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Left at the Altar

Monday, 22 September 2008

The Bride was attired in all her fine array. She arrived precisely on time. And I was not there to greet her. I was not there to greet the Sabbath Bride.

After a week of abdominal distress, PC went to the ER, where a contrast CT confirmed a ruptured appendix.

Let me back up a bit…

Saturday, September 13
We attend Pajama Havdallah at the shul and after a injesting several slices of pizza, PC remarks that his tummy doesn’t feel so terrific and perhaps the dairy is to blame.

Sunday, September 14
Delicious pastrami and beer at the shul’s annual poker tourney. PC remarks that his tummy is still bothering him…and perhaps the deli food is to blame.

Monday, September 15
No improvement.

Tuesday, September 16
PC has little appetite (which is out-of-character) and with no food to blame, calls the doctor. She’s booked for the day but advises him to visit the Urgent Care clinic. Based solely on verbal history and brief physical exam, a diagnosis is reached; gas. Remedy? Gas-X.

Wednesday, September 17 and Thursday, September 18
Stomach cramps worsen. Decreased appetite.

Friday, September 19
2:45pm PC calls me to report that the doctor, who is concerned that the symptoms have worsened, has advised him to go to the ER to rule out the following:
* appendicitis
* diverticulitis
* intestinal obstruction

2:45pm. On a FRIDAY afternoon. Terrific. As if Friday afternoons aren’t crazy enough with Shabbat preparation. Realizing that I would not be on the pulpit later in the evening, I made arrangements for my pulpit partner to cover my sections of the service.

5:20pm I arrive at the ER and meet up with PC, who is still hanging out in the ER waiting room. He is feeling fine…and just a little embarassed about the whole thing.

6:15pm The ER doc does the intake and initally suspects IBS. Low-grade fever along with a loss of appetite are inconsistent with that suspicion. Pain starts up again and within moments of palpating the abdomen, a preliminary diagnosis of appendicitis is given.

7:20pm Blood test reveals elevated white blood cells. Indication that there is infection. The doctor is 80% certain that appendicitis is the cause. PC’s pain worsens and pain medication is administered. It doesn’t take long to realize that PC is allergic to the medication. As in — bad reaction within 10 seconds of hitting bloodstream.

10:15pm A contrast CT confirms a ruptured appendix. IV antibiotics are started to avert further infection. We will be spending Shabbat in the hospital.

I suppose that most people would say that they lost their Friday night or they lost their Saturday while hanging around the hospital. For me, on top of the stress of having my husband undergo surgery to remove the ruptured appendix, I lost my Shabbat this week. Gone. No chance to renew. To refresh. To guard or to observe.

My Shabbat was spent in prayer, but not of the sort typically reserved for Yom Shabbat.

The operation was on Saturday. The surgeon had hoped to perform the appendectomy via laparoscope. After making the initial incision below the navel, a peek inside revealed a lot of gunk. [That is actually what the surgeon called it. There is most likely a medical term but I don’t know it.] So PC is now sporting a transverse incision in the lower right quandrant of his abdomen.

I thought that it was Tuesday all day today. Without Shabbat as my anchor, last week and this week blurred into one another. I hope to find my bearings soon.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 23 September 2008 6:39 am

    oy. hang in there.

    (great title tho!)

  2. knittnkitten permalink
    Tuesday, 23 September 2008 5:49 pm

    Sweetie, I’m sorry, hope PC feels better soon!

  3. Tuesday, 23 September 2008 10:14 pm

    Refuah Shleimah.

  4. Wednesday, 24 September 2008 4:01 pm

    Wishing PC a speedy recovery — let us know if you need anything. 🙂

  5. Thursday, 25 September 2008 4:46 pm

    Yikes! Hope PC feels better quick! Glad you guys got him there in time!

  6. meira permalink
    Monday, 29 September 2008 7:46 am

    I hope you both feel better soon.

    And may the New Year be a good one for your whole family. : )

  7. knittnkitten permalink
    Tuesday, 30 September 2008 4:19 pm

    Happy New Year!
    Cat’s World has moved…

  8. cm1165 permalink
    Wednesday, 1 October 2008 6:13 pm

    Just heard your interview on The Story on NPR. Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us.

    I am in the process of trying to get into Divinity school to seek my ordination as a United Church of Christ minister. It was really enlightening to hear your stories of the early portions of your ministry at your newest call. To be honest, as well as my father and I get along, I could never imagine working with him (you should see us try and get stuff done together around the house) not to mention serve the same congregation.

    Again, thank you for your story.

    Happy New Year and Shalom!


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