The appendix is a small worm-like tube that’s located near the junction of the small intestine and large intestine. Scientists still do not know what its function really is. Why is it there? What happens if it becomes infected? You have appendicitis, an inflammation of the appendix. Appendicitis occurs when the appendix is blocked, either by stool, a foreign body, cancer, or even an infection in your body. Your appendix swells up every time your body has an infection inside it. This is a medical emergency, and the quicker you have surgery to get it out of there, the better off you’ll be. This is what I went through when I had appendicitis.
I was 9 years old when I had my case of appendicitis. It all started with a dull, throbbing pain in my stomach, and it got sharper and sharper as time went on. I got to the point where the right side of my stomach hurt so bad, I could hardly stand up. Diarrhea and vomiting came along with that pain soon after. I told my dad, and he called my mom, who took me to the doctor. We never thought it could be more than just the flu or a stomach virus, since the symptoms are just about the same. I waited and waited and waited, what seemed like forever, at the doctor’s office. Soon after I got into a room, they were calling an ambulance to rush me to Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. The doctor in the ER confirmed that I had appendicitis, with an ultrasound and a lot of pressing on my stomach, which hurt so much. I was told surgery was the only treatment for this condition. So, I had surgery to remove my appendix at 11:45 pm that night.
It all depends on the individual on how long recovery will be. My recovery took about 4 days in the hospital, and once I was sent home, I had to stay basically inactive for about 2-3 weeks. At this time, I was in karate, which I had to take off for a few weeks. I wasn’t allowed to participate in gym class at school either. No running, no climbing trees, my life as a child came to a halt for about 2 weeks, as my would healed. I had internal stitches, and the incision itself was only about an inch or so long. Today, it’s hardly even noticeable at all.
I’ve heard that it’s easier to recover from an appendectomy when you’re younger, so I’m glad that I had that taken care of when I was 9. It’s just something that I won’t have to worry about as I get older.
I’m no doctor, so if you’d like to learn more information on appendicitis and appendectomies, you can visit www.mayoclinic.com or Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page