Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Friday, May 19, 2006

It wasn't gas

appendagitis (ap·pen·da·gi·tis) (ə-pen”də-ji´tis)  inflammation of an appendage, particularly of the epiploic appendages. epiploic a.  inflammation of one or more of the epiploic appendages of the colon, characterized by pain and tenderness over the affected area.
In English, it’s the inflammation of a fatty pocket that is attached to the colon. In practice, it’s 7 hours in the emergency room, a CT scan of my most impressive body part (unfortunately, my gut), injection of iodine dye into my left arm after failing miserably to find a vein in my right hand (proving that I would make a terrible smack junkie, crossing off one of the careers that a degree in acting left me perfectly trained for), ingestion of a half-gallon of some type of lemonade-flavored contrast solution, two courses of antibiotics, and a bottle of hydrocodone that I’m thoroughly enjoying.

I thought it was gas. I was on the road Wednesday, and had a late lunch, which always leaves me a little pooty. I think I even remarked in the girly chat thing that my Applebee’s had left my gassy. I was a little confused when my gut still hurt Thursday morning, but figured maybe I had a fart stuck somewhere and once I got to moving along, I’d pass a good three-octave window-rattler and I’d be fine.

When I stood up after lunch and almost fell down from the pain I figured it might be something a little more serious. Given the location of the pain (left side, right along the beltline), I thought maybe a hernia. That didn’t make much sense, since the heaviest thing I lift on a regular basis is my ass, but stranger things have happened I suppose. So I call my doctor.

“I’m sorry, we don’t have any doctors in the office this afternoon.”

Huh? It’s 1:15 on a Thursday, and the Wachovia Championship was two weeks ago, so I can’t imagine what important golf outing has them tied up. Not to mention the fact that my doctor is spherical in shape, which always makes me laugh when she tells me I’m overweight. She doesn’t see the humor. Odd.

“So what am I supposed to do?”

“You can go to urgent care or to the emergency room.”

I wasn’t really looking forward to the concept of the emergency room, as I didn’t want to hang with the dregs and the near-dead, so I trundled my sore ass (gut, actually) off to the urgent care facility in the yuppie part of town. They were very helpful, telling me that to diagnose severe abdominal pain it would require either an ultrasound or a CT scan, neither of which they could perform. So I should go to the emergency room. Well, fuck.

So I do, and am immediately triaged and put into the queue, leading to a three-hour wait while I watch some Mexican construction worker with a scratch on his forehead some in after me and get seen before me, a 923-year-old woman almost wet herself waiting for her ride back to the nursing home before she can convince someone to take her to the pisser, Gilbert Grape’s mother trundle in riding an overworked wheelchair with a trashcan in her lap for more convenient puking telling everyone that she’s suicidal and thinks she’s OD’d on her Xanax. This doesn’t make sense to me, since if you OD on your antidepressant shouldn’t you just be annoyingly perky? But who am I to question the collected wisdom of what is obviously 8 generations of trailer park education?

Then there was Tracy. I call her this because she looked a little like Tracy Chapman after a 9-year dessert bender, and to refer to her with anything resembling Buckwheat references would probably be deemed racist, regardless of the fact that she really did look like what happens when Buckwheat’s kid sister grows up, and in a greater case, grows outward. Tracy walked up to the check-in station, picked up a pen to sign in at the desk, and immediately passed out sideways in a building-jarring thump (and kind of a wet slapping sound, like a 200-lb uncooked pork tenderloin hitting the tile) leaving one Wal-Mart sandal looking forlorn in front of the check-in station.

I leaned over to Suzy and said “I think I just got bumped one spot down in the treatment line.”

After three hours of watching the very old, the very underinsured and the egregiously stupid traipse through the ER, it was my turn.  Went back, put on my little gown (which they do apparently make in size Xfatass), and laid down on the less-than-comfortable stretcher. I had the foresight to bring a book, having spent far more of 2006 in a hospital than I care for, and Suzy was there for chat and to serve as my remote control.
I caught part of Sportscenter, and then Dr. Fratboy was in to see me. Dr. Rollin Fuller, MD was a very nice guy who with a first name like Rollin either got the shit beat out of him a lot in 8th grade, or tried out with for the lacrosse team to meet chicks. Yeah, I
know, inappropriate, but I was channeling Bobby for a sec.

So Dr. Fuller thought it might be diverticulitis, based on the position of the pain, and scheduled a CT scan. So then cute Nurse Lisa came in to try (and fail miserably, thus ending my dreams of ever being as slim as Kate Moss) to find an easy vein in my right arm, then the left. We got the IV going, I got a shot of happy juice, and then it was more Sportscenter until my ride down to Radiology. We got in line behind a hi-tech bed with three drivers, a hanging bag of clear shit, green shit and brown shit, all dripping into Methuselah’s grandma. I told Ashando, my chauffer that she could go first, looked like she was a little more fucked up than me.

Watched NFL Live in the hallway waiting for the scan, thus making it official that I’ve watched more broadcast TV in hospitals in 2006 than I have in my own home. Then I got in the tube, got zapped, went back to the holding cell, and watched Law & Order:SVU. About 15 minutes into Criminal Intent Dr. Frat boy came back and told me what the deal was, gave me a note to be out of work for two days, and sent me packing. I gave the nice cashier lady my Visa for the copay, and hobbled my gutshot ass out to the Cruiser to go home. Hiding the “no fried, no meat, no spicy” Dr’s instructions from Suzy, I sent her ahead in her car to pick up Lone Star BBQ chicken for dinner, and we watched Battlestar Galactica until time for sleep.

And since this is a poker blog, not a busted gut blog, my Nevada Jacks chips that I got from PSO came in yesterday before I left work for the ER. I took the $99 upgrade from 300 chip standard set to a 500 chip customizable set, so we’ll try those out at tonight’s homegame. Hey, I might be high on Vicodin with an ice pick in my gut, but my priorities are still perfectly in order. And I missed the jackpot hand at Stars this afternoon by less than 50 hands. Bastards.


TeamScottSmith said...

Extremely funny shit for a "Trip to the emergency room" blog. Hope you are ok. At least your sense of humor is intact.

And glad to see you are watching Battlestar Galactica. Next thing you know, you'll be listening to Ron Moore's podcast.

jthebutcher said...

oh my god that was funny .... you'll love the nevada jacks i got my upgrade set about 3 months ago and everyone loves them.

iamhoff said...

Three-octave window-rattler. THAT'S one I'm going to use. Glad to hear that you got diagnosed ok and are under some sort of treatment. And good call on the Lone Star. Pizza money...coming my way!

April said...

Only you could turn a trip to the emergency room into an event I'm truly sorry to have missed.

I'm glad you're doing ok now. Take care of yourself dammit!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Don't patronize him folks. Just makes him more difficult to play poker with. Suze is the one that should get a medal for putting up with him. OK, buttforbrains, now that you used the excuse for lousey card play to medication,you couldn't win dodaley till you got down to you and 2, then I managed to give you back your co-pay.So O'fartsmeller, feller, why does it take me 7 hours to win $8.50 after $80 worth of buy-ins? Don't forget to save some of them pain bumpers for good times. --Unc P

Huge Junk said...

One thing I always tell people who pay for my advice on blogging, or rather, one thing I will always tell people if anyone ever pays me for advice on blogging, is why just say something like...

"the doctor came in and was a nice guy,"

when you can write...

"Dr. Rollin Fuller, MD was a very nice guy who with a first name like Rollin either got the shit beat out of him a lot in 8th grade, or tried out with for the lacrosse team to meet chicks."

Well done, young jedi.