Monday, December 31, 2012

My Trip to the Emergency Room

What a fun thing to do the first full day back from vacation. I'd not been feeling all that well that past week or so. I was having some heart burn or so I thought. Also the area around my belly button was sore. I might sure if that is the exact way to describe it. It just felt uncomfortable.

I'd been going to the gym and doing a couple of classes on Saturdays and doing training. I thought, for a little while, that I'd just done too many ab exercises. Another factor, I thought, contributing to this was I was eating well and not in the sense of watching what I was eating but eating well as in all sorts of things not very good for you because of the holiday. Mu conclusion was that my Hiatal hernia was acting up.

The pain is not all that bad but it is still there.

I went out for my visit to Springfield and I continued not to feel well. Christmas was probably the worst day. I decided I needed to see my doctor when I got back to DC. On my layover in Chicago, I called and got an appointment for Thursday.

Thursday I went into work and got everything done and out of the way and headed off to my appointment. I arrived early and actually got to see my doctor early. (It is one of the things I really like about going here being able to get an appointment quickly and getting in to see the doctor in a reasonable amount of time. I also realize I've been going to this practice for over 20 years.) I went over what was wrong with me and my doctor took a look. He said he thought it might be an appendicitis. The only way to find out for sure was for me to go and have a scan done at an emergency room. If the appendix was bad enough, it would have to taken out that day.

Surprise. Surprise!

I decided to have the scan done at Providence Hospital which is near my house. That would be easier if I did have the operation for people to be able to get me stuff from my house. I set out for my home. I decided on the metro ride home that I wouldn't drive my car to the ER just in case I had the operation. I didn't want to have to deal with having someone move the car out of the ER parking lot. Afterwards it occurred to me I probably could have parked on the street with no problems. Along the way I made calls to people to let them know what was happening and might happen.

I get to the hospital and checked in. I was surprised how quickly I got in to actual ER. I was put on a gurney right next to the nurse's station essentially in the middle of the hall way. It took a little while for someone to take a look at me.

The upshot was that I would be getting a CT scan. I was giving some wonderful tasting stuff and some water. I didn't exactly pick up on the fact that this was to clean me out for the scan. But it became clear about 30 minutes later that that was in fact the case. And I'll just leave it at that. I was hooked up to an IV. They said I was a little dehydrated.

There were problems with the scanner and so I got to sit and enjoy all the fun of the emergency. There was the woman suffering from dementia who would essentially start howling. Several people who were obviously suffering from the flu (I was asked if I had my flu shot which I said yes to).

Finally I got wheeled up for the scan. I got a scan with contrast so they pump a dye into you. You can tell it's going through you because it's warm. I got to hold my hands above my head. Then an automated voice says take a deep breath and hold it. The scanner ramps up and away you go. I'm told when I can exhale. I do that a couple of times and the scan's all done. Probably took all of 20 minutes.

I get wheeled back to the emergency room (I have to say getting wheeled around in the gurney was rather fun because we went at a pretty fast pace) to wait for the results of the scan.

It turns out the results were negative. Everything looked fine. No surgery which I was pleased about. The only problem with no surgery is what is my problem. I got a prescription for Pepcid. I was told I could have a pain killer but the pain is never that bad. I was told to take extra strength Tylenol if I was in any pain. My ER doctor said the next step is to go to a gastroenterologist.

Then I was sent home. Thankfully a friend had volunteered to come by the hospital and he drove me home.

I'm feeling a little better but still have some discomfort now and then. I talked with my doctor on Friday and we decided to touch base on Wednesday.

And that's how I spent my first full day back from my Christmas vacation. What fun!

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