Monday, October 20, 2008

On Appendices

In a book, an appendix is usually a little bit of text at the end which elaborates on a specific aspect of the work, or gives a bit of extra clarification. It isn't complete necessary, or else it'd be in the text proper, but it is usually good to have, and helps give some good context to the main text. I sometimes read the appendices to books or papers, especially if they look interesting, but mostly I just leave them be.

The appendix in the human body is similar. It's little appendage connected to the large intestine near the it's junction with the small intestine. Nobody is really quite sure what this finger-sized organ does, though recent studies suggest that it keeps a "backup copy" of the bacteria which as needed for proper gastrointestinal function. Because of humans' extensive social interaction these days, we can usually get new flora from other people if we need it, so the appendix is really a bit redundant, though it usually gives people no trouble, myself included.

Until today.

I woke early this morning to a dull pain in my gut, and could not get back to sleep. After a couple of hours, I called the nurse helpline at the student health center, and was referred to the urgent care clinic which opened at 8am. I also called a couple brethren from Church to bless me, which turned out to be a wise idea. After poking and prodding at the urgent care, they referred me to the hospital with possible appendicitis. By this point the pain was starting to localize, and it was also a bit intense at times.

After meeting the surgeon, who poked and prodded even more, we decided to proceed with a laproscopic appendectomy. It took a bunch of waiting around, but eventually an operating room opened up, and the surgeon was able to remove my appendix. Things are settling down now, and I'm recovering, but it's been a long day with lots of poking and prodding. Heather has been a great support, as always, I think I'll be able to go home tomorrow. If nothing else, this has sure helped cure my jet lag from last week's trip to Germany!

And now I don't have to feel so guilty about not reading appendices in the future.


Anonymous said...

Yowch! That's pretty crazy that you went to bed last night feeling fine, and you're going to bed tonight with one less internal organ.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a crazy day! Here's to a swift recovery.

-Russ & SJ

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what's even more crazy is that it happened less than 3 days after getting back from being overseas. Someone sure is watching out for me!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank goodness that did not happen when we were in Germany last week. So you are back home already? Did not even need to spend a night in the hospital? Medicine is amazing sometimes. I remember my Dad coming home with about a 6-inch scar in his gut when he had his out.

Get well. Feel free to push off that SVN 1.5.4 release another week.

Anonymous said...

Hope it wasn't something you ate. (*cmpilato eyes "Bernie's Noodle Plate" suspiciously...) Recover soon, dude!

Anonymous said...

Yikes. Not fun. Glad that you are getting better. Still waiting for pictures of Jonathan.

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad the doctor didn't let him bring it home.