Ok, as I mentioned, I've been having stomach pains pretty regularly. Really intense lower abdominal pains. Crippling pains. Night after night, I'd be gripped with pain and couldn't sleep or think. Every morning, I'd feel just fine. The most recent episode was this past Friday night, which I still felt most of Saturday, driving through protests in Princeton. Bleh.
runstaverun, chiquib, and others kept on screaming at me to go to a doctor or hospital. As you might have heard from somewhere, I sucked up my pride and fucking went to the hospital.
So as I was packing up for game night and cocktail party, the pain that started the night before and kept me up just wasn't going away. So, after all these times of people yelling at me to get it looked at, I went to the Saint Clare's Hospital in Dover. The same ER where we took hiphopatcong when he cut his hand doing dishes, where the nurse was totally flirting with him and my ex freaked out while he was getting stitches. So they set me up in a gown, and had me wait in pain for some time.
When I'm nervous, my blood pressure skyrockets. When I go to give blood, I tell them to take my blood pressure first, because if they take it after I get the test where my finger is pricked, I end up having pressure too high to donate with. So when I first got there, I had this outrageous blood pressure that was freaking them out. No fever, no nausea, only really pain. They poked me, prodded me, and couldn't figure out what was wrong. They had me hooked up to an IV from pretty much the get go, and had me chug a large container of something to take a CAT scan. Mind you, I haven't been in a hospital for my own pain/problems since I was seven and got a Japanese beetle stuck in my ear. Before that, I hadn't been there since I was born. So this was all new to me. Nothing like taking a CAT scan, being jerked about on a large table through a giant tube, and being told to stay still while in crippling pain. Chugging the formula, then having to pee like a racehorse while in pain. Getting x-ray after x-ray, having to pose in different ways when all I wanted to do was curl up and die. Wheefun. Tons of fun having to take multiple x-rays lying down, the table jerking my painful body around. I got to give a urine sample, and a couple of blood samples.
Eventually, the Dover people gave up, and they transferred me to a surgeon in their Denville location. Meanwhile, my blood pressure had dropped over thirty points to a much more reasonable level. So I was strapped to a tight gurney, and shoved in an ambulance. While the driver took it nice and easy, the ride was an incredibly bumpy one. Yet more getting my body shaken about, moaning and wincing all the way to Denville.
In Denville they set me up in a real hospital room, with a television and an old man from Lake Hopatcong. He would attempt to talk to me over and over, interrupting my attempts at watching TV or getting sleep. He was a friendly guy, but obviously starved for contact. Speaking of starving, he went five day without eating anything solid, and I hadn't had anything more than a couple of rice cakes between Wednesday night and Friday evening. Bleh.
So they tried a number of things while I was there. More blood tests, more blood pressure/heart rate/temperature tests. I just about got used to ``taking the position'' when someone showed up. Left arm up and out for blood pressure/heart rate, mouth open and tongue aside for temperature. I finally met the doctor I had been transferred to see later on Thursday night, who had no idea as to what was wrong with me. More poking and prodding, and he wanted to have me see a gastro specialist that night or in the morning. I begged for something for the pain, as the last thing I had was an ineffective Tylenol the night before. He agreed to arrange something for me if he couldn't get the gastro guy that night.
So I watched On The Spot and tons of CNN. I wasn't supposed to be using my cell phone there, and I couldn't figure out how to get the room phone working, so I ended up texting blackbytes, aaronkliger, hiphopatcong, towelboy, and others. I got tons of text messages back, and tons of calls I was afraid to answer and break the rules with. They gave me a wonderful shot at 11:45, and I passed out. I could never sleep during one of these attacks, but after this shot I just zonked out. They warned me before hand that they could only give me the shot every four hours, and not after four in the morning (under my doc's orders). So after the 11:45 one, I was roused from my deep sleep to get the second at 3:45.
In the morning I still felt pain, but not nearly as bad. Eventually, by the afternoon, I got to see the gastro guy. He rammed his fingers up my ass, and theorized that it might be collitis or Crohn's disease. He wanted me to be let loose, as I didn't have any more pain at that point, and to schedule having a camera up my ass as soon as I got a chance.
My latest nurse, who reminded me of my Uncle Paul (stepmother's sister's husband, some cool modern artist surfer who lives down the Jersey shore), wanted me to try some food then go if all went well. It being the nice Catholic Saint Clare's system, I got some decent lasagna. At that point, carrisse was there. She was freaked out by the IV of gatoraide and the numerous bandages on my arms. She kept me company until my food showed up, and left soon after that. I was glad to be able to piss once more into my pee cannister after she left. Yeah, with the IV I had to take care of functions at my bed. About an hour after I was done eating, the nurse said he'd look into letting me out. A half hour later, I was released. I started calling around, trying to find a ride, and got chiquib to come. I got dressed, and runstaverun and kikibird showed up! Yay! We talked for a while, and called the nurse to let me out. They mentioned that aaronkliger was coming, but I wanted to get out of the place so I could use my cell phone without feeling like I was breaking the rule. But they insisted that I had to take a wheelchair out. So they had a little asian woman pushing big aryan me in a long black trenchcoat in a wheelchair with only one foot rest. Quite a hilarious sight. But much better then me in a gown covered with bandages, doubled over in pain. I felt bad that my friends showed up when I was all better and dressed in my civvies instead of seeing me in pain and hooked up to the gatoraide drip.
Once we were outside, we met chiquib. I called aaronkliger, who was already in my room. He came out, and we stood there for a while chatting. We went out somewhere to eat, and had a good dinner and conversation. aaronkliger drove me home, we saw my roomies, I got a shower, and he drove me to my car. Now we're here relaxing at kikibird and runstaverun's pad. My belly ain't hurting.
So, I'm alive. I'm not in pain. But I don't know what the fuck it is. None of them do. CAT scan, four blood tests, two urine tests, five x-rays, and two fingers up my ass... and no ideas what is up. So I'm kind of concerned. Hopefully they'll get to the bottom of it.
Thank you, all of you, for your wonderful phone calls and text messages. I'm sorry to the four messages I got through LJ's text messaging service... it shows up as coming from firstname.lastname@example.org, so I don't know who said what, though I have an idea. If you can, text me through normal messaging or leave a username/email addy/phone number so I can reply.
So, once more, thank to all of you for your sympathy and support. I love you all.