Do you know how to tell if your child has appendicitis? Me neither! Molly woke up Saturday and told me that he stomach felt weird. She said it hurt in her upper abdomen and sort of radiated down to her right side. Well, the right side can mean appendicitis, but she didn’t have a fever or really any nausea. She said her stomach was a little bit upset, but she was eating normally. We figured she must have a pulled muscle, so she put ice on it and the heating pad too. She took some Advil and just rested.
Sunday the pain was still there. Not really anymore localized or intense. She knew that she was having trouble sleeping, so we decided we should go to the ER. We figured they could give her some pain medication, and she’d be able to sleep better.
Two Trips to the ER
We checked the ER times. Want to know why? Because Friday, I spent HOURS in the ER with my SON after he dropped a weight on his toe!!! Not only did we wait over an hour to go back, we had to wait hours to get the X-ray and procedure done. His toe was not broken, so they poked a hole in his nail to relieve the pressure. That did not make him happy, but after a few hours it did start feeling some better.
Therefore, when Molly needed to go in, we wanted to be sure the wait time was reasonable or we probably would have waited longer. The wait time said 8 minutes, so when we got there, she got to go right back. The nurse came in and took her vitals and all that fun stuff. When the doctor came in, Molly told him she thought she may have pulled a muscle since she had done that before. She said the pain was different though this time. He asked her where it hurt, and she explained how it moved around. It hurt worse to push on it rather than the rebound. With appendicitis, they say the rebound pain is worse.
The doctor ordered a cat scan and ultrasound since it could have been any number of things. He said if it was not her gall bladder, ovaries or appendix, then he would diagnose it as muscle strain. She got blood work and had an IV line put in. They gave her pain medication and eventually took her for an ultrasound. She had to drink the nasty stuff for her cat scan and wait an hour for x-ray. Shortly after her x-ray, the doctor came in with a large book and told her her appendix needed to read that because it was appendicitis.
Her symptoms were so atypical, so we were shocked to find out she had appendicitis! They scheduled surgery right away since she’d been having the pain for 36 hours at that point. Within a couple of hours, her appendix was out. It is a good thing we went when we did because they said it was really a “rotten” appendix. If we’d waited, it may have burst. She spent the next 3 days at the hospital on IV antibiotics. Her fever was constantly spiking, but it finally stayed down for 24 hours.
We are finally home, and she’s able to get around better. She’s on antibiotics still and is moving slowly. I’m still so shocked that it was appendicitis. I guess not everyone has the “typical” symptoms. Don’t self-diagnose! I know it is so tempting to Google your symptoms, and we all do it. I’m sure I’ll still do it. But if you’ve got a nagging pain, and you’re not sure what it is, see the doctor! You might just be shocked to find out it actually IS what you thought it couldn’t be.