Woman Never Expected This When She Walked Into The ER At 4 AM.
I walked into the ER at 4am, doubled over in so much pain that I could barely walk or talk or see straight. I was hyperventilating and so anxious that my muscles were locking up. I really didn’t like hospitals, and I certainly didn’t like the fact that something was clearly wrong enough for me to be there. I was only 29.
The ER doctor on rotation that night set me up with IV painkillers and had me sent off for scans. The meds helped calm me down, and numbed everything enough that I could stop crying. But when he returned to my bedside, he brought a surgeon with him. They explained the scans looked normal, and my blood work was fine.
And yet, I was clearly NOT fine. I was in a lot of pain. So they told me they wanted to do exploratory surgery with the intent of removing my ovary, gallbladder, or appendix, most likely.
I said ok.
When I awoke from surgery, I was told my appendix had been removed due to some discoloration, but everything else looked healthy. I was to report to the surgeon’s office in 10 days for follow up to check on my incisions.
My surgeon stared at my paperwork at the follow up, head in his hands. I thought maybe it was just a long day, unrelated to me.
“The ER doctor saved your life.”
Turns out I had carcinoid cancer in my appendix. Its usually pretty asymptomatic, hard to spot, and typically found after it has metastasized all over the place.
On paper, I should have been sent home with nausea meds and maybe light pain meds and told to see a GI (which would have taken months for an appointment). Statistically, I should have been told to suck it up and it was just a belly ache. But they both believed me. They believed I was in so much pain that the standard diagnostic tools were clearly missing what was actually wrong with me.
There are so many stories of women’s pain being ignored or downplayed. I could have easily been discharged and been one of those women. Who knows how long I would have gone with cancer.
But they believed me. Both of them.
They saved my life. And I still think about those two men frequently… how they believed me, a 29 year old woman, about my pain, and took a risk to help me.
I’ve been cancer-free for 6 years so far, and get checked every 3 months because this cancer type can pop up randomly. But for now… I’m genuinely thankful those 2 actually believed me.
The world needs more doctors like them.