In which I become a pincushion


So today I was obliged to visit the Urgent Care, because indeed Care was called for, and Urgently, in light of the rip-roaring fever and piercing abdominal pain of the long night before.   It was improved by the morning but is it an improvement to feel that you have a red-hot brick in your gut rather than a piercing pain?

Oh my, says the doc upon mashing my entrails about carefully, you will need an abdominal CT scan.  Let’s see, you need some blood work first and oh, I guess if your white count is way up there I’ll just call the surgeon directly…

Uh… surgeon?

I dutifully visit the lab and then present myself to people who arrange these CT thingies, and they schedule me for a bit later in the day and provide me with a large plastic bottle of contrast medium that must enter my entrails one way or another.  Typically this is done the usual way, i.e. from the top down, and for this I am grateful since the other way around is a bit, well, unsettling.

Grateful right up until I tasted the medium.

So, if you could somehow make vinyl shower curtains into a vaguely lemonade-flavored beverage, that would be the general drift of what I was obliged to consume.   Now with aftertaste!

Nothing to eat after noon, drink half of this at 1pm and the other half at 3pm.  See you at 4 o’clock!

I am an obedient patient and I do as I am told, but someone clearly now owes me jewelry or real estate or something.  This kind of thing doesn’t come free.

Comes the appointed hour and I cozy up to the machine as directed.  And now we must insert an IV so that this other contrast medium might light up your venous system as well.  How are your veins?

Well, up to now they’ve been pretty cooperative, but evidently this is not your day, nor mine.  Five pokes later, I have an IV and the medium is coursing warmly through my veins, making me feel as though I am wetting my pants as I was warned it would.  Creepy.

Ten minutes later I am allowed to dress again, my long sleeves covering my poor ventilated arms.  I am sent to wait in the lobby with The Lovely Rhonda and at last, the good news:  Yes, you have mild-to-moderate diverticulitis, but no abscesses and therefore no surgery.  Antibiotics are available at the pharmacy, have a nice day.

And the bony hand of Disease points lugubriously: It was the poppyseed dressing.



One response »

  1. Oh man, I had nearly the exact same experience (sesame seeds, they thunk), exact same diagnosis. On the night of my 40th birthday! Not exactly what I wished for when I blew out the candles! Only good thing to come of the evening was the discovery that, in the future, if ever I’m in that much pain, I ask for demerol. No messing around.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better!

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