People who know me, know that I use a doctor if I need a diagnosis – but will likely treat at home and that if we are at the hospital it’s a serious or chronic situation that we need help to support – and I can count how many times we have done both – rarely.
So on Friday when I was rolled in to get my appendix removed this was a little shocking to most close friends in my life that I was at the hospital and all I can say is that I’m really happy I have an unlimited texting plan – pretty sure people thought I was on my death bed. Sure, I suspected something was wrong but I didn’t look or feel like the typical appendicitis patient but none of my friends knew that…all they knew was that the girl who never goes to the doctor is at the hospital.
I’ve always thought it interesting how people seem to think that natural moms take a lot of risks with our health and that of our families. That our quest to avoid antibiotics and medication, blurs our motherly common sense. That we would rather see our children die instead of giving them any allopathic intervention. Which of course is absurd to me and I’m sure most other natural moms would agree.
So I share my story only to share how I, a natural mom ended up going under the knife and the reasons that led me to do it – they might surprise you.
When I arrived at the ER Thursday night I had been quite sick all day. I had been sick to my stomach in the morning and then it subsided but I still had pain on the right side. I thought it was a spasm in my muscle and didn’t think too much about it because I I was so overwhelmed by how sick I felt. I could only lay in bed.
When Mr. hubs came home he mentioned that I felt hot and I did have chills so I took my temp which was just a low grade 99.5. I had also mentioned to him that I only had pain on the right side and that got me thinking – ‘hmm, wonder which side my appendix is on‘. So looked it up and realized that I had several of the symptoms of appendicitis. So asked Hubs to bring me to a walk-in while our girls were at an activity. All the walk-ins were closed so I called TeleHealth from the car – a phone service that is supposed to help you assess whether you need to go to the hospital or not – of course it was recommended that I go and see a doctor within a few hours. So we picked up the girls and headed to the hospital.
Let me say that I didn’t feel I was in an emergency and wasn’t in that much pain. Normally I would have just waited till the next day and go and see my doctor but not knowing how quickly appendicitis could worsen I felt it was important to go rule it out.
Three and half hours later I was pretty much better which was exactly how long we sat in the ER. All the symptoms other than the pain on the right side were gone. No fever. No chills. No achy pain in my lower back. No nothing. So it wasn’t surprising when the doc looked at me and said –
“well…most people that come in look really really sick. You don’t look great but you don’t look really sick. So it’s probably a bladder infection. We want to make sure – so come back tomorrow morning for an ultrasound.”
This seemed completely reasonable to me because honestly I felt fine and thought to myself ‘well that is 3hrs I’ll never get back…’
Next morning went back for an ultrasound – felt completely fine except now I was starving from not having eaten the day before and told not too eat so in case it was appendicitis and would need surgery.
I was really feeling that this was a bladder infection and I would be sent home with a scrip for antibiotics – which of course I wouldn’t fill because I know I can handle a bladder infection naturally.
Waited in the ER for another 2hrs to find out that the ultrasound found nothing. They couldn’t even see my appendix but saw no inflammation around the area so he assumed that it was a bladder infection and recommended antibiotics. He was about to send me home when he took a minute and asked about my symptoms the night before. He looked at me and said
“hhmmm…you know those are pretty common symptoms of appendicitis and we really want to rule it out – how do you feel about having a CT scan?”
Ugh, dye injection and radiation…. “ok” I said.
So now I have an IV put in and in the course of waiting for my CT scan proceed to get 2 bags of antibiotics – in the event of needing surgery. Okkey Dokkey…first time for those in 20years…
Finally do the CT scan and back to waiting for results.
Result came back. It was appendicitis although very early stages and he said he could treat with antibiotics but his recommendation would be surgery. I agreed without hesitation. And I left to get prepped for the ER.
Now normally if a doc told me that I was at the beginning stages of anything I would go home and deal with it on my own. So what made my little appendix different? A few things:
TIME. It had taken 13 hours in total to get a diagnosis. We have 4 children at home all day everyday. We have limited help when it comes to situations like this. I found it very stressful to have them be home for alone for such a long time. Now don’t get me wrong – we have a 13 and 11 year old and the hospital is literally less than 5mins away – I wasn’t stressed that they were at risk – it was just a long time for them to be on their own. From their point of view they thought it was great to have almost all day where they could watch movies and play video games – *groan* but the unknown of how long everything would take stressed me out.
If I could avoid spending another 13hrs in the ER in the future that would be good and it seemed probable that in many cases it would flair up again – meaning this whole process again which would likely include more antibiotics and possible CT.
RISK: It seems that no one knows the real purpose of the appendix or why it gets infected. Two of the things I count on when deciding if I can treat it naturally on my own.
There is also no way of knowing how quickly or how long it would take to flare up to the point of bursting.
There are a lot of perceived “risks” I am willing to take – a burst appendix is not one of them.
I did look up briefly how to treat appendicitis naturally and what I found was recommendations to “flush it (the infection) out” and to do juicing. I could see the benefits of this but intuitively it did not give me the confidence to feel that it wouldn’t come back. And that leads me to my last reason:
INTUITION/FEAR: My cousin’s daughter had just been in the hospital a few weeks before with what ended up being a burst appendix she had for several days. It was a very serious situation and thankfully she made a full recovery. I don’t believe we hear or see things happening to other people for no reason so took heed of the warning.
My fear was that I would try and treat naturally or not…I could be outrageous and take their antibiotics but he had just told me that they didn’t have a very good success rate with that treatment…and would end right back here in the ER. Not that I would ever suggest surgery to avoid inconvenience but something just told me that having it removed was what I needed. (And I was right about that, but I wouldn’t know how deeply till later – which I will share in upcoming posts how this was a huge wake up call.)
I also didn’t want to live in fear. I don’t think of it as a free pass to now do whatever I want – but more to move forward with peace.
So that in a nutshell is the story of how a natural mom ended up under the knife. It’s how a natural mom who firmly believes in the body’s ability to heal itself chose the allopathic root – intuitively. And for me – it’s a short story of how we sometimes get to a natural place by unnatural means….but that my friends is a story for another day….