On Sunday night, April 12th, my husband had another night of getting dressed and wandering through the house. Over that weekend the neurologist was trying yet another medication, off-label, which ideally has a side effect of drowsiness. There is no reasoning with my husband when he does this, hence I was awakened at 1:30am and 4:30am. Finally, trying to get a few more hours of sleep myself, I was just entering that relaxed, dreamy state before oblivion when our youngest son knocked on my door, asking if there were any antacids in the house. I groggily told him to take four extra strength Tums, then fell asleep, but dreamt he was trapped somewhere and I couldn't find him.

Next thing I knew it was 8:00am and my husband, who had eaten breakfast at either 1:30 or 4:30am, woke me to take him "to work." A flashback of the dream regarding our son was as clear as a film scene; he was seated, hunched over in a dank basement, chained to a metal railing. Creepy. I dressed quickly and before taking my husband to the Day Center, checked on our son. He was awake and in considerable pain. I went into crisis mode, drove my husband to the Day Center, then came home and assessed the situation: my 25-year-old who rarely takes even Tylenol, let alone vitamins and had been fine watching Game of Thrones the night before, was in serious trouble.

After two calls to his internist's office, who said they could squeeze him in at the end of the day, I made it clear he couldn't tolerate the level of pain plus he had been vomiting. So, off to the ER, where they determined he had acute appendicitis. Filled out a million forms, answered a million questions then contacted my backup helpers for my husband. There are a million other details, mistakes, bizarre happenings, far too many coincidences, but in the end, by 10:00pm he was sans appendix, on pain meds and eating the equivilent of four catering size platters, plus cartons of milk and juice in a private room. I was giddy with fatigue; when a tired aide handed me three bags of IV fluids and meds so my son could use the bathroom, I couldn't stop laughing at the absurdity. And no, I didn't go in the bathroom with him, poor guy.

He was kept overnight and sent home on Percocet, which in hindsight, was not the right drug for him. We've had a different kind of roller coaster since then, and as all young people of that age, he expected to be back to work immediately. Post-op visit was today and surgeon was surprised my son wasn't back to normal functioning. To my own selfish satisfaction, he repeated much of what my son didn't want to hear...that basically when you have an organ removed, everyone's body reacts differently and heals slower than they initially tell you.

The surgeon ended by telling us a funny story about his residency, in which he removed Meryl Streep's then-sixteen-year-old daughter's appendix. He said that despite her fame, she was down on her knees, putting socks on her daughter's bare feet. I laughed because my son had three nurses putting socks on him. At that point, he was on IV Dilaudid, very interested in all of the machines and charming everyone in sight, while talking about computer programming. Apparently, just before anesthesia and as soon as he awoke, he was telling anyone who was within earshot about his software company.

The whole experience was sobering in many ways and my husband is still confused about which son had "something go wrong" and he vaguely remembers his own appendectomy, which was far more serious since it had ruptured and occurred right after our son was conceived and I hadn't yet told anyone. He had to stay in the hospital ten days, then was at home almost six weeks. 25 years ago. And one thing I remember is he wanted to leave the hospital to get back to work. At the very least, both of our sons inherited a strong work ethic!

Note: While this is not directly related to our Alzheimer's journey, we've reached the stage where EVERYTHING is tinged by it, much as I would like our life to be different.