Why you need to listen to your grumbling appendix, even after years of putting up with it

The pain first hit when I was a teenager: an unrelenting grinding in my lower abdomen, as if my internal gears were gummed up. A fleeting thought crossed my mind – could it be my appendix? – but I dismissed it, since I felt fine the next day.

Throughout my young adulthood, the grinding pain recurred every few weeks or so. When it hit, I’d clench my jaw and curl up in the fetal position, but within a few hours, the attack would pass. I wasn’t concerned enough to have a doctor check me out since…

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