I never finished my appendix story, so I'll sum it up for you in a few paragraphs.
I ran into the emergency room of Albany Medical clutching my stomach. Dave was parking the car while I was trying to figure out how the group of doctors chatting behind the plexiglas were going to assist me. They buzzed me in, and eventually I was in a stiff bed with all kinds of wonderful needles and tubes running through me. Katy and Sarah visited, while Dave watched over me and assured me that I'd get home to Philadelphia the next day. I was administered a healthy dose of morphine, so I couldn't really tell you in detail what happened after that. Apparently, I was sassy with my male doctor. I was later told that when he was checking for my heartbeat I muttered, "My heart beats only for you."
From what I can (barely) remember, I had an MRI and some other tests. When the results were analyzed, they told me that I had a slightly swollen appendix. They said that this was normal, and that I probably just had a bad case of gas. I was told to wait until the following day to go to the hospital in Philadelphia for further examination and evaluation. I ended up getting discharged at 5AM, and Dave drove me all the way home.
The next day my mom came with me to the ER at Jefferson Hospital, just in case some sort of major surgery was in store. I naively expected to get an immediate response on my condition, because I thought a swollen appendix was commonplace and easy to diagnose and treat.
Well, we waited around for 6 or 7 hours. Various doctors came and pressed on different areas of my abdomen, and I winced accordingly. Ultimately they decided that it would be best to remove my appendix, so they did.
I only stayed there for 1 day, which was tolerable. However, the recovery period was a serious annoyance, considering that you can't feel the sensation of urinating for a good 3 days. Getting out of bed and walking was also unbelievably painful. It took about 2 and a half weeks for things to feel normal.
So what did I learn from this whole experience? I'm not so sure. I do know that the appendix doesn't really have a purpose, although there's speculation that it may prevent dysentery.