I have never personally had appendicitis; however, being a nurse for over 40 years gave me the experience of working with and helping to assess children and adults with appendicitis. What patients have complained to me as a nurse was a dull ongoing ache and sometimes a sharp pain at the navel or lower right abdomen. The patient may not be eating well with a loss of appetite.
My friend had lost her good health and lost over 20 pounds in a matter of a few weeks before she was admitted as an emergency case into the hospital. The nurse may notice a swelling in the abdomen and a low-grade fever of less than 100 degrees. If the appendicitis is serious enough, the patient may develop a high fever of over 101 degrees. The person may complain of recent nausea and vomiting, constipation or diarrhea. My friend first experienced loss of appetite and weight loss with other symptoms such as abdominal pain, and nausea and blamed it on indigestion or the flu.
Appendicitis Means Surgery
When an adult or child has an appendicitis attack, it is most painful and the surgeon removes the appendix. There are differing levels of seriousness to appendicitis and the doctor has no way of telling how serious the appendicitis really is until they make an incision in the abdomen and view the diseased appendix. Doctors view all cases of appendicitis as serious emergencies requiring emergency surgery to remove the appendix, simply because they cannot see into the patient unless surgery is performed.
I have had patients and more recently a close friend whom the doctor promptly admitted to the hospital due to appendicitis symptoms. In these few cases the person, my friend included, neglected to get medical attention right away when her abdominal pain was first noticed, until the appendix burst and she ended up with peritonitis, a serious inflammation in the abdominal lining.
Do Not Let Peritonitis Develop from Appendicitis
Appendicitis is serious enough, but peritonitis goes beyond appendicitis that is more common. When the person develops peritonitis it is life threatening and the person can soon die without strong antibiotics intravenously to fight the infection plus emergency surgery. Appendicitis is more common in the younger years from above 3-years to below 35-years; however, my friend was 76-years of age when she developed a burst appendix causing her peritonitis. I guess apppendicitis can attack a person at any age, although quite uncommon in one this aged.
What Causes an Appendicitis Attack?
Throughout the years that doctors have treated patients with appendicitis they have found several reasons why the appendix becomes inflamed. These situations may be due to some infection in the body that also affects the appendix. An Illus or blockage of stool can cause appendicitis as can cancer of the colon.
First of all no medical professional knows for certain why God gave humans an appendix, and doctors still scratch their heads when asked what function the appendix has in the human body. The appendix is a small 3-inch appendage hanging from the end of the large intestine. What medical researchers have found is that humans can live perfectly normal lives without their appendix.
Consult with the Doctor Immediately for Symptoms of Appendicitis
The most important thing for a person to do is to consult with their doctor at once if any of the symptoms of appendicits appear as listed above.