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The Story of How I Found Out I Had Appendicitis

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A photo of me

A photo of me

My Emergency Appendicitis

It was a Friday evening, and my children and I went to visit some family friends across town. During the visit, I told my friend a few times that my stomach hurt and that my jeans felt tight. It hurt right around my belly button, and I couldn't figure out what was going on. Later, the pain wasn't as bad, but it never went completely away.

I had a busy week coming up. On Saturday, I would pick up my nephew while his parents, my sister-in-law, and my brother-in-law went on a vacation to Las Vegas. The child was a challenge to care for because he had down syndrome. It was for this reason that I volunteered to do the care-taking, knowing his grandmother, my mother-in-law, would be overwhelmed. Everything went well on Saturday after I picked him up, except I felt a little aching pain on my left side.

Sunday arrived and everyone came over to our house after church. My great aunt and uncle came out to play cards, and the kids' friends were over. After everyone left, I cleaned the toy box. It was very messy after a long day of play. Evening came and I got the two youngest, our son and our nephew, fed and ready for bed. They were both exhausted from the long day and ready to fall asleep. I did the laundry and got the older kids' things ready for school the next day. I didn't eat dinner because I was busy and didn't have time. My husband cleaned the kitchen and when I finally sat down between loads of laundry, I ate some popcorn, which made me feel nauseated.

I went to bed, for a while. At midnight, I woke my husband. Something was wrong. The pain in my stomach was worse. He said it must just be gas and to take something for it. I took Milk of Magnesia and immediately regretted it. At 3:00 in the morning, I took my temperature. It was 101F, but because my temperature never runs that high, I called the doctor. At this point, the pain was excruciating on my right side. He said I needed to come to the hospital, but not until 6:00, when the correct staff would be there. I asked if he thought it was appendicitis. He said, confidently, "Yes."

My children

My children

I called my mother-in-law and told her we would have to bring the younger kids to her house. I called a neighbor to see if she could stay with the older kids until the bus arrived. "No," she said. She couldn't because she made lunch plans with a friend and didn't want to get stuck at our house and miss it. So I called a real friend. She said she would be right over with her kids and put them all on the bus at the same time. We dropped the babies off at my mother-in-law's house and headed for the hospital. The first thing they asked me was if I had vomited. I hadn't. The pain was now on my right side, and I could barely stand. It was extremely painful. The doctor said he was fairly sure the appendix had ruptured.

They wouldn't put me under to perform surgery, giving me a spinal instead. I hadn't vomited and they were worried I would if they put me under. This scared me more than appendicitis. I was awake through the entire surgery. While performing the surgery, the nurses and the doctor gossiped, talked about parties, and shared their summer plans.

After surgery, I had to spend five days in the hospital. I have a large scar where they made the incision, which they made big enough to examine more than just my appendix. At the time, they felt it was likely I was experiencing a ruptured appendix but were not entirely sure. As it turns out, my appendix did not rupture but was on the verge of rupturing. It was also gangrenous. The doctor figured that if they hadn't done the surgery when they did, it would have ruptured within another hour.

My recovery took a little longer than normal because of the large incision. Usually, scars from an operation to remove an appendix are not so large. When other doctors see the scar, they say the doctors must not have had a positive diagnosis before operating. According to other doctors, they were also looking for stomach cancer.

My mother-in-law

My mother-in-law

My mother-in-law did fine with the kids, with help from my husband and close friends. She told me my two-year-old put a little chair on the front lawn and sat there, waiting for me to come home. He told her he wouldn't leave until "Mommy" came home.

Before leaving the hospital, the doctor told me appendicitis runs in families. My dad and my brother both had their appendixes removed at about the same age I did, which made sense because appendicitis accelerates as you age, the doctor said.

Some of the symptoms of appendicitis are:

  • Pain in the center of the stomach or on the sides. Most of the pain is on the right side.
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Vomiting

I'm not a doctor, a nurse, or an expert on the subject of appendicitis, I just wanted to share my experience in the hopes that somehow, it will help you or your loved ones.

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Read More From Patientslounge

My Brother-in-law

When my brother-in-law was about seven he got very sick with what his parents thought were flu-like symptoms. His parents treated his condition as if it was stomach flu until he was not getting well. They took him to the doctor and it was his appendix, they had already ruptured. He spent many days in the hospital and almost didn't make it. It’s very easy to mistake appendicitis with stomach flu.

The Story of My Mother

In 2015, my mother came down with appendicitis. She was 92. My sister took her to the doctor right away, but Mother's appendix had already ruptured. She got better but never was completely well after the appendicitis surgery. In just days, she was back in the hospital, and in a short time, she was gone. When you're her age that kind of trauma to the body is not good.

The doctor said when older people have something like this they just have a hard time coming back to good health.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 moonlake


Emily on February 02, 2017:

Should I go to the docter, because I've been having the same symtoms for more than a year. It hurts on my left side.

moonlake (author) from America on October 21, 2015:

Pamela Kinnaird W , Thank you for stopping by. I still think of him as my little boy, but he's 42 now.

moonlake (author) from America on October 21, 2015:

Alphadogg16, Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate it.

moonlake (author) from America on October 21, 2015:

Shyron E Shenko, I feel bad for little kids. This is so painful. Thanks for stopping by.

moonlake (author) from America on October 21, 2015:

janetwrites, Thank you and thanks so much for stopping by.

moonlake (author) from America on October 21, 2015:

Thelma Alberts , Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope this hub does help someone.

Pamela Kinnaird W from Arizona. on September 03, 2014:

I'm really glad I read this so I have some idea about the symptoms in case someone in my family ever has these symptoms -- and I'm really glad you got through the whole ordeal okay. Thanks for sharing all of the good details, too -- so fun to read about your little boy out there waiting on the lawn.

Kevin W from Texas on July 22, 2014:

Wow..... I'm glad everything ending well, it could have been much worse. Glad you shared your story & are ok.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 22, 2014:

I am so glad your appendix did not bust. My son when he was seven had his appendix out. I had to take him to the ER because of the pain.

Yes I still have mine.

This is a very informative hub and I will keep it bookmarked.

Thank you for sharing this with us.



Janet Giessl from Georgia country on February 04, 2014:

Thank you for sharing your personal story about appendicitis. Whenever we have pains in our stomach and they won't go away we should immediately go to the hospital. I'm so glad to hear that everything fine in the end.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on February 03, 2014:

Thanks for sharing your story. I still have my appendicitis and this hub will help me if I have symptoms like those you had. Voted up and shared.

moonlake (author) from America on December 22, 2013:

PegCole17, Thank you and thanks for coming by. I hope it does help someone.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 20, 2013:

Your story will certainly help others to recognize the importance of knowing these symptoms and taking immediate action. I'm glad things turned out okay for you.

moonlake (author) from America on October 29, 2013:

DDE, Thank you and thanks so much for stopping by.

moonlake (author) from America on October 28, 2013:

Shyron E Shenko, I don't mind go ahead and connect. Thank you for stopping by and for the vote, shared and pinned.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 28, 2013:

How To Tell If You Have Appendicitis. Symptoms Of Appendicitis. My Story. interesting about your experience, and that you lasted so long without the appendix rupturing glad you are fine now and I definitely learned much more here thanks fro sharing your experience.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 28, 2013:

Oh...I can feel the pain. Moonlake, this is a very informative hub. I would like to link this hub to my story about my son having his appendix out in 'How do You Survive Accident-Prone Children? How do your Children Survive being Accident-Prone Part 2,' that is if you don't mind.

Voted-up, UAI, shared and pinned on Amazing HubPages board.

moonlake (author) from America on October 13, 2013:

CraftytotheCore, I had to have my gallbladder out in 1992. I was lucky it went well and I did very good right away. Sorry you had problems with yours. Thank you so much for stopping by.

CraftytotheCore on October 12, 2013:

Moonlake, your story is so touching. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of this. I know how painful surgery is. I recently had my gallbladder out and even that was not as easy as I thought it would be.

What really touched me in your story was how you called out for help and you were rejected. That's happened to me time and time again. I know how frustrating and painful that is. Especially when you would probably bend over backwards helping that other person.

I'm so glad they healed you in time.

moonlake (author) from America on September 30, 2013:

Millionaire Tips, Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it. It's is hard to tell appendicitis like my husband said he was sure it was just gas but you don't get a fever with gas.

Shasta Matova from USA on September 29, 2013:

My daughter has had her appendix taken out. I'm not convinced she needed that though. The symptoms of appendicitis are so similar to other things - like gas - so I had to take her to the hospital to be sure. At least now, I know for sure it isn't!

moonlake (author) from America on September 24, 2013:

FlourishAnyway, I never heard of tapping on the bottom of a person's feet. I did lose weight I forgot about that until you mentioned it. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 23, 2013:

Sounds like a really scary experience. I had a friend who had appendicitis and she said they tapped on the bottom of her feet as an indicator, and if that was excruciating it wasn't a good sign. She also lost a lot of weight afterwards without changing anything. Thanks for relaying your story so others know more about it.

moonlake (author) from America on September 01, 2013:

Indian Chef, Thanks for stopping.It is painful and dangerous.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on August 30, 2013:

Very useful Hub. Even though i never had appendicities but I am afraid of it as it is very painful in acute conditions. Voting it up

moonlake (author) from America on May 22, 2013:

Peggy W, Thank you for the pin. I don't think he ever will forget. He was small but he can still remember me not being there.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 22, 2013:

This is important information to take into account for people who have similar symptoms. Am going to pin this to my Health related subjects board on Pinterest. I'll bet that your son will never forget that episode of you being at the hospital. It was probably scary for him in addition to him missing you being at home.

moonlake (author) from America on May 10, 2013:

Paul Kuehn, Thanks for stopping by and telling your story. It's a really scary thing to have happen. I appreciate the vote, share, tweet and pin.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on May 10, 2013:


This is a very useful and interesting hub and it certainly brings back some scary memories. At the age of 6 in 1950 I had an emergency appendectomy. I remember that I was vomiting, had a fever, and that my side really hurt. Ma took me to see Dr. Voellings up the street, and after doing a blood count, the diagnosis was that I had a ruptured appendix. When I heard the doctor telling my ma that I had to go into the hospital immediately for an operation, I began very scared and kept asking my ma and the doctor whether I was going to die. I remember being on the operating table and someone putting a cloth with ether over my face. After that I felt like I was under a freight train which was blowing all white smoke around me. When I awoke, I was sore and really thirsty, but I couldn't drink. Within a year, my mother, oldest sister, and I all had appendectonies. Voted up and sharing. Also Pinning and Tweeting.

moonlake (author) from America on May 06, 2013:

trish1048, I have heard other people say how suddenly it has came on them. Glad you got help. You had your appendix surgery the same way I had my gallbladder surgery done. Thanks for stopping by and telling your story.

trish1048 on May 06, 2013:

I remember the day, it was a Friday and I had just gotten to work. I started not feeling well, and was beginning to get pains in my stomach. Long story short, after an hour or so I was doubled over in pain. I had foolishly driven myself to the hospital even though coworkers offered to take me. The pain was excruciating. It turned out to be my appendix. My surgery was done through my navel and two other small incisions. The thing that was so scary was that it just came upon me so suddenly, and the only symptomI had was the severe stomach pain .

moonlake (author) from America on May 05, 2013:

Kasman, I'm glad your cousin's wife was ok. It can be so dangerous. Thank you so much for stopping by and for the vote and share.

Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on May 05, 2013:

Moonlake, with as many health problems as my wife has faced recently this is a wonderful hub to keep track of. I also am so thankful you were okay through all of it because my cousin's wife went through this last year in Thailand and thankfully they had a decent hospital to be able to take care of her during this scare! Voting this up and sharing big time!

moonlake (author) from America on April 03, 2013:

Deborah-Diane, Thank you, so glad your daughter is ok. It can be very dangerous. Thanks for stopping by and for the vote.

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on April 03, 2013:

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. One of our daughters had appendicitis in her 30's and she almost died. It was very frightening. I am glad you have shared the symptoms with others. This Hub could save a life someday! Vote up!

moonlake (author) from America on March 18, 2013:

mamarou, Really how interesting, so glad it didn't kill you. Thanks so much for stopping by.

mamarou from Sherwood, OR on March 18, 2013:

Used to have one, don't any more. You see it tore, sealed back up and then went into a full blown rupture. According to the doctors I should have been dead, except one small had walled off!

moonlake (author) from America on February 28, 2013:

kitkat1141, Thank you that is right I can tell you that for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by I appreciate it.

kitkat1141 from Ontario, Canada on February 28, 2013:

Great information. One other detail that should be mentioned is the pain is usually described as "rebound pain". That means, when the stomach is pressed, it is more painful when the pressure is released. This quite often means appendicitis.

moonlake (author) from America on February 11, 2013:

SallyTX, Thank you I'm glad I got them out in time too. Thanks for stopping by and for the vote.

Sally Branche from Only In Texas! on February 11, 2013:

Well, I'm glad you got your appendix out in time. That's very good information! Voted up and useful!

moonlake (author) from America on February 06, 2013:

rajan jolly, Really your son and daughter. It is hard for them to tell when there is no vomiting. Which I never did so they were unsure of what was going on with me. Once they opened me up they could see exactly what was wrong.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 05, 2013:

moonlake, my son and daughter have both been operated for appendicitis. They had vomiting and pain. Normally, surgery is performed at the earliest. However, most of the times the doctors are unsure whether it is appendicitis or some other pain.

moonlake (author) from America on February 02, 2013:

bizna, Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment I appreciate it.

JUDITH OKECH from NAIROBI - KENYA on February 02, 2013:

Thanx for sharing. I have noted down the symptoms, i might help someone in future, or even myself.

moonlake (author) from America on February 01, 2013:

ktrapp, Thanks for stopping by. I think I was having problems with mine long before the actual day of the big attack. I had been back and fourth to the doctor with strange stomach pain in my sides. I was 28 at the time and he said I had to realize I was getting old and would have a few achs and pains. My blood count was also normal. Thanks so much for leaving an interesting comment about what your husband went through with appendicitis, glad he's fine now.

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on January 31, 2013:

My husband had an appendectomy about six years ago. The strange thing is it was making him sick for years before he had it removed. My husband, who almost never is sick, started having these strange fevers and back pain that would put him in bed for a few days several times a year for several years straight. It was so bizarre. During one of these episodes that was particularly bad the doctor thought maybe it was his appendix, but his white blood cell count was fine.

These fever and pain episodes started occurring a little more frequently until finally one of them was so bad. He had a lot of back pain and stomach pain and then the telltale sign of an appendicitis happened - all the pain moved to his right side. At the emergency room the doctor didn't suspect that it was an appendicitis because the white cell count was normal and pain to touch was not horrible, however scans showed that he did in fact have an appendicitis that was leaking.

The day after surgery the surgeon said that all the problems for all the years could have been a chronic appendicitis, and he would know that's what it was if all the fever/pain episodes went away. Six years later he has not had another episode so it was some sort of chronic appendicitis condition. His surgery was far less invasive than yours since it was laparoscopic. I didn't realize having an appendicitis could run in families - interesting Hub.

moonlake (author) from America on December 13, 2012:

jantamaya, That was just a figure of speech I didn't mean it as being actually funny. At the time we had a very small hospital, doctors did what they wanted when they wanted. Part of their big problem was not wanting to call the surgeon in or the lab people. Appendicitis is very dangerous it can kill a person and they need to get to the hospital as fast as they can. This would have not happened to me in this day and age I’m not young anymore. I would have went right to the hospital. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment and vote.

MJC from UK on December 13, 2012:

Yes, as I was reading your article, I was wondering that people from your hospital have told you to arrive three hours later... As I understood, they already have suspected appendicitis. It was not funny at all. They should have ordered you to the emergency room without waiting any minute longer! I had a similar case of appendicitis. They couldn't determine if it is or not until it was almost too late. I spent 40 days in the hospital :-/ Again, it was not funny at all.

Thank you very much for writing this interesting article. Voted up.

moonlake (author) from America on December 06, 2012:

sweetie1, Thanks for stopping. Yes you need to get to the hospital fast. It's funny they told me to wait till 6:00 am before coming in. That was many years ago. Thanks for the vote and the share.

sweetie1 from India on December 06, 2012:

Hi Moonlake,

Appendicitis is very painful condition and is usually operated in emergency if it is acute ( as I heard). Thanks for such nice hub, I would know now if I or any of my family member suffer from it and don't wait till morning or suitable time to go for the hospital. voting it up and sharing.

moonlake (author) from America on November 24, 2012:

Peggy W, My neighbor was apologetic later but it was to late and we never forget things like that.

Years later when we were sitting in our yard and our neighbors were on their deck we saw her husband fall and she started screaming my husband's name. My husband leaped up and was across the field between us in no time flat. Her husband was fine later but that is what neighbors do for each other. We never stopped being good neighbors to them.

Thanks Peggy for stopping by and leaving a comment and thanks for the vote.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 22, 2012:

It sounds as though you were lucky that they caught it just before it would have ruptured. Your recovery would have been even longer had it ruptured...assuming you had recovered! Writing about your story may help others recognize the symptoms and also not delay treatment. I'll bet that so-called friend who had to go to lunch and would not help you felt badly after the fact. Cute story about your son waiting for you. Up and useful votes.

moonlake (author) from America on November 21, 2012:

vespawoolf, Thank you. It was good that I had family and friends to help. Good idea to keep an eye on your husband so far no one else in our family has had this happen. Thank you so much for stopping by always enjoy your visit.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 21, 2012:

What a frightening experience! My husband's first cousin had an emergency appendectomy, as well, so now that I know it can be hereditary I'll keep an eye on my husband. If he ever develops these symptoms, I'll know what it is. I'm glad your family was there to help you through the ordeal.