I spent yesterday morning in the emergency room. That was not fun. Also? Ultimately pointless.
A little after midnight, I woke up with this burning/stabbing pain in my stomach. It sort of felt like indigestion, but some kind of next-level version of it which had fangs and Freddy Kruger hands. I got up, chewed a couple of Rolaids, then tried to go back to sleep.
That didn’t really work out.
I maybe got a minute or two of sleep here and there, but I woke up every time I moved, and the pain just kept getting worse. I finally got up for real around four, and at that point the pain was so bad I started thinking: “Wow. I maybe kinda need to see a doctor about this.”
By six thirty, that thought had become: “I think I need to see a doctor Right The Fuck Now.”
I got there around seven, just about doubled-over in agony, and they brought me into an exam room within five minutes of my walking through the door.
They had me strip down to my undies and put on one of those oh-so-stylish hospital gowns, which are apparently called “Johnnies.” I would have asked them why they were called that, but I was too busy trying and failing to tie up the way-too-short strings in the back.
I eventually gave up and resigned myself to the fact that my ass would just be exposed for the duration.
The next several hours were spent alternately having tests performed, and waiting for test results. These tests included…
- An ultrasound, which felt exactly like a large man repeatedly ramming the business end of a baseball bat into my gut.
- Four vials of blood being drawn, which felt exactly like being stabbed in the arm with a needle.
- An EKG, which seems like would be painless, until you realize that this involves about a dozen sticky things being stuck to me, and that I’m a very, very hairy man. Upshot? I got a free Brazillian. Of course, it’s in the form of a dozen, nickle-sized patches all over my body, but hey. Gift horse, right?
- At one point they decided to give me a bag of fluids intravenously. I’m guessing the thinking here was that they’d let a full twenty minutes go by without injuring me, and decided a needle in the back of my right hand would solve that problem right quick. This wasn’t really a test, but it clearly fits in this list of violations just the same.
They also had me pee in a cup, which would have been totally painless, except the person I was to deliver it to decided to run and hide on me after I went into the bathroom. So, when I was done, I had the pleasure of standing in a public hallway for five minutes, ass out for the world to see, while I held a container of my own warm, yellow fluids.
Finally, I saw a nurse-looking lady and just blurted out: “Excuse me, do you want this urine?”
She looked at me, and when I saw confusion on her face I quickly added: “It’s mine. I mean, I didn’t just find it in there. I made it.”
There was another awkward moment, but then she seemed to come to terms with the large, hairy, mostly-naked man brandishing a cup of piss at her, and took the specimen from me, with a promise to get it to where it needed to go.
Yup. I still got it.
Anyway, what did I learn from this experience?
Not a damn thing. Every single test came back normal, and between all the poking, prodding, and waiting my pain dropped down to a tolerable level I’d call “mere discomfort.” I was discharged about eleven thirty, with instructions to call my doctor in the next couple of days, and not a clue as to what had caused what was without a doubt the worst stomach pain of my life.
This whole thing did come with a silver lining, though.
The sleep deprivation and stress of yesterday morning meant that last night I slept like the dead. I was out within five minutes of laying down, and didn’t get up until my alarm went off at five. And I woke up with so much raw energy that I feel like a young gorilla hopped up on amphetamines.
I’ve still got a bit of discomfort which comes and goes, but I think I’ll get through whatever this is on my own, rather than go through another round of Pin the Thing on Jeff’s Sensitive Bits.