How To: Detect & Survive Appendicitis (one week before SPM)

Friday, December 23, 2011
One week before I was to sit for SPM, I was hospitalized for appendicitis. Not only did I lose out on three days of planned study time, but I couldn’t attend Performance & Awards Nite either despite all those practices I had to attend in preparation for it too!Sad smile Thankfully enough, I have reliable multi-talented friends like Zheng Xi who was able to replace me at the last minute.
Before I begin on this How To post, here’s a little information on appendicitis
Appendicitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix. It is classified as a medical emergency and many cases require removal of the inflamed appendix, either by laparotomy or laparoscopy. Untreated, mortality is high, mainly because of the risk of rupture leading to peritonitis and shock.
More here.
Thank God I got treatment in time.. Or I wouldn’t be blogging here today!

*moment of grave silence for what could have been*

Things you need
  • Mode of transport
  • Loud moans of pain

  1. Contrary to popular belief, appendicitis doesn’t only occur after someone has jumped around a lot after eating. When I told my friends I was hospitalized for appendicitis, so many of them chided me for moving around so much after eating! In actuality, there are many reasons for appendicitis. Dehydration could be one of them, so drink up folks!

  2. The pain for appendicitis usually starts in the middle. At the beginning, it doesn’t hurt much. This was why I initially assumed I had some weird early period cramps or something of the sort. Over time, the pain will increase and you will have urges to vomit.

  3. For me, the vomit became uncontrollable and on the way home from Lit class, my mom had to constantly stop the car by the side of the road so I could stick my head out and puke. By then, the pain was almost unbearable.

  4. Do NOT under any circumstance massage your stomach or apply a lot of pressure to it. I got my stomach rubbed and it almost proved to be fatal because I later found out that the tip of my appendix had burst. Had it burst entirely, I definitely would not have been able to take SPM in school.

  5. Do not try home remedies. When your stomach pain starts to move to the right side, or even before, when you’re vomiting, head to the hospital immediately! Head to the Emergency department. Occasionally, these symptoms may be accompanied by a fever.

  6. Try to remain coherent above your moans of pain as your doctor asks for more information. They’ll pump you with painkillers first then send you for scans & take your blood.

  7. If you have appendicitis, then good luck for your surgery! If possible (and if your doctor is skilled), ask for a scope surgery, not the cut one. This will significantly reduce the pain after surgery and shorten healing time. It may cost a fair bit more so you may want to find out if insurance covers it. If you do not have appendicitis, thank the heavens and apologize to your parents for the false alarm.

Surviving the surgery a week before the most important exam of your entire high school life on the other hand, is an entirely different matter.

Things You Need
  • Patience
  • Phone
  • Books
  • Stuffed animal
  • Great friends

  1. Once you’re checked in, prepare to be fitted with needles and prodded all around. An appendectomy is done on the day itself as it’s an emergency operation. Cancel all your appointments for the week because moving around will DEFINITELY be a problem.

  2. As they wheel you into the operating theatre, take in the rare sights and sounds only a patient can witness. Embrace the moving bed and fantasize of being able to be transported to school in one. And admire their strange rubber doughnut-like pillows.

  3. Inside the operating theatre, men and women in surgical equipment will be all around you, touching you and prodding you and pulling you here and there. The pain killers would have made you numb but be prepared for the sting of the huge anesthetic needle as you go downn.. down.. down..

  4. When you wake up, don’t be surprised to feel absolutely horrible. You will find it almost impossible to move without pain and your lips will be horrible dry.


    Be sure to cuddle your stuffed animal as the nurse injects antibiotics at painfully high pressure into your blood stream.

  5. If you’re unfortunate like me, and discover that the IV that was connected to your left hand over the night slipped out of your hand, PANIC!!


    No, not really. If your hand looks like mine above, all swollen and fat, call a doctor or a nurse immediately. They switched my IV over to the left hand but it was too late for a month after my surgery, my hand was still suffering from the after effects.

    photo (3)

    Sad, eh?

  6. Seek assistance when you need help getting up.


    Firstly, call for help. Watch helplessly as your sister remains asleep.

    Or when all of your visitors prefer being engrossed in their electronic devices rather than conversing with you..

    Then, proceed to search for the ‘moving up bed’ remote. Fiddle the buttons and feel the miraculous wonder of sitting up with zero exertion. Then, drink the soup.

  7. After the surgery, you won’t be allowed solid food for a while. In fact, fibre is to be avoided. (YESS!) The hospital I was at served me pretty awesome food!


    I could even choose my food from a menu! There were appetizers and main course dishes and even desserts to choose from!


    As you can see, I was first given puree and soup, but after a while, they let me eat soft rice with codfish and icecream and pancakes!!! *melts in bliss*

  8. Keep your spirits up as the lethargy of the medication is bound to make it difficult to study. Don’t get too surprised when your friends show up randomly to surprise you!



    Stay in high spirits and allow yourself this temporary respite from studying. Consider it a holiday of sorts with a lot of medication and a whole bunch of painkillers.

  9. But most importantly, prepare yourself mentally to hit the books again when you get home!
17 comments on "How To: Detect & Survive Appendicitis (one week before SPM)"
  1. @Ihsan Khairir
    What's a Hef fantasy? :O

  2. You see. If you DIDN'T have a study plan you really wouldn't have missed anything at all. :P

  3. @Pomellowdramatic

    The solution of a problem is not to ignore the situation.. But to COMBAT it! Rawr!!

  4. Unless, the problem is actually the urge to study......

  5. Hmmm on second thought, maybe I shouldn't corrupt you kids this early in life.

    "I'll tell you when you're older."
    -Mrs. Potts-

  6. you was hospitalized in Prince Court?


    but omg I hope that you're feeling way better and darn, it must be terrible to get sick (appendicitis GAK!) and then have exams to worry about. But you're super tiff and a super tiff can do super things >:D< You take care and recover well all right?? And thanks for the tips! I'll keep those in mind for sure :)

  8. @Pomellowdramatic

    Hahah that is not a problem! Oh man, how are you gonna feel in a boarding school, I wonder.. No escape!

  9. @Anonymous

    Haha yeah, Prince Court Medical Centre. :)

  10. @tiff k

    Hahah! I thought of that too! They even gave me the newspaper in the morning! :P

    Ooh I was SO SO panicked for my exams that the first question I asked out of the operating theatre was "What's the time?!" so I could see how much studying I needed to catch up on. Couldn't do much in the end tho. :(

    Hahah you're super Tiff too!! Thanks, Tiff! :)

  11. I'm sorry I coudn't read this post. :/ Gave me goosebumps. :(

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