When my feverish sweats would overwhelm my shivering chills, I stepped
outside to get some fresh night air under this sign at the Emergency Room entry.
My heating pad, however, stayed on the waiting room couch.
They say that into each life some rain must fall.
So it's fair to say that a little black storm cloud has been hovering over me this past week.
My saga began last Saturday evening with a tasty cheeseburger. Which is never a bad way to start a story.
But five minutes after eating that lovely morsel, I was beset with the mother of all stomachaches, and spent the next 48 hours writhing around in various postures of distress:
- Huddled on the couch with my heating pad.
- Curled up in bed with my heating pad.
- Lying on the floor, wrapped up in a blanket like a taco, with my heating pad.
- Pacing slowly around the house while thinking about going back to my heating pad.
Finally, after two full days of misguidedly reassuring myself that this was just a flu bug, I got real. This horror was not going away. In fact, my pain was getting worse. After googling "appendicitis symptoms" and flagging 7 out of 9, I announced to my husband that it was time to go to the ER.
With my heating pad.
The last time I went to an ER, I was three years old. For reasons that time has mysteriously erased, I decided to put a small shirt button up my nose. My mom immediately dumped my brothers at the neighbor's house and whisked me away to good ol' U Hospital in Ann Arbor.
These many years later, I remember the experience surprisingly well and recall that I thoroughly enjoyed the rare moment of attention and drama. So the next day, I tried it again. Should have used a smaller button, though, because my mom got that second one out herself and foiled my plans for another mother-daughter outing.This time, no shirt buttons were required to move hubby into action. He took one long look at my checklist of symptoms, double-checked my thermometer reading, then fired up the minivan and hauled me off for a ten-hour overnight at the local ER.
The good news:
I have a sick lil' gall bladder but the remedy is simple. Within a month, I expect to be rid of the nasty thing, and swiftly returned to full health. In the meantime, I have a stash of painkillers that would make a high school drug dealer swoon, and I'm not afraid to use them. I'll be fine.
The bad news, which really isn't so bad at all, is that I have been handed a valuable reminder that my health is a precious gift, and I am insanely lucky to be blessed with such an inconsequential ailment.
Also, I've learned that ten hours is a loooooong time to wait in the ER. So don't worry, Mom, I will not be looking to go back any time soon.