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    Old 01-31-2005, 03:25 AM   #1
    mritchie18
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    Post Share your pain

    What I mean by this is: share with us - if not too private for you - your worst illnesses.

    Here's my pain, lol:

    At the time, this had been my worst illness. I was 15 years old and it was just before christmas in 1997. I came down with a nasty case of the flu and went to the nurse's office at high school and after that went home. I had fever, muscular pain, and chills. I don't remember if I'd ever had a cough of not, but I must have. By that night, my fever was so high I was delirious. All the other symptoms continued but were worsened. My symptoms continued for several days then abated on December 23. I relapsed Christmas afternoon and I'd barely gotten to play with my new playstation. It lasted until the 30th when we were due to visit family. It was complicated by an ear infection.

    As bad as that flu was, the sickness I got in January 1999 just after my 17th birthday was much, much, much worse! You may have read my recent speculative article on what it might be like if a virus was manufactured that could cause appendictis. Well, that's what I got for my birthday present that year! For those of you not familiar with appendicitis, stay tuned for its symptoms. There had been signs of it for a couple weeks actually. Mysterious chest pains that would come and go. Went home from school one day with abdominal cramps. They came and went too. However, one day I got sick and it decided not to go away. It was just after my birthday. It started as a vague stomach ache. By that night the stomach ache was so painful I was hunched over walking slowly to the restroom to vomit. I was vomiting non-stop, relentlessly. I couldn't stop. I also had a fever. I spent the rest of the week on the living room couch of my parent's house in terrible pain in and out of sleep. Visitors were very worried about me. My parents thought it was a bad case of the stomach flu or a bad case of food poisoning. If I'd listened to them I surely would have died. On January 20, 10 days after my b-day, I finally was admitted to a hospital after my fever peaked at nearly 103. They took some x-rays and found my stomach to be massively clogged with gas and fluids. They couldn't diagnose me so they shipped me to a different hospital 20 miles north. They diagnosed me with appendicitis. At this point my appendix had burst and I had peritonitis. My symptoms got much worse in the hospital. I still had a fever. The stomach pain was intense as ever - it felt like being stabbed over and over again - this lasted three weeks total. It was so painful I was bedridden and the pain wasn't relieved irregardless of position. I was given the most potent pain relievers to relieve it. I had spinach green vomit and my stomach was full of fluids the same color that were drained. I had symptoms of dehydration: ghostly pale skin, sunken in eyes that were glazed over and looked dead, and dark urine. I couldn't pass gas or have a bowel movement. I no longer had heart burn or body odor. My appetite was generally missing, but I was hungry on certain days. Whatever I ate would immediately come back up. One other notable symptom was the extreme thirst I had. No amount of water could quench it. Towards the end of the two week stay they wanted me to get up and start walking around. I couldn't, I was in too much pain. I was in the hospital two weeks, in which I'd lost 40 pounds. They wheeled me out to the car in a wheelchair. I was weak and tired for months after that. I've read that before modern medicine and surgery, or even today without medicine and surgery, appendictis was a death sentence: It's complications of peritonitis and sepsis killed 80% to 100% of those infected and still do today without any treatment. Compare that with bubonic plague which kills 30% to 75% of those infected. Even today WITH intravaneous antibiotic treatment, if surgery is delayed and the appendix ruptures and the infection spreads, the mortality rate is still 10% to 20%. That means one would be better off with the untreatable infections of SARS or West Nile Virus! It's humbling to reflect on it and think that I survived something that can be so deadly, even with treatment, but especially without it. I had delayed my surgery a week thinking it was a normal GI infection and thus caused my appendix to burst and peritonitis. I'm lucky to be here even with my treatment.

    Until now I'd had several minor infections. Now I have some nasty respiratory infection that has been diagnosed as the flu by one doctor and bronchitis by the other. I'm not sure which is worse: the '97 flu or this. Neither even come close to my peritonitis though! This started a couple days after my 23rd birthday this year with a 103.8 fever and shaking chills followed shortly by a feeling I'd swallowed cat-hair and a terrible cough. The cough was so severe it would either make me vomit afterwords or cause me to get extremely lightheaded and dizzy. Also notable were chest-pain, and labored breathing. There were no signs of lung infection according to doctors. There was occassional sneezing and overall congestion. The fever had a tendency to go down during the day - sometimes all the way to normal - and be higher at night. The sickness lasted 8 days then went away. I felt better for about four days then - like the '97 flu - it relapsed. It came back with a vengeance. Low fever, chest pain - severe at times, breathlessness at times, and more terrible coughing, once with blood in it. Still no signs of lung infection. I still have traces of this illness. I wake up feeling lousy every morning. Hot in the head with a feeling of pressure there, and congestion. There's still a slight tingle in the back of my throat. Every few days it will flare up and the cough will come back, then it will be gone the next day. Strangest illness I think I've had. When it will vanish I don't know. Have you had this illness? If so, what is it really? Thanks. Ok, share your worst illnesses.

    Last edited by mritchie18; 01-31-2005 at 03:28 AM.

     
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