Patient Comments: Appendicitis - Symptoms

What were the signs and symptoms you experienced with appendicitis?

Comment from: mrsgardea, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 29

It was a Tuesday, and I started the day out with frequent diarrhea till about 2 pm. Then I started feeling a pain in my right side, about the height of my belly button. I thought maybe I pulled a muscle, but I wasn"t doing anything active. A couple hours later I thought it must be gas pains so I took a double dose of Gasex. By 8 pm, nothing had changed and the pain was getting worse. I started to rule out gas. It was very tender to the touch and the area which it hurt got larger. By the middle of the night, the pain was radiating to my back. I started thinking it was appendicitis. But my husband was saying that usually people have a fever and vomiting if it"s that. Well, I wasn't having those symptoms, but the pain was so bad I knew something wasn"t right. So we went to the emergency room in the morning. Sure enough, after a CT scan, they said it was my appendix and I had it removed that evening. So don"t ignore a pain on your right side that doesn"t go away. Once you"re vomiting and have a fever that just means that it"s ruptured already. Don"t wait for that!

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Comment from: Steve L, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 01

On a Monday night around 7:30 I had an espresso after dinner, somewhat unusual for me. Around 9:00, some intestinal distress started. It felt like some routine indigestion, like I was a little gassy. I blamed it on the late coffee and went to bed. Tuesday all day was more of the same, kind of a nagging indigestion. I ate my normal diet, had some coffee and enjoyed a nice halibut dinner. Around 9:00, I tried chewing three Tums; didn"t help. Suddenly at 10:00, I was hit with severe abdominal pain. Dropped me right to the floor, crying out. I was also instantly nauseated, I literally crawled to the toilet. I was 100% certain I would vomit, with cold sweat and shaking. But after 3-4 minutes, the pain subsided and the nausea went away. I had heard enough previously about appendicitis that I suspected it immediately. We went to the emergency room (ER), got the CT scan confirmation, moved to the hospital, and had surgery at 6:30 AM Wednesday. It was laparoscopic and I was back in the room by 8:30. I read somewhere that antacids can accelerate the appendicitis, and perhaps taking the Tums was related to the pain attack. But if not for the pain, I wouldn"t have known it was urgent, for at least another couple days.

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Comment from: Megmaeve, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

My appendicitis symptoms came on rapidly. I ate pizza about 2:00pm on Monday, started developing stomach cramps about 3:30pm. I thought it was the pizza. They progressed to the point that about 5:30pm I called a friend and asked her to drive me to the emergency room (ER). I was in her back seat, on my knees, screaming and panting. I felt like my insides were being torn to shreds. She ran red lights to get to the hospital, I scared her so badly. She said later that I sounded like I was giving birth. All I remember is asking her to drive safely, because at that point we were both still alive! In the ER the pain dulled down to a dull roar and it took almost 3 hours to see a doctor. Once I was in triage, the physician made a quick assessment and got me a CAT scan. I think it took only 30 minutes from that before I was on the operating table. I read all of these other stories of days and weeks before diagnosis. I must have had a very short onset because my pain was so severe I thought I wanted to die if I couldn"t get help immediately. In the end, I am 4 days post-surgery and recovering well at home. Though, if anyone ever says this is a "minor" surgery, I beg to differ. I definitely cannot get up and start running around anytime soon.

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Comment from: bdsmith, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 20

I was very sick for a week, first I thought I had food poisoning, but the pain was only getting worse. Finally after a week I week to the emergency room and was rushed into surgery. I stayed 2 days in the hospital, and was in a lot of pain, not something I would wish on anyone. Throwing up, diarrhea and stomach cramps were severe.

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Comment from: Stu, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 21

One night I was kept awake with severe abdominal pain, along with diarrhea and vomiting. I also had a severe fever and shakes. Eventually at around 4 am I went to the emergency room, doubled over in agony, thinking I had a severe case of food poisoning. I was placed on a drip and a blood test was taken. After 2 to 3 hours, I was informed I indeed had food poisoning, and was told to go home, hydrate and rest. Over the course of the next few days many of my symptoms gradually subsided, however I continued to lose weight at an extremely rapid rate, and felt constantly tired. I sought a second opinion from my local doctor, and after 5 minutes he told me it was very likely I had appendicitis and I should go straight to the hospital. This time (with my doctor's referral) they diagnosed me correctly and did the necessary scans. The scans revealed that my appendix had indeed burst (likely on that day I went in prior) and an abscess had formed around it to minimize the damage. By this point though, the abscess had begun to leak, with toxins beginning to spread. After reviewing the CAT scan data, my surgeon informed me that had I waited a couple of days more, I would've likely gone septic. The scan also revealed that my appendix had essentially disappeared into goop, and surgery was pointless. Instead, a tube was placed in me to pump out the pus and other materials (including what was left of my appendix) over the course of 5 to 6 days, while I was fed antibiotics through a drip. I'm now out of the hospital and (for now at least) have been given the all-clear. The moral of this story, don't put your head in the sand if things don't seem right, and don't be afraid to ask for a second opinion.

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Patient Comments

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Appendicitis - Treatments Question: How was your appendicitis treated?
Appendicitis - Causes Question: What do you believe was the cause of your appendicitis?
Appendicitis - Surgery Question: Did you have an appendectomy? Please describe the experience.
Appendicitis - Complications Question: Please discuss complications you experienced with appendicitis.

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