Oh friends, our summer family vacation did NOT go as planned. I spent most of it in a hospital. The bad news is that I had emergency surgery. The good news is that I’m okay and now recovering at home in my own bed.

Our first day in Tennessee was great – we were able to spend time with two of my cousins and their kiddos. We rented a cabana by the pool and everyone had fun hanging out and swimming and going on the water slides.

Towards the end of our first full day there, I was experiencing sharp abdominal pain in the lower right side, you know, the side with the appendix. Eek. It wasn’t letting up so the next day I drove to the local ER while Jason took the kids swimming again and to the arcade.

Long story short, they sent me home that day with a theory that I probably had a burst ovarian cyst causing pain and inflammation (turned out not to be it…). The pain kept getting worse and two days later I went back to the ER – and that’s when they kept me overnight for observation. The next morning the surgeon recommended a laparoscopic exploratory surgery with a camera and likely appendectomy. Gulp.

I’ve had a few surgeries in my life now, some planned and some not, and I do NOT like the feeling of vulnerability that comes with putting my life entirely in someone else’s hands. It’s scary and humbling and as much as I try not to worry, it’s hard not to do so. I was grateful to have Jason by my side and I called Alex and Avery to let them know what was happening. As they were prepping me, I had a special request of the surgery team – please keep the conversation positive during the procedure. No complaining about ex-spouses or grumpiness. I was promised that would happen.

The good news is my cousin Tara entertained the kids all day so Jason could be with me during surgery. I was told after the fact that they found some problematic tissue in my abdomen that was causing the pain and needed to come out. They also took out my appendix to prevent future complications.

I have to share something amazing that happened when I woke up from surgery. I was disoriented and not breathing well on my own yet. I could hear voices fading in and out as I was trying to wake up. I knew there was a nurse at my bedside reminding me to breathe and watching me closely. I heard someone else walking by my bed singing. I don’t know who she is or what she was singing, but she sounded happy. I asked the nurse at my side to ask “the singing lady” to come to my bed, which she did.

I struggled to form the words, “Would you please sing Amazing Grace to me?” I asked. “Oh darlin, you’re going to make me cry,” she responded. And then she held my hand and sang to me and I remember feeling safe and cared for and comforted. I think she prayed over me as well when she was done singing. I don’t really remember all the details because I was in such a fog, but I remember how it made me feel. I’m surprised I actually asked a stranger to do something like that for me. I’m so grateful she stopped what she was doing to care for me in such a personal, loving way. I’m in tears just remembering it.

The next thing I know I was back up in my hospital room seeing Jason again. A few hours later, they sent us home (well, back to the hotel).

One thing that was really important to me was not to ruin vacation for the rest of the family. As much as it sucked to have surgery, I tried my very best to be positive and independent and encouraged the family to have fun and do activities without me. Which they did. We flew home yesterday morning and I’m grateful to be home and resting in my own bed. Thanks everyone for your prayers and support!

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4 Responses to “hello Tennessee, goodbye appendix”

  1. Katie says:

    Love to you! Not a fun experience, but I also teared up while reading about the lady singing for you. What a sweet thing for her to do!

  2. Sharon says:

    Amazing Grace indeed, what a pure and sweet request and that the lady was able to minister to you. I am so glad you are fine and recovering at home. Love you!



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