General Question

College_girl's avatar

How do I convince the doctor I have appendicitis?

Asked by College_girl (884 points ) October 28th, 2011

So the doctor at my school IS convinced I have appendicitis, but the ER doctor isn’t. He thinks it is a ruptured ovarian cyst (this was yesterday by the way). I still have pain and I’m starting to heat up. I wont have time to take my temperature till later but I’ve had a couple mum’s feel my forehead and they said im burning up. The pain is in my lower right quadrent and is killing me (even the pain killers arent helping). The doctor said to go back if the pain increases within 12 hours. If it stays the same than to wait 36 hours and see if I still have it. It is a little worse, but not much. I’m just worried because I’m getting a fever.

I have all the symptoms of appendicitis but my blood work was fine and they didnt even see my appendix on the ultrasound so they figured it wasnt swollen.

I’m just really worried it IS appendicitis and not a cyst because I’ve had a ruptured cyst and this is a bit different pain, plus I’m sick to my stomach and now heating up. I’m afraid that if it is and they dont take it out it will explode.

How do I convince the doctor to remove it? I just want to make sure that it isnt appendicitis and if I get this pain again then I will absolutely KNOW it isnt appendicitis and wont be as worried.

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70 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

It takes two minutes to take your temperature. If you are this concerned, start with the thermometer. What do you mean by “heating up”?

And by “couple mum’s” do you mean some women who have children touched your forehead?

I don’t think your job right now is to convince the doctors to remove an appendicitis without medical evidence. Go back to the ER if you think that the pain is worse.

College_girl's avatar

i cant take it because i’m and doing the lighting for a play right now. Im heating up as in my face and forehead are getting really hot

zenvelo's avatar

It’s not good to remove a healthy appendix; it’s too much stress on your system. It’s even worse to remove the appendix if your pain is an ovarian cyst that needs treatment.

If you are that ill you have no business not taking care of yourself instead of doing the lighting. Go to the Emergency Room.

College_girl's avatar

Its hard to just leave because I need to call a replacement which would take about an hour for her to get here

gailcalled's avatar

@College_girl: You can put a thermometer in your mouth and pull a switch at the same time. If you have a life-threatening issue and are truly worried, which you seem to be, get your priorities straight.

In the time it takes to write an email to us, you can check your temperature. Call a friend and have her come by with a thermometer. Call the drugstore and have them deliver one.

If your appendix bursts, will the show go on? Grab someone from the audience to do the lighting or have the stage manager double-dip.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Seek's avatar

Isn’t the appendix in the upper right? That’s why they call it a “right-sided heart attack”.

In any case, go to the friggin’ doctor. Ignoring pain is for people like… well… me. And that’s probably not a good thing.

College_girl's avatar

no i dont. would go after the play…..

Also, if you are just going to make snide comments please dont answer

Cruiser's avatar

I had appendicitis attack and it was my left side that felt like a gunshot. Fever, sweats, nausea added to the misery. IMO, if you are still able to type on a computer, you don’t have appendicitis…just be mindful and aware of any real turns for the worse.

whitetigress's avatar

I would go with what the ER doctor has said. Obviously they are professionals in the field in determining “on the spot” situations. If your blood results read clean I don’t see why you would want to take your appendix out.

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Mariah's avatar

I know your other commitments feel important to you right now, but if something serious could be going on with your health, you need to put everything else on the back burner for right now.

Don’t focus on convincing the doc you have appendicitis because you don’t know if you have appendicitis. You are not a professional. But that is not to say that you should let the doc blow you off if you feel you need more attention. Insist on being admitted. That way you are at the hospital if it IS appendicitis, or anything else serious, and if anything goes down you can get immediate help.

ER docs can be idiots sometimes…please advocate for yourself and get the help you need.

XOIIO's avatar

Oh hey, this is how you die from it, by the way.

The inflamation and swelling of the appendix will stop the blood flow to there. Without blood flow, the tissues making up the appendix will die and disintegrate. This will allow the bacteria in there to escape into your abdominal cavity. They will cause a painful infection called peritonitis. Then, if enough bacteria gain access into your blood stream, they may overwhelm your body’s defences and cause the condition called septic shock. In septic shock, the fluid in your blood will escape into the tissues and the entire circulation may fail, causing death.

You don’t even need a day before you drop dead.

College_girl's avatar

wow taking this question down now. no need to be so rude

asmonet's avatar

I’ve heard if you suspect you have appendicitis you should jump up once as high as you can and swing your arms up. If you land on your feet odds are you don’t have it. If you wipe right the fuck out and double over in pain you should probably get that checked.

Mariah's avatar

@College_girl, have you decided what you’re going to do?

asmonet's avatar

@College_girl: No one is being rude, they just don’t understand your priorities. You don’t seem to them to be taking it as seriously as you say.

Response moderated
Nullo's avatar

You could probably get a second opinion. But ultimately an appendectomy is Serious Business, not some thing that you have out because it tickles your fancy. You want to make dang sure that you need to have your guts opened up before actually having anybody do it.

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asmonet's avatar

@College_girl: There is plenty of helpful information on this thread, no need for you to pay any extra mind to those you find unhelpful.

jonsblond's avatar

@College_girl Seriously. Read the thread I linked to. Fluther helped someone who had an appendix burst. Get to the ER if it hurts that bad. Hope you feel better soon.

asmonet's avatar

You could have everything from a twisted lady part, bad gas, a large stool, or appendicitis – you could even just have food poisoning. No need to jump ahead of yourself. I would wait the twelve hours, if you’re able to walk and you’re able to move around I’d think you’re fine. I don’t know anyone who had appendicitis who wasn’t at least partially debilitated by the pain. And I think one who didn’t have a fever. Read the other thread and take a deep breath before you freak out any more.

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Mariah's avatar

@College_girl I was once sent away by an ER doc who thought my severe joint pain was due to over-exertion. My parents wanted to take me to another ER for a second opinion but I bullied them into letting me go into school because I had a test that day.

24 hours later I was shaking uncontrollably and my blood pressure had plummeted and I would have died if not for the fact that I had gone to the hospital right after my test and, being at the hospital, received immediate help.

Please go back to the ER and insist on being admitted. Don’t have fucked priorities like I did.

College_girl's avatar

i will go soon. calling for a replacement now. However i will be waiting a while to get admitted….canadian health care system…..

Seek's avatar

Oh, geez. You’re Canadian? So you don’t even have the “I can’t add hospital bills to my obscene student loan debt” excuse?

Get thee to the hospital!

lillycoyote's avatar

You may need a second opinion, or a third maybe, but there is no way in hell you are going to be able to convince a reputable and ethical doctor, or any doctor at all, to open you up and surgically remove an organ of your choice, unless that doctor is convinced that the surgical procedure is medically necessary.

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College_girl's avatar

i get reimbersed for it since im from the states. no im not complaining at all about it. I just hate waiting. dont be so fast to judge

jonsblond's avatar

at least you get to wait. my husband has no health care. take advantage of what you have.

filmfann's avatar

Please keep us informed.

If the blood work didn’t indicate Appendicitis, it may be the ER doctor is right.

Dog's avatar

[Mod Says:] Please respect the asking party.

If you have something helpful to contribute please do so without being snarky. If you do not then please move on to the next question.

Thanks!

College_girl's avatar

thank you :)

Bellatrix's avatar

Regardless of what is causing your pain, whether it be an ovarian cyst or appendicitis, if you are in severe pain you need to get it checked out. So I hope you can get back to the hospital soon. Do let us know how you go on. Feel better @College_girl.

Sunny2's avatar

One of the confirming signs of appendicitis is a high white blood cell count. You blood workup was okay, so I don’t think you have that. However, if the pain increases, get to emergency at the nearest hospital. I’m sure someone else can do the lights in case of an emergency.

Symbeline's avatar

That first doctor at school who believes you really have this, any way at all you could get him to convince a further medical professional of his diagnosis?

sinscriven's avatar

From my experience at work and my own personal appendectomy, Acute Appies are often confirmed/ruled out with an Abdomen/Pelvic CT, and the most common symptoms tend to be sharp RLQ pain, and fever/nausea.

Did the doc not order one of those? Seems like either the appy or the cyst would have been visible and take out the guesswork entirely.

gorillapaws's avatar

Severe abdominal pain is nothing to fuck around with. I hope it’s something benign, but you should definitely get to an ER to get another workup. It might not be an Appendix, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something else serious that needs immediate attention. Be smart, let the professionals do their jobs, and best wishes for your health.

perspicacious's avatar

Just go to your doctor. A white blood cell count should help know which thing is going on. If it’s up lean toward the appendix rupture.

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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Was it ever ruled out that you didn’t have a secondary infection, aside from the herpes? Certain infections can cause abdominal pain, as well as fever.

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JLeslie's avatar

I ahven’t read the above answers because I am about to board a plane, so sorry if I repeat. Appendicitis usually hurts most severly when you release after pushing on the pain. So, you press on the spot and then when you let go of your hand the pain, which will increase the pain most likely, but then when you let go way worse. Appendicitis ticalky is lower right side. Upper sright side is gall bladder. Gall bladder can usually be detected with ultrasound. Ovarian cysts usually can be detected with ultrasound. If you are throwing up or high fever I say it is an emergency. If it is constant pain and then suddenly you feel much better that is an accute emergency possibly. Once the appendix explodes the pain stops, but all the bad bacterias enter your system and you can become septic and die. If it is your gall bladder that can actually go from bad pain and then go away, and it does not indicate anything accutely dangerous.

My close friend went to the ER 3 times before they finally decided she had appendicitis, plus telling her doctor about her on and off problems that she was sure was appendicitis. Her problem came and went for over a year finally ending in an emergency appendectomy, which was definitely necessary. Sometimes they do the surgery and the appendix looks just fine, but hers was indeed inflammed, amd had been causing her problem. After it was removed she never had her symptoms again.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Also, FYI, when you have a fever you don’t feel hot. You feel cold.
Well, it’s been 16 hours since you asked this. You still with us?

JLeslie's avatar

Can be an ectopic pregnancy too. I assume the ER ruled that out.

@Dutchess_III That is not always true, you can feel like you are burning up or have the chills.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ectopic pregnancy was my first thought…but having experienced one myself I can tell you she wouldn’t be standing up!

Well, when I have a fever, which isn’t often, I alternate between freezing and sweating. And I feel tired and miserable.

JLeslie's avatar

My ectopic wasn’t horribly painful, because I already knew I was pregnant, so it didn’t go on very long. But still, the first thing a woman is asked is if she is pregnant. Even if she says no, a doctor usually checks. If they suspect ovarian cyst, I assume they did a sonogram and saw one. Ironically, a woman with cysts is less likely to become pregnant, but not impossible of course, depends on the cysts. And, then there is a luteal cyst, which can be very painful, forming where the egg popped out, and happens during pregnancy.

asmonet's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Like @JLeslie said, you can feel like you’re on fire or you can freeze. The last two times I had a bad fever was with H1N1 and before that a fever with an unknown cause that only lasted about 6 hours. Both times I was up to 106. Both times I felt like I was being set on fire and my eyes felt like they were melting. It was awful.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie I had no CLUE that I was pregnant. I had, in fact, finished my period two weeks before. It just hit, BOOM out of the blue. I had no idea what was wrong. After trying to wait it out for about two hours, and it was getting worse and worse, I got myself to the ER. It was about 10 at night…on a Saturday night, no lesss. A couple of hours after that a doctor bustles in and says, very matter-of-factly, “Well, your pregnancy test was positive so…” I almost fainted at that point from the pain and the shock of learning I was pregnant. People jumped to my side and the doctor stopped in mid-speak and said “Wait! Take it easy!” I was freaking out. It was a horrible, horrible time. Horrible. The next day was my birthday, too. : ( I had emergency surgery at 5 a.m. on my birthday.

@asmonet K. I guess I just haven’t had very many fevers. I just remember the chills….and being soooo tired.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III You were probably several weeks pregnant. The bleeding might have been from the tube actually.

College_girl's avatar

Ok everyone! Just got home from the hospital after being admitted at about 4 a.m. saturday. They took my blood and saw that my red cell count was down so they thought a cyst ruptured. So the first surgeon was going to do a laperoscopy and if there was fluid suck it out and just take out my appendix while he was there. the next day he decided to cancel the surgery, meaning i could finally eat. aout 20 minutes after eating the gyno surgeon came in and said she wanted to do laperoscopy diagnosis, but now i had to wait till about 9 30 to get the surgery. when she went in she saw no fluid HOWEVER! she did see that my secum (idk how to spell these medical words), which is like part of your intestines and supposed to be like on your far righ lower quadrent, was near my belly button so she had to move that. Also, the stuff that covers your organs so they are slippery and dont stick to each other was apparently not working on my intestines, because they were stuch to my stomach lining which was pressing on my appendix giving me the PAIN and FEELING of appendicitis.

So everything is all good now. they made a long incision inside to get that unstuck and moved around. Now i’m just resting in my dorm hoping the gas they blew me up with goes away soon :(

Its actually funny, sorta, because I’ve had pain similar to this many times in the states and they only ran tests. they never gave me a laperoscopy which was really what i needed all this time. The surgeon said I ive probably had this a very long time and with her patient that have had pain for 72 hours or more she does a laperoscopy. What I had didnt even show up on an ultra sound or in blood tests at all so it was good that she did the surgery instead of doing what every other doctor did and trust the tests.

gailcalled's avatar

Cecum

How do you prevent those miles of intestines from sticking again? Don’t the mucus membranes cover the organs and keep everything lubricated?

I am glad that you are fine.

College_girl's avatar

I’m not sure how I prevent it all I know is that it’s fixed (thanks for the correction I’m just a theatre major so I dont know these things. I’m really not sure how it all happened but I ahve a follow up appointment in two weeks and I will make a note to ask

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know what it is…I forget. It’s caused by an infection….Clymedia?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie I was at least 4 weeks pregnant. I don’t recall that period being any different than any others, and I learned that it IS possible to have a period even when you have an ectopic pregnancy going on. I do remember starting to feel a bit off and thinking, a day or so after I had my period, “If I didn’t know better, I’d say I was pregnant.” I could feel it. But I dismissed it. I’d just had my period and I was on the pill. I didn’t even cross my mind when it hit.
I wasn’t married any longer, BTW. It was awful.

Glad you’re still with us OP!

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Sorry you went through that, sounds awful. I was a day late and confirmed my pregnancy. A few days later I began to bleed without cramps. I had already had one suspected ectopic, but it was never proven and I got rid of it on my own. A week later I think it was confirmed ectopic, don’t exactly remember the timing. I was having side pain, and my bleedng was still unusual, and then they were pretty sure they saw the embryo in my tube. So I was not far along at all. I had the methotrexate shot, which did not work the first time, but finally did the second. It was painful, but not off the charts. Except for a few hours there, when the embryo finally broke free, I would say the pain was up around an 8 out of 10. Totally sucked. I freaked out a little.

Mariah's avatar

@College_girl, so glad to hear you got sorted out. What happens now? You just had surgery, are you expected to just jump right back into school? I hope not. Best wishes.

JLeslie's avatar

@College_girl Probably a different standard of care. What country are you in now? I can’t tell you how many people I think have digestive pain from scar tissue, which would only be seen with surgery, and the US practically never does surgery for it. We like to diagnose IBS a lot it seems. I had really bad pain on both sides, especially my left lower side, and what I considered my stomach organ, upper left. I knew it was not my ovaries, but a lot of doctors liked that idea. It was sort of in that area, but I knew it was not my ovaries because the pain was relieved after a bowel movement, and I had had GYN problems and knew right where ovary pain occurs for me. I went to a gastro guy who believed it was digestive, did a colonoscopy, but it did not really explain all my pain. Anyway, I had a couple of ectopic pregnancies, and the fertility doc did an explority and found my left ovary and tube all balled up in a mess of scar tissue and attached to my colon. He released my colon, and 95% of my digestive pain went away. Not one doctor suggested this possibility except my fertility doctor, not a GYN by the way, fertility doctors are reproductive endocrinologists. Only people with fertility problems see that sort of doctor usually, so that means most people with my sort of pain are seeing gastro docs or GYN’s who almost never suggest an exploritory. In fact they seem to not even know it is a possibility that things are stuck together in there? There are reasons to not have surgery of course. There are risks, and things can heal up with scarring and wind up worse.

Bellatrix's avatar

Glad to hear this is all sorted out for you and can I add you are not “just” a theatre major. You are a theatre major. We can’t all know everything but I am sure you know lots of things about your field that those not involved in the theatre have no knowledge of. Be proud of yourself. “I am a theatre major” is just fine!

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College_girl's avatar

Im from the states but go to school in B.C. Canada. Yeah the states never did surgery for me. I know there are risks with surgery so they dont like to do it unless it is absolutely necessary, but when you have had extreme pain on and off for the past 4 or 5 years you think they would figure something isnt showing up on the tests.

Im back in the states and was talking to my psychiatrist about it and he actually explained it all to me better than the gyno surgeon. Plus he told me that this can reoccur (especially within the first month of surgery). which is probably why I’m still having quite a bit of pain still. He said I shouldnt worry too much about it though unless the pain gets so severe it interferes with my daily routine. If it gets to that point he told me it could be a blockage in like my bowels or intestines or something (I dont remember exactly) that would require emergency surgery.

But for now I’m good :)

@Bellatrix I am proud of myself. I didnt mean to make my major sound like any less :) Actually I’m no longer a theatre major though. Im now a psychology major.

Bellatrix's avatar

That’s good @College_girl. Enjoy your studies.

ashess's avatar

I am having the same issue. I have had a fever of 100.5 all day. I had went to the hospital 2 days ago with a few symptoms and now have developed more, and am in more pain. I am very pale, but am unsure of what to do. The nurse I had said that he feels my body is developing appendicitis while the doctor said I just have a flu virus. I have gotten my flu shot and it hurts more than a flu.

filmfann's avatar

Trust the doctor, but only to a point. If it gets worse, get that second opinion.

Gillybilly's avatar

I have been have really bad lower right sided pain and have been sick with it but I know it’s not my gall blader as I had that out last year what should I do

gorillapaws's avatar

@Gillybilly You need to see a doctor ASAP! Pain on the right side combined with nausea are symptoms of appendicitis, which could be fatal if ignored. There are other nasty things that could be causing this too. Don’t wait.

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