Recently, my wife and I went on a trip to Disneyland with our sister and brother-in-law. We were so excited to have a weekend away together and it was my brother-in-law’s first time to the happiest place on the earth.
Before we flew out of PDX, my brother-in-law mentioned that his right abdomen was giving him a great deal of pain. He said he noticed it the night before while laying on the couch, but it hadn’t gone away yet.
We sat in different parts of the airplane and as soon as we landed, we learned that he was miserable throughout the entire flight. We headed to baggage claim and I kept glancing at him out of the corner of my eye. It was very clear that something wasn’t right.
With bags in hand, I opened up my Uber app and called for a ride. Within minutes we were in a clean black Jeep heading 10 miles away to our hotel at the happiest place on earth.
We arrived at the hotel, checked in our bags, and bought our multi-day passes to Disneyland. Again, throughout this entire time, it was evident that my brother-in-law was in a great deal of pain and discomfort.
As we walked into the entrance to the Disneyland Resort, I did the classic “poke you in your lower right abdomen while you aren’t paying attention to me” test. Immediately, he shrieked out in pain and the look on his face changed from uncomfortable to worried and painful.
By now are you thinking what we all were thinking? Appendicitis right? He did say the pain seemed to be more mid to upper right side of his abdomen, but when I poked him on the lower right side, and it scared him.
We see this time and time again at the hospital. Chances are, this has happened to you or someone in your family or circle of friends, and you’ve ended up in the hospital for either your own or your loved one’s emergency appendectomy. Anyways.
We walked a few more hundred feet and got in line at the main entrance gate. We were literally ten feet from the turnstiles, when my brother-in-law looks at us all and says, “I can’t go in, I have to go to urgent care, something isn’t right”.
I think his reaction to my jab in the side was the tipping point for him, and as bad as he wanted to go into Disneyland for the first time (we were literally seconds away from beginning the adventure), he made the wise decision to seek medical attention before things got any worse.
My wife and I were incredibly bummed and worried, but they insisted we carried on and got our day started in the Park. Needless to say, all we could think about was his health. My wife kept asking me about the “what ifs” and as much as we didn’t want to admit it, we realized that this trip was pretty much over before it started.
A few hours later, we received some text message updates as our brother-in-law was being treated at urgent care. Turns out, it wasn’t his appendix and was in fact a severe muscle strain from his mid-upper abdomen to lower rib. He received some prescription medications and he and our sister were able to join us later on that afternoon for a wonderful rest of the day at Disneyland.
So what’s the lesson learned? It’s really quite simple. If something doesn’t seem right, get it checked out. Don’t wait. My brother-in-law’s story turned out good, but that’s not always the case. It’s always wise to live by the “better safe, than sorry” mantra.
* PS – The picture of my wife and I was taken literally five seconds before our brother-in-law told us that he had to go to urgent care… And if you look in the top corner of the pic, you will see the button they made for him at City Hall, “It Wasn’t My Appendix!” *zac-Oct. 25