24 answers

Moderate to Severe Abdominal Pain in 13 Year Old Boy.

My son is 13 and on Sunday afternoon around 4 started having stomach "cramps". These cramps were doubling him over and coming in waves. At about 7 I called our family doc and he told me the progression of appendicitis. At the time the pain was just around the belly button. He said that if over the next 5 to 6 hours he got worse to call him back, otherwise he wanted to see him yesterday morning. He slept through the night and seemed better in the morning, but still hurting. By 8:30 they were more than cramps, it was out and out pain. He was doubling over and holding his stomach. I called the doctor's office and was told to come straight there. We drove there and a different doctor looked at him. She was not in the room with him long and told me to take him to the ER and they could give him pain meds, do a cat scan and blood work. We did this. We spent 3 hours there, he was given morphine which helped with the pain and Zofran for nausea (no nausea or vomiting). They took 4 tubes of blood and did a CT scan with contrast. He had to drink this nasty stuff and have dye put in his IV. Long story short, they came back and said the blood work showed nothing, the UA showed nothing and the CT showed nothing. They assumed that since he had kidney stones in the past that that was what he had. They wrote a prescription for Vicodin and sent him home. (I am a Pharmacy Tech, have been for 13 years) The Vicodin does not touch the pain. By 7pm last night he was crying and I called the doc back. He is stumped. He still thinks it is the appendix. He told us to try to make it through the night and be at his office this morning. The pain is just about an inch to the right and at an angle down from his belly button. So, here we are, he is crying and moaning again and we are heading back to the doc this morning. Has anyone experienced this? Just curious. I am sure we will spend another day in hospitals. At this point I just want to know what is going on with my kid.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We are actually still waiting it out on the advice or our Family Doctor. He says it is not kidney stones, he truly feels it is not the appendix. His pain is concentrated in one place and one place only, no other part of his abdomen hurts. He gave us an anti-spasmatic (LIBRAX). We are to use it as directed today and watch him, if there is any change to the worse I am to page the doc immediately. If there is still pain tomorrow, he wants to do an Ultrasound. The CT, blood work and UA yesterday showed absolutely NOTHING. He also gave me his cell phone number to reach him over the weekend. I am comfortable with what my Doctor told me, the pain is less today. I also have a hospital 4 miles from my house. Thank you so much for your advice.

SECOND UPDATE: Librax did not work, I had to take him back to the Hospital. We went to St. Louis Children's Hospital and they did an abdominal ultrasound. Everything was fine. We still have no clue. They said either a virus or an irritated intestine. They said to try Ibuprofen and Prilosec and see a GI Doc in a week. He is finally in bed sleeping.

We believe that the whole thing was viral. On Wedensday he was a little better, Thursday a little better than Wednesday, and Today, his pain is between a 2 and 4 and the spasms are alot farther apart.

Thanks Again

More Answers

He's really young to be having gall bladder, but I can attest to the fact that gall bladder attacks can just completely lock you up, you can't even breathe, it feel like you are having a heart attack because the pain just radiates from the gall bladder area clear into the chest. Horrible. AND it comes and goes. It can be triggered by greasy foods, if you are having problems with it.
. I sure hope you get some answers and quickly! I have a 13 year old son, and can't imagine watching him go through something like this while the doctors scratch their heads.

My little brother just had his appendix removed and had some very similar symptoms. His was not to the point of bursting yet but his CT and blood work did show that his appendix was inflamed so they took it. You might also have them check his galbladder. I had mine out a few years ago and the symptoms can be very similar from what I understand. Galstones can be as painful as kidney stones and I have heard that the pain can be as bad if not worse then labor pains. I have not been in labor so I wouldn't know for sure on that one.

About 15 years ago, my mother had a similar problem. They finally did "exploratory" surgery and found a ruptured appendix. They had done all kinds of tests that showed nothing.

Wow. what is wrong with those doctors?? I had appendicitis
at 13-an experience I will NEVER forget and what your son
has sounds exactly like what I had. my case was acute-it
came on really fast and I was in an operating room in a few
hours, but the pain starting at the belly button and radiating
down to the right sounds exactly the same. with me it
eventually settled down into the lower right of my belly and
I was throwing up a lot and had a low-grade temp.
I'd take him back in and hopefully this time the doctors
will pull their heads out their butts!
good luck, Mom. and happy thanksgiving!

This sounds like a blatant case of appendicitis. Get him to the ER before it bursts. Just my RN opinion.!

My husband went through a great deal of abdominal pain back when my daughter was first born. The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with him and due to that, they labeled it as "IBS". My husband's pain came in "waves" and was so horrible that he tried taking hot baths to help the pain subside. After about 4 months of this excruciating pain, many trips to the doctor, and a trip to a specialist (all stumped) we decided to take him to the emergency room. There they found that it wasn't IBS at all, but he had large gall stones and his gall bladder extremely infected. They waited a week for the infection to go down before they removed it. I'm not saying that this is the problem with your son, b/c it sounds like they have run all the test, but if you haven't specifically asked about it maybe they have missed it like my husband's case. Also, would it be possible that he have extremely bad gas? Just a thought too.... Good luck!

Hi, K.--

Did they check him for strep throat? We went through something similar with my daughter a few years ago...several trips to the doctor and ER, only to have a nurse suggest swabbing her throat for strep since they had had a few kids with strep present with severe stomach cramps, no fever, no sore throat. My daughter tested positive, was put on antibiotics and was fine within 48 hours!

If they haven't tested for strep, I would ask for it, especially given that all other diagnostics turn up nothing.

Best to you!


Your family doc sonds right.All the er has to do is a sonogram and they could of found out right away if it was his appendix . They sound like stupid people I sure hope your family doc is right and they yank all that pain outta there!

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