Wednesday, February 06, 2008

WHO just spent 8 and a half hours in the ER?

I did! I did!

I drove myself there because I have been having some crampy lower GI pain, and when I called my gastroenterologist and described my symptoms, she suggested I go get it checked out. When I arrived at 11:24 a.m. (I had to write down the time on a form) there weren't that many people in the waiting room, so I thought I might be out in a couple of hours. After about 20 minutes my name was called, the nurse took my vital signs, and I returned to the waiting area. A few minutes after that, the insurance-taking person called me in, and we did that part. Then I went back to the waiting area. After a while longer, I was lead to an actual examination room... But it was dirty. So the nurse told another person to clean it out, and I waited in the hallway with other waiting people. After the cleaning person headed out, I just kind of wandered into the room alone, since the nurse was long gone.

A nurse came in (these are all different nurses, by the way, but somewhat interchangeable) and took my vitals (again), drew some blood, and asked me to change into a hospital gown. And then she left, and my real wait began. I had brought my GameBoy, thank god, so I played my game for about 3 hours, slowly getting more bored and hungry. A nurse checked on me and I asked desperately if I could slip on my pants and quickly scamper back to the reception area and vend a snickers or something. She said no, because if I was admitted for surgery, my stomach needed to me empty, and besides, I was third in the doctor's line-up and shouldn't be long now. Then two more hours passed. I had given up on the video game and was just falling asleep when the doctor arrived. She was very young, but she put me at ease and I liked her attitude. She and her assistant were doing a lot of sassing, which I enjoy. She took my history again, and did exam stuff, and ruled out my G.I. theory. Instead, she decided to investigate my lady business. They did a crazy origami/swiss-army-knife thing with the cot, and gave me a pelvic exam (ladies, you know what I'm talking about. Can I get a what-what?). The doctor ordered me up a sonogram and left. Her nurse helper stayed behind to re-create the cot, and I asked her if I would have to cut a bitch in order to get something to eat. But nicer than that. She offered me a chicken or tuna salad sandwich, saltines, graham crackers, and jello. Hard to resist those choices! I picked chicken salad, with a side of apple juice. I ate it like a starving animal and it was totally delicious.

Then I waited a while longer (maybe an hour?) for someone to come and push my cot over to the sonogram place. I told the pusher, "I've never been wheeled around in a hospital before!" Warily, she said, "Well, there's a first time for everything." She totally rained on my parade. The route to the sonogram office was twisty but deserted, seeing as it was now after 6 p.m. The sonogram tech started on me right away. It took like half an hour, and she did the kind with the thing on your stomach, and then the kind with the condom-covered wand stuck up your hoo-hah (ladies? Anyone?). This was my second ultrasound experience, and I secretly love seeing all of my squishy insides in black and white. The tech was very friendly and answered all of my questions. I knew from my previous time that I have a uterus shaped like an old-fashioned Mickey Mouse balloon, and she showed me that more clearly. And she measured my ovaries, and made sure there was no torsion or loss of blood flow. Turns out, both ovaries had big ol' cysts in them. And the one on the right, where I was feeling the crampy pain, had actually hemorrhaged a little. Aha! Success!

Then she wheeled me out to the hallway, where I waited half an hour for someone to come push me back to my ER room. After that, I had a short wait for the doctor to come in and tell me her findings. She told me to come back if the pain got much worse, and gave me a script for Percocet, so I've got that going for me, which is nice. And then I was "discharged."

I know that I only waited so long because the hospital was unusually busy. I could hear the nurses talking about it, wondering if there was a full moon. The hallway area right outside my door was even being used as an exam "room." The first person to come in was a loud drunk, and the first thing he said was, "Hey brother! I just got laid!" so I knew I was about to get some nice in-room entertainment. I think he had a security guard assigned to him, because after drunky (actually, his name was Christopher) would say something especially loud, stern-voiced guy would tell him to knock it off. He was swearing like crazy. "I've fuckin' raped girls, I've fuckin' killed people..." "I'm in the hospital, and I'm fucking hungry, why can't I get a fucking sandwich!" Then, "I swear on my mother's grave, my father's grave, and my brother's grave that I'll stop." "You're my man, you know? You did right by me, so I'll do right by you." The doctor showed up and said, "Tell me what happened today. I heard you passed out at CVS?" Ha. It seemed like he was going to let drunky sleep it off in the hallway, but drunky kept on yelling and carrying on, and the nurses and the guard kept shushing him and saying, "There are elderly people and children here, have some respect." And then, suddenly, a cop showed up -- I'm just going on what I heard here -- and said "Chris, dammit, you can't stay here!" and Chris responded meekly, was handcuffed, and led away.

The second person in the hallway position was a high school guy who had been throwing up but also had headaches and shortness of breath. He seemed fine by the time I was listening to him, and he had two buddies with him, a boy and a girl. They were super talkative and raunchy. One of the boys and the girl were a couple, and the three of them talked about having anal sex ("you just gotta relax!"), going to Taco Bell, and what their perfect girl would be like ("34 D's -- no, double D's; Russian or Brazilian; brown or black hair"). The doctor gave him some meds, told him that because he has asthma as a child he really shouldn't be smoking (idiot!), and sent him away.

The third person was the worst. I came back from the sonogram to hear a new arrival moaning and crying. Someone said, "They didn't give her anything in the ambulance?" so I knew this was bad news and a true emergency. Apparently she was only 20 (and with her mom), had had surgery a few days ago, she'd been throwing up non-stop since one p.m., she felt feverish, and her incisions were hurting a LOT. Ugh. She sounded so horrible. Constant moaning and crying. I was very, very happy to get discharged out of there.

Long story short: My ovaries like to make big cysts for some reason, but I'm fine. That's all.


Anonymous said...

Ovaries. They'll grow anything. For some reason, I've known a lot of female folk with ovarian cysts or other ovary entrepreneurialisms. I wouldn't be surprised if ovaries could grow clusters of feet, or maybe chickens. They must feel bored when they narrow it down to a mere egg.

Great post.

Love, Mater

Deb said...

have to say "gotcha"...I had one grow something with damn TEETH in it!
Of course when things get as big as an orange and have no intention of ever becoming a baby, it's time to get out the saw-z-all.

Once it was out they asked if I wanted a priest for it. Not being Catholic I said No but wondered what the heck a priest would have done over such a thing.

Did life gone awry call for some sort of ceremony or did they sell them as voodoo charms on some shady market someplace..

Down One and None the worse for wear...azincqt