When I had my appendix out in September of 2000, I asked Clint if that meant that I would die sooner than if it had been left in. Clint replied, “If it was left in, you’d be dead already.” Oh yeah! Yay!
Today, there’s a news article that talks about how they may have found the purpose of the appendix.
“The function of the appendix seems related to the massive amount of bacteria populating the human digestive system, according to the study in the Journal of Theoretical Biology. There are more bacteria than human cells in the typical body. Most are good and help digest food.
But sometimes the flora of bacteria in the intestines die or are purged. Diseases such as cholera or amoebic dysentery would clear the gut of useful bacteria. The appendix’s job is to reboot the digestive system in that case.”
It does mention that the appendix is still not needed in today’s modern society. But I remember all the health issues I had leading up to appendicitis. The year 2000 was a crazy year for me – I had recurring tonsillitis, yeast infections, urinary tract infections… I had never had any of those issues prior to that year. Even the day I went to the hospital for my appendix, I had felt the oncoming symptoms of tonsillitis earlier in the day. Then suddenly my stomach hurt and my throat felt better.
They took my appendix out and I have never gotten tonsillitis or a urinary tract infection again since then. So I kept thinking my appendix was inflamed and causing all the other symptoms until it finally got to the point where it was actually the appendix that hurt. Or maybe all those germs were coursing through my body for some reason and they ended up in my appendix and they took the appendix out and all those bad germs with it. Either way, I was grateful for my appendix doing whatever job it was doing up until the point of failure. And thanks to modern society, I am still alive today, even if I may die earlier than I would have if I had a healthy appendix.
Anyway, back to the point, the article made me think about the yeast infections… I had never had one prior to the year 2000, but I have had them since getting my appendix out. I occasionally get them when I have to take antibiotics and the antibiotics end up killing good bacteria that I need. I also had a different but related reaction when I was taking antibiotics for my sinus surgery. So what if I had a healthy appendix still, would the good bacteria have been killed? Or would the appendix have replenished it as it was dying off?