My First Operation My first pain started around the beginning of November 1973, when I was 8. Sometimes its intense, sometimes no more than a dull ache. Sometimes for months at a time I was hardly aware of it, but it was always there. I knew that. It had a precise location, always the same, a spot below the right of my ribs, an inch inside, and five fingers from the point where my lower ribs met. I put my fingers in there, feel it.
One Sunday afternoon, I came home from a friendÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂs house feeling sick. I said to my mother that I donÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂt want to play anymore and confessed that my stomach hurt, with a discomfort on my left side. My mother expressed concern to me about the possible appendicitis; I didnÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂt take this concern to seriously.
After my mother had taken my temperature and finding it normal, she called our family doctor.
He said that from my description, it might be that I was toxic, possibly from food poisoning. This seemed likely, since I had eaten pepperoni pizza at my friendÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂs house. She agreed with the doctor because she knew food poisoning was a common health problem, often misdiagnosed as flu or virus.
The next day, however, I lay on the couch and refused to eat. Since my mother work at home, she takes care of me. She napped for short periods of time, and my sister and I played quietly while she was sleeping.
That night, I woke up numerous times to complain. I was uncomfortable, my side hurt, my back hurt. By the next morning, there was no improvement and my pain was constant. I wasnÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂt able to have a bowel movement although I tried, and I couldnÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂt remember the last time I had one. I...