Some lessons (some obvious) that I've learned over the last week or so.
Gas pains do not last more than a few hours.
You can push on your stomach when you have gas pains and it will hurt. If you let up and let your belly pop back into place and it hurts, it's not gas. It's called rebound pain. Rebound pain is not good.
If you are a woman and have pain in the lower right quadrant of your belly there are many possibilities. Women have more stuff than men. (Viva la difference')
If you are a man and have pain in the lower right quadrant of your belly there are a very few possibilities as to why.
Diarrhea, feeling gassy, crampy or nauseous and having abdominal pain may mean you ate something that didn't agree with you. Or it may not.
Having all of these in one day is a classic appendicitis picture. It can also be spread over four days.
If your gassy, crampy feeling causes you to remain hunched over after getting up from a chair and this goes on for more than a few hours then its a good idea to go ahead and go to the doctor.
Your white blood cell count does not have to be highly elevated to be indicative of trouble. Even a slightly elevated count can be an issue.
Appendix pain can range over the entire portion of your lower belly (below the navel) from hip to hip.
Your appendix is located between the point of your right hip and your belly button (aka navel)
None of the above will necessarily mean you are about to have a ruptured appendix (but it could so go sooner, rather than later to the doctor) but it may mean that the situation has been a chronic feature for some time.
When you have your appendix removed via laparoscopy you will have three incisions, none of them on your right side.
The incisions will be below your navel and one a couple inches below that and one forming a triangle to your left
When you go to the emergency room in February you may find that the ER and the hospital are full and you must do a lot of waiting. Not to be seen, just to get a room.
If the hospital is full you may find that you have to share a room.
There is a limit to how much Spanish language television you can listen to and/or watch when you can't speak Spanish. Actually, it's not very long at all.
The day after surgery you will be sore but your right side won't hurt when you go over speed bumps anymore.
The day after surgery you will still feel gassy but this time its because they've pumped you full of it for the surgery.
You may lose all embarrassment at passing gas in a room with strangers.
You must keep all relatives informed daily on progress even if the last report was positive (e.g. he just got out of surgery, everything went well and he's getting discharged tomorrow)
Failure to do so may lead to terse voice-mails from mothers who "since they haven't heard something today, can only assume the worse," followed by the attempted guilt of "you're not a mother you'll never know what its like."
The above may lead to reuniting siblings, who are not otherwise on speaking terms with each other, in shared agreement with their mother.
This may lead to a fond desire to return to the less stressful times of Spanish television.
None of the above either before or after is conducive to posting to blogs.