Posted by: zhak39 | June 22, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-jig

Forgive me, I am a little giddy.

When we were tiny Grandma Collins used to grab our little feet, count off our toes saying “to market to market to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again jiggity-jig.”

Chris came home this morning.

I have always said that there is something very special about Chris. His surgeon, Dr. Weatherly, confirmed this. Chris is one of the 5% of people whose appendix corkscrews behind the cecum (the connecting portion of the small and large intestine). As his appendix became infected, it became enlarged on the back side of his intestines. This area has no pain receptors. Normally as the appendix enlarges it contacts a wall of nerves that immediately gets your attention. In Chris’ case he had pressure and cramping but not that typical pain associated with appendicitis. We estimate that his appendicitis was worsening for at least four weeks before it ruptured.

Dr. Weatherly said that his appendix was the size of an orange–and picture an orange that has been sitting in a warm moist environment for four weeks. Ugh.

Note: surgeons do not let you bring home soft tissue in a mason jar.

The really good news is that given the position of the appendix, when it ruptured any infected material was localized and therefore didn’t cause wide-spread infection. Chris did have to have a larger incision including some cutting of the muscle wall in order to remove tissue and infected material. This resulted in his extended hospital stay.

Chris worked really hard to get better. His doctor explained to him the effect of painkillers on resumption of his digestive processes, encouraged him to walk, breathe deeply and cough. All of this was very, very painful. (Note to readers, ‘very, very’ may be poor style but that’s the way it was). Chris made the decision to refuse painkillers and exceeded expectation in his efforts to speed his own recovery. He showed determination but also a degree of personal insight in pushing himself to his appropriate limit.

This morning Chris was absolutely ready to come home. He slept well for the first time last night. The weekend night nurse walked on cat paws. She checked in regularly but stole in like a shadow, reassuring, never invasive. When Chris awoke he was refreshed and looking at the door. Yesterday I came home for a couple of hours in the afternoon to set up the guest room with a t.v. and an armchair. Sam and I took out the rug so he would have a straight shot to the bathroom. This morning Chris let us know that he was not going to be stuck away in a wing. He is at this moment in the family room, he caught up with his MySpace buddies and is right in the middle of the (in)action, as typical. He needs to be on minimal activity for a couple of weeks but he is home.


  1. Hooray! Just checking in from the lake to see how Chris is. i’m going to pretend that I can’t get an Internet connection from here on out. Call me if you decide to come down, with Chris and Sammy or your own wonderful self. I certainly understand if you can’t but wanted to let you know that the invitation stands.

  2. You are so kind. Chris is not up to a four hour drive and he wouldn’t be able to outrun an alligator once he got there. I hope you are having a wonderful time.

  3. Thanks for the wonderful description of what really happened with Chris’s appendicitis. Poor guy…. his new name is going to be “Lucky”.

  4. We are incredibly lucky. And Chris and I are closer than ever. He is special.

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