Monday, September 15, 2008

Another False Alarm......of a different kind.

Daughter Jamie called last night at about 11pm. Since she is not the one who's pregnant, I was instantly on alert that something must be wrong. Sure enough, she says, "Guess where I am?" She was at Parkland Medical Center with a 90% chance of having appendicitis. I was instantly in "Mom Mode"...asking questions. She said she'd begun to have pain around 3pm and by 8:30pm she felt the need to go to the emergency room. Luckily she was at her friend Jen's house, and Jen was able to bring her there. The doctors did blood tests, etc., but were still unable to determine if it was appendicitis due to some symptoms that didn't match up.....primarily that the pain was not localized in the right lower quadrant. She also told me later that she didn't have severe pain when they raised her right knee to her chest. I know from my own appendicitis when I was 11 that this is a primary indication. So they wanted to do an MRI, which involved drinking two big cups of contrast medium, which would take 2-3 hours. I offered to go and sit with her, but she was comfortably enconsed in a room with a TV and was watching the football game. I told her to call me as soon as she knew what was going on. She called about 2am.....the scan didn't show much...they couldn't see the appendix very well because she didn't have enough fat for contrast!! (God knows I wouldn't have had that problem!) So now the ER doctor wanted to confer with the surgeon and then they'd make a decision. I told Jamie to call me back when that happened. About 4am she called again. The doctors were releasing her since she had no fever and the pain had subsided. They told her to come back in the morning and they'd re-do the bloodwork. They re-did the bloodwork this morning and her white count had gone down. They'd given her an antibiotic last night and another to take today. I asked her if they'd given her an indication of what they thought was wrong. The only clue she had was the discharge papers that said "abdominal pain of unknown origin". I know you can have chronic appendicitis that flairs up periodically. Awhile before I had my appendix removed, I had had abdominal pain that they diagnosed as a pulled muscle. Looking back after the appendicitis that put me in surgery, they decided that the first episode was probably a flair-up. I also remember that when my brother John was little they thought he had appendicitis but it turned out to be an infection of some gland that is near the appendix. So we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I hope it was just an infection. I know that appendix surgery is much easier these days....all arthroscopic....but it's still surgery. I'd rather Jamie can avoid I'm sure she is too!

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