Three Days Down


I was purportedly diagnosed with appendicitis and ovarian cyst, both of which may well require surgical operations. Both of which also, two women in my life had treated, separately and at different times, via surgical operations. Two days before the diagnosis, I had found it extremely difficult to sleep while I endured the excruciating pains in my stomach.

Since I was susceptible to ulcer attacks, I thought this was yet another episode. I have to mention that a day earlier, I had devoured a bowl of rice with an extremely spicy fish sauce, and hence it wasn’t far-fetched to conclude this was an ulcer. However, even after a deglutition of antacids, the pains weren’t the least subsided. Without further ado, I found my way to the hospital.

I got in at about 9 a.m. As usual, I went through the initial examination for temperature, blood pressure and weight analysis, after which I was scheduled to see a doctor for further examination and diagnosis. To my surprise, I met the same nurse who had just attended to me, in the consulting room. Of course, I was shocked. The absence of a ‘resident’ doctor in a private hospital is a story for another day. Anyways, I was examined by this nurse and was subjected to blood and urine tests. At this time, my pool of ‘doctor friends’ came in handy, via telephone calls. I explained how I felt and as with medicine and its practitioners, they queried varying conditions.

The test results showed that I had ‘very high typhoid’ and observable malaria (+1 I think). All the while, my stomach wouldn’t stop hurting. I was placed under immediate treatment for typhoid, surprisingly again, with no palliatives for the stomach pain. After many complaints to the nurse, she called the ‘absent’ doctor who prescribed doses of what I don’t know (as I couldn’t care at the time) for the pains.

Several hours passed yet the doctor was nowhere to be found. I had spent almost 24 hours at the hospital, without seeing a doctor. My mum came over and arranged that I be taken to another hospital, although, we ended up sleeping over. Coincidentally, the doctor finally showed up and began interrogating me, as that’s what the conversation felt like to me. From his questions and ‘pressing here and there’ in the name of examination, he was sure that I had appendicitis and referred us to some lab guy that he ‘trusted so well’. Of course, my mum gave audience with irritation, just because I pleaded for it. I knew my mum would lose her cool in no time. And Lo! Did she.

The ‘lab’ was nothing close to a lab and the lab guy looked like dexter (and I’m not kidding). The scan results showed that I had both appendicitis and an ovarian cyst. With these, the doctor suggested that I be on chemotherapy immediately, which was to last for a few days. Well, I got the first dose before we left for what my mum termed a ‘proper’ hospital.

As the pains gradually subsided, I decided to attend to my curiosity with regards to the cause of my ‘uninvited guests’, more importantly, the cyst. I wondered how it got there and questioned why.
It’s not just a saying that we are in the computer age or the knowledge generation. Many thanks to smartphones (and myself), I checked for the causes, symptoms and treatments of both appendicitis and ovarian cyst. A medical prodigy it was – my findings. Contrary to what we know, it is trite to think that an immediate surgical operation is a panacea and only medical solution to all cases of appendicitis.

I found out from Harvard Medical School and John Hopkins Hospital (their blogs respectively) that some very ‘rugged’ antibiotics can CURE some appendicitis. My findings also included a fact that every woman is prone to developing cysts, some of which may need to be removed.

By morning though, we had packed our things to leave for a ‘proper’ hospital.

This other hospital welcomed me with one of my favourite colours – blue – and shiny black flat screens. The building was as cold as an IT station. Shortly after my card was dug out, I went through the same temperature-bp analysis and was scheduled to see a doctor soon. After about 15 minutes, I was in the consulting room. I narrated the entire story to the doctor, who suggested that I go for another scan. He also mentioned that he didn’t think I had appendicitis as it rarely manifests in scans except it’s in a critical state (can’t remember his exact words), contrary to what the other doctor said. He was also of the opinion that it would be a miracle if I had appendicitis and I was able to talk, walk and laugh heartily. So, he thought it was no big deal and that I’d be fine. (Btw, he is one of those Doctor’s Quarters-type of Doctors.)

At the ‘proper’ hospital, the scan result showed that there was a small ovarian cyst but no appendicitis. I really did heave a sigh of relief. The doctor said I could conclude the ‘rugged’ antibiotics since I already started but it shouldn’t be as long as the former doctor prescribed, for other reasons. He acceded to the notion that the cyst will be taken care of by the antibiotics. And thank God, there was really nothing to worry about. However, I was advised to return immediately, as soon as I started to feel the severe pains again.

You can imagine how horrible those three days were for me. They were full of uncertainty, fear and pains. However, it was interesting to know that knowing your status isn’t only about the ‘XYZ’ (or HIV) test, you should also endeavour to go for regular check up with your doctor.

Whenever you feel uneasy in any part of your body, as I usually do in my stomach, it is safe to visit a doctor and get yourself checked and not assume. Also, make maximum use of your smart devices! A contact list without a doctor’s contact is incomplete.

Be Informed, Stay alive!

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