Like many children who grew up in my generation, my first introduction to the appendix — that strange, useless organ— was in Madeline. Madeline, the red-headed heroine of these children’s books, suffered from appendicitis and was rushed to the hospital in the night.
This seemed very glamorous to me as a child, and I asked my mother to explain what had happened to her in detail. My mother, who studied health education in college, was more than happy to tell me about how the appendix, which had been vital in the days when human beings ate more vegetables, was now a vestigial organ that sometimes became inflamed.
As exciting as appendicitis sounded, I wasn’t eager to experience it firsthand, so I started eating more vegetables.
My Experience with Appendicitis
Unfortunately, that’s not how the appendix works, and the night came when I, too, was awakened in the night by a sharp pain in my abdomen. I was past the age of reading picture books, but I was still fairly young, and my first thought was of what had happened to Madeline. I cried out for my parents, and my father came rushing into the room.
I was a fairly melodramatic child, and when I told him the pain was unbearable he didn’t believe me at first. When my mother came in, though, she must have seen something in my face, for she was the one who decided to take me to the hospital.
Facts About Appendicitis
I underwent my first surgery as a result of acute appendicitis-surgery isn’t always necessary, but in my case it was. Later, I would be told that while antibiotics worked for some people, a great number of those to whom they were prescribed ended up needing surgery at some later date.
My experience with appendicitis wasn’t exactly traumatic, though it was certainly strange and confusing to me as a child. If I were to meet anyone in the same situation, I would advise that they keep calm. Appendicitis may be scary, but complications from surgery are relatively rare. You’ll probably be fine, though it’s certainly a painful condition to suffer from.