I have always enjoyed good health, except the occasional dust allergy, which I suffer mostly when our home gets cleaned inside out annually or when I am driving long distance with windows rolled down. That’s why this sudden, gripping, and jabbing pain in the abdomen had me worried. I was just out of bed and thought that my stomach might not have agreed to the spicy food served at the office canteen the previous day. The pain subsided gradually, but it came back in spurts throughout the day. I decided to go to my physician on the way back from office.
The 35-minute drive was sheer torture. The pain started, more severe this time than before, just as I revved up the engine. When I dragged myself into the clinic, I felt very nauseous and fatigued. I was sweating buckets and absolutely tensed because I thought my abdomen was about to explode.
Labs tests and scans were done, which showed a high count of WBC. Other radiological findings indicated acute appendicitis. However, by the time we had all this information, I was feeling better and the pain had significantly subsided. Therefore, I made the decision that I was not going through with the surgery that my doctor recommended, at least for the time being. I was warned that the condition could get worse. I guess not having gone under the knife even once in my 36 years of life made me feel jittery. I was determined to put it off as long as I could.
The pain returned within three weeks and yes, it was far too acute than the previous episode. I was driving with a friend at that time. I remember vomiting continuously and feeling completely disoriented. This time I knew I had to go to the ER. I was checked again and immediately wheeled in for operation, which lasted for less than an hour. The surgeon told me that the appendix had scars indicating chronic inflammation. However, the pathology report revealed acute appendicitis with no chronic component.
My experience with appendicitis taught me a few valuable lessons. The first lesson is to never put off medical treatment, even if it looks like an innocuous thing. It can come back in a more severe form and cause major health complications. I was lucky my appendix was removed just in time. Second, surgery is not something to be scared of, if you are in the hands of an expert. Just make sure you go to the best surgeon in town. Remain positive and have a couple of reliable friends on speed dial, so that they can be contacted in an emergency.