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Does 70% have appendicitis?
Yes 0%
No, it sounds like a touch of stomach flu 20%
No, it sounds like some mild food poisoning 0%
No, it sounds like a terroristic case of intestinal anthrax 80%

Votes: 10

 Do I have appendicitis?

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Oct 27, 2001
I've been sick for the past few days, and I'm not quite sure what it is. There are a number of usual suspects that always come up at this time of the year, and some of my ideas are more sinister than others ..

More diaries by seventypercent
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I woke up Wednesday morning with a mild stomachache. It wasn't bad; it bothered me a little bit at work, but it was basically just a minor annoyance. However, by Wednesday night, it had proceeded from a stomachache to abdominal pain .. at times severe. It was centered a couple of inches above my navel, and at times a sharp, stabbing, near-excruciating wave of pain would come out of nowhere. The pain was centered right at the center of my body; it didn't favor one side or another. I went to bed, tossed and turned all night, and didn't get much sleep.

I felt all right when I woke up Thursday .. some pain was still there, but not as bad as the previous night. So I forced myself into the shower and went to work .. only to go home an hour and a half later after showing my boss my "O-face" during a bout of renewed pain, at which point he suggested that I might want to go home. The pain had come back, and it seemed to have moved down a bit. I went home, laid on the couch, and watched Citizen Kane. I chewed down some Advil, took a little nap, and ended up being able to attend a Thursday night social function to which I had previously committed with few problems. The pain was mostly gone. It came back a little bit later that night, but not quite as bad as it had been earlier in the day.

Friday, I got up and reluctantly went to work, not because there was a lot of pain, but because I was really worn down from getting virtually no sleep the prior two nights. The day went pretty well .. the stabbing pain was almost nowhere to be found, and when it manifested itself it was not nearly as severe as it had been. The only place where there was consistent discomfort was my lower-right abdomen, which is where the appendix should be if we believe the liberals who write textbooks. But note the word "discomfort" .. not pain. I ended up leaving work a couple of hours early, but this is actually not uncommon. After all, it was Friday. I stayed home that night and watched The Godfather. I actually got a pretty good night's sleep.

This brings us to today (Saturday.) I got up at about 9:00, had breakfast, and watched some ESPN. I went outside, fired up the lawnmower, and mulched the leaves that were sitting on my front lawn. The discomfort in my appendix area has faded, and while I can manifest it by poking and prodding in that general area, it is much diminished.

At this point, it appears that I'm slowly coming out of this. I don't like discomfort in my appendix area, but on the other hand, I have not been particularly nauseous and have not had bouts of vomiting. I have been a little bit (*cough*) "irregular" for the past few days, but that is as much of a sympton of stomach flu as it is anything else. I don't own a thermometer, but I cannot consciously remember feeling that I was ever running a fever. I suppose I could go see a doctor, but I haven't visited one since early 1993 and don't want to break my streak when my condition seems to be improving. I did eat a fish-and-chips TV dinner on Thursday that didn't seem to taste quite "right" (but does it ever?) Finally, some co-workers of mine have missed work recently with symptoms similar to mine, though they assure me they didn't have pain in the appendix area.

So what do you think?


The location seems off for appendicitis, actually. (none / 0) (#1)
by chloedancer on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 12:20:34 PM PST
Most of the scars I've seen have definitely been on the right-hand side of the abdomen. More info: Appendicitis symptoms

The "stabbing pain" description sounds very familiar, unfortunately; it makes me wonder if you could be experiencing a gallstone attack (the best description I can give is that it feels like being repeatedly and rapidly jabbed by a stiletto in the general location you've described for a few minutes each time and the pain is unreal in those moments). On onset attack can last for several days in the on-again/off-again pattern you've described. The symptoms are usually more noticable/irritating at night, as well. Rich foods (particularly fried) are a known trigger, and foods that might not normally "bother" you can become problematic during an attack interval. More info: Gallstone symptoms

If ya really want to know, hustle yourself into a doctor's office ASAP. Sharp pain of any sort is a distress signal, regardless of the actual cause. And why would you trust your health and well-being to the usual suspects at Adequacy, anyway? You're an editor, forchristssake -- you should know better, really!

I don't think you are showing enough concern (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by zikzak on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 12:30:11 PM PST
While you astutely recognize the possibility of your having the potentially lethal condition of appendicitis, I think you are ignoring several other, equally dangerous conditions that you may also be afflicted with.

You could have an ulcer.
You might have pancreatic cancer.
Ebola is always a concern.
People still get the plague. How are your lymph nodes doing?
Do you have an intestinal infection that is slowly destroying your entire gastrointestinal system?
Have you swallowed any sharp metal things or other foreign object lately?
Kidney disease?
Gall stones?
Cirrhosis of the liver?
Heartworm? Distemper?
Bladder infection?
Male pattern baldness?
Athlete's foot?
Did you pull a groin muscle?
You could have testicular cancer, but look what that did for Lance Armstrong's career!

In other words, I don't think your paranoia is nearly as strong as it should be. You are obviously facing the very real possibility of imminent death. You should definitely go see someone about this. Just don't come anywhere near me, because you're probably highly contagious as well.

whimp (none / 0) (#3)
by osm on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 01:21:22 PM PST
get out a pocket knife and open up your stomach. it's the only way to be sure. do you really think a doctor knows more about your body than you?

Speaking as a qualified doctor... (none / 0) (#4)
by iat on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 02:06:20 PM PST
Your symptoms sound very like trapped wind. I prescribe a daily bout of farting, to release some of that excess abdominal pressure (be sure to use a well-ventilated room, or you may risk asphyxiation). Remember to be careful not to strain too hard when "letting polly out of prison" (as my colleagues in the medical profession like to call it), or you may cause yourself an injury. I also suggest that you see a therapist, to address your hypocondria. I hope this reassures you - I am almost sure that you are not going to die. - love it or leave it.

Y'know... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by iat on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 02:18:10 PM PST
This gives me an idea. I could do a regular medical advice column on Adequacy, and could give our readers the benefit of my medical knowledge for free! I wonder what the legality of this would be, in the (unlikely) event that I gave poor advice and someone died?

In fact, that gives me another idea. We could get one of our other editors to do a legal advice column, and even ask dmg to do a regular computer technical support column. We could become the Internet's premier source of news, discussion and free advice. - love it or leave it.

yes! yes! yes! (none / 0) (#7)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 04:34:18 PM PST
that sounds like a <BLINK>good</BLINK> idea to me. :)
I'd love to see these additional columns.

Yes, please do... (none / 0) (#13)
by hauntedattics on Mon Oct 29th, 2001 at 05:19:25 PM PST
...only don't be too surprised if the medical questions you get asked are of an embarrassing, disgusting, perverted and/or sexual nature.

if by irregular you mean... (none / 0) (#6)
by motherfuckin spork on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 04:22:34 PM PST
more than regular, you probably have a stomach virus, often incorrectly referred to as a flu.

if you are less then regular, I vote for partial blockage of your instetine or intestinal wall strain (of which the two are related).

I am not who you think I am.

Doesn't sound like appendicitis (none / 0) (#8)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 06:53:03 PM PST
Appendicitis doesn't really fade away. Usually it just gets stronger and stronger, and eventually kills you. Either you have an indestructible immune system, capable of kicking all sorts of bacterial ass, or you have something else.

There's all sorts of nasty intestinal diseases, many of which concentrate their evil, libertarian venom at the right lower abdomen, which happens to be where the small intestine joins the large intestine. This place, known as the ilium, is a popular hangout for things like inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis.

Even though many of these diseases are ultimately fatal if untreated, I do not recommend seeing a doctor. Diagnosis of these diseases will inevitably involve the doctor performing a rectal exam, which is a doctor's way of saying he wants to poke his secular humanist fingers up inside your anus and feel around. After having robbed you of your dignity, and forced you to engage in homosexual foreplay, the doctor will encourage you to let hime violate you while you are unconscious. You will probably be asked to partipate in a colonoscopy, which is a doctor's ay of saying he wants to stick a fiber optic camera inside your colon so he and his communist friends can have a look-see. In order to enhance their pleasure and your humiliation, you will be required to take a massive dose of laxatives, which will cause you to evacuate your bowels comletely, along with several of your less well-anchored organs.

Even after these privations, the doctor will probably tell you the disease is incurable, and subject you to a life of servitude to the medical priesthood, along with eliminating all interesting foods from your diet.

My advice is to avoid doctors completely. Death is preferable to the homoerotic perversions they will force you to endure. Plus it's probably cancer, which they can't cure at all. They'll probably yank out your colon and give you an ileostomy, which is like a colostomy, only messier.

I disagree... (none / 0) (#10)
by elby on Sun Oct 28th, 2001 at 04:28:30 AM PST
When dealing with a mysterious bout of abdominal pain, the doctors I talked to said in fact that the appendix can bother someone for months, coming and going. It's only when it 'explodes' that there is the severe pain. There was one patient that had symptoms for several months and finally they just removed his appendicitis because it was the only thing they hadn't tried. After taking the appendix out, they verified that it was indeed the problem.


May I impose? (none / 0) (#11)
by tkatchev on Sun Oct 28th, 2001 at 06:18:22 AM PST
Personally, I think your doctor is a dumbass. But, most doctors, in fact, are in the death-dealing business, instead of the healing business. Sad, but in the "Realwelt" death simply pays more...

Peace and much love...

Maybe it's Antrhax (none / 0) (#9)
by Verminator on Sun Oct 28th, 2001 at 12:31:40 AM PST
The gastrointestinal variety sounds particularly nasty, I'm glad I'm not you. According to this, symtoms go away for a few days, then return leading to death. You're lucky if you live through the weekend.

I still don't think a visit to the doctor's office is neccesary, just buy some black market Cipro and dose the hell out of yourself. That should kill off the Anthrax as well as all that other pesky bacteria you've probably got running around in you intestines.

Allah is Great! (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by kwench on Sun Oct 28th, 2001 at 06:04:24 PM PST
Yes, take a lot of Ciprofloxacin. And then, after some month, switch to Penicillin! And then, again after some month, use Vancomycin!

Then take a plane to Afghanistan. I'm quite sure Usama will pay you a fortune for all the multi-drug-resistant bacteriae in your body.


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