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I could have never guessed that after deciding to become a blogger my life would become more and more of an open book. And for those of you that know our family personally you know  that we are quite the opposite in everyday life.  Nonetheless, what happened to  my husband who is of South Asian descent this past Christmas is something we had to share and is of the upmost importance for any person of Asian descent to know about.  Please share this with your family and/or friends.


On Christmas morning my husband found himself with a continued fullness/tightness in his abdomen area. He told me that he felt like he had just drank gallons of water.  In addition, there was a sharp and ever present pain on his lower right hand side.  He figured he was just tired, dehydrated, and jet-lagged since he had just got back from London for work.  So after we opened gifts he rested and took some Ibuprofen.

In the early evening, I nudged that we should go the ER because his symptoms were still present.  However, my husband, is not one to quickly jump up to go to the hospital.   Instead he began to research his symptoms and presumed that he might have appendicitis.  By midnight,  the tightness and pain on his right side was still there and had now been greeted with chills.  At my continual wifely urging we headed to the E.R.    I had recalled how my own father had previously told me about how he had pain on his right side, and he ended up having to have an emergency appendectomy in his youth.

As we entered the ER my husband’s pain worsened.  Hours later we were finally in front of the hospital doctor.  After some questions, a test and gauge of the pain, and pressure around his abdomen, and its movement from left to right the doctor informed us that it was probably his appendix. And he would more than likely have to have his appendix removed.

In distress, but remaining hopeful he was administered an IV drip and pain medication.  About 45 mins later a nurse took him to have a CT scan done to determine if the doctor’s assessment was correct; traditional hospital protocol.  30 mins after the CT Scan the doctor came back and said to us, “good news!”


With thoughts of horary intermeshed with what is it then, the doctor told my husband it is not your appendix.  Follow by “are you Asian?”  My husband, quick to state yes, asked what does that mean? The doctor continued on” your appendix is not enlarged.”   It is a condition called diverticulitis.  Diverticulitis is a digestive disease in which pouches within the large bowel wall become inflamed”.  Source web MD
And for people of  Asian descent diverticulitis can occur on the right side of the body.  In the majority of Americans diverticulitis is isolated to the left side of the body.
Astonished and enlightened at the same time my husband asked the doctor what does that mean?  She stated, “it means that you have some new dietary restrictions: no seeds, nuts, or berries but you will be fine after a course of antibiotics and pain medication.”  The doctor further remarked that “it also means that for many people of Asian descent that colon cancer is harder to recognize/detect.’  Since for people of Asian descent diverticulitis can happen on the right side of the body. ‘ This makes it difficult for the camera to travel inside the body.”
Did you know about this genetic/ethnic variation specific to people of Asian descent?  Feel free to post a comment/share this post! Like our content? Subscribe!

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  1. I periodically see patients for diverticulitis and have heard it is VERY painful. I hope your husbands medications are working well…also, making dietary changes definitely helps prevent it.

    1. Growing Up Gupta says:

      Yes, it is painful according to my husband too. Thusfar, the medications are working! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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