| Sept. 30, 2009 |
Three days after I returned from my honeymoon, at about 9 o’clock in the morning, I found myself in the passenger seat of Joe’s Honda Accord, lying on my side, curled up like a shrimp, crying softly into the car’s fabric upholstery on route to a St. Petersburg emergency room.
We thought my appendix was rupturing.
It happened in the kitchen when I was making Joe a tuna fish sandwich. It started out as a slight cramping in my lower abdomen. Nothing major, no more alarming than a dull wave of period cramps –– except that I didn’t have my period. I wasn’t even close to getting it.
I kept on with Joe’s sandwich, cringing as the cramps got stronger.
I squeezed a dollop of mayonnaise into the bowl. I mixed it with the tuna. And then a cramp hit me that was so fierce it brought me to my knees. It felt like I had a lead weight in my abdomen that with each breath grew larger, making it impossible to stand up.
The dull ache I experienced minutes earlier had been swallowed whole by a new, godawful kind of cramping; the kind that actually makes you whimper.
I crawled my way into the bedroom and climbed up onto the bed. I curled into the fetal position with a pillow between my legs and waited for Joe to get out of the shower.