Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Pain in My Side, Literally!

Okay, when your child has a stomach ache, does Appendicitis ever cross your mind? Just before Christmas, my daughter complained of severe cramping stomach pains. After EMS coming to the house in the middle of the night, a rush trip the next morning to the Pediatrician, and finally a trip to the ER, I really thought she had Appendicitis. Well, false alarm! It was a stomach bug that mimicked appendicitis! Ugh!

Well, little did I know that would be a dry run for the real thing…not with her, but with our son! I’ve had so many friends ask me how we knew what to do so I thought I’d tell you, my blogging friends. Here’s our story:

The last weekend of Spring Break, our son went to a church lock-in and came home complaining of a stomach ache. I gave him a really hard time for eating junk! I mean, I really quizzed him hard about what he ate! I mean it WAS at a pizza and games place for crying out loud! He listed the few things he ate, which would not have caused him to have a stomach ache, but I was skeptical.

All day that day, he complained of nausea and stomach pains. I treated it with TUMS and Maalox and told him to “go sit in the bathroom” because isn’t that what we moms say when our kids feel bad? “Oh, you’ll feel better if you’ll just go to the bathroom and sit there a while.” Why do we do that?? Is it a proven medical treatment to go to the bathroom when you feel bad? Crazy.

Anyway, our son finally vomited in the afternoon that day and he seemed to feel better.  (I know this is gross, but I feel it is important for you to know) When he vomited, it didn’t look like food. It was lime green and very watery. (Clue number 1….that was bile! Yuck!) He then took a really long nap and I thought, “okay, he must just have a touch of a bug”.

That night, he took a shower and said, “Mom, it was really tricky putting on my shorts because it hurts in my stomach when I raise my right knee/leg.”  After quizzing him more, he said when he raised his left leg it didn’t hurt; only the right. (Clue number 2….tenderness only on 1 side)

I asked him to lie down on the couch and let me check his tummy. He was definitely tender. So off to the ER we went.



After a CT Scan to confirm, our son was scheduled for a laparoscopic appendectomy for the next morning at 7:30 a.m..





After surgery and no complications, we were home by 4:30 p.m. that afternoon! Crazy!! Is it me or are does it seem like they perform surgery and send you right out the door not long after you wake up?




When we spoke with the surgeon ( who was FABULOUS!!), he explained why Appendicitis is so difficult to diagnose. He said the appendix does not hurt on it’s own. So you wouldn’t have pain strictly from the appendix. The only time it hurts is when it is touched. And some appendix flip under the intestines or other parts so when you press on the abdomen, you won’t actually pinpoint the location of the pain. We were lucky. 

After a week off from school, our sweet son is now back at school and doing nicely. We are so thankful to God for the insight to catch it early and to get treatment right away. God is good….all the time!




  1. I'm so glad you caught it!!! Yes, that is my answer for all of my son's stomach probably need to go to the bathroom. :)

    And, CRAZY that he was sent home the same day as his surgery!

    You know, a girlfriend of mine had this, too. TWO separate doctors told her she was having "female issues" and sent her home. She went 3 days without treatment and it got pretty serious. Your post is a good reminder for all of us!

    Does he think his scar is cool? ;)

  2. Only a boy would think scars on his body are cool, right?? He actually has 3 scars and he likes to describe what instrument went in what "hole". Only a boy would enjoy that.......