Fun With Searing Abdominal Pain
So the last 48 hours have been an adventure. Since Monday I’ve been dealing with some intense stomach pain. This on the tail of that weird lymph node swelling that sent me to the dentist, and then to an oral surgeon, only to be told all is normal.
By Wednesday I had myself falsely convinced it had passed and dragged myself to work in full denial. By 11:00 I was in so much pain that I was sweating and forgetting words. I finally told my manager that I needed to go to the doctor and left. Unfortunately that meant I was at the peak of pain when I decided to walk the half mile to the train station. Not fun.
I eventually found myself at an urgent care clinic where a professor of emergency medicine from Emory University gave me the best doctor-patient experience I’ve ever had in my life. He listened to my symptoms and gave me his full attention, explaining all of the possibilities and his recommendations. He thought it sounded like my gallbladder was going tits up.
The thing that sucks about a gallbladder diagnosis is that it typically means one thing: surgery. That little fucker starts acting up and doctors can’t wait to yank it out. This did not make Smapte happy.
Fortunately there are a battery of necessary tests to confirm gallbladder fuckeduppedness, the first being an ultrasound. That’s good! Unfortunately they didn’t have an ultrasound machine on site. That’s bad. Fortunately there was an imaging lab just down the road. That’s good! Unfortunately they couldn’t get me in until the following morning. That’s bad.
We talked about the option of sending me to the ER, but since I would probably end up waiting around for hours before being seen we agreed it made sense to go home and rest until my morning appointment rolled around.
All afternoon and evening I googled gallbladder info, terrified of the prospect of surgery. I took some pain killers and drank Gatorade until the pain subsided enough to allow me some sleep. The next morning J and I woke up and he had the same symptoms as me. Hmm… Either gallstones are contagious or something else is afoot.
The ultrasound was a familiar experience from pregnancy. What with a couple o’ twins in mah belly I was considered “high risk” and had a scan done every other week during my third trimester. What worried me this time was the amount of time the tech spent on my kidneys. I delivered prematurely thanks to preeclampsia so every time my liver or kidneys come up for discussion i freak out a bit. I was just waiting for the bad news. But when she was done she handed me a towel and said, “We’ll send the results to your doctor by tomorrow morning.”
I left feeling completely betrayed. I was in pain and potentially facing surgery and they wouldn’t even tell me if my innards were indeed messed up. I went home and took more pain meds and crawled back into bed. The doctor had told me he would be in at 10 so right on the dot I called him.
He greeted me happily and asked, “so what did they tell you?” I said, “Nothing, they said they would send you the results tomorrow.” He said, “Nope, let me call you back.” Not even five minutes later my phone rang. He told me I was fine. Or rather, all of my organs were fine. Gallbladder, liver, pancreas, kidneys were all fine.
With that news he said he felt certain I was experiencing a virus. A really terrible, really awful one. He instructed me to lie in bed and stick to clear liquids until it passed. Yes, sir.
So here I am on Friday night, feeling a little better. I’ve eaten jello, I’ve had some fruit, and I even managed to keep some egg noodles down. I’m still in a bit of pain but here’s hoping I’m past the worst of it.
Oh yeah, I took my kids to their annual wellness checkup today. I took a picture of a velvet unicorn painting in the waiting room. Pour vous.