Portland City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau has been in the hospital for the past three weeks, recovering from a ruptured appendix.

He said Wednesday that it’s still difficult to predict when he will be released. The annual District 2 meeting scheduled for Thursday has been postponed until he recovers.

Thibodeau said he went to the hospital on Oct. 25 after suffering abdominal pain for two days.

“It was like a sharp, piercing pain,” the 29-year-old said. “I couldn’t even walk or stand up straight.”

He said the surgery to remove his appendix was a success, but it’s not clear when he will be recovered enough to go home or get back to work.

On Nov. 6, the City Council postponed action on several agenda items because of Thibodeau’s illness. But Mayor Ethan Strimling said he expects the council to vote this Monday on a property tax program for seniors and a proposal to ensure that construction companies working on projects that receive city tax breaks are paying their workers the wages required for state contractors.

Thibodeau also leads the Sustainability and Transportation Committee. He said Councilor Jill Duson will assume control of that committee until he returns.

Appendicitis most often occurs in people between the ages of 10 and 30, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include a sudden pain in the lower-right area of the abdomen, or around the navel and then often shifts to the lower-right abdomen. The pain gets worse with walking, laughing or other jarring movements. Other symptoms include a low-grade fever, bloating and a loss of appetite.

If not treated immediately, the appendix can rupture, spreading the infection throughout the body and requiring more aggressive surgery.

So far, Thibodeau said, his recovery has been a roller coaster. But it has been made easier by the medical care he is receiving.

“One day you think you feel better and the next day you feel completely different,” he said.

Although weak, Thibodeau seems to have maintained his sense of humor. He was even able to cast his ballot from his hospital bed, he said.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to life as I used to know it,” he said. “But it’s a waiting game.”

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

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