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Posted by wmmbb in Life Experience.

Although I thought it was food poisoning, my illness turned out to be a ruptured appendix. If you are interested you can read the medical details at Wikipedia. Luckily I have a low tolerance for pain and discomfit.

On Friday, I started to experience the symptoms. Then things appeared to get better, as is a characteristic of this illness, so Susan went into Sydney as she had planned to see an opera on the following day. That night I found I could not sleep, and began my mantra, not for first time: “Oh, oh, oh”. By 4 o’clock the next morning, having realized I had something I could not deal with, I organized a cab to take down to the local hospital emergency section. After their initial diagnosis, I was dispatched to Wollongong Emergency ward for a CT scan among other tests.

Hospitals have their procedures, and while they are slow they move inexorably. I was caught up in this slow march, and I even had a bed, which are more rare than usual due to an influenza outbreak. At midday, although I did not know the time, I started worrying about the dogs being left on their own, and the havoc that might have resulted, so I discharged myself from hospital and came home.

Surprisingly there was no havoc, and I went immediately to bed and slept for about four hours. The ringing phone woke me. The doctor on the voice recording said I had to come back immediately to Wollongong, and to emphasis the point she said that a ruptured appendix could kill you. Still I had time to put a call through to Sydney explain the situation and make the necessary arrangements.

The Emergency Department did not take the same view. Nevertheless after waiting around for some time, I was operated on at 11 0’clock that night. (to be continued)

UPDATE: 30 May 2008

I was speaking to my hematologist (blood specialist) on Wednesday, and he has been particularly interested in finding out what additional tests were done when I had the appendectomy. It turns out his mother had died from an undiagnosed cancer that accompanied a ruptured appendix. So it turns out that a ruptured appendix can be associated with a diagnosis of cancer, particularly in older people. If you are middle-aged and have an ruptured or perforated appendix, this possibility is something that you may wish to discuss with your medical adviser or surgeon.

The philosophy of my specialist doctors, in particular my kidney specialist, is that patients should have a general knowledge about their condition, and that seems to me to be sensible. Still, I also appreciate that if the conditions in our hospitals are typical elsewhere, there is pressure particularly on surgeons that can make the practice of medicine difficult, but hopefully not impossible. I pass on these tidbits in the hope that they might be useful.

Some people do not trust doctors at all. I am not one for going to doctors either if I can avoid it. My experience is that though that when faced with what turns out to be an enlarged spleen or ruptured appendix, the problem is beyond me and I have to turn to people get the diagnostics right and do the necessary surgery.


1. Susanne - December 13, 2007

My ruptured appendix horror story

I was seeing an acupuncturist for about four weeks to treat a supposed small intestine / ileocecal valve issue (he established that). The ileocecal valve is located right next to the appendix. Tuesday before Thanksgiving 07 I saw him for a treatment and the very next day I suffered from a fever and pain in my abdomen. I initially thought it was a bad case of IBS and called his office to inquire. He suggested to take acidophilus and Vitamin C.

The pain never went away and I called his office again on Monday after Thanksgiving. He suggested I come in. I was in no shape to do this, but drove the 40 miles to his office anyway. He insisted it was a missing enzyme, tested me with biofeedback to establish which enzyme would be best for me and sent me on my way with the remedy. I had explained the location and severity of my pain. He simply shrugged it off. This is a man who has 35 years experience and claims to be the guru of acupuncture – Dr. Sunderlage of Elgin, IL. Yet, he was unable to pick up the usual symptoms of appendicitis. Where does that leave biofeedback and acupuncture? Sometimes we simply need a Doctor!

The pain got more and more excruciating. The next morning, I finally could not take it anymore. Early in the am, my boyfriend took me to the ER at Chicago’s St. Joseph Hospital. I cried and moaned in agony, I needed assistance walking. I would have done anything for the pain to go away. The Doctor suspected an appendix problem right away. I was given some pain killers and prepped for a CT Scan. In my agony, I had to drink a big bottle of white liquid for them to see my abdomen on the scan. I hurried up drinking the liquid. I wanted to move on and get rid of whatever was bothering me. The pain grew more and more intense.

The CT scan confirmed a ruptured appendix. I was getting nervous but felt relieved we knew what the issue was. Within an hour I was in surgery. The anesthesist confirmed the surgeon had 25 years of experience and knew what he was doing. I begged the Doctor to put me out right away. I could not lie there much longer. Never in my life had I experienced pain like this.

A couple hours later I woke up in the recovery room. I was freezing and felt weird. After about an hour they put me in my room. Shortly thereafter, the surgeon paid me a visit and told me my appendix case was the worst in ten years. The appendix must have burst a couple days back and it was free-floating in my abdomen. It had also blown a hole into my colon which make stool leak all over my abdomen. A couple hours later and I would have been in ‘septic shock’ and all help would have been too late.

The surgeon just shock his head, wondering why I had waited for so long to come in. I explained the situation to him, mentioned the fact that I thought it was IBS and the acupuncturist story. He could not understand how I could bear the pain.
I expected to be out of the hospital within a few days, but the surgeon warned me I’d be there at least four or five days. I ended up staying for five days. Five days with lots of pain and discomfort. For three days I was given morphine for the pain. I suffered from fevers for two days. Fever as high as 103.5. Anti-nausea medicine, Morphine, Anti-biotic were given intravenously and Tylenol by mouth to lower the fever. The Morphine gave me psychedelic dreams and visions. I could not sleep, every time I closed my eyes, I was in another world. It got kind of annoying after a while, but it surely helped the pain. A drain was also attached to my abdomen, puss drained out for seven days.

The second day in the hospital, I called the acupuncturist (on Morphine) and informed him about what happened. He acted dumb, but admitted he should have picked up the typical symptamology for appendicitis. In the meantime I have written a letter to him, asking for a refund for his near-deadly treatment.

Only days after the surgery I realized how close I was to death. I am grateful and lucky to be alive. I ended up in a great hospital with wonderful care – thanks to my boyfriend who reacted quickly.

Now, two weeks after the surgery, I am still hobbling around, but getting stronger. Total recovery is six weeks. I can’t lift anything over 10 lbs, can’t work out. I am trying to gain the weight back that I lost in the days after surgery. My appetite is only slowly coming back. It is amazing what kind of grief a little appendix, a remnant from the past, can cause. Remember, sometimes a real Dr. is the only one who can help. Natural medicine is great, but it nearly killed me. If surgery is needed, only Western medicine can help.

If you ever suffer from a pain in the lower, right corner of your abdomen – go to the ER right away!

2. wmmbb - December 13, 2007

What a story Susanne. If my experience is anything to go by, and it was nothing like yours in terms of pain and “collateral damage”, getting better will take some time.

I am in Australia, so just to make it clear Thanksgiving is the on the fourth Thursday in November. I am also wondering what the treatment has cost you, and whether you now saddled with considerable bills. As I mentioned I went into the public ward, and had a bed and then came back home to see how the dogs were going, and then had to wait around in the corridors before my operation. Further to that I only stayed in hospital three nights and then came home, which was a struggle, but I managed.

I agree entirely about your comments in relation to natural medicine. Acupuncture may be worth a try in relation to say chronic pain when the only medical alternative are pain killers that do not work and have side effects.

Unlike you Susanne I suffered discomfit more than pain, and that was too much for me. The discomfit extended to the hospital beds and the noise that people choose to live with, seemingly 24/7.

One other difference of our cases, I was not required to drink any fluid prior to my CT scan.

I must admit that I had forgotten about my perforated/ruptured appendix, since I had to have a bone marrow biopsy a week or so ago, which is normally for me a traumatic event.

Thank you very much Susanne for sharing your story, I wish the very best for your recovery.

3. susanne - December 14, 2007

Hi there,
Venting does help. Who expects an appendix to burst? I simply never thought of this to happen.

I just receive the bill from the hospital yesterday – 30,000USD. My insurance is supposed to pick up the tab.

I am still lacking energy big time.

Hope to recover soon.

Good luck with the biopsy. Hope the results are benign.

4. wmmbb - December 14, 2007

I am all for venting Susanne.

Rest assured you were not venting in a vacuum. I was very interested, as I believe others will be when they see your bill. It seems to me that both blogging and democracy are forms of venting.

You had a far more serious operation than me, although I could not eat fully for days. I kept on having false dawns in terms of recovery, when I thought I was getting better it did not happen, or rather it was a longer and more drawn out process than I had bargained for.

I see my specialist next Wednesday, so I will be told then the results of the biopsy.

Hopefully, your medical insurance will cover your costs. I notice that millions of Americans do not have health insurance, and as we know without the operation we would both now be dead.

Best wishes Susanne for your recovery.

5. Susanne - December 18, 2007

Yep. Loads of Americanos are w/o health insurance. turns out cubans are better off than us. serious dilemma in this country. just watch ‘Sicko’. In any case, I am experiencing the same setbacks.. think am almost back to normal and then I go for a walk and am totally exhausted. they told me 6 weeks til full recovery. think they were not joking 😉 .

have a merry one

6. wmmbb - December 19, 2007

Thanks for all of that Susanne.

I notice that things may be happening in California with respect to widening health insurance coverage. The question is not of socialized medicine but rather civilized medicine.

7. wmmbb - December 19, 2007

oops. Merry Christmas.

8. Bill - January 4, 2008

Hi there Susanne, I was just wondering if you ever came back to your same old self after the whole ordeal. Have you completly gained back your health, and are able to do your usual, daily “doings?” Did you ever feel depressed for a period of time? I would just like to know because my mother just went through the whole nine yards you explained you went through and shes still on her antibiotics and low residue diet. So im just curious. Thank You.

9. wmmbb - January 6, 2008

I hope that Susanne will come back to answer your question Bill, but keep in mind she (hopefully) has now recovered and its the holiday season.

10. adam - January 19, 2008

Mine is very similar to Susanne’s.. I started getting episodes of extreme pain and sickness that would last for a few days when I was 16 yrs. old. Every 4 – 6 months, the same thing would happen, diahrreah, nausea, intense abdomen pain, fever, etc. The 3rd episode I went to the doctor, and they had found nothing, and it passed. The 4th episode, I was not going to go to the E.R. until I all of the sudden (during the sickness and pain) got extremely cold. It was Christmas eve, and there was a small family party at my house. People freaked out, throwing blankets on me, but I could not stop shivering, I could barely speak I was so cold. Eventually someone grabbed a thermometer to take my temperate expecting an extremely low temperature, and the opposite was found– 104.9F. 2 of my cousins picked me up and put me in a vehicle and rushed me to the E.R. After 4 hours Christmas eve night (Now christmas morning), the Arab doctor who I could barely understand said I had a stomache virus, and sent me home. The pain and sickness stayed for 3 days, and on the morning of the 3rd day, I was hallucinating. My skin was pale and I looked like I was dying very soon. Again, concerned family members took me back to the E.R., where a doctor asked a couple questions, and did a couple tests on spot and figured I had appendicitis. After the test where I had to drink nasty liquid, and put me in the CT scan, they found I had a ruptured appendix. The abscess was the size of a small volleyball, and I was hours away from my intenstines dying from infection. They rushed me into surgery and had to remove my ascending colon and last 10% of my small intestines due to gangrene.

I went to sue the doctor who misdiagnosed me christmas morning, but it seems like some of the records were changed and/or missing. I have had loose bowels ever since (5+ years later), and had to go through another surgery due to scar tissue building up and blocking my intestines. The 2nd surgery was done 2 years after the first, and I have been perfect ever since. The recovery time in the U.S. was about 6 weeks, compared to the recovery time in Brazil which was about 2 weeks. Same surgery basically, same incension, same hospital stay, etc. U.S. Hospital bill — $48,000. Brazil Hospital bill — $5,200. Everything in Brazil was better, the doctor’s, nurses, except perhaps the cleanliness. But it was very clean there, and I had no complications.

Our medicine practices here are overpriced, and horrible… Susanne, did you have any colon/small intestines removed??

11. wmmbb - January 19, 2008

I sent Susanne an email, so I hope she will be back to answer your questions.

Hopefully, health will continue to be at the forefront of the US election campaign. The common themes here, it seems to me, are the critical nature of early diagnosis and cost, given as I understand the surgical removal of the appendix is a relatively straightforward procedure.

Adam, the difference in costs, between the US and Brazil, are startling, but my memory is the mortality from the condition is as bad or worse in Brazil. ( I might search around for that data, and post it above).

12. Bee - January 23, 2008

Wow what a story, Susanne. I am 3 weeks post op from a 48 hour ruptured appendix. I was in California hospital 3 days( $35,000 US) on IV antibiotics and realease with oral treatment. I am still very sore and have pain with deep breathing even spasms in my diaphram. The docs say this will go away with time…how long???? Has anyone had similar problems with recovery.

13. wmmbb - January 24, 2008

Hi Bee

Apologies for slowness of my response.

I will try and rouse Susanne again. Nevertheless, keep the the experiences of perforated/ruptured appendices coming.

I am in no position to comment about the complications that people have experienced, but I was told two significant things: it is a potentially life threatening condition and it is, subject to whatever the qualifications might be, a relatively simple surgical procedure.

Therefore, it represents an important test of our health systems. Clearly to deny, to impede access to medical services when life is as issue is a grave matter.

Thank you to everybody that has commented and shared their experiences. My hope is that it may be helpful to others.

14. Margy Pascoe - March 7, 2008

Hi guys
I am recovering from a ruptured appendix as well. Friday 22nd Feb this year I woke up with uncomfortable tummy pain, then proceeded to vomiting & a bit of diarrhea. Got really bad and so got an ambulance to hospital (live in Toowoomba in Australia). They said I had a “tummy bug” and kept me in accident & emergency all day, then let me go home Friday night, because I felt better. Of course, come Saturday, I was back to vomiting and the pain was excruciating. I rolled around all over my bed and on the floor and couldn’t work out what was happening. I said to my husband “Something isn’t right here” so another ambulance trip to the hospital. They gave me something for the nausea and to help with the pain. Did an Ultrasound – which hurt like hell -though they found nothing. Then decided to admit me to the ward, and another Doctor took over. He felt I had appendicitis and they got me ready for theatre. Then decided to do a CT scan, so I had to drink a litre of this really nice liquid, then off for the scan. About 1/2 hr after they came and told me my appendix had ruptured and I went to theatre about 2 hrs later! (didn’t seem to be in any hurry). The surgeon came to see me next day and said it was quite a mess inside, but they cleaned it all up, removed the offending piece,and then started putting heaps of antibiotics through me intraveneously. I had hallucinations a few nights later, and they worked out it was”Flagil” and antibiotic, so changed that to a new wonder antibiotic. Couldn’t sleep in the hospital for more than 2 hrs at a time. Developed fluid in my lungs, so had to be put on a nebuliser 4 times a day to help get rid of that too. Anyway was discharged a week after the op, and now at home recovering, albeit very slowly. Went to my GP on Tuesday and had my stitches removed, and then back again today as I feel really lethargic, and just want to sleep all the time. Go from one extreme to the other. Had some blood tests done, and will see what the result is on Monday. Feeling better tonight. Think I just thought I would recover quicker. Had a hysterectomy last year and recovered a lot quicker from that. Most of the pain area now is where the drain was, even though it was only there for 24hrs. Hate being sick. I get very impatient. I was supposed to start a new job this week, so that won’t be happening for a couple more weeks. Fortunately, my new employer is okay with that.

15. wmmbb - March 8, 2008

Thanks for adding your story Margy.

I think it is something of a concern that the problem was not identified immediately. In my case I went straight into a CT scan – and then went home to come back to hospital immediately when advised to do so. Travelling by ambulance is the expensive alternative.

Still it sounds like you are in the recovery phase now, with your stitches removed. Then again you had complications that I did not experience. I found recovery was delayed with false dawns. You are fortunate in having an employer who is not overly demanding.

Let us know how long it takes you to be up and about.

16. John - May 6, 2008

Hi folks,

I have a story, but it ends with a question. I finally decided to go to the hospital after four days of the most unbearable stomach ache. My family thought it was food poisoning, and it would just take time to recover. The second day in I started to feel considerably better, and decided to just wait it out. two days later I was hot/cold, could barely lift myself out of bed. The pain was unbelievable. I managed to drive myself to the hospital about an hour away, and stumble into the emergency room. I told the nurse at the desk my symptoms, and she had me sit in the waiting room. While I waited I called my girlfriend, and my dad. Both had time to drive to the hospital while I sat in that room sweating, and freezing, and trying not to cause a scene.
Finally I was taken back to a doctor after close to two hours. I had a couple x-rays taken roughly a half hour later. Shortly after that he came in and told me I had a acute appendicitis. He explained that my appendix had probably ruptured about three days ago, and I was lucky I’d decided to come in when I did. I was in the hospital for six days. During that time I was fed antibiotics through an IV. No actual food or drink until the last day which was possibly the worst part of the whole ordeal.
When I finally left the hospital I was scheduled to meet with my doctor the next week to set up a time for my surgery. That appointment I kept. he decided I should get a laproscopic appendectomy. The appointment for my surgery was roughly two weeks later. That appointment I never made. For fear of having no way to cover my medical bills, (I was uninsured at the time) I’ve avoided the hospital, and doctors in general since then. My six day stint landed me nearly forty thousand dollars in bills that I have no way to pay. When I tried to get government assistance I had to fill out a dozen pages of paperwork, and they asked me to provide things I couldn’t at the time. (last three pay stubs, social security card, license, and a few other things) My wallet had been stolen about two weeks before all this happened, but that’s another story I suppose.
Anyhow, it’s been about two years now, and I’ve never had surgery. I have an exploded organ inside me, and every time I get a stomach ache I’m terrified. I work hard, but I can’t even begin to pay the bills I’ve already accrued, much less the ones I’d get if I went back in. I have a pretty bad stomach ache today, which is why I’m here writing this. Can this thing still kill me? What do I do?

Joao Seara - June 17, 2012

John may I have a word with you about your appendicitis issue? Email me: joao_pedro_seara@hotmail.com

17. wmmbb - May 7, 2008


I am not sure what you can do. I will contact the Americans by email who have commented here and ask their advice. Is it OK if I give them your email address?

In my case, I came home from hospital. but then got a call from a hospital doctor to say I must come back immediately, which I did.

18. adam - May 7, 2008


It ruptured and you have not had a surgery, for 2 years?

I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty well informed about appendicitis. The antibiotics must have killed the infection completely, so I’m not sure how dangerous that bursted/dead appendix is.

First I would talk to the Doctor since it has been 2 years since the rupture. Is surgery NEEDED? If the doctor says it’s dangerous and there’s a possibility of death (yes death) I would say do it. I came hours away from dying with my bursted appendix, and I only went to the hospital because I was almost forced (nagged to death)… if not for the nagging, I’d be rotting in a coffin right now.

As for payment, most hospitals would do the surgery, and let you make payments, even if it’s $50/month. They cannot turn it down. I would say make the appointment, explain your financial circumstances, and try to figure out a payment plan.

Hope this helps. My e-mail is sharpshooter090@gmail.com if you have any more questions.

19. wmmbb - May 7, 2008

Thanks for replying Adam.

And I hope that helps John. I just hope you can get the appropriate medical diagnosis and advice.

20. John - May 13, 2008

Hi again everyone.

I really appreciate the replies. I’m feeling fine today. I guess it really was just a stomachache, but it made me consider my options a bit. I have to go in this week to pick up a prescription. While I’m there I’m going to tell my doctor what happened, and see what advice he has for me. It’s really just not worth being afraid all the time I suppose. I hope their’s a simple solution.
Now that I’m in a better situation than I was back then I can find a way to handle the bills. It would certainly be worth having a little less money every month to have a little more peace of mind.

21. wmmbb - May 13, 2008

Thanks for the update John.

I hope everything goes well for you. Perhaps like you, I am not inclined to see a doctor, especially if the symptoms disappear, but I am always told that I should.

22. Ashleigh - June 17, 2008

Hey all. Wow reading your stories reminded me of what just happened to me! I am a 24 year old woman and lets see, two fridays ago, I started vomiting. So much that there was nothing to vomit, just dry heave. That lasted all day! seriously from like 5am till nightime. Over and over, chills then hot and sweaty, fever spiked to 102 then went back down, over and over again. I prayed a lot that day for it to just be over. I really though I had food poisioning. I swore not to eat that long grain rice ever again! which had nothing to do with me being sick come to find out. So Saturday I couldn’t move, I just layed there pretty much all day. I was worn out from the viracious episodes the day before. So Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, all went by with me feeling like shit. I felt a little better one of those days but still didn’t have much of an appetite. I had a horrible headache that didn’t go away. I was afraid to take Ibuprofen or tylenol because everytime I did my fever would spike again for some reason and I would get sooo hot and dizzy and had to just lay down and take it until it went away. Finnally on Saturday, I couldn’t take it anymore, I could barely stand, I still had that headache, I wasn’t sleeping well and I just asked a neighbor to take me to the ER, thinking I was just dehydrated. So lucky for me I went to a good hospital (Queens Medical in Honolulu, Hawaii) I went from waiting only a few minutes, to a ER bed almost immediaetly. The docotor cocluded it was obvious pain from my lower pelvic area and conducted the normal tests, a urine sample, blood tests, pelvic exam and later a CT Scan. Then he came in and told me my appendix had ruptured and they were going to have to drain the softball sized infection out by a cathater in my side. I got the pain meds but not before that second ct scan where they stuck huge needles in me to supposably numb the pain of where the cathater woould be forced through a small opening in my side. Didn’t help, I screamed a little like a baby and squeezed someones hand. However, I have come to learn a medical term… you will feel a little “pressure”… really means this is going to freakin hurt. Despite all that I was hooked up to IV’s for antibiotics, and had blood drawn every day, since I was there for 5 days and nurses missing my veins almost every shot, I had black and blue bruises all on my arms. There was only one nurse/phelbotomist who could take my blood in a second and never miss a vein, she was my angel! I think her name was MJ. Anyway, recover was annoying by the 5th day. I just wanted to leave and get this bag out of my side (it smelled horrible!) and these IV’s out of my hand. Well, to make this story short I left the hospital on a Wedneday after yet another CT Scan which confirmed that the infection had been drained. I was suprised I didn’t need an operation. I left with a 20 day supply of 3x day antibiotics and a recheck for this Wednesday. So this happened fairly recently and is fresh in my mind. For recovery, I would say it took me those 5 days in the hospital and maybe a couple more once I got released, but being cooped up so long makes you want to recover sooner and do normal things and eat normal food… the only thing that takes awhile is the soreness to the spot of the cathater… and I didn’t have an operation so I can’t account for the recover time for that. Ok so there is my story! ps. A good sign of possible appendicitis is thinking you had food poisioning.

Joao Seara - June 17, 2012

I have a similiar story to yours. I’ve been in the hospital, now I am waiting to go under surgery. Email me 🙂 joao_pedro_seara@hotmail.com

23. wmmbb - June 18, 2008

That is some story Ashleigh.

I do not understand why you were operated on in the normal way – put under anesthetic and so forth.

I hope you are better now, or at least getting back to normal.

24. rm - October 5, 2008

I’m waiting it out right now after being diagnosed with a ruptured appendix after 4 days of thinking I had some kind of stomach virus. From Sunday night to Friday morning I was hooked up with antibiotics and morphine. Thursday lunch I was allowed to eat something. Wed. and Thurs. the blood tests showed normal white blood cell count, and Friday I came home with antibiotic prescriptions. I’m supposed to see the doctor in 10 days, and he expects to take out the appendix in 6 weeks. I hate walking around with this mess inside me. Never had a drain, thank goodness. I thought this didn’t happen when you’re 70, almost 71! No way I wouldn’t have it out, but as an American I feel ashamed that people don’t get medical care when they need it because they’re afraid they can’t pay for it. Shouldn’t happen.

25. wmmbb - October 6, 2008

That seems a long, and to my non-medical understanding dangerously long time to wait.

Whatever the shortcomings of our system here in Australia, you will get do treatment regardless of you are, your socio-economic standing ( I believe) or anything else. To me this is the measure of a civilized society.

The idea, especially in current circumstances, where people can be afraid of the medical costs incurred for absolutely essential health care, is troubling to me as a human being.

Please let us know the outcome for the record rm. I wish you the very best.

26. Christine - October 19, 2008

My name is Christine. I too waited for medical care. Thinking I had a uti or bladder infection, I went to my primary dr who didn’t palpitate my abdomen or do a urinary dip stick test. All he said is here is a weeks worth of Cipro and if you don’t feel better withing 2 days go to the er. Well, I did end up with the persistence of my daughter going to the er where after hours of testing was told my appendix ruptured, when this actually happend, who knows. They put me on antibiotics for 5 days and was going to send me home, I insisted they do the laproscopy and when they did he said I have been the worse case he’s seen in a long time. I was in the hospital 18 days and I just received my hospital bill only (I am un-insured) for $96,878.00. I have up to this date over $4,000.00 from labs, and other medical people involved in my care. I am feeling much better with a slow recovery, but the bills are making me sick all over again

27. wmmbb - October 20, 2008

I would be the last person, I hope, to suggest that our hospital system is without a whole problems related to funding and management, not do I suggest I have the answers, but your case, Christine, it seems to indicate systemic failure.

Of course, we have the primary responsibility for our health, but equally we are not doctors, without expert knowledge. I was told that the removal of the appendix is a comparatively simple operation, but if left complications arise.

Frankly, Christine your medical bills leave me feeling sick as well.

It has now being over a year since I had the operation removing my appendix. I remember somethings. I remember whinging and complaining not being able to sleep comfortably – how my fellow patients put up with me I do not know. Then, I insisted on seeing the “emergency doctor”. He made an impression on me. He said something like, ” I am a doctor, and naturally I care about people’s suffering”. So that being a doctor was about something more than just being a clever person, although you have to be that to be one. It was about compassion.

In the whole medical debate, we often lose sight of the fact that medicine is about problem solving and exact science, or that it is a business involving costs that need to be managed. It should not be an exercise in cruelty to others.

28. Janet Marchisio - December 29, 2008

My name is Jan. I too waited three days before I gave in and went to the hospital. I thought it might be a stomach flu or just constipation,but the pain would not subside. It happened on a Thursday,and I went to work as a server on Friday,and even went to a meeting. On Saturday A M I went to the hospital,and had x rays. Then I tried to drink a huge amount of liquid,but couldn’t do so. I went in for an MRI,and all the liquid came up.Apparently the appendix had ruptured on Thursday. I was operated on the following Sunday evening. I consider myself fortunate that I didn’t develop peritonitis. I also didn’t realixe how many people have gone through the same ordeal.

29. wmmbb - December 29, 2008

Thanks Jan.

It sounds like you got the treatment you required. As to putting things off, I can only relate to my own case. At the point when I realized that I did not know what was going on, I knew I had to get help, and fortunately for me that was not too difficult. For example, I did not have to weigh the financial consequences, so in that way I was very fortunate.

30. mikey - January 25, 2009

I had hernia surgery on December 2nd. A couple days later, I had severe abdominal pain and my stomach was swollen big time! I contacted my hernia surgeon’s office – they suggested I had gas or a stomach flu. On the night of December 11th, I headed to the E.R. Turns out my appendix had burst (about one week prior)! I had emergency surgery (10-inch incision) on December 12th. After tons of intravenous antibiotics, two abdominal drainage tubes (Jackson-Pratts), and other treatments, I was released from the hospital on Christmas Eve night. I hope (with God’s help) there will be no residual effects of all the infection that was within me. I’m back at work, but still have a doctor appointment or two left. My surgeon (who did both the hernia and the abdominal) said the timing of my burst appendix (days after the hernia surgery) was just terribly bad luck/timing. Bottom line, the whole experience was excruciating, but I’M THANKFUL TO BE ALIVE!!!

31. Pauline - January 26, 2009

My 13 year old son had surgery for a ruptured appendix on January 11th. He to received IV antibiotics and was released from the hospital 6 days after surgery. His rupture was at least one day old prior to surgery. He waited in the ER for 9 hours to have surgery. After being released, he started spiking fevers. Took him back to the surgeon and after a CT scan he had 3 small accumulations of fluid in his abdomen. Again he was in the hospital and stayed 2 days. He has a picc line and I am administering IV antibiotics around the clock. He seems to be making progress but it is slow. His main complaint is dizziness but his hemoglobin was low 11.8. He is still having some abdominal pain but it is not like the pain he had. I am praying that this round on antibiotics have cured his infection. I cannot see him going back to school with his dizziness and weakness. He is eating very good and has gained 5 lbs of weight.

32. wmmbb - January 27, 2009

Thank you very much mikey and Pauline for adding your stories. Of course, I cannot know how excruciating it was, mikey, but I can share your feeling of thankfulness to be alive. Your son is younger than us, Pauline, but as I remember it took me awhile to recover, and hopefully he will now be fine.

My observation is, for what it is worth, that your hospitals and doctors seem pretty good, as perhaps I should expect, provided get through the front door, be seen as quickly as necessary, and in the process are not broken financially.

Tom Peters, business guru, suggests that hospitals might be better if they adopted the quality measures that business has found useful, including IT applications, and based on my experience I tend to agree with him. At the same time, when I had my spleen removed, I spoke to a medical hospital administrator, so I wish to qualify my comment, as if I know anything about the different challenges the different medical systems present.

33. Terra - February 4, 2009

I am recovering from a ruptured appendix as well. First day had bad cramps and 102.4 Fever. Next morning felt better but by 4PM that Night was cramping bad thought I was constipated. Fever was up to 104.2. Went into the ER. They did a CT scan. A couple hours latter went into Laparoscope’s surgery to have it stapled off. There was bowl all over in there that was cleaned out. I was in the hospital for 4 days. 5 days latter ended up going back into the hospital because of two abscesses. One the size of a grapefruit and the other one about an inch in diameter. They stuck a tube into the large one to have it drained. It was decided that the small one was too close to the sciatic nerve and that the body would most likely absorb it. Was in the hospital for 8 days for the second trip. Just got out of the hospital two days ago and I am not sure what to expect. I have been running a fever of 99.6 – 101.6. Tylenol seams to bring it down but I wonder if there is an abscess problem again or maybe the large abscess is just coming back. I don’t know. I also feel very week and tiered. I hope it all goes away soon!

34. wmmbb - February 5, 2009

Best wishes for your full recovery, Terra.

My operation was nothing compared to yours, and it took time for me with a few reverses along the way.

Thanks for relating your experience.

35. toni - February 23, 2009

One of my best friends has just had surgery following a ruptured appendix. She is very frightened. May be facing 10 days hospitalization. After your posts I’ll know to inform her that recovery may be slower than she anticipates. Any other info will be greatly appreciated.

Debbie - May 5, 2009

I think the good and careful doctors do 10 days. Mine did. He said he wanted that many days for the antibiotics. He said he has seen too many go home, then come back and do the whole thing over again. Hope she’s all better 100% now!

36. wmmbb - February 23, 2009

Thanks toni,

Ten days in hospital seems a long time, and so I am not in position to offer any advice, but somebody else may know more than me.

Hospital just drove me crazy. The beds were uncomfortable, and I just wanted to get home. It was tough for a few days, then I got through it. So I suppose that my operation was relatively straightforward, whereas your friend’s seems to suggest complications.

I wish her the best with her recovery.

37. maria - March 4, 2009

Hi! i was just released from the hospital yesterday, March 2. my symptoms began a week ago on Sunday night. my husband grilled some steaks and they were thick and juicy. that night i started feeling discomfort and what seemed to be stomach cramps. i had a very uncomfortable night and barely slept. on monday, i went to work and felt very bloated had very little appetite and thought the steaks from the previous night did not agree with me. that evening i felt a bit feverish and had some chills. i then thought it was the flu. i went to work on tuesday cause i had a lot of projects and meetings going on at work. wednesday evening i decided that i would call the doctor on thursday if i did not feel better. thursday morning i went to work not feeling any better, no appetite, bloatedness, and just a lot of discomfort in the abdomen area. i called the doctor’s office and they gave me an appointment for the afternoon. when i explained to her the sequence of events and she felt my stomach and my pain was mainly on the right side, she strongly suggested i go to er. after going to er and waiting a couple of hours, the er doctor thought it may be a cyst or some other type of stomach conditon. nevertheless, a ct scan was done and it was appendicitis. the surgeon came down to speak to me right away and my surgery was performed immediately. it turned out that the appendix had ruptured like five days prior. i was given antibiotics, pain medication and tylenol for the fever. i am home now and moving about very slowly and thank God, my doctors and the ct scan.

good luck to all of you!!

Debbie - May 5, 2009

Maria, are you all better now? some of us could use some encouragement. Hope so!

38. wmmbb - March 4, 2009

Thank you everybody again for your individual stories. I am confident that we are creating a useful resource here.

It goes without saying that an early and accurate diagnosis is crucial. Easier said than done. Most of us will wait until before we take ourselves along to hospital casualty or ER.

Thanks Maria and get fully better soon.

39. slonatejones - March 25, 2009

same thing with me – ruptured appendix, lapro surgery, hospital 5 days, home with oral antibiotics for 3 days, then back to hospital week later with pain (cramping) and high fever. back on oral antibiotics for 10 days this time (cipro + flagil), and yesterday was my last day on them. still have abdominal cramping but without the fever? how long does the pain last? it’s been 24 days post op. still in pain. anyone with the same?

Debbie - May 5, 2009

Hi, I’m wondering if you are now out of pain 100% and have your strength and energy back, 6 weeks after this post?
I hope so, that will be encouraging to the rest of us.

40. wmmbb - April 2, 2009

Thanks sj for adding your story.

I hope by now you are fully recovered, or at least well on the road.

41. Debbie - April 19, 2009

I’m glad I found this website. I’m recovering from a ruptured appendix and I have NO information as to what to expect for recovery.
My story: March 30, 2009 I woke up in the middle of the night with bad stomach pain all over, and backpain unlike I’ve felt before. But the next morning it wasn’t too bad. Tues./Wed./Thur. I continued my routine and obligations (have 4 kids ages 7-13). It would be fine in the morning and then escalate to an 8-9 pain in the night. I thought I was sore from my workout Mon. or it was food poisoning. I do have a high tolerance for pain which wasn’t a good thing this time. Finally on Friday April 3rd, a little embarrased, I asked my husband to take me to the Dr.’s. They sent me to emergency. Did a CT scan and said it looked like a ruptured appendix (although they said I didn’t LOOK like I had a ruptured appendix-not moaning, etc.). Surgery came shortly afterwards. I had one of the best surgeons I heard. He said there wasn’t much left of my appendix. He said I had an abscess the size of a large baked potato and he drained that as well during surgery. I did not have that tube you all are talking about. He is a very careful Dr. I went home on the 11th day. I had 4 different types of antibiotics. No food or drink for 6 days. I got my own morphine clicker. The nurses were terrific. I did not feel any better after surgery, the same pain stayed. He said my organs had come down to surround that abscess to keep that from opening up. I’ve been home 4 days now. I’m still hurting and walking (shuffling) bent over like an old lady. I take a pain pill every 5 hours and can sleep well, only on back. He has me on 10 days of 2 different oral antibiotics. I want to know when I will feel normal again. Taking a shower exhausts me. It’s hard to be patient. But I am very grateful for all the care I got, the way my husband took over and ran the show, the fact that my mother-in-law flew in to take care of things the next 2 weeks, the visitors, meals and support, etc. I have NO idea what a hospital bill will be like for a surgery and 11 days, but I am grateful for an HMO, I think it will be covered 100%. I just pray for no additional infection. Thanks for reading.

wmmbb - April 20, 2009

Thank you Debbie for adding your story.

As far as I can tell recovery differs for each case. I just hope you are covered for the costs. Is’not good to have a mother-in-law to step in?

Best wishes.

Debbie - May 5, 2009

Thank you for your reply. Well, my mother-in-law left last Thur., one day after I finally started feeling better. Basically, the whole month of April was a pain, literally. But the recovery and getting strength back, etc, is slow. Maybe because I’m 43, with 4 kids under 13!
Anyway, thanks for making a place where we can share our stories. Not many people understand how this is.

P.S. I am wondering from others what is a good way to eat after this. I hate to admit this, but the gas pains are difficult, hours at a time.

42. mary - May 5, 2009

I am a 23 year old female and have been recovering from appendicitis for over a month now. Here’s a brief version of my story.

I had 2 hours of excruciating pain in my stomach, went to emerg, was sent home on pain killers, and told I had an ovarian cyst. The next morning I had an ultrasound as a precaution to rule out apendicitis. Quickly after the ultrasound the nurse ordered me to check into emerg for appendicits!

Went into emerg at 10, had the appendectomy at 7 pm. Turns out my appendix had ruptured, but I did not need a drain. I was in hospital for 5 days, and sent home. I was told I was young, healthy and I should heal quickly.

After about 10 days of being at home, I still was feeling horrible, having no apetite, horrible diarrhea, and bad abdominal pain.
I went to see two doctors, who both told me I was healing normally and these things take time.

I know my body well enough, and I knew that I was not healing but felt myslef getting worse, so I checked myself into emerg again. Had a CT scan and they found an abscess about 3 inches long where the appendix used to be.

So they stuck a drain in me, and I was in hospital for another 5 days. Then I was sent home with the drain for 10 days and was given anoter round of cipro and flagyl. About 3 days after the drain was removed I started to feel good again. I could actually go out and enjoy life.

About 10 days later, after being off antibiotics for 5 days, the diarrhea returned, and I started to feel sick again. So I gave stool samples and I now have c-diff. Im back on flagyl for 2 weeks taking it 3 times a day. I had a hard time believing my dr when she said it was c-diff and another abscess. My fingers are crossed that after this round of antibiotics I will be back to normal.

I have such a hard time trusting dr’s now. My advice to anyone recovering from appendicits is this: listen to your body, and if you don’t feel you are healing, make sure you tell someone, and if they won’t listen find someone who will.

43. Debbie - May 5, 2009

Hello Mary, I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. I’m Debbie, I did the April 19th post. I am still recovering, after the April 3rd surgery, but am definitely over the “hump” since last Wednesday. 2 weeks after surgery, and 6 days after getting out of the hospital my Dr. told me also that I should be “all better” now and didn’t know why I still had pain. But he had me do another scan and another blood test. The scan only showed some fluid in the pelvic area. He kept saying also “give it time”. Today, he said if I don’t feel like “a million bucks” in a month than he will do another scan to be sure. I guess I’m lucky I had such a careful and cautious doctor.
Hang in there. No one knows the pain and frustration like we do on this website. I pray you will be better very soon. By the way, I had to go off of Cypro, it really caused joint pain, especially in the arms. Are you doing OK with it?
Debbie, age 43

44. wmmbb - May 29, 2009

Thanks for your comments Mary and Debbie.

I hope you are both fully recovered now.

45. Debbie - May 29, 2009

Yes, finally fully recovered about 6 weeks after surgery and 4 weeks out of the hospital. Had to take acidopholus to help restore natural balance to digestion after all those antiobiotics. couldn’t tolerate milk, spicy, hardly anything. But now all back to normal in every way. Thank goodness.
This website was very helpful, thank you for hosting it.

46. wmmbb - May 31, 2009


I am pleased this post amazingly composed of different people’s stories was helpful. You seem now to have made a recovery, and I hope it has not cost a fortune, or that you were fully covered.

Kathleen - June 10, 2009

Reading these posts has given me so much perspective on my son’s recent surgery. After 15 years of excruciating stomach pains, the last episode lasting 10 days, he was finally diagnosed with acute appendicitis. They believe it ruptured about a year ago. He had an abscess 6 in. long in that area. I had no idea you could survive so long with a ruptured appendix, or that it could be so difficult to get a diagnosis. After 11 days in the hospital he has finally been discharged. His incision runs right down the middle of his abdomen and is approx. 12 inches long. He still has diarrhea about once an hour and this has been going on since before the surgery. His surgeon told us that he had run out of time and would not have lasted long if he hadn’t come to the ER. Why do so many people question the length of his hospital stay or the slowness of his recovery, as if to hint that he’s somehow weak? I’m tired of hearing, “When I had MY appendectomy, I went home in two days, and back to work in a week”. Right now he’s walking constantly. He’s not holding back. How careful does he have to be?

47. Debbie - June 1, 2009

When I get the bill, I will tell you. 11 days in the hospital and surgery will probably blow my mind. HOWEVER, I know for a fact that I am only responsible for $100.00 (HMO), thankfully!

48. Debbie - June 10, 2009

Kathleen, wow. That’s amazing he had pain for so long, I’m so glad it’s taken care of now. I can’t believe people say that—anyway there is a BIG difference between an appendectomy and having a ruptured appendix. All that stuff that got out and was floating around and all the antiobiotics can really set you back–not to mention the organs moving around to protect the abscess. Then, the body getting used to food again and being irritable. That’s great he’s walking. That’s what they say is the best thing to do–and it’s hard. It was 6 weeks after surgery for me to feel back to normal, and I did not have the surgery incision he had.

49. Kathleen - June 10, 2009

Thank you Debbie, for your words of encouragement. I find it so inspiring that after only 6 weeks you felt back to normal after what you went through. My hat’s off to all of you for your strength and endurance. These are really the most amazing stories and I’ll certainly share them with my son. Good luck to all of you.

50. Sheilagh - September 26, 2009

My appendix ruptured as well. It wasn’t diagnosed until two weeks after the rupture when I finally got a cat scan.

I was in hosptial 6 days and had to go back daily for two weeks for IV antibiotics. They were able to drain most of the toxins but won’t operate for three months as they indicate it is too dangerous to operate until I am 100%. I was surprised to read some of you had surgery while the toxins were still there.

Right now I’m fearing every little ache or feeling of nauseau or anything is a sign something is wrong. Won’t relax until they remove it and I wake up.

I’m in Canada so fortunately for me the costs are fully covered.

51. wmmbb - September 26, 2009

When I had my appendicitis I released myself from hospital to come back home to see what the dogs were up. I then got a call to say that I had to go back straight away, which I did. So I am a little surprised in your case, Sheilagh you are able to wait some time before the operation.

Good point about the costs been fully covered. Our political leaders, their medical policy advisors and public opinion in Australia had the good sense to follow your lead in Canada. Despite the problems that our respective systems might have, lets not forget the dedication of the medical people at all levels doing their best for us, for which we can only be grateful. To add another editorial comment, holding any person to ransom for medical care strikes me as appalling.

Thanks for comment Sheilagh, and best wishes for a successful outcome.

52. Kristen - November 6, 2009

Twenty years ago I had a ruptured appendix which for some weird reason the doctors could not diagnose. I started feeling quite ill with a bad stomach ache on Friday. On Sunday I went to the hospital where they kept me under observation and didn’t do any special tests of my abdomen. I live in Alaska, by the way.

On Tuesday a doctor gave me a painful test, don’t know what the exact name is, and then they finally decided to operate on Tuesday night, on the fifth day. I had to have an IV put directly into my heart from a vein in my arm for antibiotics.

Now I have a large scar from the upper incision in my abdomen and two hernias. I could die if the hernia becomes strangulated or incarcerated, so I guess I’ll have to have surgery to fix it, which is major surgery.

I don’t know what the big problem is in diagnosing a burst appendix, but here in Alaska we’re like 50 years behind times. I’ve heard that some surgeons down south will just go ahead and remove the appendix when they’re doing an operation for something else, so why don’t they just remove the appendix if someone has a bad stomach ache? It can’t hurt anything and probably would help in many cases. I think it should be done if the patient wants it done BEFORE it bursts and causes problems, if it’s such a difficult condition for some doctors to diagnose.

53. Kristen - November 6, 2009

P.S. What happened to the old fashioned doctors’ test on the appendix where they merely press their fingers firmly on the right side of the patient’s abdomen and release it quickly?

wmmbb - November 6, 2009

Best wishes for your full recovery Kristen and thanks for the comment. Ideally I suppose your questions might be addressed in the post operation consultation – I did not attend mine, as I remember.

54. Diane - November 22, 2009

I don’t know if I’ll be able to find my way back here, but I was in the hospital for 5 days with a perforated appendix, got out about 3 days ago, still wearing the drain, still much pain. I’m seeing the surgeon in 3 days, not sure whether the drain will be removed then. Worst experience of my life, this has been a nightmare. I also thought I had food poisoning. I am more natural medicine oriented, but clearly this needed traditional western medical intervention, and in retrospect I think I’ve had a problem with the appendix much longer than I realized. I’m assuming the surgeon will recommend surgery to remove the appendix once it has drained and healed up, so to speak, but I’ve been reading about how many people think we need our appendix for the immune system, and I’m both afraid to have it out and afraid to leave it in. I’m also self employed, working from home, and I nearly lost my livelihood over this. I have blue cross self pay, but I chose the cheapest possible coverage because they kept hiking our rate, and I thought I wouldn’t get sick, and we were trying to save money. We will have to pay at least 20% of the total bills along with a 1000 deductible,and that’s assuming my policy even approves everything that was done. I noticed recently they don’t even cover a pap smear, I really did not do my homework.

I’m sorry to hear about what many of you have gone through. My 6 yo niece went through this exact same thing not 6 months ago, and I didn’t understand till now how bad it was. She recovered quickly, the way kids do. My brother said her appendectomy was a “cake walk” compared to the time she spent in the hospital with the abscess draining. based on what I’ve read here, I’m not sure I can expect such a speedy recovery. Truthfully I’m terrified of long term ongoing bowel issues post-surgery.

wmmbb - November 22, 2009

Thanks for the report Diane.

Everybody’s case is slightly different. As well as having my appendix removed, I have had my spleen removed, which is far more significant in terms of the body’s immune system. So on that ground you may be able to rest assured.

I hope you have a full recovery. Your comments illustrate how I also would not be able to make good judgments about the appropriate level of health coverage, which in my mind reinforces the utility of universal health coverage. Our system is not free of problems but at least everyone gets a level of coverage, although that might depend such factors on where you live in Australia.

55. Diane - November 23, 2009

i’m in the U.S., btw, and we are disappointed that it doesn’t look like the plan they are putting through will help us. One major illness can break an american family without very good health coverage.

wmmbb - November 23, 2009

The political problem is to get a decent medical coverage introduced and then it will stick.We have to be thankful for our situation, otherwise I would be in as much and more trouble than many Americans. The personal stories I read are to me horrifying. I suppose the best approach is to support the constructive alternative – whoever and in whatever form that presents itself.

56. Peter - December 12, 2009

Wow, interesting stories. Here is one more.

On a Friday, my wife had extreme pain and fever. On Saturday PM I took her to Red Cross, got a pain shot. she felt better. Saturday afternoon another pain shot… on Sunday I took her to San Rafael Hospital in Alajuela. They observed her for 36 hrs. They operated Tuesday around 2 AM. Ruptured appendix and perionitis (sp) infection. 6 inch belly scar and a small hole from the drain. 8 days in Hospital. Doc says she cannot lift anything or do any physical work for 6 months. It has been 1 month since the opration and she still has fluid leaking from the hole and is in delicate condition. We live in Costa Rica so there will be no medical bills to pay thank God.

57. LN - December 13, 2009

My 13 year old son is in the hospital with my husband as I type. We didn’t know, but his appendix has ruptured and they are deciding what to do now (I am at home with the little ones). We thought it was muscle aches or food poisoning as well as he had been at a waterpolo tournament last weekend. He too felt better on Tuesday and then feverish and vomitting since. He didn’t seem to be in that much pain. Thanks for sharing your stories so I have a better idea of what to expect. I don’t know why they are debating on whether or not to operate right away as they did the same for Sheilagh’s case. We also live in Canada and will not being paying a single cent for his treatments unless we have to get prescriptions which is covered under my work insurance. I am very thankful for that during this time of year and during these economic times. I can’t imagine the stress of the illness and recovery along with high hospital bills. Leaving for the hospital now.

58. Lynnette - December 13, 2009

As I sit here in my daughter’s hospital room, I am HORRIFIED but what I am reading.

11 days ago my seventeen year old daughter told me her stomach was really hurting when I came home from work approximately 4:30 pm (that morning she had vomited before going off to school, but since she has had some sensitive stomach issues since she was 9 didn’t thing much of this occurance). She felt warm to the touch, didn’t have a thermometer at the moment but she felt slightly warm. Gave her Tylenol, and she rested for a couple hours, letting me know still in pain. Called her Gastroenterologist’s colleague (she had started seeing a GI specialist about a month and a half prior to find out source of ongoing nausea and vomiting intermittently over the years), and he suggested me taking to immediately to local ER. This doctor’s hospital being over an hour away, I went to one about 10 minutes from house. The doctor came in, checked her stomach, told me he didn’t want to hear what this specialist had to say because he had never met my daughter (apparently the fact that GI had records to all my daughter medical history did not bear considering for him). When he asked if she had had any fever, when I opened my mouth to answer him, he cut me off saying, “and i don’t want to hear about “the mothers touch”. He then proceeded to send us home saying on paperwork (artfully leaving his name off paperwork) saying Gastroenteritis (generalized stomach pain). 2 and 1/2 days later, I bring her to another hospital after vomiting for 2 days and fever now going up to 101.6. They did a CT scan and said it was either Crohn’s disease or appendicitis. After surgeon looked at ct and checked my daughter, appendicitis was ruled out and she was tentatively diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, admitted into hospital with over 21000 white blood cell count (10000 is normal) they immediately put her on antiobiotics (2), nausea medicine, and steroids to treat the inflamation of Crohn’s in her lower bowels. Was in the hospital for 4 and 1/2 days and sent home having already setup an appointment with her GI specialist for 1 and 1/2 days after release. Took her to appointment and from the SAME ct scan the other hospital used to diagnose Crohn’s a radiologist at HIS affiliated hospital said my daughter had a ruptured appendix with infection and fluid throughout abdomen. My daughter very upset and not wanting to go again into the hospital she was admitted and immediately taken off steroids (I was told this is the worst thing that could have been given to her as will spread infection she had and heighten the danger of surgery). She finally had surgery yesterday (Dec 11) and had so much swelling throughout her body from the steroids and fluids given by previous hospital and has the drainage tube in her belly which he said he could not believe she looked so good for how bad he found everything inside her. She had this film that collects on the other organs that surround the appendix after rupture along with several abcess throughout her abdomen. All they keep saying is at least a week in the hospital and no promises after that. I as well have insurance that will ONLY cover 80% of the costs and am terrified of how I am going to cover these costs as divorced mom of 2 teenage kids. I am really scared for my daughter and what the long term effects of this will be for her. So very upset that this could have been avoided by just a white blood cell count or even urinalysis done at 1st hospital or the other hospital catching the ruptured appendix!!

Debbie van Sprakelaar - December 13, 2009

Lynette, I am so, so, sorry to hear about what your daughter is going through. She will get through this and in 6 months it will just be a fuzzy memory. I think this is better than Chron’s disease though (chronic). Can’t believe so many people missed it. I hope your 20% isn’t too much. I know they will give a big discount if you pay all at once when the time comes. But for now, keep being a great mom to her and take care of yourself too.

59. linda - December 22, 2009

so pleased i found this site. came out of hospital last friday and stitches due to come out tommorow. not looking forward to it at all. this has no doubt been the worse experience of my life. what made it worse is suffering for a week thinking i had food poisoning.
cant do anything at home and christmas the end of week.still i am grateful to be alive

60. LN - January 25, 2010

Lynnette, so sorry to hear about the trouble you had. It sounds like it was a nightmare.

In the end, they did not operate on my son even though his appendix had ruptured. Maybe it was a small rupture? He was treated on IV antibiotics in the hospital for 6 days and then 14 days oral antibiotics at home. We went back for a follow-up appt and the doctor said that everything looks fine. We have an option now to book an appendectomy as elective surgery since 25% of all non-operated rupture cases have ruptured again in the 1st year. Why would he/we want to go through with that again? I am not sure why WE have to decide if his appendix comes out. We took a trip after Christmas and I was constantly checking his temperature and asking if he felt okay. Still not sure what to do.

61. linda - January 25, 2010

hi ln
i think he should have an appendectomy now as it would prob be a much easier operation than if you wait till it ruptures fully.i also think it could be very dangerous to wait. my doctor told me i could have died if it had been left much longer.recovery takes much longer after the appendix has fully ruptured. it has been 6 weeks since my surgery, and im still not 100% recovered. i spent 5 days in hospital but the patient in the next bed only stayed 2 days because hers hadnt ruptured.
maybe it would be best to get it sorted now to save all the worry you are obviously feeling

62. Joanne - February 4, 2010

Wow! I wish I had found this site two years ago when my son, who was only five at the time, had a ruptured appendix.

Our story is similar to so many others that I’ve read. My son woke me up at 2 am complaining of a sore stomache and two hours later started vomitting. He vomitted on and off for the rest of the night and throughout the next day but really didn’t complain much. I’ve since discovered that our little guy obviously has a high pain tollerance. We debated taking him to the doctor but he started feeling better at around dinner time and even wanted a hamburger. We found out later in hospital that this was probably when his appendix ruptured and the perforation actually relieved the pressure. A few hours later the pain started again and I still feel very guilty that we didn’t actually take him to the doctor until 3 pm the next day (a day and a half after his symtoms started). Because he wasn’t complaining very much, we thought it was a simple tummy bug. What a mistake!! It wasn’t until he had difficutly walking that we realised we had a problem on our hands. I took him to our family walk-in clinic wanting to spare him the ordeal of waiting forever in emergency. After waiting two hours to get in there, the doctor took one look at him and told me to take him to the hospital right away and that it might be his appendix. I had him write me a note so I could give it to the triage nurse in the hospital and we probably would have been seen faster if I had kept my mouth shut. I was in so much denial that something serious could actually be wrong with my son that I started speculating that he could be constipated or have a bladder infection!!!! Needless to say, once he was diagnosed eight hours later, he was was rushed into surgery. Dispite the fact that he had abscessed, we were extremely lucky. The appendix and abscess were removed right away and he didn’t suffer any further complications. He stayed in hospital for five days and was treated with IV antibiotics. We were allowed to then go home where we continued another three days of IV treatment facilitated by a visiting nurse. My best wishes go out to all of you who have suffered or watched a loved one suffer with this condition.

wmmbb - February 9, 2010

What a story Joanne.

For the recent posts I have let things run themselves here. Thank you for commenting, I am sure it will be of interest and value to others.

63. Kathy - February 14, 2010

Wow, I can’t believe I found this site & all these stories. Certainly gives me something to compare to.
My son (aged 24) woke up on 3rd of Feb with tummy pain, gradually got worse, by lunch time he was vomiting, I asked if he wanted to go to the doctor, he said no, he’d stick it out a while longer. I feel so guilty, I should have thought about appendicitis, my father’s had burst on his wedding day in 1963. He was given the “last rights” as he was expected to die.
Anyway, by 7pm that night my son agreed to go to the emergency room. When we arrived there were no other patients waiting so I assumed we wouldn’t wait long. 2 hours later we saw a doctor, in between that time ten other patients arrived, they were all seen to before my son, the triage nurses obviously didn’t think he was serious.
Doctors did ultrasound, xray, blood, urine tests etc, had no idea what was wrong. He was given lots of morphine although he still said his pain was a 10.
He was finally admitted to a ward at 2.30am. Surgeons came to see him at 8am, decided to operate. Thought he maybe had pancreatitis, appendicitis, twisted bowel, even a tumour.
He finally went in to theatre at 1.15 pm on the 4th, I was told he’d be in recovery in about 2 hrs. 4 hrs later still no sign of him, I was absolutely panic-strikken! Finally at 5pm my mobile phone rang, it was a nurse in recovery, she said my son wanted to see me. I ran to the recovery ward, as soon as i walked in the nurse said..”he had a very nasty burst appendix”. I was kind of relieved, thinking well at least that’s fixable! Then the doctor came in, he explained that my son’s case rated in the top 5 worst he’d ever seen & that he certainly wasn’t out of the woods yet. My relief began to turn to panic again.
Next day he improved, but day after that he began going downhill, by Monday he was basically in a coma, couldn’t speak or even open his eyes. My husband & I were beside ourselves. He had been on 3 strong anibiotics, the doctors changed them all to one new one, apparently 2 in 1.
About 12 hours later his colour began to improve, he had been a grey colour, now he had some rosiness in his cheeks. He continued to improve very slowly although could not stop vomiting & the pain was still almost unbearable.
Anyway, today is day 11, his white blood cell count is still a bit high so he is still in hospital. His pain has eased quite a bit, he hasn’t vomited in 2 days, so we are hoping he will be able to come home tomorrow.
Btw, both his & my mobile phones were stolen from the hospital last Wednesday, just can’t believe someone could be so low, both phones were new so we now have to pay them off over the next 2 years for some low-life thief! Lost all of our contacts etc.
Also, remember how I said my Dad’s appendix had burst on his wedding day? Well, that was 3rd Feb’ 1963…………….my son’s appendix burst 3rd Feb 2010……………..pretty freaky eh! especially too because my son is the image of my Dad at the same age, they were best mates up until my Dad passed away 4 years ago, my dad passed away in the same hospital my son is in…………..AND, the first thing my son said to me when i walked into the recovery ward after his operation was….”it smells like a shearing shed in here”!………..my Dad was a shearer! Unfortunately I am not a religious person, I wish I was, but these coincidences do make our family wonder now, we think my Dad was with him.

wmmbb - February 16, 2010

Kathy, yours is another example of the trails of waiting in emergency to be assessed.

My wife recently had to wait to see a doctor for admission for a suspected twisted bowel, even though her treating doctor had made the diagnosis and put her in an ambulance.

Talking somewhat out of turn, but going back to my own situation, I am astonished that the doctor or doctors could not have made a general diagnosis by following down the decision tree of possibilities.

Thank you Kathy for adding your son’s story and the coincidence with his grandfather’s experience.

I note that your mobiles went missing. I have not had that experience but I suppose it is possible and something to be alert to.

Debbie - February 17, 2010

Dear Kathy, I’m so sorry you and your son are going through this. It’s terrible how long they had you wait in the emergency room and what he’s had to go through so far. and then of course it brings up the sad memories of your dad. I will pray for full recovery sooner rather then later for your son (good that he’s young!). We all understand the pain and recovery process here.

64. Del - February 26, 2010

I live in England and after having what I though was a tummy bug for 24 hours I still was feeling too well 5 days later, night fevers, very weak with now a dull pain in my lower left side. I went to the Doctors and told him I thought I had appendicitis (after looking on the internet at my symtoms) He sent me away to await a scan at the hospital. The next day I went back as I was much worse and he admitted me to hospital.
24 hours later I was finally in sugery after the worst pain and fever also vomiting again, my bladder had also stopped working. The consultant informed me that my appendix had disintergrated, loads of puss and absesses and he had to remove part of my colon. There was also gangrene. Was on a morphine pump for 2 days. I have a 5′ wound and 2 drain holes.Was in hospital for 12 days. After 3 days at home I had to be re-admitted with what I thought was a hernia but was a haematoma, stayed another 5 days.
It is now 4 weeks tomorrow since my op but I am still very weak and not very mobile, bowel stuff is bad and wind painful. Feels like there is a very heavy weight in my tummy. How long before I feel ‘Normal’?

Del - February 26, 2010

Sorry I meat to say pain in lower RIGHT side

65. Debbie - February 26, 2010

Hi Del, I’m sorry to hear what you’ve been through. We all know the pain. Too bad you had to go back to the hospital. I’m realizing more and more why my Doctor kept me in there 10 days, which is unheard of. It took 6 weeks to feel all the way better for me (even though the Dr. said it should only be 2 weeks-don’t listen to that). It was 10 months ago but now it’s just a fuzzy memory. It will be like that for you too, hang in there and be patient and be gentle on yourself.

66. Jennifer - March 11, 2010

My daughter (8) had her ruptured appendix taken out on 2/11/10 after 3 days of flu like syptoms. Her stay was 9 nights. She did develop a small absess which was drained. Yesterday she started vomiting and complaining of her stomache hurting, today was a little better but she is pale and is complaining of her stomache hurting, she doesnt seem to have fever???? I thought we were out of the woods by now… Has anyone had any complications after about 1 month post-op? Her complexion has not returned fully … I am just worried and looking for answers, think maybe I’ll call the pediatric surgeon tomorrow…

67. Debbie - March 12, 2010

Jennifer, I feel for your daughter, being only 8 years old especially. Sorry this happened to her. After my one-month post-up I was still hurting and was sure something was still wrong. My Doc sent me to get another CatScan and they found nothing. Two weeks later I was finally fine. He said some people take much longer than others to heal. I’ve also heard the nerve endings take awhile to adjust back after what they’ve been through. I hope she’s feeling all better soon!

68. linda - March 16, 2010

hi del
my story very similar to yours. although scar 4inches and only 1 drain scar. had op on 15th dec and only returned to work fully last week! never thought it would take this long but my doctor said that so many muscles have been cut and stitched. also i have a job whwere im on my feet all day and im 53 so takes that bit longer to recover. my scar is horizontal. what is yours? hope your beginning to feel normal again.

Del - March 27, 2010

Hiya Linda,
I am a lot better but still off work and quite slow on my feet. I still get quite alot of pain after standing and walking too much. My scare is vertical, going from my knicker line to up passed my belly button….my bikini days are over! I am in my mid forties, but feel about 80. My GP says that it could be up to a year before I am completly NORMAL again!

69. Connie - March 18, 2010

In Nov. 2009, I went to a respected emergency room in my city after suffering mind-numbing pain in my abdomen for 7 hours. I was told I had eaten too much, it being Thanksgiving weekend and all. Within 15 more hours, the pain subsided. Four weeks later on Christmas Eve, the pain returned, but again, because my pain was “poo-poohed” the first time, I avoided the ER and waited it out with the help of my mother’s Vicodin. Finally, last week, the pain returned and for two days I stupidly suffered, waiting for it to go away, but when it didn’t, I drove myself to a different ER and waited 3 hours, where, once I was seen, I was given a CT scan and it was determined that I had acute appendicitis. End result? I had a ruptured appendix for who knows how long and infection caused my bowel and appendix to cement together. I am lucky. What did I learn? Because I know my body best, I need to demand medical tests that aren’t offered; I need to scream when I’m at a 10 on a pain scale so that I don’t sit in an ER for 3 hours with a ruptured appendix; I need to remind women that they show pain differently in their bodies than men, so just because symptoms aren’t “textbook” doesn’t mean they aren’t serious; and I need to send a thank you note to the diagnosing radiologist who told the surgeon that she’d better operate on me fast even though the surgeon didn’t think I had appendicitis. I also need to tell doctors that chronic appendicitis DOES exist until it becomes acute. I was told that wasn’t possible either. I’m 48 and a yoga instructor, so I think I’ll heal quickly, but not as quickly as I would have if it had been taken care of in November, pre-rupture.

70. wmmbb - March 23, 2010

Hi Connie,

I do not know anything about diagnosis, so I will leave that judgment in your case to others. Such a critical error should not be made unless, as may be the case, people were under pressured, overworked, and tired as they might be in emergency department. I am just speculating.

However, I am deeply sympathetic based on experience to anybody who runs the gauntlet of the emergency department and who gets treated without due care and consideration.

That said, and I am not very good at this, so I was hoping that somebody else would take up the role, I hope you are now on the way to a full recovery. It occurs to me that your yoga mental training might have aided in your recovery?

71. Tina - April 22, 2010

I just found this web site in April 2010 and I am still looking for answers. My appendix ruptured on June 5, 2009, didn’t have any symptoms before that morning, was doing laundry and just fell down screaming. I knew something was terribly wrong. My appendix had ruptured and had laproscopic sugery, was in hospital 5 days. I came home and felt terrible, but was slowly recovering over the summer or so I thought. Around July 4th my feet and legs swelled so bad I literally could barely walk for 3 days. Stayed swollen for 11 days and my home doctor was treating me for gout. Got a little better and went back to work at the grade school in August. After 4 days of inservice at school, I thought I had the flu and my side hurt so bad I could barely bend over so went back to my doctor. He had a cat scan done on me and showed I had an abscess on my lever the size of a softball. Went back to the hospital, my surgeon was out of town, but I had already started throwing up and couldn’t stop so radiology put a drain in the abscess. Stayed in hospital for 8 days very sick and still throwing up. After I was released and home 2 days my left calf started hurting real bad. Had a blood clot, stayed in hospital 2 more days. Started taking shots for blood clot, then found out I had MRSA in the abcess on my liver. Went to an infectious disease doctor who saved my life!!. Got a pic line and did IV therapy at home for 2 and a half months. Had home health all that time and they were wonderful.
Never thought 50 was going to be so tough. Still don’t feel great and its been 9 months. Just did blood work and my white count is 3.2, has dropped from 3.7. Don’t know what’s going on. Oh, I also lost 40 pounds, which was great!! Haven’t gained it back either. Hope 2010 gets better, but am so thankful to be alive!!!

wmmbb - April 25, 2010

I hope that your are recovering now Tina. Yours is an extraordinary story. I am tending to leave comments to others who have more insight. Thank you for commenting here.

72. Joslynn - May 17, 2010

My boyfriend had surgery just two days ago. His appendix ruptured and it was floating around. On a scale of 0-10, 10 being the worst, he was about an 8 or 9. I was wondering if there’s anything I can do to help him. I’ve done everything I know that will help but I want to know if there’s anything else. He still can’t eat or drink. He’s not having much pain and he’s walking but not much. Someone please help 😦

wmmbb - May 23, 2010

Sorry for not answering sooner, Joslynn. I hope by now you have got him to a doctor and hospital. Let us know how it is going, and I wish him all the best.

73. Karyn Western - May 26, 2010

Hi, My name is Karyn, and i had been in hospital for 3 days( but had been sick and in pain for a week before) feed strong antibotics and told my appendix had ruptureded, was sent home after test and ct scans, put of more antibotics for 3 weeks, and told when the infection was gone approx 6 weeks time, i would have to have them out, i was given a date to have surgery and 2 hours before i was due at the hospital, a doctor rang me to say i didnt need to have them out because my appendix had disappeared and there was nothing to take out..??????? This did not seem right to me so went that day and sore my doctor who was quite angry about this and told me to see the surgan again . I am waiting to see him but havent heard anything as yet?? Does this/ or has anyone heard of this happening, that appendix can just disappear????
thank karyn

wmmbb - May 28, 2010

Hi there Karyn.

I could not comment on your medical situation, except to wish a speedy recovery from your current condition. Let us know what happens. Best wishes.

74. Lynn - May 30, 2010

Well, here’s another ruptured appendix story. I hadn’t felt well for some time-bloating, gas and diarrhea. At he time I was recovering from a surgical procedure on my neck and assumed it was probably the pain and pain medications that were causing my symptoms. On Wednesday, May 19th I started vomiting which lasted all night and into most of the next day while the pain in my abdomen kept getting worse.

Finally, about 9 PM on the 20th I asked my husband to call the EMS as I knew if I walked into the ER it would be hours before I would be seen. The ER personnel couldn’t have been nicer and quickly put me on IV fluids, pain medication and antibiotics as by then I was running a fever. In a fairly short time, I had an abdominal x-ray and a CT scan after drinking a LOT of the contrast liquid. Around midnight, the doctor came in and said he thought I had a bowel obstruction and scheduled me for surgery the next morning, Friday the 21st.

After the surgery he came to recovery to tell me that my appendix ruptured and that I would be in the hospital for several days. By Sunday my red blood count was back up so they felt the infection was no longer in my blood stream but I was still in excruciating pain despite the dilaudid pump. Since I was getting very little sleep in the hospital and it was most difficult to maneuver to the bathroom to get rid of all the fluids being pumped into me, I was thrilled to hear my surgeon say I could go home on Monday afternoon (after he “yanked” the drain out-OUCH!).

I am at home 8 days post surgery and feel terrible. Lots of pain and bloating and a hardness above my incision which is closed with six staples. Eating makes me feel ill but I know I have to get my weight and strength back up. I realize that I am not going to bounce right back as I am a 64 y/o female with other minor health issues. I see the surgeon next week and after reading all of your stories, will have a list of questions for him. I was in so much pain and so relieved to be going home that I never asked him what to expect in the way of recovery, how badly the appendix ruptured, etc. Thanks to so many of you, I will be armed with the proper questions.

I am fortunate that I have have great insurance but will still have to pay approximately $1,200 out of pocket- a small price for my health and life. I’ll report back after my appointment on June 3rd. Thanks, again, to all of you who have contributed. This has been a real eye opener. I have been researching all over the Web but this is the only site I found with first hand experiences.

wmmbb - May 30, 2010

Thank you for your story Lyn. I am really pleased that your medical expenses were affordable for you. I join you in thanking all the people who have contributed here. While recovery in my experience was at times tough at home, I did fully recover. Best wishes.

75. Shahidah Nelson - September 2, 2010

Reading this story was like what I went through, I am now in recovery.
I was in the hospital for 9 days because the doctor told me that my appendix had ruptured 2 week ago.
I don’t know what damage it has done but I know I am glad to be alive.

wmmbb - September 3, 2010

Thank you for your story so far Shahidah. All the best for a complete recovery.

76. worriedaboutmybigbrother - October 12, 2010

Hello I have a brother whom never gets sicks so no need to see the doctor unless something is really wrong with him.It is Oct 11th 2010 and on thursday he went to the er because he too also thought he had food poisioning, come to find out he had a ruptured appendix they also put him on diladad and ivs and took into surgery, he was sent home on that Sat evening it is now tues and he is still not eating and moving much..But he is trying to keep as much liquid down as possible, he is throwing up some but it is not presistant. I am worried, I have heard alot of horror stories with this whole ordeal.When should he feel better and he somtimes is runnig a low grade fever. The surgeon told him not to be too concerned with eating just as long as he is drinking..They sat if he was not feeling better in 5 to 7 days to make an appointment to be seen. Im just wondering if it is normal for him to still be feeling nasty after the 5th day of surgery? He is my only brother and I dont want to loose him..=( I have been praying and maintaing faith, but every time I see him he looks so helpless..Will he get better and what should we look for? please any help would be apprecaited..

77. Debbie - October 13, 2010

Hello, I am sorry to hear your brother had to go through this (my story is above, spring of 2008). You are a good sister for caring so much and taking care of him. I would have to say, yes, it is normal to still feel so bad after 5 days of the surgery. I stayed in the hospital 10 days and it wasn’t until the 8th day or so I felt better. and then it was 6 weeks before I felt normal again. It’s a long process. I’m surprised they sent him home so soon. The Dr. should want a follow up visit very soon. I would make the appt. Keep your faith, and this thing takes time (you can see from all the stories above). from my experience, it seems the Dr.’s think recovery is much quicker than reality with us patients.

78. Debbie - October 13, 2010

oops, it was 2009! (comment 41 and 45). See, I forgot all about it, just a fuzzy memory now. Tell you brother it will be that way for him in the future, even though right now it feels he will be like this forever-more. lots of patience and hope!

79. Janet - October 22, 2010

About 3 weeks ago my sister went to the emergency room of a hospital close to her home with pain in the right side. Since she had worked at that hospital yrs ago, she was quite confident in its doctors. She thought she may have appendicitis. After 4 hours, blood work and CT scan, the doctor came in and said her blood work was good, appendix looked good and no infection, but she may have a dilated bowel, where the pain was. she was sent home. a couple of days later went to an associate of her primary doctor because her doctor did not accept her new insurance. This doctor said since she recently had a cold and was just getting over it, she had pulled an abdominal muscle and probably cracked a couple of ribs coughing and to go for an x-ray. She also advised never to go to the hospital that she had gone to because they were nothing like they used to be. So she went to a different hospital. X-rays showed she did crack 2 ribs. After another week, she returned to the doctor still not feeling up to par. She was not having her regular bowel movements and stomach was still upset. The doctor told her that when diabetics are sick their body functions slow done so she should take some milk of magnesia and gave her reglan for her upset stomach. 3 days later she was rushed to the hospital having a hard time breathing, very low blood pressure, and not being able to get enough oxygen. They admitted her, intibated her, and sedated her. They gave her a CT scan and said she had an infection in her liver and they would put a tube in to drain the infection. After maxing out 3 different blood pressure medicines to raise her blood pressure with no results, and giving fluids to help the medicine, nothing was working. She passed away approximately 14 hrs after admission to the hospital.

80. Debbie - October 22, 2010

Dear Janet, I am so, so, sorry to hear this about your precious sister. She went through so much. My condolences and sympathy to you and your family during this very difficult time.

Janet - October 23, 2010

Thank you

81. Janet - October 23, 2010

additional to message 79- we (the family) believe she did have appendicitis and that it ruptured resulting in peritonitis and peristalsis and that the infection went through her whole bodyputting her kidney, lungs and liver into failure. The family has contacted a lawyer who stated this is over and above malpractice and they are looking at wrongful death situation.

wmmbb - October 24, 2010

I join with Debbie in expressing my sorrow at the death of your sister. I hope you will keep us informed.

Janet - October 24, 2010

i definitely will. Apparently the lawyer also has another case with the original hospital where people brought their mother in with chest pains and they were told she was ok and sent home. She ended up having a heart attack and died.

82. Janet - October 24, 2010

can we have our appendix taken out even if it is not inflammed?

83. Janet - October 28, 2010

ok recieved the death certificate.
cause of death- cardiac arrest due to septic shock.

84. Debbie - October 28, 2010

thank you for letting us know, Janet. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Devastating. So you were right (message 81)? Strength to you and yoru family.

85. Janet - October 31, 2010

Yes Debbie apparently we were right. I just don’t know the time frame. If it was the original hospital’s missed diagnosis or the nurse practioners’ advice to take milk of magnesia that caused the appendix to ruptured. But her childrens’ lawyer is going after all of them.

86. Janet - November 7, 2010

after more research, since my sister was quite overweight, that is what kept her alive for the 3 weeks. It is also why the doctors missed the diagnosis. Her quantity of omentum. Apparently her appendix ruptured and formed a pus socket underneath or within her omentum, which slowed down the whole process of peritonitis, which eventually led to peristalsis and septic shock and her organs shutting down.

wmmbb - November 12, 2010

Thanks for the updates Janet.

87. MCS - November 23, 2010

My experience is a little different. It started with pains in my right side a few months after the birth (c-section) of my first child. I would get them every so often, and I would go to the Dr. and he would say it was something like pelvic inflamtion, or maybe from my IUD or things like that. After a few days, it would feel better. This went on for about 7 years. Then one night I was awoken by horrible pains in the mid to upper stomach area, along with vomiting. This started at about 2 a.m. and finally by 5 a.m. I told my husband to take me into emergency at the hospital as it was getting worse. Upon arrival at the hospital, blood tests were taken and upon Drs. examination, he figured it was a gallstone attack because of where the pain was. I asked if it could be my appendix and they said probably not because my white blood cell count was not high enough to think that way. They admitted me and gave me shots of demoral all day. The pain got increasing worse, even with the demoral. Finally at about 4 p.m. they took me in for an ultra sound, and once they started pushing around on my stomach area, the pain then went to my right side and was excruciating. At about 10 p.m. a surgeon came up to see me. He pushed around on my right side and said it was my appendix, and they were to get me up to surgery right away. Needless to say, by the time they did surgery, my appendix had ruptured. They had to put in a drainage tube, and the next day when the Dr. came by, he said I was one very lucky lady, that I had been very sick and it was a good thing they operated when they did. They were suppose to take the drainage tube out slowly, a little every day, but by the third day, they ended up taking the whole thing out because at that time they had closed off the drain with a metal pin, and then put the dressing over top it. Well, I am allergic to metal (said so in my chart and above my bed under allergies!!) and the pin was touching my skin, and I ended up developing a rash around my incision, so out came the drain and I was sent home about 8 days later with an open wound to finish draining. I feel very lucky to be alive today. This happened back in 1987, and I have had trouble with scar tissue since (not sure from c-section or rutured appendix, probably both) and my health seems to have suffered as I have had other issues throughout the years, it is like my immune system was affected. Before my appendix ruptured I was very healthy. Anyone else have any health issues years after a ruptured appendix. I would like to hear your story. I think having that poison in the body could lead to other things. Best of luck to everyone!

88. MCS - November 24, 2010

Upon re-reading my story, I forgot to mention that for those 7 years prior to my appendix rupturing, that I had pains in my side, they did do x-rays and I was told at some point that I had a stone in my appendix but that it shouldn’t cause any problems….anyone else have this problem? My oldest son has had rumblings of his own and the Drs. have thought it to be appendix problems, but they have yet to remove it. I wish they would because his job now takes him to some pretty remote areas and if it ever decides to rupture in some of these places….well I hate to think about the consequences. Not sure why they are so reluctent to remove it now as it is a lot worse after it does rupture. Does anyone think it might be hereditary?

Sylvie - December 22, 2010

Yes, 7 years prior to my appendix rupturing I was admitted into the hospital for what they thought at the time might be appendicitis. I was released from the hospital and told I could have early onset of bowel disease. HA! I had a perforated appendix this past July and had surgery again this past October for adhesions. It is now December and I continue to have complications. This has been a medical nightmare! I am Canadian so I am fortunate to not be faced with the large medical bills so many of you describe. I am now having trouble with my pancreas, liver, and kidneys. I had blood work again today and will likely have another CT scan next week to deal with my ongoing complications with these organs. I had no idea recoverery would take this long and that I would be faced with ongoing complications. Does anyone else continue to have complications months and months after their peritonitis?

Dean White - January 24, 2012

I still feel crap after 4 months… still get pain when I try and pick things off the ground. I had 9 months of agony in 2011 before my appendix ruptured.

In the lead up I had kidney problems and liver problems. I had puffy swollen feet with fluid they could not explain and was always so tired I struggled to do my day to day chores and look after my daughter.

The rupture was poisoning my system and at the end a large mass and a litre of muck was removed along with my appendix.

Have a colonoscopy this Friday (as has taken 3 months in a queue to get one) to find out what is happening inside.

89. Janet - November 25, 2010

i don’t know if it is hereditary but I do know that after our episode( 79-86) I asked my Doctor to remove my appendix and he said he has never heard of a doctor removing a healthy appendix although he totally understood why i would request it.

90. linda - January 6, 2011

hi i have posted on here a couple of times since my ruptured appendix just over a year ago.just wanted to ask if there is evidence of a link to bowel cancer.my dad died of this and i did mentionit to my doctor but she said not to worry.also wondered if anyone else has had any after effects like i have such as a noisy tummy, even when ive eaten, and wind which i never suffered with before. also im sure my hair has become thinner, although ive heard that a serious illness can affect your hair.would love to hear your views

91. Sylvie - January 6, 2011

Linda, after my 2 surgeries I lost tons of hair. It stopped falling out after about 2 months but for awhile it was falling out like crazy. I too have heard the same about links to cancer, just haven’t found too much material online regarding this. I just got out of a 5 day hospital stay again. This ruptured appendix has been giving me so many complications. Doctor told me very few survive the surgery and if you are lucky enough to pull thru, there are often complications. My appendix was recto-cecal (sp?) and ruptured above my liver close to many of my organs. Has anyone else experienced such a nightmare?

92. linda - January 7, 2011

hi silvie reading your comments makes my problems seem very minor.you have suffered so much.i dont know that many details as strangely,my aftercare was with my gp.although i remember[through a haze of morphine] being told by consultant it was one of worse cases she had seen. i had many problems such as wound infection and weeping but in england, or at least in london you dont see consulatant once you leave hospital.
i hope you will now finally recover sylvie and wish you all the best

93. Sylvia Stowell - January 7, 2011

My 14 yr old daughter was diagnosed with a ruptured appendix at age 7 after 3 days of flu-like symptoms.A half an hr after being admitted to the ER she was rushed into emergency surgery. One week later back again with fever and pain.For another 3 days of a hospital stay.After Heavy doses of antibiotics she was released again. Ever since the ruptured appendix she has been suffering with severe gas pains and can only eat small amounts.The pain at times is unbearable for her.The Drs have tried testing for many things trying to help give her some relief.Upper and lower Gi scans,gluten and dairy free diets and IBS treatment .She also has been tested for enemia sepsis and mono they found at sometime in her life she had Epstein Barr and this will for ever be in her system..Still no answers or relief as of today she is still suffering and is now very lethargic and unable to play sports or barely make it thru the school, day.She has gas pains, gas bubbles headaches ,shortness of breath,headaches and is just not happy.Does any one out there have any suggestions?I know this has to do with the ruptured appendix but we cant seem to find any answers.If you have any ideas we would appreciate the help.Poor Brooklyn just wants to get back to high school and play volleyball!

wmmbb - January 13, 2011

I mostly leave the replies to others who are better at it than I am. I am hoping that Brooklyn has had appropriate treatment and is getting better.

94. Sylvie - January 14, 2011

Hi Sylvia! My guess is that she is suffering from surgical adhesions or fibrous bands. I too have blogged about my experience. You can read it at http://www.mypassionatelife.squarespace.com under Health & Wellness (5 part series). I too continue to have complications. Maybe she would be able to identify with my experience. I cannot imagine a child going thru this. I wish her better health!

95. Sylvie - January 31, 2011

I want to thank the author of this blog. Your blog helped me tremendously when I felt confused and alone. Thank you for giving me hope and sharing your stories.

wmmbb - January 31, 2011

You are welcome Sylvie. For my part, and perhaps for others as well, to provide any form of positive help makes it worthwhile.

96. Debbie - January 31, 2011

yes, I agree. when the appendix rupture happened to me, nobody seemed to understand how I felt and what I went through…coming across this blog with so many sharing their stories and being able to share mine helped a lot.

97. Nancy - March 19, 2011

My 10 year old is hospital as we speak. Ruptured appendix.
She had friends over then suddenly she was complaining about tummy pains. I thought was food poisioning, then the flu. But the pain got worse and we took her to a few walk in clinics to see if they can give her something to stop the vomiting. They were all closed so we took her to the emergency which took forever. Eventually after a few test they told my husband it was her appendix. In the mean time she was in agonizing pain. This happen on Sunday on Tuesday she had the operation. She is in so much pain it breaks my heart. She have to walk but she don’t want to. She have to use the washroom but she don’t want to also and she is not eating. I am very worried about her.

wmmbb - March 20, 2011

Nancy, please let us know how things turn out for your daughter. I hope she is now recovered.

98. Linda - April 21, 2011

I too have a ruptured appendix story. I had low grade fevers for about a week and then started with severe abdominal pain, probably the worst I’ve ever had. I made an appt with my doctor and drove myself to the office. While at the office, I dropped my phone and when I went to try to pick it up, fell over. I also had slurred speech and a facial droop. The doctor called 911 ad I was transported via ambulance to the hospital with a stroke! once in the ER, I had a Ct scan of the abdomen and head. I had appendicitis but they were afraid to operate until they stabilized me neurologically. CT of the head showed a clot.So I finally had a laproscopic appendectomy done 2 days later. My appendix did rupture, and I was on a bunch of IV antibiotics. I was also on an IV blood thinner for the clot in my brain, but developed internal bleeding from that. I then started vomiting and developed an ileus (bowels not working) post op so I had to have a tube shoved down my nose and into my stomach to drain it and prevent me from vomiting. The docs weren’t sure why I had the stroke (and I was fine now, all symptoms resolved) so they ordered a test of my heart in case my heart was doing something that would cause a blood clot to travel to my brain. Sure enough, they found a tumor on my heart and then I needed open heart surgery. Big sternal incision, 3 chest tubes, and lots of pain. I was in the hospital 25 days. Now I’m home, but am still having some low abdominal pain. Eating ok, and passing gas and moving my bowels and all that jazz, but I dont know why my belly is almost as painful as my chest. Its been 6 weeks since my appendix was removed–shouldn’t that part of my anatomy be feeling better by now? And I am so deconditioned, get tired so easily, I don’t think I will ever be normal again. I’m 50 so not a youngster but was fairly healthy before this past month of hell.

99. Debbie - April 21, 2011

Dear Linda, you have way more than a ruptured appendix story! I can’t believe you went through all that, I’m so sorry. It took me 6 weeks to start to feel better after a ruptured appendix and 11 days in hospital,but you should be patient with yourself and allow more days per incident your body has been through. You WILL get better and you WILL feel normal again. You have my sympathy. But keep the HOPE.
God Bless

100. David - June 28, 2011

My son’s appendix burst. He was at are local hospital for two days then released. He had to follow up the next day and his pain was worse. I asked the ER doctor if it was appendicitis and he said no that it was something like mono. They sent him to the hospital up in the city and they found that his appendix had ruptured. Since he had spent two days at the local hospital with a misdiagnosas. Do I have grounds for a lawsuit?

wmmbb - July 5, 2011

I am not in a position to reply to your question, David. I hope your son has now had the appropriate treatment and now is getting better.

101. Sylvie - July 5, 2011

David, in Canada I believe you only have grounds for a lawsuit if you can prove negligence. That is my understanding. I am not sure how it works in any other country but you should call a malpractice lawyer in your state for a consult.
Linda, I am sorry to hear about everything that happenned. It took me almost 10 months to start feeling like myself. I had a hard time as well, but nothing compared to your ordeal. I would like to hear how you are doing now. I wish you all the best.
I learned thru the my ordeal that I have a gluten enteropathy. The minute I cut gluten out of my diet I started to improve, and the bowel obstructions started to subside. I would love to hear if anyone else has found this in their case. Please let me know! You can read about journey in my blog listed below. Thanks!

102. earl phillips - July 12, 2011

i was in the army in germany in 1968 i went to sick call for 3 weeks they told me it was a pulled muscel to a hernea finelly my company camander took me to the 97 general hospital in frankfert and had the camander of the hospital look at me and they took me straight to surgery the docter who did the surgery said i was a walking dead man he said it was contaned in a sack that he didnt know what it was he said it looked like a dryed up prune he was going to put it in a jar and save it he said it was the worst case he ever saw. i spent 3 weeks in intensive care.

wmmbb - July 15, 2011

You were very lucky, Earl.

As I recall I was told to report back to the hospital. Three weeks seems to me a long time. Allowing that the army is a different environment, but if you know you are unwell and you can’t figure out what is wrong, it is best to go to the hospital.

Thanks for adding your story.

103. kim - July 26, 2011

I had ruptured appendix in January this year. I was 15 at the time. I had no symtoms of appendicitus (I am a terrible speller) at all and the only reason I went to hospital was because I was dehydrated from vomiting for over 24 hours. After being in hospital overnight I was ready to go home because I felt better but I had to wait until the doctor came to check on me before I could go home. Because I couldn’t keep my breakfast down they decided to keep me in till the doctor came around that night. At about 10 o’clock in the day I go a slight pain in my side. I told the nurses but they thought nothing of it. It was the first sign I had at all of appendicitus. An hour after I got the pain my tummy started hurting all over and it became incredibly swollen. I couldn’t walk and no amount of pain killers helped. I had an extremly hight temperature and I felt terrible. I live in a small town so the doctor only visits twise a day. So my the time he came back that night it looked like I was pregnant because of how swollen my tummy was. was coming back later that night. The doctor had no idea what was wrong with me because my symtoms were not in the one part of my tummy but all over so he decided to fly me to the nearest big hospital. I got to the hospital that night and they took me for scans the next day. That night, still not knowing what was wrong with me they decided to operate. This was about a day and a half after it had burst. They tried to give me keyhole surgery but ended up having to give me a 20 cm long cut. It was the most painful thing I have ever felt. They gave me maxalon several times to stop the vomiting but I had an allergic reaction to it. We didn’t know what was wrong with me the first few times they gave it to me but my eyes went blurry and I felt sick and weak. By the third time they stopped giving it to me. I spent about 10 or 11 days in hospital. After they removed the 55 staples I was allowed to go home. I lost 5 or 6 kg after during this time. About a week after this occured the high temperatures came back. So we went to the doctor and my scar had become infected. They put me on antibiodics that made me feel terrible. I am fine now though but it was a very frightening experience.

wmmbb - July 28, 2011

Thanks as well for your story Kim. It is especially relevant to me because as you say you live in a small town, and you do not have the medical services that we who live in the metropolitan areas take for granted. I was given a CAT scan, which I did not think much of at the time, and I am inferring that that technology was not available for you.

You seem to have recovered from your ordeal, Kim. Thanks again. I appreciated your account.

104. Rosemary - August 21, 2011

Hello Im posting from the UK and found these stories whilst looking for answers re recovery time. This is my story………
18th july we went away for a short break, during the drive a felt colicy and very full after eating. In the evening I had a salad and was very full and gripey. During the night I hardly slept and thought it was constipation, we went out in the morning and I drank pepermint tea thinking this would help! by early evening I realised that this wasnt normal and we went to ER. I was promptly seen, found to have a temperature of 38.0 and was tachycardic. I have a very good (stoic) tolerance of pain which is not a good thing. The pain was coming in waves but I wasnt sick. I found it hard to rate my pain, they ask what it is on a scale of 1-10 I said 8!! more like 11! I was diagnosed with Appendicitis, asked if it had ruptured and told no as my stomach was soft – unbeknown to me it had already ruptured. I had an emergency laparoscopic appendictomy. it had ruptured and was gangrenous. I had 6 nights in hospital on iv, a high temperature and was in isolation due to the runs…. my surgeon said it was very nasty. Ive since had an ultra sound and no abcesses. So here I am 4 1/2 weeks post surgery and lucky to be alive. My wounds have healed but I still get aches and pains. Im not back at work yet, I get very very tired and dont think I could cope with shifts. Ive been very lucky, so sorry to hear of the stories of delayed diagnosis and huge bills, thank goodness for the National Health Service. So Im sending good wishes from the UK.
Rosemary ( a very young 50 something!)

wmmbb - August 26, 2011

Thanks for adding your story, Rosemary. I agree with you in relation to access to hospital. I could not envisage or foresee what has happened to me. It is reassuring that whatever happens you can go to the hospital, or a doctor. In my case as well as my appendix, I have had my spleen removed. and am getting specialist attention for wonky kidneys. What a wreck!

105. Dean White - September 25, 2011

I’m finally back at home after my near death experience.

Since Jan this year I had VERY bad pains in the gut which would double me up in pain for up to 2 weeks at a time. I was getting very distressed at the severity of the pain and the regularity. I was also getting dismayed by the inaction by local GP that said it was muscular.

Around the start of September the pain ramped up several notches, on the 6th I got mum to take me to the local GP as I had been unable to eat for 5 days and the previous night had bad sweating and was in horrendous pain.

I saw the local GP at 2pm that day and although I was in such pain, hadn’t eaten for 5 days and looked like crap he sent me home after asking me to get an ultra sound and seeing him later in the week or early the next week.

I went home around 3PM and layed down. Not sure if I was unconscious or managed to sleep but I woke up in extreme pain around 8:30PM. I’m a single parent to a 9 year old daughter so had decided to ring mum before she went to bed and explained I couldn’t bear another night like the previous and was calling an ambulance.

I called it in as a burst appendix and a few minutes after the ambulance arrived the medic had agreed with my diagnosis. He was also absolutely amazed my local GP had sent me home in such condition.

To cut a long story short… I got rushed to Wodonga hospital where a CT confirmed I needed life saving emergency surgery ASAP.

It all happened so quick and I was so heavily sedated I had no time to panic or even fear death.

I spent a week in hospital and sported a 9.5 inch row of staples in my gut from repairing a burst abscess near my appendix and the removal of a mass along with a heap of muck. I had very bad AF during the surgery and was lucky to make it through alive.

I broke down several times in hospital as I realized how close my daughter was to not having a parent. I also endured what I would call a morphine hell. The morphine I was on sure did stop the pain, but gave me the worst hallucinations I could imagine. They lasted about 5 days and it was a bad experience all on its own. I had 3 IV’s of anti-biotics each day as I was at risk of massive infection.

Needless to say I’m quite disappointed at the local GP’s. The number of times I had presented there with the amount of pain I had only to be turned away with no action. My discharge notice said my appendix had shown signs of previous damage which over time must have settled without bursting.

The pathology on the mass was also benign which I’m also grateful for. We lost dad to bowel cancer 3 years ago and this episode almost killed my mother with anguish. Being told after surgery her son had just made it through after being sent home (to die) the previous day visibly destroyed her.

The hardest bit for me was the day after the operation having my daughter come in and see me even unable to lift my head off my pillow because I was so weak and totally spent.

The whole episode was an experience from hell.

wmmbb - October 2, 2011

I have to agree, Dean, the failure of diagnosis is a cause for concern. All I can say that in my case the diagnosis was confirmed by the CT scan, and I was operated on immediately. I was told it was straight forward operation, to the extent that any medical intervention is without potential complications.

I hope you fully recover and can put this experience behind you.

106. Deb - October 4, 2011

I want to thank everyone on here for all their re-living of the nightmares endured. I am 44 and am right now going through some of the same problems you all have described. I was told by my general practioner that I had a stomach virus and to go home and wait it out. I waited for another 2 weeks, living on over the counter pain meds, to end up in the ER with a diagonsis of “not really sure but it looks like an abscess”, via CT scan. After exploritory surgery it was determained that my appendix had ruptured at some point in the last few weeks and that, “I was a very lucky lady”. The infection had consumed my abdominal cavity. After 6 days in the hospital I was allowed to go home with a picc line and continue my antibotics. I am 20+ days post op and am still having the same exact pain I went to the ER with. I have an appt. with my surgeon tomorrow. May have another CT. I have a high tollerance for pain but with that I think it made this ordeal more dangerous. I think, being in the midst of recovery, the hardest part of it all for me is the general feeling of weakness and lathargy. I am very active and find myself feeling depressed. And the temporary ileostomy I have is very unnerving for me. Reading about everyone’s stories here has helped me feel not so “alone”. Thank you for creating this thread whoever you are.

Dean White - October 4, 2011

Deb, I can honestly say I know how you feel. I just turned 44 a week ago and on the 7th of September had ER “fun fun fun” myself for an abscess and a rupture near my appendix, they also removed a large “mass” that was thankfully benign. 4 weeks post op I still have pain and feel like .

I have an appointment for my local GP today which will be interesting as I’m going to ask a scary question. One that goes something like “Why did you send me home when I was so sick and basically dying?”

I’m very nervous about my bowels now as was told because of the contamination they were very inflamed and recovery would be a lot longer and I may even require further surgery in the future.

Makes life as a unemployed (unemployable atm) single parent a real challenge.

I can only describe the events leading up to and around the surgery as life-shattering and almost (for me) life ending. My daughter lost her mum basically to mental illness that just gets worse and was very close to losing me.

I pray to God that some doctors read all this and decide to be more professional towards their patients rather than herding them away with some over the counter medications or in my case telling me it was muscular.

God bless everyone on this forum… most of us have gone through hell!!!

Deb - October 5, 2011

Hi Dean, so sorry to hear of your experience. After reading all the stories here it seems that this illness is misdiagnosed more ofter than not. I dropped my GP. Actually it wasn’t hard for me as I had only seen her once since we had just relocated here from across the country. I totally felt “herded” out by her. I can’t imagine being a single parent and going through this. Is there anyone you can lean on, (sibling, parent, etc..)? I have two teenage sons that I feel through all this I have lost touch with. I sleep a lot and want to go do things but just don’t have the strength let alone still dealing with the pain that I thought by now would be gone.
Please let us know how you are doing. I am especially interested as I had my surgery one day before you and don’t know how I should be feeling at this stage.

Dean White - October 5, 2011

Hi Deb, couldn’t reply to your reply so replying to this one if that makes sense.

I still get tired very easy and I hate it, I do however also have AF of the heart which has also dragged on (now for 3ish years). Given all the pain before/during and after surgery it would not be hard IMO to get depression. My doctor actually told me my gut pains were just muscular and the tiredness and lethargy were depression but it seems there’s a big case of egg on his face.

Least they gave me a medical certificate for 3 months so I don’t have centrelink on my case every few days.

I did actually ask them yesterday why I was “herded” out so quickly when I really needed medical attention and they dodged any responsibility as if the answer had been preplanned.

Everyone says I should take legal action, but when it comes down to it I can’t risk my house just for them to have some shifty solicitor to get them off the hook.

Must be hard with that damn temporary ileostomy. Least it’s temporary. I was told before surgery not to freak out if I woke up with one and as I remember the first thing I did when I woke is looked to see if there was one. The other thing I asked was whether I needed a blood transfusion, and again luckily I didn’t.

Basically the support I get is my mother and daughter. My wife/ex-wife developed a serious mental illness after our daughter was born and just got worse and worse to the point where I could not look after her. Her case is basically a huge fail in the mental health system.

Got to go… need rush to the GP for another blood test before they close 😛

Deb - October 6, 2011

Hi Dean, I’m glad to hear you have your mom to help out. And even though we think that the kids can’t handle some things, everything in life is a learning experience that they can look back on one day and maybe use.
I would love to take legal action too but like you don’t want to take that risk. I live in the state of Florida and if it doesn’t go your way you end up with all the costs.
I don’t know what an AF of the heart is??? Can you explain it to me? But I’m sure anything “of the heart” is not good.
I had a break through today…I went for several hours today without pain or meds. Didn’t realize it until just a few minutes ago. I had an appointment with a GYN and got some bad news there and didn’t even think about the pain of the other. Kinda like stomping on someone’s toe to make them forget about their headache, I guess. Ha Ha. I hope you have a good day coming up, only, not with bad news…We could all use some “sunny” days. Let me know.

107. Debbie - October 4, 2011

Hi Deb, I’m sorry you are going through this! and that they did not diagnosis it right away. It seems this is the kind of surgery you do not feel better with afterwards, until many weeks. I was 43 when it happened to me (3 years ago). Dr. said I should feel better after 2 weeks, no, it was 6-8 weeks. I also had another CT scan (3 weeks afterwards bc I wasn’t feeling much different than from the day I went into ER!). Scan was normal. It just took TIME. and PATIENCE. and I felt I would never be the same again. But I was, and now it’s truly a distant (fuzzy) memory, as it will be for you someday. Hang in there! my daughter asked why I was on this ‘blog’ and I said because only these people really understand how it was/is.

Deb - October 4, 2011

Thank you so much for your reply Debbie. I can’t tell you how much hope you have given me. I have an older Dr. (that I trust whole heartedly), but he doesn’t give much detail and tells me very little. Old school, I guess. I have been feeling just as you said. Like I will never be “myself” again. I have always felt empathy for others when they are sick but now understand how it really feels to be “down”. Please tell your daughter that I for one am VERY thankful you post on this blog and really needed to hear what you have to say. I will be back on after my appt. tomorrow. Thank you again kind lady.

108. Debbie - October 4, 2011

Deb, glad you got some encouragement from this. My ‘story” is #41. This experience definitely gives us empathy for those who are in pain, or sick, especially if chronic. But YOU will be back to normal. Goodluck at your appointment.

Deb - October 5, 2011

Hi Debbie, nothing to tell today. My surgeon had two emergency surgeries today and pushed me back to Thurs. I will post then. Thanks.

109. C. B. in Cali - October 9, 2011

Hi, I was fortunate to get a proper diagnosis as soon as I went to the hospital. I too, thought it was just something I ate or maybe a bowel infection. I had pain when I pressed over my appendix and also when I released the pressure. The pain was the same amount both ways. The hospital confirmed it was my appendix and I had the laproscopy surgery done. Once the doctor got inside he noticed I had a perforated appendix and there had been some leakage. He was afraid he would wind up having to cut me open to clean up my insides, but he managed to clean me up with out any more cutting on me. The only pain I had was sore tummy muscles and only when I moved. Nothing severe. I was set up with self medication with morphine, but never used it one time. I was in the hospital 4 days and was allowed to come home today, 10/8/11. I refused my pain prescription because I couldn’t see paying for something I wouldn’t use. Now here is my BIG problem, I have NO insurance. In January next year I will qualify for Medicare, just 3 months away! What bad timing. My question to everyone is this…do any of you have any idea what my hospital bill will be? I live in California. I am stressing over this bill sooooo much. I sure hope someone out there can give me an answer. Thank you. C. B. in Cali

Deb - October 10, 2011

Hi C. B. I response to your question about costs, I can only tell you what my costs have been so far. I have insurance, (high deductibles), but insurance nevertheless. I had a longer stay and and open surgery with two proceedures. The surgery and stay were $44,000, that doesn’t include the doctors, antibiotics, pain killers, etc… Now, when that gets to the insurance Co. it will be knocked down to what the insurance is willing to pay. Usually half. Now, that being said, we have a very high deductible and we always ask for price of entire proceedures before we go further. (if it’s possible) For instance…my son had to have a hernia surgery. (out patient). We were quoted just over $15,000 for the entire proceedure start to finish with insurance. (That’s our deductible). When we asked them how much it would be without insurance they quoted us $4100. So we elected to not tell our insurance Co. at all and just pay the MUCH lesser amount. This is one of the problems with our medical system in the US today. Don’t worry about the money, just get well and usually hospitals and doctors will work with you on payment plans and such. I am in Florida by the way.

C. B. in Cali - October 11, 2011

Thank you so much for replying Deb! At least I have a good idea of what to expect now. I was thinking in terms of hundreds of thousands of dollars, that would have totally wiped us out and we would still owe hundreds of thousands.

We might possibly scrape up ten thousand and make payments on the rest. It would be nice if we got a lesser charge to pay and maybe we could pay if off all at once, that would be nice.

Anyway, thank you so much for your help. What great people are on this site! CD in Cali

Debbie - October 10, 2011

Hi C.B., I’m glad you were diagnosed right away and that things seems to have gone well compared to others. I can imagine you are worried about the bills, but you had to do what you had to do. I’m very sorry to hear that you don’t have insurance, but glad that you will soon! I think if you don’t have insurance there might be a reduction and I think if you paid all at once, like on a credit card, they would take a huge percentage off. My mother-in-law paid $7,000 of the $11,000 owed by paying all at once for her one day emergency visit.
I am also in Calfornia, my surgery was june of 2009. I had a ruptured appendix (lapro surgery), cat scan and 11 days in hospital. My total bill was $107,216.00. Fortunately, I only paid $100 of it bc I had an HMO at that time. For anyone curious, the breakdown was:
appendectomy: $51,026 (amount billed). $22,000 (Aetna’s pricing)
inpatient: $37,910 (billed), $7,325 (Aetna’s pricing and payment)
outpatient: $3,000 (billed), $1,286 (Aetna’s pricing and payment)
labratory: $6,800 (billed), $0.00 (Aetna’s pricing and payment)
Xray: $6,642 (billed), $0.00 (Aetna’s pricing and payment)
anesthesia $1,228, $800 (Aetna’s pricing and payment)
diagnostic testing $610. $0.00 (Aetna’s pricing and payment).

So, Aetna only paid $31,335 of the $107,215 bill and I only paid $100. Strange, huh? I would hope that those without insurance would also not pay anywhere near the full amount. Why do they inflate the price so much?

C. B. in Cali - October 11, 2011

Wow Debbie, your response is a little more frightening than Debs. But it is something I needed to hear. And then you had to stay in hospital almost 3 times longer than I did. So hopefully that will make my bill a little bit smaller. We pretty much had all the same things done, I had what they called a doughnut ct scan, the same surgical proceedure, lab, etc. I’m not sure I was also x-rayed, I was pretty out of it with the pain, but somewhere in the back of my mind I think I may have had that done.

I thank you so much for posting your charges here, it really helps put some perspetive on it. Of course I have to remember rates never go down, they only go up so I need to allow for the two year difference. Anyway I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into your response. I will sleep much easier tonight. CB in Cali

110. Leigh - November 12, 2011

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories.My story is from the UK. My 21 yr old son called me from his University on a Tuesday( i live 2 hrs away), he didn’t sound great so I left work early to go see him and took him for lunch, he said he wasn’t feeling great but thought he was getting flu also stressed about his final exams. Next day he texted to ask if my tummy was sore from lunch, it wasn’t. 4pm he texted to say he felt sick and diarrhoa, so I rang the Uni and asked someone to check on him whilst i travelled down to see him. Arrived at 7pm to find him on the floor in the loo having had sickness and diarrhoa, he asked me to take him to a comfly clean hotel 4 doors away as needed to get out of student flat. I rang NHS direct ran through the symptoms and got told to take him to the hospital outpatients….. relief! He would now be helped. He was diagnosed as having Gastroentritits and given paracetamol and Ibuprofen. After a night’s sleep we managed the 2 hour journey home on the Thursday. That night I slep on the bedroom floor to watch him. Friday 5pm…panic, he had a rash suddenly appeared on his hands, we thought it was meningitis! I thought that’s it, Septicemia, amputations etc! As the local doctors were still open and nearer I rushed him straight there, he had glass tested his rash. The doctor throughly tested him, I was with him at all times. For the 1st time I mentioned could it possilby be an Appenicitis. I was told NO, still Gastroenteritis. As I left the surgery I spoke alone to the doctor and brpoke down in tears and asked her to please not send me home for the weekend if not sure of the diagnosis. She reassured me, told me at 39c his temperature was too high and that he was not in enough pain for an Appendicitis. Friday eveing andSaturday, came and went, I still slept on the floor. My son wasn’t great but also not terrible, especially after painkillers, but every 4 hours he didn’t seem to improve, I worried the painkillers were just masking things. Sunday morning after a more disturbed night, I again rang NHS direct and told to take him into hospital outpatients again. (different hospital). At last, 11am Sunday suspected appendicitis and admitted. 21 hours later he was finally operated on keyhole style. Phew, it was okay, best surgery option. Doctor explained, appendix hadn’t burst but the area was very ‘mucky/dirty’, a word often used over next few days.Tuesday evening, my son still not too well but told he can go home Thursay. Thursday lunchtime as we sat waiting in the day room to go home, I caught one of the doctor’s in the corridor to ask if we could leave….The answer devastated me. She said ‘No, from your son’s blood tests we suspect that he may have infection in his heart.’ Then she left!! I wandered around the hospital in tears, wondering how to take it in and how to break it to him, he was waiting to go home! After becoming almost to breakdown in a lift I was ushered to a private room where I demanded further clarity. I was told the cardio-oligist would visit MONDAY! As booked up Friday and don’t work weekend… further kick off and ambulance sent with cardio equipment. Thank goodness 3 hours later all clear. 6am next morning, liver scans, then stomach scans, all the time his temperature rising. Sunday evening (1 wk anniversary) another operation, keyhole again, 2 bags on his side to drain infection, water on his lung. Cleaned throughly we’re told. By thursday, again heart and liver scans as once again temperature and blood cultures not good. Sunday, scans, showing ‘collections’. This sunday evening another operation, this time fully opened up and HDU unit when finished. My son has now lots 20lb’s and is on his 2nd bag of food being fed through his neck. At last after this operation we have success. He had an abscess hidden between the folds of his intestine, this was what was giving the bad blood cultures and high temperature, but so well hidden didn’t show on scan. 3 days after operation my son needed a blood transfusion and huge amounts of vitamins. In the end he was in hospital 25 days. When he came out, he could barely walk, bend etc. He was told recovery would be 3-6 months and a gap year would be advisable as concentration as well as physical ability can be affected. Just to add further trauma 15 days after, my son was re-admitted to hospital with pains and sickeness. Thankfully surgery was not required, but due to adhesions (which I’d never heard of) had meant his bowel had become partially blocked so his stomach had to be drained through tubr down his nose. He spend a further 3 days in hospital and we missed his graduation ceremony. This was extremely sad day for my son, myself and his dad. A photo I can never have on my mantelpiece. 5 months on, my son’s recovery is fantastic. He has spend a month in Greenland and is currently preparing for a week in the Andes. It’s my recovery that has been longer. As I nursed him back to health, I live in a place of – What happened, why was he not diagnosed, how can he have been so ill when I have been told his appenix did not burst, just leaked, will he get ill again with adhesions, what if it happens in a place without doctors. I am not on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets, blaming myself for not getting the right treatment for him. Today, finding this forum has been the best bit of information I’ve found to realise my son is not the only one who has been through this nightmare. The doctor today told me to stop looking for answers as it re-traumatises me of that dreadful time, but sometimes it’s good to know you’re not alone. Thank you.

Debbie - November 12, 2011

Wow, Leigh, that is quite a story and brought tears to my eyes. You have been through so much. Your son also, but I think it was so hard for you to feel helpless. I pray that you can let it go and release the resentment of the doctors/hospital and see the overall picture that ultimately, your son is still alive and has recovered well and that is really all that matters now. I don’t want to diminish your feelings at all, just to encourage you. I’m glad you found this site because we all understand what is was to go through when so many do not. My story was 2 1/2 years ago but the change it made in my husband is still lasting. He appreciates me so much more and shows it in his actions. For me, it is all just a fuzzy memory, but his memory is clearer. Thanks for sharing, I hope writing that all out helped with your own recovery of this trauma you went through. I have four children ages 9-16 and I can’t imagine going through what you did with them. It is still a happy ending in the end.

111. Perol - December 4, 2011

Hi,my appendix was remove un-inflammed,will i have any health problem in future

wmmbb - December 6, 2011

You will need to talk to your doctor about that Perol. I would not like to comment on what I have read by searching Google. However, I have had my spleen removed, with implications for my immune system. My spleen was enlarged and the biopsy was inclusive. I seem to be cooping so far. So perhaps that might give you confidence.

112. Lisa - December 11, 2011

This is my horror story. I was 15 and I have a fairly high pain threshold so didn’t go in to the hospital straight away with a ruptured appendix as it happened just after my nana had died. When I did go, they suspected appendicitis but they didn’t xray or CT scan or anything at all to confirm it. Nearly 6 hours after I went in, with no pain killers or anything, I was taken in to surgery where the surgeon preformed laparascopic surgery. She found it had ruptured and was very bad and mucky but instead of opening me up properly she continued on with it. She told my mother (who had specified at the time that if anything went wrong they were to stop and do it the old way) that the appendectomy had been mucky and that it had ruptured but they continued anyway.
Well, a few days later, still on morphine and strong antibiotics and a mixture of other drugs, I was vomitting green. They put in a nasal gastric tube and it constantly leaked out green stuff from my stomach, like real lime green. That was in for about a week.
They did scans, CT scans and Xrays. During one CT scan they injected me with iodine contrast and left the room. It was lucky that my mother was in the room as I went in to anaphelectic shock and would have died if she hadn’t got their attention. I spent that night in Intensive care and they released me the next day.
I was in and out of hospital for a long time. I had peritonitis and my temperature every day and constantly about 113 fahren. They did nothing about the peritonitis except prescribe laxatives. At that stage I was on paracetamol to lower temprature, morphine, pethadine, voltarin, tramadol and a couple of antinausea drugs. I lost so much weight I was down to 56 pounds at 5ft9 and 15 years old.
Finally 2 and a bit months after my first operation they saw on the CT scan that my bowel had become obstructed so surgery was needed again. This time they opened me up from above my belly button to just below the pubic bone. The doctor had to remove my small bowel and untwist it and pull off all the scar tissue. He also seperated 4 of the largest adhesions. He also had to clean out the rest of the poison that had been left in my system. He said it was a lot worse than they expected. I was lucky to be alive. At some times I was having 2 blood tests a day. My veins were closing so I had central line in as well. I also had to live off bag food going through the drip as any normal food was making me vomit and I was on iv fluids as well, I also had a morphine drip to press every time was in pain. I missed the last term of school and all my exams. After I got out of hospital people thought I was anarexic and a druggie because of the lines on my arms. It was the worst time of my life and now I am still experiencing problems. My first surgeon, she went to a different city for further training…

113. Lisa - December 11, 2011

Forgot to add, I was in hospital for almost 4 months just because the surgeon mucked up so badly with the appendectomy. I have had to leave two jobs due to flair ups from the adhesions and this time I am now 15 months in to being sick again and losing weight and in pain all the time. It is expected to be from the past surgeries and scaring. I have been told I will just have to live with it.

wmmbb - December 17, 2011

Lisa: I hold off commenting, hoping that wiser counsel will prevail. I am astonished that you survived your ordeal. It seems as if something went badly wrong in your case. I just hope you have fully recovered. Best wishes.

114. Kim - January 8, 2012

Everyone’s story’s always sound so dramatic. I just got really in and after a few days my mum took me to the hospital because I was going in and out of consciousness. Because I’m brave they thought it was the early stages of appendicitis so they left me waiting to have the operation. It turned out it had ruptured hours and hours before so I had to have a drain in my stomach and stay on the children’s ward for 4 day because I was 15. It was bad but everyone stayed so calm that I wasn’t at all bothered about what was happening.

wmmbb - January 17, 2012

Thanks for your report, Kim. As your case illustrates, the people around you staying calm and collected can be very important.,

115. eagles6 - January 19, 2012

Everyone has a different experience with a ruptured appendix and a different experience at a hospital or with a Doctor, It is true that whoever does not have the experience for them selfs does not know the feeling of a person with a ruptured appendix or the people in there lifes that care about them. This is my sons case, It started at the house on Wed, Dec25,2012 . We had just gotten back from our Chirstmas Family gathering at my sisters house ABOUT 9:30p.m. I myselve had a d&c done at the Hospital a week before my son’s ruptured appendix(I lost my baby, there was no heart beat) well I was still getting back on my feet thats why we came home early the night my son started with pain. We waited 3 days before taking him to the ER, Everyday it was hard to see my son in pain (We as his parents thought it was just stomach flu.) My son was tilting over to the front (side) like to his right,fevers up to102.8, very loose stool and vomiting . We took him to a doctor down our block and he didn’t notice appendicites signs, he just send us home with medicine and told us to take him to the ER if he didn’t get better in 3days. Again as parents everyday we were getting worried for our son so on the 28th of Dec.2012 we took our son to the ER at about 2p.m., our wait was long but once the Doctor saw him they got scared which made me scared and they took my son right in and another Doctor was looking at my son, well they both said it was the appendix rupture. Later two other Doctors came that specialies in this area and agreed it was his appendix, by this time we were a little more relaxed because my son was started on antibiotics when we got taken back to the ER rooms, He also got a ct/scan, blood work and pee testing. Everything came back bad. By 2a.m. my husband had gone home ,my son and I stayed in pediatrics for the night,While at the Hospital my son had a lot of pain, he was on morfine,tylenol ,a med calls tordo and lots of antibiatics. He went to the restroom a lot and the stool was dark green, his pee was redish. The Doctors said it was the infection coming out, he had bad fevers up to 108.2 and a dangerous110.0, He almost went into septic shock. It was a horible experience to see our son like this and it was painful not to know want to expect for the next hour ,next 6 hours, next eposode of fever ,to the night and than the next day. My son had to stay at the hospital for 9days and left with antibiatics and a drain which had to stay in for about also 9days.My son has been home for about 13 days,The Doctor’s say they are not going to take the appendix out because it ruptured and there most likely is not anything there anymore. Does anyone really know what happends to the appendix when its not taken out? My son is still in pain. (We think that maybe he is still healing inside). He has pain in the middle of his tummy, cramps to the side and in his back ,he is passing lots of gas, has gurgling noises coming from his tummy and his stool is still not completly back to normal. I’m just going to keep an eye on him . Thank you for your stories and for leting me tell my son’s and a parents experience.

Kim - January 22, 2012

I had mine taken out a few months ago when it had ruptured so I just assumed that they took out all the little parts that would be floating around in the body? You probably should be careful and take him back to the doctors if it gets any worse as it can easily get infected like mine did so you will need anti biotics. I’m sorry about all that’s happened I know it can be traumatic, my mum had also lost her baby and when I was in the hospital I could see how upset it was making her but stay strong.

116. Deb - January 24, 2012

I was just released today from my final surgery via my ruptured appendix last Sept. (Story above). The mess the surgeon had found during my first surgery was too much to find the appendix and had to repair the damage it had done before going back in 5 days ago to retrieve, what was left, of the appendix. It has been a long road of surgeries and recoveries (3 in all) but I think that the damage has all been repaired. I feel for anyone just starting the journey and really hope they find this site to help them along the way. It gave to me a peice of mind that, I’m not the only one, and I will make it through this.

Dean White - January 24, 2012

Jeez Deb, you had it rough. Having a rupture repaired without complications is bad enough without repeat surgery and extra stress. Glad to hear you’ve hit the light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s 4 months since I had my surgery but I still get pain and find it near impossible to bend over to pick things up without sharp stabbing.

Lucky me is booked in for a colonoscopy this Friday to see what’s actually going on in there as it was a total mess when they were operating.

A litre of crap removed from the abdominal cavity speaks for itself.

I hate it… after dad dying of bowel cancer I really hate the thought of anything being wrong in there. Especially after seeing him suffer the way he did over the 6 years he fought it.

Deb - January 25, 2012

Hi Dean, I was reading back through some of the comments and had wondered how you were doing, knowing our ruptures came with in days of each other. I learned, in my case, that even though, horrible as it may be, that my rupture may have indeed saved my life. My appendix ruptured, thankfully, before the abcess, attached to my bowel, had a chance to. Dr.s said that even though the infections were just as bad I may not have had the time the rupture of the abcess would have given, who knows??? Any way it wasn’t a fluke in my case, the whole problem exsisted entirely because of severe endometriosis. It had been a journey but now that I can see the end of the tunnel I see clearly why it happened, if that makes any sense at all? After my surgery, as with you, my pain never went away. Stay at it. Keep looking, the answer you are looking for is in there. It took me 3 surgeons to find mine and fix it. Good luck and please keep us posted.

117. Monica - January 31, 2012

MY husbands story is so similar to everyones we thought he was constipated after two days no change we went to the ER that Thursday night they told us his appendix ruptured so he was scheduled for emergancy surgery the next day he stayed in the hospital a week the Doctor said he had Gang/Green around his appendix we just got home last sunday went to his doctors appointment Wed he is still in pain he can’t sleep comfortable and can only eat a little and his back pain is awful is this the norm????

wmmbb - February 5, 2012

Monica, I have no idea, but thank you for adding your story. It seems like it has been a horrible experience. I hope your husband has now recovered.

118. Ryan in Milwaukee - March 5, 2012

Just wanted to say thanks to all the comments I read, they all influenced my decision to get examined for possible appendicitis, which is what I had.

My pain began around 1:30pm on 2/29/12 and progressively got worse until 8:30pm. The pain was horrible and sharp and was in the middle of my upper stomach, just below the ribs, not the usual area to hurt for appendicitis. I felt super bloated and was not hungry at all.

After the pain subsided, I started to get tender in my lower right abdomen, where the appendix usually is. It was not painful, but with each passing hour, it grew more tender. At midnight, on 3/1/12 went to the ER and had a physical examination, bloodwork, and a CT scan to confirm my suspicions. I had laparoscopic surgery at 7am and awoke from anesthesia at 9am.

I was extremely bloated and sore for the first two days, but progress has come very quick since then. I am thankful to Yahweh first, and the entire staff at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, aside from the junk food they served me, the treatment from beginning to end was top notch.

Hope this helps anyone with stomach pains on the fence about what to do like I was a few days ago. Peace and love to all.


wmmbb - March 5, 2012

Thanks Ryan,

Hope all is now well.

119. Stacy Williamson - March 6, 2012

My story: Im a senior in high school and i went to an honor band in January of this year. I felt fine for most of that just decreased appetite which is kinda odd for me cuz i LOVE my food. then on the way home from that late at night i started to feel really nauseated. i thought it was probably just my nerves because i have anxiety attacks every so often n they occur out of nowhere. the next day i had school but i couldn’t even move or get out of bed without being in pain and feeling nauseated so i stayed home and slept most of the day. this continued for 3 days til the weekend and then my family went prom dress shopping out of state and i seemed to feel better that whole day. no symptoms.which is normal with a ruptured appendix. then the next morning when i woke up (which happened to be a school day) i felt horrible again. by this time my parents thought i was trying to get out of a test or something because i was just fine the day before but they let me stay home.they thought maybe it was the flu or something. i still didnt get better but refused to go to the doctor because of the cost. my pain lasted for another 3 days until my parents finally just forced me to go to the doctor. once i got checked in i waited for about 10 minutes and by the time i was in a room and sat down everything kind of turned to chaos. it turns out that my appendix had an abscess on it and both the appendix and the abscess had ruptured and i had a stone that started it all which is still on my kidney as i type this.once the doctor heard the symptoms he did an emergency cat scan and that confirmed the appendix had ruptured and from there i was rushed to er and they had to do emergency surgery. i was told after all this that if i would have delayed coming in by 3 hours or more i would have died.so they did the laproscopic surgery which is odd with a ruptured appendix but i guess since they’re the doctors they make the call. i was kept in the hospital for 6 days then released but got worse so put back in the hospital 2 days later for another week and im still recovering now. the infection from when the appendix burst caused an abscess to form on my liver and i have a stone on my kidney still and its already been a month and 4 days since surgery. so im just wondering how long its gonna take to fully recover.or if anyone else has a connection like mine.

wmmbb - March 8, 2012

To me, the disturbing thing about your story, concerns the refusal to go to a doctor because of the cost. Memo to self: delay often increases complications associated with medical (and dental) conditions.

Thank you for adding your story, Stacy. I trust that now you will recover, but I image many of us will be interested to hear a further update. I know something of the pain and uncertainty that you have had, but I think your experience is far worst than mine.

In my case, I experienced the symptoms, realized that I did not know what was going on, and went to the hospital emergency. I did not to be concerned about financial costs, though I do not under estimate that consideration.

120. Terry in WA state - April 25, 2012

I’m still searching to see if anyone else has had any of my symptoms. I started having an ‘upset’ stomach during dinner (chili and corn bread) which I usually love. I stopped eating and thought it must be something I ate but not sure what as hubby had eaten most everything I had that day. That night I couldn’t sleep so got up and layed on the couch, with stomach pain. I have had a lot of surgeries but even though I had had a total hysterectomy, my appedix had never been removed. And I had not considered at my age (57) that I would have an appendicidis. The next morning I had an appointment to get an MRI for my back of which I had surgery on the year before. I decided to stop at my primary Dr’s office on the way home as I still had a stomach ache. I went to his office but they could not get me in until 2PM, it was around noon then. I told them I would wait in the waiting area until the appoint as by then I was in a lot of pain and did not feel well enough to drive or go anywhere else. I’m not sure when they took me back as by that time, I was growning and could not walk when they asked me to come back. The doctor listened to my stomach and suggested that I had some type of blockage in my intestines. By this time I could not let anyone touch my stomach, it was so sore. (He later stated that since I did not have a fever, he did not suspect appendectomy). From that point it was a blur as hubby came over from work and took me to the hospital. Where I was immediatly seen and they knew what it was. A surgeon came and they wheeled me into surgery. I had a bursted appendicidis which was infected. I came out of surgery with a drain in my side. Lots of antibiodics in the IV along with pain meds. Before this surgery I enjoyed fairly good health even though I had had a lot of surgery. They sent me home a few days later. I lasted one night, very uncomfortable and wheezed loudly when I did sleep. Late morning I started bloating and my voice changed, deeper as I was on the phone back with the doctor at the hospital. I had developed an Ilius ( my intestines had paralyzed and decided not to work). I went back into the hospital and for three days could not eat or drink anything, Only Ice for wetting my lips. Then as I thought that was getting some better I started coughing, and that went on for approx. 30 minutes of constant coughing, couldn’t stop, They took me into some type of scan and found I had blood clots in my lungs, I had been on hormones for years after the hysterectomy. They took me off all hormones immediately. I finially come out of the hospital 7 days later. Also on a Warfarin medication to thin my blood, I had severe shortness of breath, I could be setting on the couch and start breathing like I had just run a marathon. Any activity, taking a shower, washing hair resulted in 20 minutes just to breath and catch my breath. This all happened in Sept of 2011, it is now 4/2012. I have been back in the hospital to get my heart checked and had all kinds of tests. It is not my heart, they know that but I still get spells of feeling like a ‘fist in the middle of my chest:. I am very slowly getting better but it is a very slow go. I was very constipated for months, never had experienced that before, and still have shortness of breath but can now get on with life. I still could not even think of doing regular excercise or going for a long walk. I am still under Doctors care and recently they took 12 tubes of blood out of me testing I’m not sure for what. I still have pain in my chest at times/ I do not smoke and haven’t for over 30 yrs/. I still do not feel like I am fully recovered from all this and several doctors have told me I really went thru a lot as the surgery was so severe. I am off warfarin now, as of the end of 3/2012 and on aspirin. I have a pulmonary doctor that is determined to get to the bottom of this but so far, even when I experience shortness of breath, I am getting plenty of oxygen as levels are tested. There is no cancer and they know it is not my heart.

wmmbb - May 3, 2012

You seemed to have stumped them, Terry. I suppose unless we have had a parallel experience it is ill-advised to comment. But, I agree, there is always that possibility. Thank you for describing your experience. You may just help somebody else. I hope that you are now feeling better and getting better. Personally, I can identify with the impact of medication.

121. Jim - June 11, 2012

Here is my sons story. He is almost 20. He was not living with me and ignored belly pain for four or five days..eventually he had one painful episode and then things got better. Never had nauseau, fever, appetite was okay and bowels were fine. He shrugged off the episode because his pain tolerance was high. A few days later after his episode (Assuming this is when actual perf occurred) he then told me he had some stomach issues that resolved but he seemed to be getting RLQ pain now. I took him in to see a Doctor. She said he might have appendicits brewing or a stone. Recommended ultra sound and WBC work. Did bloodwork and next morning had Ultra Sound. Immediately sent to ER when U sound suggested perforation. His body had walled off and sealed perforation. So in essence he had been likely walking around with perfed appendix somewhere between 3 to 5 days. Blood work came back that morning and white count was over 20, but no sepsis or anything like that since body walled it off. They put him on triple iv antibiotics for four days but it seemed like fluid buildup and or pressure was not getting better and he was having diarheaa on flagyll. Five days in hospital they decided to do CT scan since it was necessary. Identified some pocket abcesses, noted alot of inflammation and put laparascopic drain in that did drain alot. Also removed small amount of pus. and switched him to oral antibiotics that day. After about four days with drain they removed it since nothing drained after about third day. Day ten in hospital his WBC was down to 13 and they were about to release him but since it was late in day let him stay another day. Next day the drew blood again and wbc had spiked to 17. Turned out to be lab error since clinically he was fine He could have left day 10 but ended up staying another 3 days ..count was back down to 13 when discharged. So four days of triple and about three weeks of antibiotics at home. He has finished antibiotics and we had a blood test one week after discharge..count was at 7. He had fulll appetiite at home, no bowel issues…if not for incisions for laparascopic and some weight loss would not have known he was sick. Surgeon had said his appendix was more or less gone so likely that will be it. We do have a follow up about five weeks after he was admitted, but that will probably be the end of it. No need to go back in and scrape around for stuff that may not even be there. I may ask to do another ultra sound down the road. He was lucky.

debmc - June 13, 2012

Jim….So glad things turned out as they did. Your son is one lucky “kid”…guy.

122. Anne - August 3, 2012

Hi, it seems many are getting mis-diagnosed. Same thing happened to me on June 19/2012, I started feeling sick. My stomach felt like it was going to explode. At 3 am June 20, I woke up, and the pain was so horrible in my stomach, that I told my husband I had to go to the ER. Since he doesn’t have a driver’s license, I drove, and stopped 3 times along the way to throw up. I finally reached the hospital, and waited 2 hours before I was seen, When the doctor came, he said he had forgotten about me. I told him where I hurt, he pocked me in the stomach a few times. During this whole time I was running to the bathroom throwing up some more. They took blood test and everything, told me everything was good, and that I only had gas. They tried to give me something for it, but it came right back up as soon as it went down. They didn’t check me for anything else, sent me home. Well the next day I could barely walk, but thought that I was having really bad gas attack, so I kept going to work. Each day it was getting worse. I have a very big threshold for pain, so I just kept working. 2 weeks later I couldn’t take it anymore and I went to the emergency hospital near where I live. The doctor examined me, sent me for an ultra sound, and sent me to the surgery hospital right away. He said I had a ruptured appendix and an abscess. I got to the other hospital they gave me a cat scan, but they couldn’t find the abscess. So for 3 days I couldn’t eat or drink, they didn’t know what they where going to do with me. Then I got another CT and they couldn’t find the abscess. So they just kept giving me antibiotics 4 a day. I was in the hospital for 6 days, then I was sent home with prescription for 2 antibiotics, and told to go for another cat-scan 2 weeks after that. They didn’t operate, as they said all my insides where to swollen, and if they did it would be dangerous and I could lose part of my colon. So now I wait to go see the doctor, so she could tell me when the surgery will be. It’s been 3 weeks now since I’ve been out of the hospital, I feel good, but I do get tired easy, when I walk to much. The doctor also said that it could happen all over again, before I get the surgery, so I’m praying it won’t. But this time I would no better, and get in the hospital as soon as it starts.

Thanks for all for sharing your stories, it does help, and answers questions that I had. I wish everyone the best, and hope everyone is making a full recovery. God Bless

wmmbb - August 10, 2012

Misdiagnosis is a concern. It is now five years (apparently) since I had my experience, would always as it was in my case definitive.

Thank you Anne for your story. I hope you are now very much better. Good to hear to the stories here helped. So thanks again for all the other contributors.

123. margaret - September 18, 2012

Hello: It was a gray sky day when I became totally ill with this stomach ache that would not go away. I tought it was food poisioning since I just finish eating a soup that I eat almost every day. I even called the restaurant an told them that I would report them. Since they were the cause of my pain. If it wasn;t for my brother whom found me curve up on stomach on the floor. And then called the ambulance. Therefore, I was take to the hospital to find out after many long hours that my appendix has perforated. The doctor had to operate immediately. After 7 days in the hospital AND MY LIFE SAVED. I was able to go home. The bill an amazing 28,000. I was unemployed at the time so I had no incsurance, its out of this world how things allways happen when you broke. At any event I am broke, how can I pay this DEBT. Afterall they saved my life.

wmmbb - September 19, 2012

Margaret, you are in a dreadful situation. I don’t blame you in any way. To be honest, I think your circumstances are the outcome of heartless ideology.

124. Layena Camhi - October 2, 2012

i had a burst appendix in the year 2010. i thought I healed OK but just had a sensitive stomach afterwards and ate mostly easy to digest foods. Then when things seemed out of kilter my doctor ordered a test for H pylori – a bacterial infection – which it turns out i did have. So they put me on the heaviest antibiotics I have ever taken. It is the approved treatment for H Pylori. I had to stop them after 9 days.
I was retested for H pylori and it was gone. But now have constipation that I have never had before. Anyone else have wierd symptoms in stomach area after burst appendix?
Like others I am glad to be live after appendix burst.

Terry in WA state - October 2, 2012

Layena, I am Terry from WA state / see above/ it has been a year now, my shortness of breath is much better, but yes, my stomach symtoms are finially just getting better. I’m not constipated now, so much, I eat yogurt and use the acidophilus supplement, which put back the good bacteria in your gut and I also use a magnesium complex 500 mg, I only need to take one of those a day. And another nasty symtom is yeast infection from all the antibiotics It seems after the fact, that the strong antibiotics that they use literally kill every bacteria and some of it we need to function right, good luck

125. Ghaydaa Kalla - October 9, 2012

Your site is just what I needed. You have no clue how long I have been pondering the same thing!
I am so pleased that I am not apart.

wmmbb - October 11, 2012

You are welcome Ghaydaa. I hope you are now getting well again.

It is now more that five years since my operation. Thank you for all the commenters over that time.

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Have not a clue. I am beginning to think not having a mobile/cell phone/other device is a mistake.The downside has been the international roaming charges, but the positives include some aps, although Big Brother, the master of the NSA, seems intent in scooping and snooping on everything we say, and everywhere we go on the flimsiest of pretexts..But that is OK, and luckily not a threat of our civil liberties, contra the Fourth Amendment or DOHR!

130. Brian finley - May 14, 2015

My 9 year old son just went in for emergency surgery to take his appendix out,does anyone have any advice or stuff I should know,I guess it was just rupturing but doctors haven’t told us anything yet.is this surgery usually gonna be OK for his age???

wmmbb - May 15, 2015

Sorry to hear that Brian. I don’t know anything. I hope you get the appropriate information.

131. Carma Assel-Moore - November 18, 2016

Omega – November 17, 2016

Reading all of your stories have been an eyeopener for me. I am from Canada and my son who is now 16 was diagnosed with appendicitis when he was 23 months old. Although we do not pay for our hospital stays, sometimes it is at a risk of not receiving adequate, proper and timely care because a lot of people use the ER as if it is a Doctor’s office. My son started showing signs of feeling unwell on a Wednesday. My normally quiet kid started crying and nothing seemed to soothe him. He wouldn’t eat and his bowel movements were yellow in colour and looked like burst popcorn kernels. On Thursday I phoned our Family Doctor but he was at the hospital delivering a baby and the receptionist advised me to go to the ER. We headed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where we waited for 8 hours in the waiting room before he was even seen. By this time his fever was very high and he was listless. When we finally were seen by an ER Doctor I was told that it probably was gastrointestinal in nature and to go home and see if it cleared up during the night. After an agonizing night of seeing my young son in such terrible pain I told my husband that I was going back to the hospital and not coming home until they told me what was wrong with him and made him feel better. Again we waited in the waiting room for 4 hours even though we had just been there the day before. This time they did blood tests which showed his white blood cell count was high, still they didn’t think there was a problem. I told them I was not going home so they put him in the Infectious Diseases Unit and monitored him during the night. On Saturday morning a Resident Doctor came in to see him and I said to him if it’s not gastrointestinal then how do you know it is not his appendix (I had this children’s medical book that led you through your child’s symptoms and these were the only two causes) and he said he would go speak to the Head of Surgery at the Hospital who in turn told him, “if your not 100% sure it’s not his appendix then you have to take it out”. Still they wanted to do an ultra-sound (which we found out later they should have done in the ER) but it was Easter weekend and the Hospital was working on a skeleton staff. So we had to wait for an Ultra-sound Technician to come from home to do the procedure. It showed that there was a pool or cloud around where my son’s appendix should be but they couldn’t see his appendix. They decided that they should operate immediately but again we have to wait for a Anesthesiologist to come in from where he was. In the meantime the Head of Surgery tells my husband and I that he’s pretty sure it’s not his appendix and not to worry but that they will take it out anyway. We waited agonizingly for the surgery to be done and when he comes into the room his face was very grave. He says that my son’ appendix did burst and that his bowel wrapped itself around the septic sight to try and keep the poisons from seeping into other parts of his body. His appendix was tucked under his liver and this was why they couldn’t see it in the ultra-sound. He wanted to keep my son in the hospital for at least a week to receive the proper medication and care that he needed but said that in a couple of days someone would come to see us and try to get us to take him home early but to not leave the hospital until the full course of antibiotics had been given. What I have learned from this experience is to listen to your body, listen to your kids when they are acting out of the ordinary and are in extreme pain and make sure you advocate for them or yourselves because nobody, nowhere is going to do it for you (I truly believe my son would not be here today if I hadn’t spoken up).
On a side note, has anyone experienced stomach issues years after their appendicitis attack and/or bad breath etc.? My son is now lactose intolerant and even taking lactose out of his diet hasn’t entirely helped his stomach discomfort.

wmmbb - November 20, 2016

Thank you, Carma for relating your son’s story. I thought the Canadian hospital system was better. I am overly compliant, so I am not good at advocacy, although you describe how critical that can be.

wmmbb - November 21, 2016

Carma, it was close, but I hope your son recovers fully.

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