Author Topic: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement  (Read 12305 times)

Nords

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Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« on: August 09, 2015, 03:25:05 PM »
As a financially-independent early retiree, I'm frequently asked "But... but... but what do you DO all day?!?"

This week, it started with an emergency appendectomy. 

From "a little indigestion" on Wednesday morning to "almost ruptured" on Thursday afternoon was 30 hours.  They were able to do laparoscopy instead of scalpel slashing.  Everything came out all right (so to speak) and I was back home Friday afternoon on antibiotics.  But I'm beached for four weeks, so it's a good thing that the surf forecast sucks.

It was a rude smack upside the head.  When the pain woke me up Wednesday night I finally recognized that it was worse than mere gluttony.  As I researched the symptoms, my reaction was "Seriously?!?  I'm too old for this crap." But apparently appendicitis can hit you at any age.

We submariners have plenty of horrifying sea stories about doing appendicitis MEDEVACs.  Now I'm really glad I never had the honor.  I can't imagine having to deal with this crisis if I was working, let alone in uniform. 

Tripler's ER staff asked about a gazillion times whether I had a medical directive and a will.  (Ironically I was also asked whether I'm an organ donor:  "You know why I'm here, right?")  By the time my spouse and I realized that we needed to hustle to the ER, there was no time left for notaries or sharing logins/passwords.

Carpe diem, folks.  And if your paperwork isn't ready to go then... get your stuff together.


Oh, and in that life-affirming theme, our daughter (in Rota, Spain) just announced her engagement.  He's also a Navy Surface Warfare Officer like her (in Norfolk), USNA '14, and with an option to switch to the cyber warfare or info professional communities.  They met at EKMS (crypto) school last fall.  They're tentatively planning a 2017 wedding, although they may pull a marriage certificate much sooner if their assignment officers won't co-locate them.

My opinion doesn't get a vote but yes, the progeny of two USNA alumni is marrying a USNA alum.  Clearly she has learned nothing, or perhaps he's an exceptional fiancÚ.  I only know him from the 10-minute announcement phone call, and he made a good first impression.

Rezdent

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2015, 03:53:47 PM »
OMG.  So glad you weathered the appendectomy well.  Being on the sidelines has got to suck.
And congrats on the daughter.

Get well soon.

Workinghard

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 04:05:59 PM »
Congratulations on your daughter's engagement! We met our son's finance via Skype. They got married in February. It's interesting how we go through phases as parents. When they live at home, we're intimately involved in their lives, then there's the empty nest syndrome, and the next thing we know they're engaged to someone we've never met, without our approval! Lol. I know nothing about the Navy. Will their career paths conflict if he switches to cyber warfare or professional communities?

Glad you caught things in time before your appendix ruptured. It might have beached you longer than four weeks! If you get bored, you can always hang out here more. :)

lhamo

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 04:37:23 PM »
Glad you are ok. Take it easy during recovery. I messed myself up after gallbladder surgery recently by too much heavy lifting. Not fun or pretty.

Congrats on the engagement, too!

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 05:14:20 PM »
Be careful on the recovery! My mom ruptured and had an appendectomy and it took her close to a year to get back to normal.
I was surprised at how quickly things fell apart, but the surgeons yanked it out before it blew.  They vehemently did not want to deal with the aftermath of a rupture.  As the tests came back and more aspects of the diagnosis were revealed, they kept kicking me further to the front of the line.  By that time I was on a complimentary morphine IV with free refills so I was just along for the ride.

I know nothing about the Navy. Will their career paths conflict if he switches to cyber warfare or professional communities?
It's not a question of "if" but rather "how much". 

They've been doing distance since last October, although they've each had a week of leave to visit the other.  In eight months she'll move to Charleston, SC to start a year of nuclear power training.  He'll be able to stay in Norfolk whether he has to do another two-year ship tour or whether he transfers to the other communities in 2016, so they'll be "just" 450 miles apart.  Pretty good by Navy standards.  (My experience is that she'll be on mandatory study hours with no time for relationships anyway.)  But when she goes to her nuclear aircraft carrier in 2017 then instead of Yokosuka (great for her, not much there for him) they'll probably try for Norfolk or San Diego. 

They'll both finish their active-duty obligations in 2019.  They could keep trying for active-duty co-location as long as it's working.  One (or both) could go to the Reserves.  A civil engineer with nuclear training and a white-hat hacker-- they'll figure out how to keep themselves fed & sheltered.

He apparently grew up in Minnesota.  It'll be interesting to see how that translates to surfing...

Glad you are ok. Take it easy during recovery. I messed myself up after gallbladder surgery recently by too much heavy lifting. Not fun or pretty.
I'm not happy about the forced inactivity either, although it's been an impressive weight-loss program.  Fasting was worth 1-2 pounds per day.

But my spouse says that if I hurt myself through overexertion then I'll have to drive my own sorry abdominal muscles back to Tripler.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 05:49:03 PM »
Ouch, I'm glad the appendectomy went well, hope your recovery is fast!  My dad went through a rupture in his 70s, you definitely don't get too old for appendicitis.

Congrats on your daughter's engagement!  I hope he's a great addition to your family.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 06:41:34 PM »
First, congratulations to your daughter and your family!

Second, MORPHINE! I had my appendix yanked out at Portsmouth Naval Hospital after a MEDVAC. From the first pain to the morphine drip was ~15 hours. I will forever remember the moment it kicked in - kinda like getting a drink of water after almost dying of thirst. Sparklers and fireworks.

Abe

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 06:48:38 PM »
Glad things went well, all things considered. Have you had a colonoscopy in the last five years? If not, you should have one in a 2-3 months because with appendicitis at your age a benign tumor should be ruled out as a cause (rare, but don't want to miss one).

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 07:52:48 PM »
But, but....but how could you afford to pay for this without health insurance from your job? You must be going back to work now to recover, right?  ; )

Glad you're ok. And glad the soon to be son in law made a good first impression. Cheers to a speedy recovery.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 08:39:41 PM »
Congrats on your daughter! Sorry to hear about the surgery :-(

I was surprised at how quickly things fell apart, but the surgeons yanked it out before it blew.  They vehemently did not want to deal with the aftermath of a rupture.  As the tests came back and more aspects of the diagnosis were revealed, they kept kicking me further to the front of the line.  By that time I was on a complimentary morphine IV with free refills so I was just along for the ride.

Good call getting there. My Dad went to work despite being in horrible pain and only his coworker thinking straight kept him from really being in dire straights (his ruptured as they were taking it out, which I'm sure caused a ton of swearing in the OR and it certainly added lots of clean up time for them. He has a gigantic impressive scar.)

I never understood how people get hooked on drugs until I had a morphine drip myself . . . lying there, down at least a pint of blood, looking like hell but not caring or worrying one bit about the gigantic slice they just made in me. Some friends saved the semi-coherent voicemail messages I left them: I was making PLANS!

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2015, 05:47:45 AM »
Congrats!  You lost an appendix but gained a future son-in-law.

I can't imagine having to deal with this crisis if I was working, let alone in uniform. 

Even the strongest early retirement skeptics can appreciate the value of being able to deal with crisis free of work commitments.

Basenji

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2015, 07:09:13 AM »
Take care of yourself! We all need you and your awesome advice and example for living a best life.

I am very happy for your daughter, but winced more at the "Navy will colocate" than the surgery. We tried that. It's so difficult and I ended up getting out (no regrets), but I know some couples that have made it work. I send good Navy vibes to them both.

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 10:26:44 AM »
Congrats on your daughter's engagement!  I hope he's a great addition to your family.
I hope so too, and I'd like to meet him someday!

But my daughter's opinion is good enough for me.  Not that anyone's asked for my opinion.

Good call getting there. My Dad went to work despite being in horrible pain and only his coworker thinking straight kept him from really being in dire straights (his ruptured as they were taking it out, which I'm sure caused a ton of swearing in the OR and it certainly added lots of clean up time for them. He has a gigantic impressive scar.)
If I was on active duty, and if I'd had my usual grumpy reaction about having my Plan Of The Day interrupted, then I could easily have ended up going to work to "just wrap up a few more things" before I went to sick call.  And then I'd be sitting here contemplating an eight-inch incision and wondering if they should've just put in a zipper.

My spouse said the surgeon felt that they might've cut it a little close, so to speak.  That rupture risk would explain why they were shoving Ziploc bags through my navel.

Second, MORPHINE! I had my appendix yanked out at Portsmouth Naval Hospital after a MEDVAC. From the first pain to the morphine drip was ~15 hours. I will forever remember the moment it kicked in - kinda like getting a drink of water after almost dying of thirst. Sparklers and fireworks.
I never understood how people get hooked on drugs until I had a morphine drip myself . . . lying there, down at least a pint of blood, looking like hell but not caring or worrying one bit about the gigantic slice they just made in me. Some friends saved the semi-coherent voicemail messages I left them: I was making PLANS!
Dude.  It was hugely enjoyable, and in a very frightening way.  My spouse said she could see my whole face light up and relax.  If I felt that good at 2 mg of my 10 mg allotment, I found myself very interested in learning about the 10 mg effects. 

But I'm saving the Percocet for more critical contingencies.

Glad things went well, all things considered. Have you had a colonoscopy in the last five years? If not, you should have one in a 2-3 months because with appendicitis at your age a benign tumor should be ruled out as a cause (rare, but don't want to miss one).
I had to look that one up:  April 2011.  They snipped out a polyp, declared it benign, kvetched a little about "poor prep" (apparently I was still full of...), and told me to return in five years. 

I'm not eager to repeat that experience a minute sooner than necessary.  I'll talk about it with the doc at the appendicitis followup. 

But, but....but how could you afford to pay for this without health insurance from your job?
To Tripler's credit, after I showed my ID at the ER desk I never needed my wallet again.  Nobody ever asked about insurance (they could see my info in their system) or payment for anything and I wasn't even asked for a $12 copay.  If my father's ulcer surgery cost $50K then I had to have rung up a bill of at least $30K.  Or, at Hawaii prices, $75K.

But I do have to call Tricare (UnitedHealthcare) today to let them know that I skipped the referral process.  I'm pretty sure I have a legitimate excuse.

Hey Nords - Congrats on surviving your surgery at Tripler (better than the VA...maybe :-))
Y'know, the morning after surgery I fled the ward for a cup of coffee on their "mall".  (Sadly, no WiFi.)  While I was down there I realized that I was right by the VSO's offices, and I actually stopped by to ask some questions about filing my VA disability claim.  But their front desk was super busy and I had to go back up to the ward for the next antibiotic infusion. 

I'll drop by the VSO next week when I'm back at Tripler for my followup.

Nice to see that they will (hopefully) be able to get somewhat closer together eventually - although as we both know that can change asap. Took (now ex) hubby and I over a year to even get stationed in the same state after we married (I was on a ship in Maine and he on one in New Orleans when we married) but eventually we were near each other ...well...for awhile before we went to separate duty stations in different states again. But that hardship can be worth it often times when you can be with someone who "gets it" and shares the same career goals and lifestyle. Best luck to you for a speedy recovery and to your new upcoming FIL status.
I am very happy for your daughter, but winced more at the "Navy will colocate" than the surgery. We tried that. It's so difficult and I ended up getting out (no regrets), but I know some couples that have made it work. I send good Navy vibes to them both.
Her attitude since the day she was commissioned has been "five and out".  She enjoys being a SWO ("SWO far, SWO good") but I'm pretty sure the nuclear carrier lifestyle will beat that out of her.  Neither of them has any reason to stay on active duty unless they're having fun.  And with their skills/interests, I think they'll have much more fun in the Reserves.

My spouse and I did over three years of distance between my commissioning and our marriage.  We had to marry for co-location (otherwise my assignment officer was sending me elsewhere), and for the rest of our careers our co-location took priority over duty type and homeport.  I'm sure I paid the price for that when the 1990s drawdown began and the submarine XO selection rate plummeted to 35%.  But my spouse and I felt that we had our priorities straight...

Congrats!  You lost an appendix but gained a future son-in-law.
Thanks, I'm reading that a lot this week!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 10:28:52 AM by Nords »

Cassie

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 01:47:44 PM »
Great that they got it before it ruptured because some people die when it ruptures even at the hospital.  So glad you are ok:))  I am sure your daughter has made a great choice.  My DIL is from Poland-he met her on vacation & 9 years later they are very happy & I have the best DIL in the world!

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2015, 03:48:34 PM »
Hope you recover rapidly Nords, but don't go out the back too soon. And congratulations on becoming an outlaw  in the not too distant future.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2015, 04:39:31 PM »
I had appendicitis twice; goood times. My brother has had it at least once so far. We're both pretty bad- a refusal/resistance against going to hospitals. I had it removed on the second occurrence; it wasn't until later that I learned how bad not having it checked out/removed could have gone.

Mr. Green

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2015, 12:33:13 PM »
Glad that got that thing out of you before it ruptured! Mine did when I was a kid. Really bad stuff. Convulsions, fever, week long hospitalization. Some nasty stuff there.

And congrats on the good family news!

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2015, 11:49:39 PM »
Great that they got it before it ruptured because some people die when it ruptures even at the hospital.  So glad you are ok:))  I am sure your daughter has made a great choice.  My DIL is from Poland-he met her on vacation & 9 years later they are very happy & I have the best DIL in the world!
Hope you recover rapidly Nords, but don't go out the back too soon. And congratulations on becoming an outlaw  in the not too distant future.
I had appendicitis twice; goood times. My brother has had it at least once so far. We're both pretty bad- a refusal/resistance against going to hospitals. I had it removed on the second occurrence; it wasn't until later that I learned how bad not having it checked out/removed could have gone.
Glad that got that thing out of you before it ruptured! Mine did when I was a kid. Really bad stuff. Convulsions, fever, week long hospitalization. Some nasty stuff there.
And congrats on the good family news!
Thanks!  Our daughter's pretty happy.  It's even more fun to read the Facebook reactions of her college friends and advisors...

I'm getting a lot of scary appendectomy stories that I'm glad I hadn't read before I went in for the operation.  But when the superglue flakes off and the incisions are healed, the surgeon and I are going to have a serious discussion about taking out a longboard in the 2-4 waves.  If he doesn't want to paddle out with me then he can watch from the beach!

Just wanted to add that ever since I read this thread last night I have the old Rolling Stones song "Sister Morphine" stuck in my head :-)!
It's nice to know that the classics never go out of style, isn't it?

Dicey

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2015, 12:35:49 PM »
Seems to me that both events are worthy of congratulations. Good that they got it out in time and good for your daughter for choosing a good guy. Best wishes all around...

nereo

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2015, 01:01:19 PM »
wow - glad to hear you are on the mend.  Get well soon and congrats on your daughter's engagement.

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2015, 08:29:46 PM »
Seems to me that both events are worthy of congratulations. Good that they got it out in time and good for your daughter for choosing a good guy. Best wishes all around...
wow - glad to hear you are on the mend.  Get well soon and congrats on your daughter's engagement.
Thanks.  It's been exactly one week since the start of the surgery, and now the superglue is starting to flake off the incisions.  It should be all gone by next week's followup appointment at Tripler.

I mentioned to my spouse that a lot of stuff seemed to be getting done around here, and she said "Yeah, maybe because you're not surfing three days a week?"  Ouch!

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2015, 05:55:19 AM »

Thanks.  It's been exactly one week since the start of the surgery, and now the superglue is starting to flake off the incisions.  It should be all gone by next week's followup appointment at Tripler.

I mentioned to my spouse that a lot of stuff seemed to be getting done around here, and she said "Yeah, maybe because you're not surfing three days a week?"  Ouch!

Quite frankly, based on your posts I'm a bit surprised that your typical routine is only three days-a-week of surfing.  I thought you might be more of the every-day dawn patrol.  Had several friends in Santa Cruz who made it part of their routine to surf virtually every day, swell or no - if it was flat they just paddled around and talked on their boards like the maritime version of a sewing circle.

Actually, I'm curious about how healing/recovery goes post FIRE - recently I've been frustrated at the pace of my recovery from a few minor injuries.  My PT suggested that the 8 hours of sitting I do for work really slows down my body's ability to heal, but since i'm still pre-FI I don't have a lot of choice.  Curious about whether about your thoughts and experience on the matter.

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2015, 11:13:04 AM »
Quite frankly, based on your posts I'm a bit surprised that your typical routine is only three days-a-week of surfing.  I thought you might be more of the every-day dawn patrol.  Had several friends in Santa Cruz who made it part of their routine to surf virtually every day, swell or no - if it was flat they just paddled around and talked on their boards like the maritime version of a sewing circle.
It's just logistics.

We live in Central Oahu (our daughter was in the state's top public high school) and I'm 30 minutes from both the North Shore and the south shore.  Since I'll be on the road for an hour, I usually surf for two hours (less if the water's too cold).  I was able to do this for days in a row in my 40s, but in my 50s I greatly appreciate a recovery day.  There are also the inevitable days when my spouse and I have an early-morning project like yardwork, or when I want to phone into an early online call on Mainland time, so I don't surf on those days.

There are a few days when the surf just sucks-- flat to two or 1-3.  I don't own a stand-up board (yet) so I tend to skip those days.  But my stand-up days will arrive in the next year or two, especially if the winters are glassy flat on the south shore and booming 20+ on the North Shore.

If I lived in the tsunami inundation zone Ewa (or Haleiwa!) then I'd probably surf more often.  There are a couple guys in the White Plains Beach lineup who show up every weekday, and one paddles out at least 350 days/year.  When I paddle out, knowing that I'm going to take a day off in the next day or two, then I tend to push myself and surf all the waves I can catch.  (I've also learned to take a dose of ibuprofen as soon as I'm back on the beach.)  I don't mind the socializing but I'd rather be surfing.  I'll never be one of the guys standing around on Vulture's Row talking story for an hour.

Actually, I'm curious about how healing/recovery goes post FIRE - recently I've been frustrated at the pace of my recovery from a few minor injuries.  My PT suggested that the 8 hours of sitting I do for work really slows down my body's ability to heal, but since i'm still pre-FI I don't have a lot of choice.  Curious about whether about your thoughts and experience on the matter.
Your PT is probably right, unless you sit on a stability ball or use a standing desk or even a treadmill desk. 

I joke about 35 years of situps (and a decade of taekwondo) finally paying off, but the surgeon said they had to push a little harder to cut through my abdominal wall-- and the muscles mean that it tends to hold itself together better afterward while the stitches are absorbed.  I had some impressive tissue bruising across my stomach after the surgery (the laparoscopic tools?  I'm not sure) but the incision pain was largely gone after 48 hours.  The bruising faded in a couple days beyond that. 

From my submarine days, I know that the atmospheric environment makes a big difference.  High levels of CO2 and low levels of O2 inhibit healing, so if I bruised or cut myself on something it'd take about twice as long to heal.  But I was also chronically fatigued and overstressed on sea duty, so I can't blame all of the slow healing on CO2.  I've learned that simple walking makes a big difference with just about any injury recovery, and that's probably speeding the healing of my surgery incisions without stressing out the abdominal wall too much. 

Part of the aging decline is brutally physical: human cardiac muscle gets stiffer every year and can no longer achieve its hypothetical maximum heart rate. It's linear: "MHR = 220 minus your age" or "208 - 0.7(age)". In my 30s my MHR used to be routinely up in the 180s, but these days I'm rarely over 160. Lung performance also declines with age. The diaphragm and the alveoli stiffen and don't expand as much. Six months ago I had a pulmonary capacity test and learned that my lungs are operating at 70%. Most humans can survive at as low as 30% but the trend is unmistakable... and probably not reversible.

The other age-related insult is recovery. My body does not flush out lactic acid and repair its muscle damage as quickly as it used to. TKD taught me how to endure significant anaerobic exertion, and I can still do that, but I know that I'll pay for it over the next 48 hours. When I was in my late 20s I used to swim a mile in the morning, play racquetball at lunch, and lift weights before dinner. These days I have to limit myself to just one workout every other day, with maybe two-mile walks during off days. Anything else hammers me into spaghetti arms, rubber legs, and even respiratory infections.

Advancing age can be countered with a healthy diet, but that eventually hits diminishing returns. I take daily vitamins, antioxidants, and supplements. (Even the placebo effect is better than nothing.) I eat more protein and raw veggies and very little sugar, bread, dairy, or simple carbs. I've completely cut out alcohol. My big thrill is a small daily handful of chocolate chips with my yogurt & nuts.

The "good news" for older athletes is that I didn't have any of these issues in my 40s, and they suddenly popped up a couple years ago around age 52. I'm frustrated by this age-related betrayal. I remember what I used to be able to do, but now I pay a much higher price for it. I start the day with a fixed amount of energy, and if I burn through it then I'm chewing into the next day's quota as well. There's no magic supplement, although stretching and Thai massage help.  However even surfing for five days in a row during a long-lived swell carries a price of 800 mg of ibuprofen... two or three doses a day.

Your physical condition may be different. Your genes may help you go longer. You may age better than me, especially if it turns out that my recovery issues are symptoms of early-stage arthritis.  Maybe I'm hypersensitive to submarine nuclear radiation or atmosphere-control chemicals. Unfortunately I've checked with guys in their 70s, from semi-pro golfers to Navy SEALs, and they all have declining performance with longer recovery times.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2015, 11:43:20 AM »
Clearly she has learned nothing

My favorite line in the post!  Made me laugh out loud.

Glad your emergency didn't have a worse outcome.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2015, 03:53:29 PM »
Nords - glad the appendectomy turned out well and congrats on your daughters engagement.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2015, 09:31:31 AM »
A late well-wishing on recovery and hoping everything works out for your daughter.

Interesting notes on age affecting athleticism. I'm at the other end. I spent my 20s in largely bad shape and really trying to get in gear for my 30s so that my 40s and beyond are better.

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2015, 10:03:58 AM »
Clearly she has learned nothing

My favorite line in the post!  Made me laugh out loud.

Glad your emergency didn't have a worse outcome.
Nords - glad the appendectomy turned out well and congrats on your daughters engagement.
That phrase popped up every once in a while in our household during the parenting years.  But she certainly understands how to deal with people who still cope with behaviors that they learned during plebe year.

A late well-wishing on recovery and hoping everything works out for your daughter.
Interesting notes on age affecting athleticism. I'm at the other end. I spent my 20s in largely bad shape and really trying to get in gear for my 30s so that my 40s and beyond are better.
Thanks.  I think those two will make a good team together.

I'm still pretty grumpy about age-related decline, and this surgery was just one more physical insult.  Push as much as you can in your 30s and 40s... soon after that, it's more about preserving what you have!

begood

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2015, 09:47:59 AM »
I'm still pretty grumpy about age-related decline, and this surgery was just one more physical insult.  Push as much as you can in your 30s and 40s... soon after that, it's more about preserving what you have!

Truth.

Glad you're all right, and it sounds like your daughter has a good level head on her shoulders - congrats on the impending acquisition of a USNA son-in-law! :)

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2015, 01:38:30 PM »
Glad things went well, all things considered. Have you had a colonoscopy in the last five years? If not, you should have one in a 2-3 months because with appendicitis at your age a benign tumor should be ruled out as a cause (rare, but don't want to miss one).
You called it.

I had the two-week followup yesterday.  The pathologist's report says my appendix had a "well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumor", also known as a carcinoid tumor.  It's "benign" because it's only 8 mm in size, and apparently 10 mm is the minimum size for cancer concerns.  (I also learned that my appendix was 10 cm long and 2 cm in diameter, which is the right length but about twice the normal diameter.)  The tumor cells reportedly looked "not very abnormal" (which seems oxymoronic to me) and yet not cancerous. 

I don't know whether the tumor was a cause or a side effect of the appendicitis, but the surgeon seemed to think it's unrelated and just a data point.  Upon further reading I'm beginning to think that surgeons and pathologists want several more data points before they reach a conclusion.

I think I'm going to show up on time for my five-year colonoscopy (#2) next spring.  With my "data point". 

It'd be interesting to know the prevalence of carcinoid tumors in veterans of the submarine force compared to the civilian population. 

I'm still beached for another two weeks, dammit.  Clearly the surgeon does not surf, and perhaps he thinks that Oahu's breaks are teeming with leptospirosis and other virulent bacteria.  The laparoscopy incisions have healed but they're still a little swollen because the subcutaneous stitches (in the abdominal muscles) are still dissolving.  Those stitches will be gone in two weeks and then the incision scars will no longer be "permeable" to external infections.  Until then the only recommended exercise (let alone recreation) is walking. 

brooklynguy

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2015, 02:09:06 PM »
Thanks for the update, Nords.  Sorry to hear your body has now added insult to injury, but it's refreshing to hear you kvetch about this "age-related betrayal" in good humor and stark candor.  Stay well, and keep us posted!

Cassie

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2015, 03:35:16 PM »
I have 3 friends that in their early 60's got serious illnesses that make it impossible to drive, etc. None had unhealthy lifestyles-just the luck of the draw.  I agree that you need to do things when you can. That is one reason my hubby & I are taking 2 big vacations this year. WE already took one & will take another in Oct.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2015, 03:40:58 PM »
Nords and President Carter, two submariners dutifully and generously updating the public on their health status! Boy, time flies and takes a toll, doesn't it? More impetus to get to FIRE for all of us so we can do our passion projects. Hang in there Nords!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 03:49:28 PM by Basenji »

Cassie

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2015, 03:44:35 PM »
Glad things worked out well for you Nords! I love CArter as a human being-he has really lived his values & he is 90 so has had a good life.

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2015, 11:39:49 AM »
Thanks for the update, Nords.  Sorry to hear your body has now added insult to injury, but it's refreshing to hear you kvetch about this "age-related betrayal" in good humor and stark candor.  Stay well, and keep us posted!
I'm working up a blog post about it, and I'll pass on what I learn.

I have 3 friends that in their early 60's got serious illnesses that make it impossible to drive, etc. None had unhealthy lifestyles-just the luck of the draw.  I agree that you need to do things when you can. That is one reason my hubby & I are taking 2 big vacations this year. WE already took one & will take another in Oct.
We're going to press on with our 2015 travel plans, and I'm sure we'll fill up 2016 as well.  I enjoy going to personal-finance blogger conferences, and we'll see where our daughter ends up after Nuclear Power School. 

Nords and President Carter, two submariners dutifully and generously updating the public on their health status! Boy, time flies and takes a toll, doesn't it? More impetus to get to FIRE for all of us so we can do our passion projects. Hang in there Nords!
Glad things worked out well for you Nords! I love CArter as a human being-he has really lived his values & he is 90 so has had a good life.
A few of my life goals are linked to longevity. 

One of them is to receive more in pension than I received on active duty in salary & allowances (adjusted for inflation, of course). 

Jimmy Carter is USNA '47, and another one of my life goals is to eventually join our alma mater's list of the 10 Oldest Living Alumni.  At age 90 he wouldn't make the cut, and he might not even be in the top 25.  USNA has started hosting 75th reunions because there are now enough living alumni to show up for them.

So, "good life", sure, but I plan to stick around for at least another five decades.

Cassie

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2015, 02:20:10 PM »
I have a good friend that is dying at 67 & I told him it really pisses me off & of course he agreed with me.  Life is what is happening while we make other plans. I hope you reach your longevity goal:)).  By the time my Mom hit her 80's most of her friends were dead. By the time she died at 89 all were dead. My FIL lived to 91 & outlived all his friends too which sucks but they both just took it in stride. I guess as you age you just have to adjust to seeing people go & hope you aren't one of them. They were both active people engaged with life & others so I really think that made a difference.

Dicey

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2015, 07:28:29 AM »
By the time my Mom hit her 80's most of her friends were dead. By the time she died at 89 all were dead. My FIL lived to 91 & outlived all his friends too which sucks but they both just took it in stride.
In my community, there is a dedicated Senior Center. Besides programs and hot meals, just the opportunity to make new friends is invaluable. I also own a home in a Del Webb Senior Community. My friends scoffed when I bought it, but one of the things that appealed to me was the large pool of potential new friends. There are so many clubs and activities that you can be as active as you like. It's a rental for now, but it has a casita (guest house) that we use occasionally. Over the years I have gotten to know a lot of my neighbors, so when we move, I will have some existing friendships. (Sorry for mixing pronouns, but I've owned the house a lot longer than I've been married, so DH hasn't met many people there yet. Yes, I do plan on moving there with him, lol)

Cassie

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2015, 10:10:11 AM »
My Mom went to the senior center weekly until she was too sick to go.  But not the same as having your really close friends.

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2015, 11:16:04 AM »
By the time my Mom hit her 80's most of her friends were dead. By the time she died at 89 all were dead. My FIL lived to 91 & outlived all his friends too which sucks but they both just took it in stride.
In my community, there is a dedicated Senior Center. Besides programs and hot meals, just the opportunity to make new friends is invaluable.
My Mom went to the senior center weekly until she was too sick to go.  But not the same as having your really close friends.
I don't mean to be flip with advice, but this is why people need to keep making new friends.

I have really close friends from high school, other close friends from college, more close friends from the submarine force, and still yet even more close friends who I've made during retirement.  I stay as connected with them as we want to be, but I'm also ready to make new friends.  The only difference between new friends and really close friends is building shared experiences over time (even if it's just shared misery), so don't wait until you're older.

When I'm in a room full of people, I find that I tend to gravitate toward the groups in their late 20s and early 30s.  It's probably because I'm mentally still that age myself.  I certainly don't seek out the mentors who are old enough to be my parents. 

I've also noticed that the older you get, the easier it is to find friends who are younger than you.  A cynic would claim that it's tied to net worth, and a skeptic would wonder whether it's based on our "wizened elder" abilities to dispense wisdom, but I think it's just demographics and statistics.

I'm as INTJ as they come, but I've adapted.  I appreciate the value of relationships and a support network.  It's one of the reasons I spend so much time on the Internet and at conferences.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2015, 07:41:06 AM »

They'll both finish their active-duty obligations in 2019.  They could keep trying for active-duty co-location as long as it's working.  One (or both) could go to the Reserves.  A civil engineer with nuclear training and a white-hat hacker-- they'll figure out how to keep themselves fed & sheltered. 

My background is similar - happy to chat with them about the reserves, although it's still a long way off for them.

He apparently grew up in Minnesota.  It'll be interesting to see how that translates to surfing... 

As someone from the arctic Midwest, I'll say it's not too hard to learn if there's no wetsuit involved!


Cassie

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2015, 09:36:58 PM »
Nord's my Mom was very social & did keep making good friends. However, it takes time to build close relationships & she could care less about the age of people. She had a lot of younger friends.   Age takes a toll whether you care to admit it or not. 

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2015, 10:08:18 AM »
I am glad your recovery is going well, even if not quickly enough for you.

I recommend that you take some ibuprofen prophylactically - it helps keep you from getting as sore during your activity (keeps inflammation from getting as bad). Another plus is faster recovery afterward. For me this meant doses before and after activity. Learned this from another friend and found it very helpful, like you said, even if it is a placebo effect, it is the effect that counts.

Given my age and history, I likely can't get in great shape - but I need to get in better shape, one of my post-FIRE goals. So I am happy to hear how you stay active and having fun!

Continued recovery!

Nords

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2015, 03:21:45 PM »
I am glad your recovery is going well, even if not quickly enough for you.

I recommend that you take some ibuprofen prophylactically - it helps keep you from getting as sore during your activity (keeps inflammation from getting as bad). Another plus is faster recovery afterward. For me this meant doses before and after activity. Learned this from another friend and found it very helpful, like you said, even if it is a placebo effect, it is the effect that counts.

Given my age and history, I likely can't get in great shape - but I need to get in better shape, one of my post-FIRE goals. So I am happy to hear how you stay active and having fun!

Continued recovery!
Thanks!

My orthopedic surgeon said that ibuprofen is one of the two dozen anti-inflammatories & painkillers that he takes his patients through during the search for the best relief.  I spent most of a year on 800 mg 3x/day for my knees until I strengthened them (and reduced the swelling) through rehab.  These days I still take 800 mg after every surf session or workout or hard yardwork or even a two-mile walk.  Then at bedtime (if it's been six hours since my last dose) I'll take another 800 mg.  Otherwise when I roll over in my sleep I wake up from the pain.

But I've also read the warnings about stomach linings and digestive tract bleeding, and I'm careful to take ibuprofen after food and with plenty of water.

I read a study about runners who took ibuprofen before their races.  Admittedly this is only one data point, but they found that the runners pushed harder, ran faster, and... had more injuries after the race.  That's exactly my personality, so I don't take ibuprofen before exercise and I pay attention to the pain signals. 

If you're "of a certain age", it's no longer about training for the next triathlon.  It's about maintaining and preserving.  It's about staying as strong as you were last month without injuring yourself or developing a respiratory infection or getting sidetracked by other life events.  It's also as simple as walking 2-3 miles every other day.  I hate to admit it, but the book "Younger Next Year" has a lot of good advice.

I really need to trademark & license my idea for chocolate-flavored ibuprofen.  I'm sure Hershey's would partner with big pharma to make ibuprofen chocolate chips.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2015, 04:00:03 PM »
I really need to trademark & license my idea for chocolate-flavored ibuprofen.  I'm sure Hershey's would partner with big pharma to make ibuprofen chocolate chips.

That's an amazing idea!

A 56 year old once told me that her life was better once she accepted that there were now one-ibuprofen gardening jobs in her life and two-ibuprofen gardening jobs.

Cassie

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2015, 05:12:01 PM »
I stick to aspirin because I was told that there is a lifetime limit of how much of the other stuff you can take before it damages your liver.

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2015, 08:26:48 PM »
I am glad your recovery is going well, even if not quickly enough for you.

I recommend that you take some ibuprofen prophylactically - it helps keep you from getting as sore during your activity (keeps inflammation from getting as bad). Another plus is faster recovery afterward. For me this meant doses before and after activity. Learned this from another friend and found it very helpful, like you said, even if it is a placebo effect, it is the effect that counts.

Given my age and history, I likely can't get in great shape - but I need to get in better shape, one of my post-FIRE goals. So I am happy to hear how you stay active and having fun!

Continued recovery!
Thanks!

My orthopedic surgeon said that ibuprofen is one of the two dozen anti-inflammatories & painkillers that he takes his patients through during the search for the best relief.  I spent most of a year on 800 mg 3x/day for my knees until I strengthened them (and reduced the swelling) through rehab.  These days I still take 800 mg after every surf session or workout or hard yardwork or even a two-mile walk.  Then at bedtime (if it's been six hours since my last dose) I'll take another 800 mg.  Otherwise when I roll over in my sleep I wake up from the pain.

But I've also read the warnings about stomach linings and digestive tract bleeding, and I'm careful to take ibuprofen after food and with plenty of water.

I read a study about runners who took ibuprofen before their races.  Admittedly this is only one data point, but they found that the runners pushed harder, ran faster, and... had more injuries after the race.  That's exactly my personality, so I don't take ibuprofen before exercise and I pay attention to the pain signals. 

If you're "of a certain age", it's no longer about training for the next triathlon.  It's about maintaining and preserving.  It's about staying as strong as you were last month without injuring yourself or developing a respiratory infection or getting sidetracked by other life events.  It's also as simple as walking 2-3 miles every other day.  I hate to admit it, but the book "Younger Next Year" has a lot of good advice.

I really need to trademark & license my idea for chocolate-flavored ibuprofen.  I'm sure Hershey's would partner with big pharma to make ibuprofen chocolate chips.

My sport of choice was volleyball, indoor and sand (2, 4, and 6 person) - so my knees and shoulders have suffered. There are times when I was playing that my knees ached so bad after my muscles cooled that I could barely walk. I was playing or practicing multiple days per week because it was so much fun. Then a team dissolved, hard to build a new team, etc... Then I switched to training in a gym - weight lifting and cardio. Got into pretty solid shape, then illness and injury, and life change and I fell off the wagon.

This is a long winded intro to my current state where those cumulative injuries and insults from my earlier much more active life have come back to haunt me. Turns out that lots of things never really 'healed', but overall fitness hid or compensated for the damage. But when that fitness is lost, that damage remains. Ouch! I am probably lucky to be as mobile as I am. My f*ing desk job certainly did not help.

I don't know what pure ibuprofen tastes like - the nasty taste of the pills could be carrier or filler.... If chocolate doesn't work, we can try bacon!

choppingwood

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2015, 01:22:45 PM »
I stick to aspirin because I was told that there is a lifetime limit of how much of the other stuff you can take before it damages your liver.

Each NSAID has its pluses and minuses, and different effectiveness and side effects for different people. Best to research it and talk it over with your doctor. But taking something that keeps you active is a definite pro for all of them.

choppingwood

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2015, 01:29:38 PM »
I don't know what pure ibuprofen tastes like - the nasty taste of the pills could be carrier or filler.... If chocolate doesn't work, we can try bacon!

The coating tastes like candy (the same coating as used to be on multivitamins). It is OK for one a day, but if you are taking it multiple times a day, chocolate would be better. Or, as you say, bacon.

G-dog

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2015, 01:43:48 PM »
I don't know what pure ibuprofen tastes like - the nasty taste of the pills could be carrier or filler.... If chocolate doesn't work, we can try bacon!

The coating tastes like candy (the same coating as used to be on multivitamins). It is OK for one a day, but if you are taking it multiple times a day, chocolate would be better. Or, as you say, bacon.

I was thinking these would be chewable...

choppingwood

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Re: Emergency appendectomy and our daughter's engagement
« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2015, 03:13:54 PM »
I was thinking these would be chewable...

That would be better.