Just an appendix | Knowledge.ca
Just an appendix
Submitted by:
Marg Savery

After a 500 mile drive to Prince George with my husband, we were relaxing after dinner with my brother and sister-in-law when I realized my appendix had just burst. I decided that because it was late at night I would tell my husband in the morning what had happened, but then I thought - maybe not. I asked my brother and husband to take me to the hospital right away and when we arrived in the ER, I told the triage nurse and doctor that my appendix had burst. It's a good thing they listened to me and started doing some tests on me right away because I soon became so ill with the peritonitis and septicemia that I became delirious and could not have told anyone anything about my condition. It was a good thing I decided to go to the ER right away because if I had waited until the next day, I might not have made it.

After surgery I was very ill and nearly lost my life - I even developed a "touch" of pneumonia. I was in ICU for nearly a week and was pumped full of antibiotics before they let me go home. About 4 days after the surgery I started to remember what had happened before I became so ill. I had been complaining to my local doctors for months about nausea that I couldn't shake and other than a couple of pokes at my appendix and a CT scan that specifically checked my appendix (and found nothing) no one seriously tried to find out what was causing this nausea. However, the symptoms stopped occurring by the end of May and I had no pain or nausea for 3 months before my appendix ruptured. Needless to say, when my appendix did rupture, I immediately knew what it was.

Fortunately, when I arrived at the ER it wasn't too busy (for a Friday evening) and the staff were able to get some tests done so they had a pretty good handle on the situation by the time I became so ill.

I can tell you that everyone at the hospital did a wonderful job keeping me alive and they must be turning out pretty good doctors there.

I can also tell you that I'm not really keen on a medical system that is happy not to explore any serious symptoms just because (or so I assume) it is costly to do so. Is it better to do that than let an otherwise healthy person get so sick and spend tens of thousands of dollars in medical care to make her better?

By the way, my scar is healing well, but I'm a little leery about visiting my brother in the north again. What a fantastic 65th birthday present for me, but at least I'm still living and I take joy in that every day.

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