Monday, February 11, 2008

Bad News

When I woke up this morning there was an e-mail in my inbox that my little brother was in the hospital. As I read the details of his illness I immediately figured it was appendicitis. I was right on that count. What I wasn't prepared for is that rather than going to the hospital he had toughed it out and the appendix had ended up perforating, I have found out since then that the words "rupture", "perforate" and "burst" are all apparently used interchangeably and synonymously, and they're all bad. Now of course these days a burst appendix is not the near certain death sentence it was 100 years ago, but it's still pretty bad. It's tough to get a straight answer on the mortality rates for a perforated appendix. Depending on the source you get numbers from 2% all the way up to 10%. Which apparently goes all the way up to 20% if they develop peritonitis.

Even at the low end of 2% (this source has it at 3%) that's not nothing... And some people are listing a complication rate of nearly 60%. So overall I've been a little bit panicked. Probably more than I should be. Part of it is certainly due to the fact that he's in Albuquerque. Add that to the story I just heard on Saturday about someone dying from appendicitis due to medical neglect and I'm a big proponent of getting one of the family members down there to keep an eye in things (i.e. the doctors), sooner rather than later.

At the moment it looks like my sister and mom are best positioned to go down, but if for some reason they can't I may just have to. It would be bad since I'm in the middle of an enormous crunch time and we're trying to save as much money as possible, but as they say my schedule is "flexible".

You could say our steel bow broke...


Anonymous Ed said...

Hope he's ok. Best wishes and prayers!

4:30 PM  
Blogger aozora said...

I burst mine a year ago and freaked everyone around me out so this feels like familiar territory.

Nowadays they don't even go to surgery regularly I'm told, only for emergencies. I have a scar that marks me as an old timer and/or a near-miss.

I will you all my fortunes and fortitude and hope for the best.

Please keep us updated.

6:05 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home