I had been laying alone in a private hospital in northern Goa, India for 5 days now and was bored, frustrated and ready to leave. I was in a lot of pain above my right hip and dreaded to see the cut underneath my bandage where my appendix once was. My veins were constantly poked and prodded by nurses changing the drip location due to my small veins and I had a trail of track marks now visible on my arms. I knew if I was back home I would of had keyhole surgery which would mean less pain, a smaller scar and less recovery time but you can’t plan when your appendix is about to burst and alas I was in India when it happened. What sounds like a nightmare to most ended up providing a range of lessons and learning’s contributing to personal growth.
Trust the process of life
Being all alone, far away from your family and knowing you are about to be knocked out and have surgery can be a pretty daunting thought. Add to that the concern for safety and cleanliness due to being in a developing country. I chose to let go and trust the process of life. I had recently had a German doctor I met on the beach save my life by identifying my appendix was about to burst so why worry now I was a private hospital? I phoned my dad and he sounded confident, so I put on a brave face and had the surgery.
Avoid Playing Victim
Sure my holiday plans were ruined, I was in so much pain, they wouldn’t let me have a bath or shower, I was vomiting and the food sucked but I was alive! I also solved the dilemma of what this mystery illness I had over the past 3 months was. I knew laying around and feeling sorry for myself was not going to be productive in anyway.
I was grateful for being alive, being healthy, the surgery going well and being in a country that spoke perfect English. Plus my place of recovery for the next few weeks was on the amazing Northern Goa beach of Arambol. I was not stuck in a busy city or in the cold, it was warm and chilled out.
Time to Slow Down and Reflect
Being bed ridden for 80% of the day upon leaving hospital for the first few days then only having enough energy for sourcing 2 meals a day, gave me plenty of time to rest, recovery, read, journal, meditate and spend time with alone again. There were no distractions or activities in my life, it was just pure me time.
The chain of events leading up to my emergency surgery
I had just spent the last 3 months with chronic appendicitis while doing my yoga teacher training in southern Goa. The only thing is I didn’t know it was appendicitis, I was just experiencing the symptoms. After 3 doctor visits in the hospital and parasite tests no one could identify why every week I would get bad cramps, couldn’t eat and have to stay by a toilet all day. It meant I had to keep taking days off my yoga teacher training course and the symptoms would hit me even more on my days off when I would venture away on a scooter and explore the coast. I was starting to get worried something was seriously wrong and I would have to do tests when I got home. In the meantime seeing the docs couldn’t work it out I decided to just push on through the pain and get on with things.
The last night in the ashram I had arranged a get together so I could say goodbye to everyone I had such amazing experiences and connections with over the past 3 months. Instead I spent the night sweating and shivering with a high fever. I was recommended to go back to the hospital but after their dismal failure in diagnosing me, I decided to push through it and go on my planned trip to North Goa the next day. I did not sleep a wink that night as I was in so much pain in my stomach, I had paralysing stabbing pains all night. The next morning I sheepishly got on 2 buses and made the 6 hour trek with my friend to Northern Goa. We found a kick arse room then met our other ashram friends on the beach. As I was still in so much pain, I spent the afternoon sweating and shivering on a sunbed under an umbrella. Later on in the afternoon a German man who was friends with my friend stopped by. He also happened to be a doctor. I told him I was sick and thought it was irritable bowel and I was just pushing through it. I invited him out with us 3 girls that night for dinner and a beach party. I pushed on and we all went to our large place we rented to get ready. I got to dinner and realized i couldn’t eat or sit and had to lay on the sunbed while everyone ate on the table. A short time later the German doctor came up to me said “Im just going to do a quick test on you I think I know what it could be”. After doing the typical appendix tests of pushing down on certain places on my stomach he said “I think you have appendicitis and it’s about to burst so we need to get you to the hospital now”. After making a few phone calls to locate the best hospital for me to go to, all 6 of us piled into a minivan taxi and made our 40 min journey to the private hospital just out of town.
After I got there and they took a deposit off my credit card and travel insurance details, I was off into my private air conditioned room with cable TV. I had a test that night and it was confirmed I had appendicitis and they needed to operate the next morning. I called my parents and my friends left except for the doctor who stayed the night in the spare bed in my room. He stayed until the next morning until I had my surgery. I spent the next 5 days alone in hospital recovering while all my friends left Goa.