Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Rolling with the Gut Punches

It was going to be a day of cleaning house in anticipation of guests in the next few days. But as M and I were preparing to take the excited dog out for a spin around the field before the chores, he started feeling terrible (husband, not canine). Terrible groin pain. Inability to pee. Kidney stone?

We called our health care provider who provided us with a list of nephrologists, but the first one he called for an appointment recommended he go right to an emergency room, so we hied ourselves there immediately. (Seeing M in such pain, my guilt over TomCat was freshly redoubled.) I wasn't ready for this today. I needed a shower. But at least I had had one latte.

Many nurses, one doctor, two attempts at drawing blood, three fruitless trips to the toilet, one cat scan, one urine dip, four wish-I-didn't-hear-that-about-the-patient-next-door conversations, three prescriptions, some regret over not bringing the camera along, and five hours later, it was determined that diverticulitis was probably the culprit. We won't know for sure until he visits a G-I specialist in two weeks, however--apparently antibiotics and Vicodin will have to hold him until they have an opening.

Luckily, though he had just been unceremoniously dismissed from the thrilling world of automobile sales two days earlier, after we married, I added him to my health care coverage. So I was able to sit serenely with my husband and reassure him rather than feel the furrow on my brow creating a permanent indentation on my brain as I added up the costs.

I realized I had been in this very hospital almost exactly one year earlier, watching the Code Blue team revive my mom after she fainted after using the bathroom after hip surgery that didn't include quite enough blood to keep adequate oxygen flowing to her brain. That was not a good memory.

I also realized, knock wood, that my body is pretty whole. I've never had surgery other than the odd nip of a skin tag, which doesn't count as surgery, I know. No a broken bones, anesthesia, children, and I've been to hospitals only to visit others. Well, I vaguely remember tipping a hot pan of oil on myself when I was very young, but I can't recall any doctor memories from that incident. Like my narrow avoidance of serious vehicular impact last month, I felt relieved that I wasn't the one begowned on a gurney. I also wondered again just when the hell it's going to be my turn, and how bad it's going to be.


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