Well That Escalated Quickly: The Time I Spent 8 Hours in the Emergency Room

Eight hours is a long time. You work an eight-hour day. If you spend eight hours in the car, by the end you just have to pee and want to slap someone and maybe make a pit stop at Sonic for some tater tots and a Diet Cherry Limeade. So when I spent eight hours in the Emergency Room the other night, you can bet your bottom dollar that it was a marathon of a day/night. The trip and the recovery after explains my absence, and I do apologize. I have some body problems.

Here’s a short summary of what happened: I went to my doctor, who told me I had an infection in my stomach lining. I still felt like crap, so I went back. Here’s a photo I took while she made me wait and wait as she talked to some elderly people about something:

After I amused myself for a little bit, my doctor told me I would need to get a scan of my gall bladder the next day because it may be a gall bladder issue. She said I might need to have it removed. I was expecting her to hand me an antibiotic and send me on a merry way. How had this escalated so quickly? I was panicked. After this news, I was obviously planning to have emergency surgery (despite not even having a scan of the problem organ), so I went back to work to get my affairs in order. While I was at work, I became doubled over in horrible pain. I was getting worse. I called my doctor, she said I needed to go to the ER. Now, the ER is a place I’ve only seen on TV. And all the doctors look like Clooney or maybe Shane West. People get whisked in, fixed, and leave all within a neat little half hour episode. So I was a little surprised when I arrived. Paint was peeling off the walls, some woman was blasting Usher on her iPhone and had apparently never heard of headphones. A kid was puking into a barf bag in the middle of the room, with no regard for how puking makes everyone around you want to puke. A large woman with an even larger tramp stamp was displaying it to those unfortunate souls around her as she wore a belly shirt with reckless disregard for her body type and clothing choice. The TV was blasting. The floors were sticky. The lights were unflattering and harsh. I knew instantly that this was not a place I wanted to spend a lot of time, but that’s exactly what I did. Here’s how I felt as I waited:

Hated my life. Look, I went to performing arts camp for six years. I should have known how to act up my situation a little better. But I didn’t. The nurse who checked me in asked what was wrong, and I replied ” I think that something’s wrong with my gall bladder.” Clearly I should have said, “My gall bladder is about to EXPLODE ALL OVER YOUR SCRUBS AND YOUR DESK AND YOUR FACE AND THEN MY FAMILY WILL SUE” but it was a rookie mistake. Three hours later I was in getting scans and rounds of blood work. Gall bladder was fine. I was almost a little disappointed. I had mentally prepared myself for surgery. And now I had to go through more waiting and tests as they tried to figure out what was wrong with my broken body. Time for a chest x-ray. Chest was fine. More waiting. More listening to some kid puke. More denial of food as no one was sure if I would end up in surgery or needing more scans. But I did get to experience a very awkward man (reminded me of Milton from Office Space) help me put my bra back on after my chest x-ray because I was taped to an IV and didn’t have full range of motion. Almost worth it for that bit of comic relief. Long story short, after a total of eight hours spent in this place they realized I have an ulcer. An ulcer? At 24? Who am I? And why did I waste basically a day of my life sitting in this germy place to realize this?

Here’s me right after my diagnosis:

After I was sprung from medical jail, we went down and grabbed a little (easy to digest) food and life was good again. Now I’m on more medicine than most people’s grandparents. I still don’t feel grand, but I’m working my way back to joining the human race. Normal blogging shall resume. Body parts remain where they have always been. Life is good. Hope you’re having a good weekend.


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