So last night I had to take my younger son (9) to the ER. On Saturday he had a low grade fever that started in the morning. He had a long day on a field trip the day before, was cold and got home at 10:30pm at night so I figured he just caught a little cold. His fever went away that day, naturally. I never give any fever reducers, just herbs, vitamins and essential oils. The next day, Sunday, he still said he wasn’t feeling good but no fever. He just wasn’t himself. Yesterday he was fine, no fever etc. he played and ate as normal. Later that night he complained again about his stomach being sore and being crampy and gassy. I just figured its a stomach virus or something he ate. Then right as he was going to sleep he complained it was freezing and usually he’s the one that is always hot at night and wants the air conditioner on. I felt him and he felt really hot. He seemed to spike a fever again. If you know me, I am not at the Dr. a lot, hardly ever. I will do anything I can before taking my children to the Dr. But I know appendicitis is common and it can be fatal if it bursts. I looked up all the classic symptoms of appendicitis and he had most of them and the fever made me worried the most. He wasn’t in major pain, but usually that is how it starts off. It can be a dull pain then over a 8-12 hour period, it can worsen. I didn’t want to take the chance and knew I couldn’t sleep, so we took him in to check.
When the Dr. did a physical exam he felt his stomach and lower abdomen and asked if there was any pain. My son said no and when he got to the ER he did not have a fever. He explained that usually the pain will move over to the lower right abdomen, still have a fever and be very uncomfortable. The only test that is pretty accurate would be a CT scan which is very high in radiation and because he felt it was unlikely, he suggested not to do it. In any other situation I would not have taken him in, but because he has been telling me that his stomach has been sore off and on the past month or so, made me think maybe it was it. So after all that, we were able to leave, his stomach was still crampy but no major pain, especially in the lower right area. I will continue to give him antibacterial herbs and enzymes for his stomach.
I wanted to share this so that if you every experience something similar, please do not hesitate to take your child in to check it especially if they have a fever and the pain is located on the lower right abdomen and is tender and sore to touch. Many parents mistake appendicitis for a stomach virus and sometimes it’s too late. Kids have a high tolerance for pain and my not always know how to describe how they feel. I always ask my son “where is it sore?” So I urge you to just be super observant of your child in that area and look for fever, pain, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Below I give you a brief write up about appendicitis and what it is and common symptoms to look for.
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix organ located at the bottom right area of your abdomen. This is a very common condition in many younger children, but can happen to anyone at anytime.
The appendix is a 31/2 inch tube shaped sack that is connected to the large intestine (see my picture below). It may be used to produce and protect beneficial probiotic colonies in the digestive system. The appendix at first was looked at as an organ unnecessary which to me is crazy because God created us and if any organ was unnecessary He would not have place it in our bodies! So with that being said, the appendix has been studied and shown to play a big role in our immune systems. Lymph tissue forms in the appendix after birth. It has been known to serve as a reservoir of good bacteria.
Main cause of appendicitis is not clearly know, but here are some reasons what may cause the appendix to become inflamed and possibly rupture.
- When it becomes blocked by stool, a foreign body or cancer. Usually there is some type of infection and this causes the appendix to inflame.
- Parasite, fungal or viral infection can cause inflammation.
- blocking in the lining of the appendix
So as you can see it starts with some type of blockage, especially by stool. It’s important to use the bathroom when you feel like you need to go. Many children hold in their stool because they are playing or busy or afraid to go out in public or school. I told my son to never do that and no matter where he is, if he has to go, go! When you hold back your stool, it can accumulate and cause bacterial build up, blockage, infection and appendicitis!
Here are some classic symptoms to look for in appendicitis:
- Dull pain near the navel or the upper abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen. This is usually the first sign.
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and/or vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins
- Abdominal swelling
- Fever of 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit
- Inability to pass gas
The main symptom you want to look for is that the pain moves toward the lower right part of the abdomen and is accompanied by a fever. If you have any feeling that it may be appendicitis, please dont ever hesitate, go in and check it!