I did say I was going to make this a blog, correct? Well, here’s my TMI blog post. Is that redundant? Here’s my blog post:
I spent 9 hours at Cedars-Sinai a couple Fridays ago. As I approached my fourth hour in the waiting room, I received a text from PA-Dad telling me how to handle myself in the ER:
I was dressed in business casual attire for the two meetings I had intended on going to that day, so I didn’t think I would be pegged for a junkie. Also, thanks to my bum back, I was walking around like a geriatric patient in serious need of narcotics. However, I wasn’t at the hospital for my back. I was there, because of a good ol’ fashioned appendicitis scare.
I was getting an X-Ray taken down the street, when I nearly passed out for no known reason. I called my dad and reported the only other new symptoms I was experiencing: pain down my right leg and in the area around my right ovary. Pain in the right leg = sciatica. Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen = appendicitis?
“It’s not going to hurt to get a CT Scan and rule out acute appendicitis”
7 hours later, I found myself in the Radiology Department of Cedars talking to a technician about the three contrasts needed for the CT scan. I drank an epic liquid cocktail and was about to be given an IV contrast that would cause me to experience a warm feeling throughout my body. She described it quite accurately,”It’s feels like you’re wetting yourself.”
The last contrast, was a rectal contrast (note that my dad did not prepare me for this). She was very thorough in explaining the process. She showed me the catheter and demonstrated inflating the balloon that would puff up inside me. She even proved to me she was going to use lube by showing me the humongous glob she had scooped into her hand. It was at this point that I realized I should probably slide my underwear down, so she could have easy access. She noticed my pathetic attempt and exclaimed, “You’re still wearing underwear?! Oh yeah, just take it all the way off. It’s going to get messy.”
My bum back made it difficult to slide my underwear off with ease, so she jumped in to help. Side note: ER patients get a pulse oximeter taped to one hand with a loose cord dangling about, when it’s not hooked up to any machinery. Somewhere in the process of taking off my underwear, my oximeter cord got tangled in the lace. The technician and I then engaged in the crucial task of freeing my underwear and choking down our laughter.
We succeeded, had a serious moment of catching our breath, she grabbed the catheter, lubed me up, and before anything could happen, we erupted into laughter again. She burst out, “This is business!”
“I know. I know.”
“I can’t do this,” she said, “You need to stop. This is serious…”
“Business. I know.”
And then, it happened. She turned me over and moved to my feet to place the bag of contrast and prep me for the scan. It was then that she reassured me, “You know what the good thing is, though?”
“What,” I asked hopefully.
“You have beautiful eyelashes. Seriously! I can see them all the way from here. I’m really far away from your face.”
Well, I may or may not have an appendix at the end of the night, but I’ll always have my long eyelashes.
At the end of it all, she came up to me beaming, “Shea, it was a pleasure. I had such a great time with you. I know you didn’t have a good time! But, yeah… You were so nice! Most people who come in here, well.. I can’t blame them for being grumpy, considering what I have to do to them. It was nice to laugh with you, is what I mean to say.”
Amen. It’s necessary to laugh at such things.
In the end, I found out I don’t have appendicitis! There was no explanation for the pain, but I don’t have cancer, appendicitis or anything else serious and possibly fatal. Perhaps my lower abs were just cramping up to fit in with my back muscles or I’m becoming a hypochondriac. Either way, I’m alive.
PS: I’m quite grateful for my friends. Byron and Andres dropped me off and swung by with almonds and St.Patrick’s Day stickers. Anais came to pick me up and thanks to the morphine, I was pain-free enough to drop by Byron & Katie’s birthday extravaganza in Silverlake. Not bad at all.