It has been a crazy 30 or so days. My apologies for the lack of blogging. However, you’ll probably hear in the next several blogs about most of the many things that have been going on around here since August 13, from the disastrous to the cosmic–both of which, by the way, happened on that date with the unlucky number.

One of the items on my 60th Birthday Bucket List is “stay up late or get up early to watch a meteor shower.” This year, the peak of the Perseid meteor shower was August 13 and given clear skies it was due to be a great viewing year because of the early setting of the moon. You never know when to expect a meteor to appear, nor can you know whether it will be a long one, streaming across the sky, or one that just briefly flares. Or so I’ve heard.

By the 13th, I already had the meteor shower item on my developing list, because I’ve always wanted to lie on the ground and watch for the random show of the Perseids, but I never managed the “stay up late or get up early” part. On August 13, my birthday had not yet occurred, so technically I couldn’t watch the Perseids this year and call that item “done.” Enter irony.

The morning of the 12th I woke up feeling gassy in my upper abdomen. This bloated feeling lasted all day, but I’d pigged out on buttered popcorn the night before and I’ve had similar feelings under those circumstances. Penance, I thought, for bad eating behavior while Bob was out of town working in Chicago. Still, by evening I decided to take some Tums, which usually takes care of the gas. It didn’t, and going to bed resulted in no sleep, discomfort in my upper abdomen, and, by midnight, a fever of 100.1.

I switched beds, switched pillow positions, went to the couch to try to get comfortable. I paced around, hoping that the next time I lay down sleep would come. By 3 am I started contemplating going to the emergency room, even though I wasn’t in much pain and didn’t have the symptoms that many Google searches showed I should worry about. Something just seemed wrong there in the wee hours of the 13th.

Around 4 am, the scenario hadn’t changed. I paced through the dark house into the dining room. That was the direction where the Perseids would be visible. Knowing that the peak of the shower was supposed to be happening, I had contemplated going out on the deck to lie down and watch, since I wasn’t sleeping anyway, but it was a little too cold and I was too tired to get blankets to take outside.

Within a few seconds of standing at the dining room window, I saw a meteor. Not a long-lasting one, but beautiful anyway. A few seconds later there was another one. Two in a row! It’s a sign, I thought, in my fevered state. If I see a third one, I’ll head to the emergency room. Well, the third one never showed up, but I decided that it was time to go anyway. Fully expecting to be sent home with a case of indigestion (or maybe gallstones since that’s where the pain was and they run in our family), I headed to the ER.

The ER doc put his finger on the problem, literally. The feeling of gaseousness was originating from McBurney’s point, and he knew just where to find it. Ouch! No doubt about the diagnosis–appendicitis–or the treatment–appendectomy.  Unexpected.

Less than four hours after leaving home for the ER, I was under the knife, Bob was driving madly home from Chicago, and Ali was already at the hospital with my overnight bag. Two days later I was discharged, and 13 days later I was out for a bike ride, with the surgeon’s approval. As appendectomies go, I was very lucky that things went so smoothly.

I’m down a body part and left with the dilemma–do those two meteors viewed at 4 am count as “stay up late to watch a meteor shower” for my birthday bucket list? I have the item marked as “in progress,” but I think not, unless every meteor shower over the next 12 months is clouded over. If that happens, I’ll take a look at my belly scar and remember the night of the disastrous and the cosmic.