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13-Year-Old's Decision To Fake A Bad Stomach Ache To Get His Parents' Attention Backfires After He's Taken Into Surgery

A man reflected on a regrettable time when—as a neglected 13-year-old—he faked major stomach pains to compete with all the attention his foolhardy siblings were getting.

He certainly got all the attention he was hoping for and then some.


His fibbing epically backfired and landed him in the hospital.

As a 39-year-old, Redditor "simsyboy," finally came clean on the "Today I F'd Up" subReddit about the incident that has been weighing on him for 26 years.

"My little brother was ill in hospital after being born with numerous ailments. Not only this my mother was in and out of hospital after suffering a brain haemorrhage and a stroke so my dad was back and forth vising them (in different hospitals)."
"Due to this my 2 older siblings were acting out; petty crime, drugs and I felt pretty neglected. So I decided to fake a bad stomach to get a day off school and some attention thrown my way."
"My dad was worried and called the doctor out, which I was fine with, it would hopefully result in a diagnosis of stomach bug and few days off."

The original poster, as a young teen, did not see this coming and became panic-stricken over an unforeseen condition.

It became too late to reverse the consequences of his little antic.

"But the doc was worried and sent me to hospital (a local hospital, so dad now had 3 hospitals to visit). Now I was a bit scared but thought I'd come too far to fess up."
"A specialist came in to run some diagnostics which included a finger up my butt!"

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"He asked if it hurt during various pokes and I said yes at one point. A few hours later another doc came in, a female doc who repeated the finger up my butt."
"Again I just said yes at a ramdon point."
"Doc tells my dad she thinks my appendix are rupturing and I need it out. I was now pretty scared but even more scared of confessing."
"I ended up being taken to theatre and having my appendix out."

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"The doc said afterwards that my appendix didn't look that swollen so they were lucky they got it out before it went bad. I had 2 weeks off school and a few months with no PE."
"I've felt so bad for this ever since but never told my family. My parents had so much to deal with so my attention seeking didn't help."
"In my defense I was 13 and didn't fully understand what a sh**ty thing I was doing until it was too late. I like to think my appendix would have ruptured later in life so this was a preemptive strike."

Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix – a 3 1/2 inch tube of tissue extending from the large intestine – as a reaction to blockage from a foreign object, stool, or tumors. It can also occur from infection which can cause the appendix to swell.

Americans have a 1 in 20 chance of having appendicitis and it can strike at any point – typically among people between the ages of 10 and 30.

A ruptured appendix is no joke and is considered a medical emergency. The ensuing infection (peritonitis) in the abdomen could become life-threatening if ignored.

Early signs and symptoms indicating if you have a burst appendix include fever, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal pain starting in the upper or middle region that eventually settles in the lower right part of the abdomen.
The OP's post prompted readers to share their own experiences and fears surrounding abdominal pain.
"Man, whenever my stomach hurts I just put it off as cramps. I'll probably eventually die from a burst appendix someday just thinking it's bad cramps." – minstrelMadness
"I had appendicitis at 12. I had small pains all week and figured maybe it was just PMS cause I almost always get gassy and have stomach aches before my period."
"The day it got bad, I took pepto because it just felt like a bellyache in the morning. I had light pain until I laughed at something and then it felt like really bad cramps so I took some pain meds and sat by the toilet for awhile feeling like i was going to throw up."
"I finally decided to take a hot soak and go to bed. I got in the hot tub and instantly felt much better."
"When I climbed out of the tub I passed out on the floor and stayed passed out on the floor for almost an hour with only my 6 yr old sister at home with me. 100% thought it was my period until after I gained consciousness." – sourpatchkidsandcoke

Redditors continued describing their pain levels that can have grave consequences.

"I almost died because I was so used to awful period cramps that I waited until my appendix was hours from rupturing before seeing a doctor 'just in case.'" – bettycoopers
"The pain is so bad that you dont know what to do other than call the doc. At least in my case both times, I couldn't sit, stand, lay down, I had to constantly move, it was so painful."
"Glad they figured out what caused it the second time around and got the sucker out of there." – HypersomniacGuy

People recalled another procedure that was prevalent in the 90s.

"Tonsils were thought of as another problematic thing Drs. Would remove for getting sick too much . they stopped this because of the viability of producing T cells and the positive effect on your immune system. (Imagine that)" – Setdircmd0
"What's more unlucky is surviving the 90's with your tonsils and then having them swell up and cause reoccurring tonsillitis and strep for a year and then having to get them out as a 27 year old in my experience." – kaylashaffer
"Appendix, Tonsils, they'd chop them out and give you Ritalin once you recovered."
"The 90s were a magical time." – adamdoesmusic
"Tonsils were thought of as another problematic thing Drs. Would remove for getting sick too much."
"they stopped this because of the viability of producing T cells and the positive effect on your immune system. (Imagine that)" – Setdircmd0
"I had both removed in '93 when I was six. The appendix due to actual appendicitis (it almost burst which was a big deal at the time)."
"The tonsils I had removed because I had suffered from chronic strep for two years (in my parents words 'every time we turned around you had it again'). After having them removed, I've had strep once in the ensuing time."
"So at least for me, both worked!" – K1ttredge
"A friend recently had a neglected burst appendix. After being on death's door for a bit, she recently had a small bit of perforated colon removed."
"Burst appendix is a sh*tshow." – _bones__
"An appendix bursting is big deal at any time." – Daegs

This user recalled having a different experience that left him feeling shorthanded.

"I got my appendix out at 13, but I never got a finger up my butt, let alone two times! Lucky guy." – captainjoah
"A finger up someones butt is no mean to diagnose apendicitis, what the f'k?" – Vipertooth123
"They knew he was lying and gave him a lesson Twice." – sacalata


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An expert weighed in about probing digits.

"ER doc here, see appendicitis all the time. Not one time have I ever stuck my finger up someones butt to check for appendicitis, nor have I ever seen this described in the literature or at any point in my training..." – Fessywessy1

After being accused of fabricating the events in the thread, the OP confirmed everything happened 100%, and that he did indeed have "2 fingers up my butt (by 2 doctors on 2 occasions at hospital, not at the same time)."

"I'm from the UK so health care is free (for the moment) so we generally don't think about medical costs."
"I'm not really that shocked this has happened to others, considering how quick it happened to me and I know a bad stomach is often the go to illness for pulling a sickie. But it's kinda nice to know I'm not the only one."
"My family may see this, but they'd have work out it was me, so it's possible but unlikely."
"I will tell my family one day. My older siblings will love it because I was always the golden boy, best behaved, no trouble, went to college etc, so they'd dine out on this for a long time."

He wasn't about to close out his post without giving props to his dad.

"And finally yes, my dad is a f'king hero. To this day, even though he's retired, he's gone back to work contracting so he can afford to shuttle family around to medical appointments, if you want to see him or need anything, he'll drop everything for you."
"He still makes Sunday dinners for the family, and takes food to his local pub for all his mates. If he's got £10 left in his pocket and you need it, he'll hand it over in a heartbeat. (I've never done this though)."
Although the OP had his comeuppance with the procedure, it was better than the alternative.
"Honestly just be glad you didn't actually have (and now won't get) appendicitis, because when I had it I was laying in my hospital bed waiting to be operated on the following day, they were pumping me full of morphine."
"I literally was still in so much pain that I was looking at the ceiling and just thinking I'd rather die than go through that sh*t again." – Ocean_Spice

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We'll drink to that.