“…If they hadn’t of caught the abscess I probably would have died…Don’t ignore your pain…”

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker

"I’ve had two deployments, but on my way to the third my appendix ruptured. I felt bad because someone had to short notice deploy for me and it was basically three weeks then you’re gone for six months. It’s always good to be ready. A month before I was scheduled to go on my deployment, I woke up around 3 a.m. from my stomach being tight and in pain. I figured I just had a bunch of gas, but it wasn’t and I didn’t know that at the time. I pushed on through my M16 rifle training, which was the last part I needed prior to my deployment. Later I went to the clinic, but they were closed for training so I went to urgent care. After a few visits and being misdiagnosed with gastroenteritis I received a CAT scan to verify that I not only had appendicitis, but it was a ruptured appendix. I was then taken to Rideout Memorial Hospital by ambulance. I always heard that appendicitis hurt badly, although at that point, it was more discomfort rather than pain, but I knew something was wrong. The next morning the doctor came in and said it was too infected to do surgery on so the only course that I had was to receive antibiotics. I was released, but at my follow up appointment my white blood cell count had increased so they readmitted me to the hospital. They performed another CAT scan and found a 4cm wide by 6 cm long abscess causing them to put a drain in. They removed about 260 mL of fluid over the course of a week. My wife was very worried, because at any point it could have turned and I could have had a bigger infection. If they hadn’t of caught the abscess I probably would have died. Slowly over time, in conjunction with the antibiotics, it healed to the point where it stopped and the abscess shrunk. The doctors removed my appendix in July 2015. Going through this experience I would tell Airmen don’t ignore your pain."

Master Sgt. Jeffery Myers, 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron U-2 Dragon Lady production superintendent

Hometown: San Diego, California

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