The Appendix

I left work a week and a half ago with a tummy ache. As it turns out, my night had just begun.

Further. Stretch it further. Five more, each side. Come on! Lean back further. Yessss! Ahhh.... ooooh... that's feels weird. Eh, probably from stretching a little too much on those last few sit-ups.

It was a little past two so I headed to the shower. Two o'clock is pretty much the cut-off to get in the shower if I'm going to make it to work on time. I whipped up a protein shake in the blender real quick and hopped in the shower. The pain was still there. Strange... I haven't had a stomach ache in forever. I had just got done giving my girlfriend a pep talk about working through a little sickness and how many brownie points it can earn with your boss and respect it gets you with your co-workers. Apparently, I was going to have to practice what I preach.

No big deal. I'm sure it will go away and it's nothing more than an upset stomach. But as I drove to work it got worse. I arrived and sat down and it was worse yet. Into the afternoon news meeting and it was noticeable something was wrong. I pitched my story and as I got up to leave the meeting someone asked what was wrong.

"I don't know. It's a stomach ache. Just started but it feels worse already."

The 11 o'clock producer told the usual suspects to be ready in case I had to go home, but I never go home sick. I did the morning show once with a trash can next to the desk and a tsunami benefit at Sparrow Hospital when I could barely stand up with the flu-- I can anchor a half hour with a belly ache.

I was off for a live shot at 6. I was getting the chills. Damn! I don't have time to be sick! I have plans tomorrow morning, a poker party to host Saturday night and kids I didn't want catching what I was apparently coming down with. Fight it off! Let's go!!

We arrive at this icy pond behind the MSU Federal Credit Union and I don't want to leave the warmth of the car heater. I cut the video and sound bite back at the station and knew my script for the live, but was really doubled over with pain at this point. I told Troy I would call in to the IFB line (that's how we hear the show out in the field) but I was sitting in the car until a minute before we went on.

"Just do the mic check for me," I groaned.

"Not dream team," Troy muttered.

Troy and I call ourselves the Dream Team out in the field because it seems whenever we do live shots together they are great.

I hear the show begin in my ear. I actually grimace with pain as I get out of the car and get in from of the camera. I tell Troy I won't be hunching over when the live shot hits.

David throws to me and I stand tall and speak clearly. I throw to the sound bite and tag out when it's over.

"Back to you, David." Groan.

I drop the mic and go right back to the car. On the way back I decide that I will go home and stay there. Little did I know-- that's not how it would happen either.

I get back to the station and inform the key parties that I'm going home with a wicked stomach ache and probably have the flu. I have to stop at Boston Market for dinner for the kids. I'm realizing that my life will be infinitely easier with fewer trips in and out of the car. Finally, with hot food I arrive at the kids' aunt's house. Yeah... I honk. By now, I have no appetite and I just want to get the food out of the car and the kids to the table and me to the bed.

7:30 p.m. - The kids are eating and my bed awaits.

9 p.m. - Their mother arrives to pick them up and I awake to discover the pain is worse. Then I realized something even scarier.

I was kind of hungry.

That meant one thing-- this wasn't the flu. I felt my belly and hit one spot on the lower right side that hurt more than the rest. I couldn't believe what I was thinking, but it seemed time to drive myself to the hospital. It was tough to convince their mom I was fine to drive, but I really was, plus I didn't want to scare the kids with "Goodnight girls-- see you tomorrow-- Daddy's going to the hospital now!" She went home (but not after a super-nice cleanup job and repeated attempts to drive me herself) and I drove the two miles to the ER at Sparrow Clinton just to make sure this wasn't something like appendicitis.

It was appendicitis.

The doctors were great. They said I'd be in and out and the surgeon is one of the best, yada, yada, yada. Still, I was getting a little nervous considering I was going to be unconscious for surgery for the first time in my life. The doctor arrived and told me a lot about laproscopy and things. He asked if I wanted a cat scan to be totally sure, but I said 'Let's do it.'

I texted the 11 o'clock producer Jeff to tell him it wasn't the flu. Then I texted the boss to say the same and that I wouldn't be in to work Friday. Then I tweeted why the viewers weren't seeing Andy or Jason on the air.

"One is in Hawaii and the other is in the ER with appendicitis. Guess who?"

11:45 p.m. - My girlfriend arrives from Ohio where she was working through a double ear infection and a sinus infection. She's a sight for sore sides.

12:30 a.m. - They wheel me into surgery where everything is white. I remember being awake in there for about two minutes.

1:30 a.m. (approximately, but I have no clue what's going on around me) - I'm wheeled to my room where I'm laid gently in my bed.

The rest I'll spare you, but I passed out three times trying to get up and walk before I should have, watched an episode of the Dukes of Hazzard out of sheer boredom, and drove my doctor crazy asking if "taking it easy" involved playing cards surrounded by friends.

In the end, I cancelled the party, the girls and their mom visited before school the next morning, my girlfriend battled her own illnesses to help me all day, and the nurses were exceptional with their TLC. (Thanks, Diana-- you are awesome!)

6 p.m. - I'm discharged and on my way home. And yes, I made it just in time to watch Michigan State whip Purdue.

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