One morning, about 10 years ago, I woke up with a sort of dull ache in my stomach. I didn’t feel like I needed to throw up or use the restroom; it just ached. I got ready for my work day as usual, thinking it would just go away, but instead, the ache got increasingly worse as time passed. I ended up leaving work sick shortly after arriving and found that nothing I did was making me any more comfortable. I was filled with an overwhelming sensation that something needed to come out of me, yet I still could not throw up nor use the restroom. Sitting hurt, standing hurt and I ended up just pacing my apartment trying to find some kind of position that would ease the pain.
Since nothing seemed to be working and the pain was only getting stronger, I went in to the Urgent Care clinic where I was told that they suspected appendicitis and that I needed to head over to the hospital immediately. After checking in, I was sent for blood work and an ultrasound. When I finally made it back to the Emergency Room I was in so much pain I could barely walk, was freezing cold, puking bile and could hardly focus enough to answer any questions. The nurse took one look at me and offered a gurney in the hallway where I finally laid down and slept for about an hour before being able to see a doctor.
I was given two options. I could either have my appendix removed or they could give me some medication to help fight the infection but that I could potentially end up going through the same ordeal all over again. Up until that point in my life, I had never felt anything so painful and could not imagine going through it again. Needless to say, I had surgery shortly thereafter and was released the next afternoon. After three days of rest, I was back to work and within two weeks was pretty much back to normal.
Looking back on this experience, I would have done several things differently. First of all, I would not have waited until I was in excruciating pain before going to see a doctor. I should have listened to my body and known that it was not something that was likely to pass on its own. I also would have asked for a wheelchair at the hospital instead of trying to walk. No matter how tough some of us think we are, it is okay to ask for help every once in a while! Lastly, I would recommend taking enough time to recover before going back to work. Taking care of you should be your first priority!