as scary and out of control as that experience, so I wasn’t about to wait for it to go away. I knew I needed professional help and wasn’t apprehensive about asking for it.
We ended up at the closest hospital around 9 pm: Boulder Community Hospital. It seemed like a slow night. The waiting room time seemed to take forever while my blood pressure was checked. I lost my cookies in the bathroom while waiting. My name was called and we were escorted into a small room with a sheet dividing us from the emergency room lack of chaos. I was attended to by a calm nurse and then a doctor. I turned into a wailing, moaning mess and asked for some pain relief. I was given something that didn’t do much at all and started to feel pretty hopeless. Another nurse came in and told me that I was going to be taken for a CT scan. I gladly complied and went into the CT room with her.
Then, she told me the next part which I would have laughed out loud at if I wasn’t so utterly miserable. I needed to 1) get an enema, 2) hold my breath and 3) get injected with something that was going to make me very hot and need to pee, all while going through the CT scan. Needless to say, not a pleasant experience. After I completed this test, the nurse seemed to soften toward me and told me to take my time getting dressed. I was wheeled back into the small room where my husband was waiting and a doctor came in to tell me that I had acute appendicitis and would need to have my appendix removed.
Honestly, at the time, I was both mortified that I was losing an organ, which I still believe has a purpose, and excited that this meant an end to the pain. I was given a large room, kind nurses and hooked up to an IV where I could push every 15 minutes if I so chose to get as much pain medication as I needed. And, I wasn’t afraid to use it. Jonathan slept beside me on the cot that was provided while I stared at the ceiling most of the night in another state of consciousness…feeling quite blissful, with an occasional amount of pressure.
In the morning, bright and early, I was wheeled out on my bed and introduced to the man that would be removing my appendix: Dr. Richard Fox. He had a bedside manner that put me at ease and I soon went into dreamland with the help of my new friend, the anesthesiologist….somehow, I’ve forgotten his name. I awoke while they were taking the tube out of my throat and was taken back to my room. I slept most of the day and was let out around 3 pm, appendixless—and pain free.
I will never forget May 6 and 7, and am determined to make it to another Elevision event and arrive back home with all of my organs intact!