My family doctor assured me that it was nothing to worry about...ovarian cysts are very common and often go away on their own. I sat in the office partially relieved that it was "just a cyst" that had been causing all my abdominal pain for the last few months. But something inside of me told me it wasn't that simple. I tried to believe him as I walked out of the office with my mom. Little did i know I was really dealing with a case of misdiagnosed appendicitis that would eventually rupture.
I was 19, just finishing my first year of college. Off and on I had been dealing with constipation, diarrhea, and severe abdominal bloating and cramping. When the semester ended, I went to my MD who sent me for a series of tests. He suspected IBS, but needed to rule out any other issues. I went for an ultrasound, which discovered a large "cyst" on my right ovary. My pain was pretty intense, and the bloating continued. Because the ultrasound supposedly found the problem, my other tests were cancelled (upper and lower GI). My gynecologist saw me in the office and was surprised at the degree of pain i was having, but assured me I should wait a month and let it resolve. She gave me a Rx for pain meds and sent me home. I dont think a simple CBC was ever done.:confused:
Over the next few weeks, my pain became more severe. It was never the typical appendicitis symptoms. The pain was diffuse, spread over the entire abdomen. I had bouts of diarrhea and constipation. My stomach was almost always very bloated. I began to have trouble walking, and all i wanted to do was lie on the couch with a heating pad (probably the worst thing to do with an appendix that was about to rupture). One night I suddenly had extremely severe, sharp pains that felt like my insides were being ripped apart. I could not sleep, and i hobbled downstairs to wake my mom up. I was crying, and I thought i might need to go to the hospital. I didnt know what I should do. My mom thought i was just overreacting (thinking it was a cyst) and told me to go back to bed. "I have to get up early. You need to go lie down and go to sleep" she said.
I tried to sleep, but the pain was horrific. I laid on my bed and cried, in fetal position, with a heating pad for the next few hours. Finally around 6am i crawled down the steps and my dad was awake. He took me to the ER. At this point I thought i was about to die. I could not stand the pain any longer.
The ER took me right away, but they still were suspecting the cyst. I had to go thru 2 pelvic exams that were very very painful, and my OBGYN came and told me she would laparoscopically remove the cyst. As i waited there, the most intense, sharp pains were going across my belly, and i coudlnt help but scream out in pain. I signed the papers and went to sleep for the surgery.
When I woke up, i was in a hospital room with all my family around. They told me there was no cyst at all. Durign the surgery, they realized my appendix had already ruptured and severe peritonitis was spread across my abdominal cavity. I was on a morphine PCA for a week,and i showed little improvement. I had to endure about 4 or 5 upper GI's to try to find out why i wasnt improving, and 3 CT scans. They suspected Chron's disease or some other issue, but nothing was found.
I spent 3 weeks total in the hospital, and the rest of the summer to recover. I could not walk more than 20 feet before i had to sit because of the pain. I also got a nice 6-7 inch scar that looks like i had a c-section. I didn't think I was going to recover enoguh to return to college in the fall. Nobody was sure why it was taking so long to recover, so in addition i had a colonoscopy and another CT to check for any abscesses or complications. None were found.
Finally 3 months after my surgery, i was able to resume most activities. Im about 90% better now (it will be FIVE YEARS ago in June!). I still deal with constipation and irregularity, and some pain around the scar tissue in my lower abdomen. I was also warned that the scarring may make it difficult to get pregnant if i decide i want to.
Just last week, the wife of a friend of my boyfriend just had her appendix burst too. She spent a week in the hospital and is home now. That is what prompted me to write about this.. Ive heard that misdiagnosis is common in women, and that women are often given diagnoses of OBGYN issues instead of appendicitis. I just want to iknow if anybody else has had similar experiences .. I wouldn't wish that terrifying experience on anyone.
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