Friday, October 8, 2010

As If I Didn't Have Enough To Contend With... sweetheart and I spent last Friday evening in the romantic confines of our local hospital, where I was sent after a week's worth of, well, intestinal issues.

My doctor sent me there--to a place where he doesn't have "privileges", even though he could throw a rock and hit the building. 

I wish he'da thrown the rock.

After describing my situation to the desk jockey Emergency Room Intake Specialist ($), I sat in the waiting area for (and this is no lie) one hour and twenty-two minutes. 

Good thing it wasn't serious.

Once my name was called by Nurse Ratchett the Triage Nurse ($$), my entry into the bowels of the ER ($$$) truly began.

She had me rehearse my symptoms, which I had previously told the nurse at my doctor's office, my doctor, and the Intake Specialist at the hospital.  I assume this was to ensure my story stayed consistent.  After this interview, I was informed that there were no ER rooms available and that I'd have to lie in the hallway.  If that was okay with me.

At that point I really didn't care.  Either give me a shot or shoot me.  As that great theologian Jerry Clower once said, "Shoot up in here amongst us;  one of us has got to have some relief."

I donated a blood sample, a urine sample, and drank some type of radioactive Gatorade so the radiologist ($$$$) could do a CT scan.  In two hours.

It occurred to me that, while you're lying in plain sight of God and everyone strolling about the ER, no one will look at you, much less look you in the eye.  I guess they're afraid you'll ask them for something.  Like some help.

At the 2:18 mark (post-nuclear syrup time), I walked to Radiology ($$$$) for the CT scan.  I was given some type of other dye (I'm out of dollar signs) which the Radiologist informed me could possibly (A)  Make me feel like I was tasting blood in the back of my throat, (2) feel like I was peeing on myself, and (D) cause me to throw up.

I chose all three.

After the CT scan I spent another hour lying in the ER hallway, awaiting the results.

The ER doc told me I had gastroenteritis, which is a long, expensive word which means "we don't know what's wrong with you, but this sounds severe enough to placate you for spending half a day with us".

Oh, and I have an abdominal hernia.  The doc said it was probably a side-effect of my cancer surgery.  A year and a half ago.

So now I have an appointment with a General Surgeon next Friday for the hernia, the Urologist in Alabama the following Thursday for the cancer test, a rotten stomach, and part of my intestine trying to break free of my midsection.

After which, in the words of that great philosopher Travis Tritt,  they'll be "billing me for killing me".

Lord have mercy on the working man.