I Had an Emergency Appendectomy in Egypt…So Why Do I Still Have My Appendix?
I was reporting in Cairo following the Arab Spring, when I suddenly became violently ill. I’m still trying to piece together what happened next.
Illustrations by Lorenzo Gritti
I ripped open the envelope anticipating an answer to a question I had held onto for more than a year, a question that had eaten away at the fabric of my mind: What was wrong with my insides?
The answer, or so I thought, was in the results of my recent scan.
I read through the list of organs in my body. Next to each one were the words “not extraordinary.”
Then I came to the appendix.
“Appendix appears normal,” the report read.
That meant I still had my appendix, which was weird, since I had it removed the year before in Egypt – or so I was told.
In 2012, it was a year after the revolution in Egypt and Cairo was filled with young western journalists reporting on the country’s political chaos. I was one of them. I’d moved to Cairo to study Arabic at the American University and had begun my freelancing career between classes. Illness, though, had prevented me from traveling to other Arab Spring countries like Tunisia. Every month I would get violently ill. Exorcist