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Monday, April 30, 2007

My First Weekend at a Hospital

I spent this past weekend in the hospital. It was my first time ever at a Hospital. I mean I have visited but I have never been visited at one before.

Last Thursday I woke up feeling just like I do when I have a fever except that I did not have a fever. I also felt a little bloated. I had an important meeting that morning so I sucked it up and went to my meeting. Afterwards I headed back to the office, put in a couple of hours before I threw in the towel.

I got home around lunch time, decided to skip lunch because my stomach just didn't feel 100%. I crawled into bed and fell into the fever that finally arrived. It was slight but I rode it out until 7pm. I took a couple of Advil. I then ventured to have just a little bit of dinner. It was chicken and rice so it wouldn't be tough on my stomach anyway (just in case I did indeed have a stomach problem). I only took several bytes.

In the morning (4am) my stomach was worse. I mean it felt bloated, full and painful. I couldn't even stand up straight without bringing on some pain. I called a doctor. He looked at me and he did not like what he saw. He wanted me to go to a Hospital for testing, reassuring me that I should not be worried, that he wanted to rule out some things. He even said that I could go sometime later on during the day.

I did not want to wait. I got dressed and went right over to the La Trinidad. I checked in and the prodding started. The surgeon attending the emergency room was sleepy but I did not know if he was just arriving or he was towards the end of his shift. I mean he asked me to lower my pants while on the table because he was going to insert a thermometer and once I did that he forgot something and left me there for about 5 minutes....my day was not starting out too well. I had x-rays done, blood taken, and got plugged into an I.V.

Another surgeon showed up and he asked me a bunch of questions similar to what the other two doctors had asked. He was trying to determine if maybe I had no more need of my appendix. The pain was on the wrong side for that to be a possibility (for the third time).

Anyway, I seemed to have filled my small intestine with air. I was told that this is not normal. Basically I had trapped gas in my small intestines. Things sort of stopped. Kind of like when the "subte" (subway for my foreign readers) stops in between stations and no one announces what the problem is. This puzzled the doctors because I should have been belching and passing gas like a fiend except my intestines were just sitting this one out. I was getting the silent treatment. "What could I have done to offend you?" I thought.

A fourth doctor shows up in my room and sums up what has already been told to me previously in different chunks by different doctors. He tells me that all my tests show normal. According to the tests I had nothing wrong, except for the x-ray that showed my small intestine trying to look like his big intestine brother. He wanted me to stay in the Hospital so that I could stay on the I.V. and therefore avoid drinking water and avoid being dehydrated. He was guessing that if I just give the little guy a complete rest that either of two things would happen. I would either get diarrhea, fever, and possibly throw up or things would go back to normal with little fanfare.

Instead of getting the "Collect $200 as you pass GO" card I got the "Pass gas to go home" card. I certainly did not want the alternative third card. So it's Monday afternoon. In the end, the doctors did not know what caused my little predicament and the little guy started working slowly but surely. The doctors and the nurses were all great. The room was nice and had a flat panel TV with cable so I got to see a whole bunch of soccer this weekend.
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