I didn’t know what Appendicitis was. I was 15 years old, and all I knew was it was by far the worst stomach ache that I had ever had — or so I thought at the time.
I went to the school nurse, who in turn called my parents to come and take me home. After I got undressed and settled in bed, my mom came in and took my temperature. I did have a temp but it was low-grade, so mom gave me a couple of aspirin.
I told my mom that my pain was kind of around my belly button, but also on the lower right a little bit. After talking a little bit my mom and I came to the same conclusion; I was probably getting ready to have my monthly period. I was relatively new to having my monthly and it seemed that every month brought a new set of pain, and in a different way.
Time did nothing to take the pain away. A couple of hours later the pain seemed to have gotten worse; not better. Mom and dad came into my room to explain that they had called the doctor, and since the pain was not going away, and because of where the pain was he felt that I should be checked.
Ever since that day I have been ever so grateful for the gentle motherly love she showed me in the next few minutes. As I was getting dressed she explained to me about the examination I was going to have when I got to the doctor’s office. I thought I was going to drop dead. I was fifteen years old. I thought a complete examination was ears, nose and throat, and maybe chest if you had a cold. It seems my mom had appendicitis when she was a young woman, and when she told me about having to endure a rectal exam, I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t imagine what a doctor could tell by doing that to a person.
By the time that I got to the doctor’s office the pain was worse. Lying flat on the exam table hurt, but after the doctor pushed on my right side and then released it, it was almost like an explosion of pain. It hurt so bad; and after the rectal exam the pain just seemed to get worse. I just laid there and cried.
The doctor gave me a shot. He said it was to help the pain, and also help me to relax. After I got dressed the doctor and my dad came in and told me I was going to have to go to the hospital to have my appendix taken out. He said my appendix had become inflamed and he wanted to remove it before it burst.
I had my appendix taken out that day. I recuperated in the hospital a couple of days, then a couple of days more at home. Then life I knew it was back to normal.
I always appreciated my mother lovingly guiding me through this frightening appendicitis experience, and I always told myself that I wanted to be the same way when I had kids. Well, I had three children who have not as yet had to experience appendicitis, and they were all boys so I didn’t have to worry about getting symptoms confused with their monthly cycles.
Though I never had to go through the appendicitis experience with my children, I would have followed these tips with them:
Don’t suffer in silence
If you are experiencing pain around the navel, or more to the right side; have it checked out. It could be a symptom of something serious like appendicitis. If left untreated the appendix can burst causing a plethora of severe complications.
Give yourself a self-test
Lie flat. With your fingers, push on the lower right side of your abdominal area. Press, and hold for a few seconds, and then quickly release. With appendicitis the pain will be worse as soon as you let go. The results of this are something that you will want to let your doctor know, when you call.
Take your temperature
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Chances are, if you are having an appendicitis attack, you will at least run a low – grade temp.
Other symptoms to watch for
Along with the pain, you can experience diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. It may also feel as though you have trapped gas.
Call your doctor
Calling your doctor is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself in case of appendicitis. He/she will know by the way that you describe your symptoms whether you need to be checked out right away, of if you can wait awhile to see if symptoms subside.
It is important that you understand appendicitis. Appendicitis is serious and can bring severe complications. Don’t take chances because you, and only you are responsible for your health and that of your children.