Update on Shauna's Condition

The good news is that she's doing okay so far. She's still in a bit of pain, but she's alert and coherent despite the various painkillers she's been taken. Here's the deal on what went down.

She started feeling a little "off" Thursday night while we were still in Florence. On Saturday, when we were getting ready to fly back, is when the real pain started. At the time, she figured it was just gas or some kind of intestinal bug. When we got back to SLC, she took some medications to try and ease her tummy before we went to bed.

Shauna wasn't feeling a whole lot better on Sunday, so we went to an urgent care. They checked her out and scheduled an ultrasound to check her gallbladder, what they thought was the cause of the problem. That didn't get done until Tuesday morning. By that afternoon, the office had called Shauna and told her that her gallbladder and kidneys looked just fine. They then advised her to follow up with a gastroenterologist or her normal GP. Given the impossibilitude of getting an appointment that week and the severity of the pain, we decided to hit up the ER instead.

We got there around 7PM on Tuesday. After about 4.5 hours of waiting, we got into a room in the ER. By 3:30AM, they had finished doing a CAT scan and had found that her appendix was "gnarly" in the words of the dude looking at it. By that time, neither of us had gotten much sleep. I went home to get some sleep before heading back later that day. I hadn't been asleep more than about an hour when Shauna gave me a call to let me know that her appendix was actually ruptured and that they were prepping her for surgery right then.

Needless to say, I was pretty freaked out at this point. I threw together a "go bag" and zipped down to the hospital at well above the speed limit. (It's entirely possible I violated provisions of the Geneva Convention to boot.) I got to the hospital around 6:30AM and had to sit in the surgery waiting room for an hour and a half before I knew anything. I don't think I've been any more scared in my life, but there were some very kind strangers who comforted me the whole time. (Mrs. Donaldson, thanks for the Dr. Pepper; I hope that neck surgery worked out for your hubby!)

I sat down with the doctor around 8:30AM to find out what had happened. Shauna's ruptured appendix was about the size of a baseball and hard as a rock, so laroscopy wasn't feasible. Because of the extent of the damage, they also had to remove a piece of her colon which, by Dr. Smith's description, looked like it had been "chewed on by a dog". I finally got to see her around 9:30AM when they wheeled her into her room.

They're probably going to hold her for a few more days until they're sure she's healed sufficiently. Because of the colon issues, she can't eat food until that has properly healed up or it'll go totally septic. In the meantime, they have her on an IV with plenty of painkillers and antibiotics.

I really appreciate all of you who have stopped by, sent flowers and even kept our dogs company. I don't know where I'd be right now without friends and family like you. 

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9 Responses

  1. Kristi says:

    Holy crap that is so scary! I’m so glad she’s okay (relatively). We love you guys! You’re in our prayers.

  2. AAAH!


    WHAT THE HECK, APPENDIX?? Can’t they just stay, you know, where they are… and not rupture and chew on people’s colons?

    I mean, seriously. An internal organ that, for no reason at all, just starts freaking out and messing up the rest of your guts? That SUCKS.

    Thank goodness you went to ER.

    That’s so scary.

  3. Jason says:

    That’s what friends are for.

    (Pardon the Dionne Warwick lyrics.)

  4. Jenn says:

    Wow to go from the size of your pinky to the size of a baseball is pretty bad. Let me know if you need me to run over to walk the dogs.. or if you need anything else.

  5. bestsariah says:

    Holy. That is so scary! There was a Different Strokes episode about that, and they said you can die from a ruptured appendix. I can’t believe it took so long for them to figure out what was wrong. I wish I was in your country so I could help out!

  6. Jesse says:

    The doctor said that she would’ve been dead by Sunday had she not had it taken out. Now imagine that I get woken up with a call from Shauna after a whole hour of sleep to relate this to me. It’s probably obvious why I was freaking out on Wednesday morning.

    On a positive note, we leave the hospital today! Yay!

  7. Vanessa says:

    I am SO glad to hear that she’s able to go home!

  8. Shannon says:

    I’m glad that you got to the hospital when you did! Get better soon! Damn Europeans are always causing people to get ill!

  9. Kipluck says:


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