So how was everyones' weekend? Did you all have a good time? Was it filled with hard drinking and good nudity? Yes? Well that's good. I'm happy to hear it.
Let me tell you about how the last few days was spent by your author.
I had a potluck at work and everything seemed to go okay. That evening though I was on the phone with a friend when it happened. Suddenly my stomach started cramping up and I felt the pain of indigestion. Ye gods my co-workers are trying to poison me! Settle down now. It's just food. It'll pass. Get some sleep and get better.
I spend the evening tossing and turning. The pain was so severe it kept me up all night. I called in sick to work and figured I may need to give this more time. I tried to rest some more, but sadly not even Pepto would cure my ails.
I start to worry. I'm sick as a dog, but I'm not showing any symptoms of indigestion other than pain. I still have my appendix and I started to deduce that I may have ruptured it. If I don't get it checked out soon I might..you know..die. It was then I checked myself into Valley Medical Center's Emergency ward at 8pm.
I admit myself in to the hospital and wait. I sit watching ESPN on closed caption listening to the agony of the elderly as well as infants sitting in their chairs longing for a cure for their body's torment. It's been years since I've had to seek treatment at a hospital and I almost forgot how horrific some of the sights and sounds of one could be.
After what felt like forever they finally call my name and allow me the privilege of putting on a hospital gown. Even though I've never been to Valley Medical Center before as a patient I actually was in the same room they placed the Jiggaman when I took him there.
The hot nurse asked me a few questions then told me someone would be with me in a couple of minutes. Two hours later a doctor came and asked me a few questions. He said they were going to give me a CAT scan in a few minutes. The hot nurse returns with a beaker filled with some clear liquid on ice and orders me to gulp it down. It had a bendy straw, but she wouldn't give me a curly one. The liquid tasted like flat diet Sprite, only worse.
Two hours later I get the CAT scan from the most bubbly tech on the planet. She said I would have the results in a few minutes. At 2 am a doctor comes in to inform me that they have found an abscess on my left kidney. Nothing fatal, but rare so they want to keep an eye on it especially considering I'm adopted and they can't keep tally on my family medical history. He said he would make some calls and get back with me soon.
It's now four in the morning. The doctor finally arrives and tells me they don't have a urologist on staff that can attend to me so they're going to transport me to another hospital. He said an ambulance should be by shortly to take me to Overlake.
I sit and wait some more. Babies are sobbing, families are arguing in various languages, and other sounds of pain and associated technologies are filling the air as I await a ride to another place. I wanted to drive myself, but the doctor didn't think that was a good idea.
A young paramedic named James comes into my room at 6 am and introduced himself. A chipper one was he as he cracked jokes and told me he would be escorting me to Overlake. Him and his friend placed me on a stretcher and buckle me in and took me out of the hospital and into the vehicle.
I was strapped into the stretcher as the ambulance drove up I-405. James made small talk with me as he checked my vitals. He noticed my blood pressure seemed a little high. I told him that probably happens a lot when someone has a mystery illness. He laughed and continued some good conversation.
Sleep deprivation and starvation started to kick in as I was admitted into Overlake. The paramedics put me in a room and wished me the best. The nurses attended to me and asked me the same questions I've been answering over and over again for over 10 hours. They prodded me for more blood and stated that I can't eat or drink till the doctor came to which they promised should be soon. To my surprise the doctor showed up promptly.
Wow progress. A doctor who's available to see me. Amazing. The American health care system is working efficiently. The wonder of it all.
He said he was off soon and another doctor will take over my case. Sigh.
The other doctor came in at around 8a and said he would review my file. After hearing my stomach growl he agreed that food would be a good idea. Hurray I get to eat hospital food. Uhh, I'm cheering for hospital food? Damn I must be hungry.
In all seriousness the food wasn't that bad. In some cases it was actually pretty good. Now when I say good I mean compared to my own cooking, which is comparable to the diet of your average prisoner of war. The taste of the mass processed grub was probably enhanced due to the fact I hadn't eaten in over 12 hours. Still the nourishment felt great and my stomach thanked me, loudly.
They plugged me into IVs and monitored my vitals constantly. I tried to sleep only to be woken up all the time for vitals, blood sampling, more questions, etc. My folks kept calling as to be expected. My mother was an absolute wreck. She even came down and annoyed the staff. Good ol loving ma.
They told me I was going to have a procedure that would test my nerves, if not my sanity.
WARNING: IF YOU HAVE A SENSITIVE CONSTITUTION STOP READING NOW.
I MEAN IT.
YOU'RE ABOUT TO LEARN INFORMATION YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ME.
Okay I warned you.
They were going to stick a camera in my groin and go through my artery and take some photos. Okay I thought. Whatever helps in the name of my health. They said there were so many people having this done that I couldn't have this completed till the next day. After starving me since breakfast and giving me this news at about 5p I was ready to chow. Another fine hospital meal.
The nurse comes in and says he'll have to shave me.
WTF? Shave me? I'm to be emasculated? I'm going with a porn star shave? For the love of each and every Greko-Roman God I'm to be well shorn in the groin? Does good health really matter this much to me?
Yes, sadly it does. I'm now clean shaven and it's freaking me out. I warned you to stop reading.
So they lay me down on some high tech machine and probe. I said 'probe'. Before hand they took my blood pressure and noticed it was a bit high. They asked me if I was nervous. Hmm I'm lying on a table with my clean shaven nethers exposed about to have a tiny camera stuck in my groin. Not exactly a natural task. It actually wasn't that bad as they numbed me up pretty good.
After the prodding the doctor said my condition wasn't that bad at all. I had a blood clot that disrupted my left kidney and killed about a 1/5 of it. It was rare to be sure as he's only seen three cases of it, all of which turned out to be fine. This just happened to them and nothing became of it. Plus the kidney's will still function at 100%.
Great so I get to go home?
Since they can't find out about my medical history they elected to keep me around and run more blood tests, keep me on blood thinners, and watch me to see if everything checks out. I try to sleep again, but again they keep drawing blood, slow dripping IVs, vital checks, etc.
Late that nigh I awoke to the nurse asking to check my vitals. He starts to monitor my blood pressure and then says this is one of his favorite shows. I look at the TV to find Cheaters. Some gal named Shawanda took a garden hose to her boyfriend who's been sleeping with her cousin. Stay classy reality TV.
My Saturday night went sleepless.
I awake for them to take more blood. I have so many track marks I make Sid Vicous look like a pansy. Still I wait for more blood test results, and around noon they give me my prescriptions and discharge me. Finally.
I thought lying around watching TV would be a perk of hospital life, but really cabin fever sunk in quick. I just wanted to get the hell out of there and have a nice piece of chicken. Still my first overnight hospital visit went well. The outpouring of love from friends and family was overwhelming and luckily nothing serious happened. Then again the shaving has permanently scarred my psyche.
"How many desolate creatures on the earth have learnt the simple dues of fellowship and social comfort, in a hospital." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning