Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Diagnostics

A long time ago somebody told me how to locate the appendix. I recommend you memorise this snippet, it might come in handy one day.

Bend your right elbow so that your hand rests on your abdomen, relaxed and with your fingers apart. Put your right thumb on/in your belly button. See where your little finger is? That's roughly where your appendix will be, a few inches down. You may need to know this one day.

First of all I stopped wanting to eat. Those who have met me IRL will know that I have a (hem hem) healthy appetite. The day before I went into hospital, this is what I ate. A satsuma. This is unprecedented.

And.. hmmm... persistent indigestion (I thought).

I woke up on Thursday night with a temperature, and I remembered the old 'thumb-in- the-belly-button' trick. My little finger was resting exactly over where the 'indigestion' was located. Inkling of suspicion.

But - you know - I live my life by films and books don't I? How do people in films and books act when they get appendicitis? They scream in agony, and roll about vomiting with a raging temperature don't they? This did not happen to me. The thought that the rendition of illness in films might be determined more by dramatic than medical considerations did not occur to me. In the morning my temperature was normal and I thought I was better.

Luckily there is an online service available now called NHS Direct. I recommend NHS Direct to anyone reading this, of whatever nationality. It's a free medical advice service. I got the info I needed online without sending an email query. Plus you can print out the page and take it along to the doctor, and it lends credibility to your request for help or to your self-diagnosis, because the NHS has some residual respectability.

http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/

here is what it says about appendicitis.

"a pain in the centre of the abdomen in the region of the umbilicus (tummy button). Over the next few hours the pain tends to move to the lower right part of the abdomen and become gradually worse and usually very persistent... accompanied by nausea, sometimes by vomiting, and a disappearance of any appetite, and usually with a slightly raised temperature.
"


Armed with this info I went to the doctor at about 2 o clock on Friday and was admitted to hospital right away.

Appendicitis is most common in teenagers and young adults, so it is worth remembering these facts if you have kids of that age.
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