Ow. Hospital?
December 16, 2010 4:29 PM   Subscribe

Is this pain really a UTI? Should I go to the ER?

I was having such a great day. Now, I'm uh, not. At about ten this morning, I started feeling discomfort in my pelvic area, like I'd been holding back going to the bathroom for a while. I obligingly went to the bathroom, but that didn't make the discomfort go away. It got worse and worse until finally, I made an appointment and went to see a doctor - my regular doc wasn't in, so I saw the new guy. New guy had me pee in a cup (difficult, as I didn't have much left in me, but I managed) and said the labwork came back "abnormal" but anything more definitive would take until Monday. He prescribed an antibiotic for me, on the grounds that this was "probably a UTI" (the antibiotic is ciprofloxacin) and told me to pick up some OTC stuff, too (phenazopyridine). I also took two ibuprofin.

The good news: I started feeling some relief, after taking the first round of medicine.

The bad news: then something new and different and lame started. I got an intense pain in my lower right abdomen. Intense enough that I was inventing new swear words and yelling them at the ceiling. It is still there, though slightly less intense. I've had one more bout of really nasty ow, and I just don't know what's going on with my insides. I'm probably just panicking for no reason, but, well, should I go to the ER? Could this be my appendix?
posted by lriG rorriM to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes, it could be your appendix, as the lower right area of the abdomen is where the appendix is. It could also be any number of other things, but if it is your appendix, time is of the essence. Go to an urgent care clinic or the ER.
posted by vorfeed at 4:33 PM on December 16, 2010

If you were my spouse or child I'd be taking you to the ER or Urgent Care.

The combination of weird lab results and extra-super-bad pain warrants a trip in my book.
posted by TooFewShoes at 4:33 PM on December 16, 2010

Sounds like your appendix. Get to the ER right away.
posted by littlesq at 4:34 PM on December 16, 2010

ER. Overwhelming pain means ER.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:37 PM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

Nthing the ER. Go. Now. If it's nothing, it's nothing. If it's your appendix, you'll have averted a crisis.
posted by cooker girl at 4:38 PM on December 16, 2010

Yes, go to the ER. Now. If it's nothing, then great, you know you're okay. If it's something that needs treatment, they can help you. Win-win situation. Go.
posted by corey flood at 4:39 PM on December 16, 2010

One of the key symptoms of needing to VISIT THE ER is making up swear words. Go.
posted by grapesaresour at 4:39 PM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

It could also be a kidney stone. I'd go to the ER.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:41 PM on December 16, 2010

Could also be an ovarian cyst pressing on your bladder, but big pain = ER. (Don't feel stupid. I just went to the ER recently for something that turned out to be nothing and you know what, I'm glad we were able to definitively rule out the bad shit. Go.)
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:44 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, lower right abdomen = maybe appendix or something spreading up into your bladder or kidneys. I had my appendix out last year, but only after waiting out bad but not crippling pain for two days. You don't really want to wait on it.
posted by lunalaguna at 4:45 PM on December 16, 2010

If it's acute pain, like that of a knife stabbing you in your lower right abdomen you should probably be on your way to an urgent care or ER. Common causes include: appendix, kidney stone(s), ovarian cyst(s).
If it happens to be your appendix, you don't want to wait until tomorrow.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:47 PM on December 16, 2010

Response by poster: Ok. Ow is happening again. I'm off to the ER. Mr. Mirror is going to drive me. Thanks.
posted by lriG rorriM at 4:47 PM on December 16, 2010

It could be a kidney stone, but in any case you should go to the ER to get some pain medication at the very least!
posted by Lobster Garden at 4:48 PM on December 16, 2010

Best wishes, feel better soon and report back.
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:51 PM on December 16, 2010

Let us know please, good luck.
posted by francesca too at 4:53 PM on December 16, 2010

I'm glad you decided to go to the ER.

Last spring, my mom had a similar vague discomfort while urinating, which she ignored. After a week or so, she called me in the middle of the night and told me she had a fever of 105 and was in so much pain she couldn't stand up. She was slurring her speech and rambling about the cow that was standing in her bedroom. I was a little bit freaked out, especially by the hallucination bit, but I live 1700 miles away and the woman absolutely refuses to seek medical attention until the situation becomes really dire.

The next day, her temperature was still 105 and she realized she was confused and unable to stay awake, so she decided it was time to see a doctor. She made it to the garage and passed out in the car. Upon regaining consciousness, she drove herself (!) to the emergency room, where she was admitted for severe pyelonephritis. She's mostly fine now, thankfully.

tl,dr: If you're in severe pain, don't fuck around.

I hope you feel better posthaste.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 5:08 PM on December 16, 2010

For future reference, all that sounds nothing like a UTI to me.
posted by wondermouse at 5:13 PM on December 16, 2010

Could be a kidney stone. I had the exact thing happen to me in the same place. The ER did not fuck around and I was seen immediately because of a possible appendix issue (pains in the lower right quandrant are always potentially very dangerous). Let us know how it goes!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:15 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

As a rule of thumb, if you have to ask if you should go to the ER, you should go to the ER and skip the asking.
posted by killdevil at 5:30 PM on December 16, 2010

It could also be an ovarian torsion, which often presents more or less identically to appendicitis.
posted by coppermoss at 5:42 PM on December 16, 2010

Oh I meant to add, I was thinking kidney stone because my urologist told me that kidney stones can cause UTIs.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:16 PM on December 16, 2010

That sure sounds like a kidney stone. IANAD, but I've had kidney stones twice, and the pain made my swear words invent swear words. Very glad you went to the ER as you did, though, because you can't self-diagnose pain like that. Hope all turns out okay.
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 6:30 PM on December 16, 2010

Should mention that appendicitis pain often gets better before it gets really bad. In other words, don't not go to the ED because the pain has subsided.
Also, a female of child bearing age with abdominal pain is an ectopic pregnancy until proven otherwise.
posted by brevator at 6:40 PM on December 16, 2010

From recent experience, do not fuck around with severe abdominal pain. Go straight to the ER.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:05 PM on December 16, 2010

I have no original input other than to observe the creepy thing that happens on metafilter every once in a while - it mirrors my life.
I type this hours after leaving the hospital from surgery removing an infected kidney stone. I had intermittent pain radiating from my flank to lower groin. Turns out it was infected and that can turn ugly in hours or less. Totally agree that severe pain always justifies the ER trip. God bless you MeFi for your otherworldly syncronicity. I hope you are feeling better and heal up nicely.
posted by ten year lurk at 7:51 PM on December 16, 2010

Response by poster: Update: CT scan reveals kidney stone. On my way home with lots of medicine now. Thanks again! It was definitely the right call to go.
posted by lriG rorriM at 7:56 PM on December 16, 2010 [7 favorites]

Aww, hope you pass it soon. My initial pain was the stone moving from the kidney to the ureter (mine was 4mm). It decided that it was comfortable there and decided to hang out and party for about a month. It was just a constant, dull aching pain. It really only hurt bad when it was on the move but I could feel that little fucker just sitting there. I actually don't know when I passed it, I was prepared for laying on the floor in a cold sweat pain but it never happened. Do you have an appointment with a urologist soon? Once you form one, your likelyhood of forming another are high.

It was an experience though. I had my first cat scan. I had to hold back the laughter from the little guy's face on the machine that lights up when you're supposed to hold your breath and then when you're supposed to breathe. I think my giddiness was from the pain meds they gave me.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:21 PM on December 16, 2010

Could be: kidney stone, appendix, gallstone, or ovarian cyst bursting. I had a cyst burst and it killed like hell.

Whatever it is, yes it may require a ER visit and an ultrasound. The meds you are on should take care of the UTI though. Good luck and feel better.
posted by stormpooper at 10:27 AM on December 17, 2010

Thanks for checking in! Hope it's resolved soon.
posted by cyndigo at 11:44 AM on December 17, 2010

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