Earlier this summer I was having intermittent but painful stomach cramping. Every two or three days, interminable cramping and constipation. I didn’t know what the heck was going on. I never had GI problems before. After a couple of weeks it gets to the point where I threw my guts up in the bathroom…something I hadn’t done in years. Well, I decided to go see the doctor. The friendly university clinic doc prescribed a laxative. Maybe a good idea. Except three days later the pain came back even worse.

To top it all off Yun-ju and I decided not to get air conditioning this summer. After all, last summer it only got up to 90 three days of the summer. It’s not like Louisiana, or South Carolina, if you know what I mean. So to save a few bucks we say no to buying and installing an air conditioning unit. One good result of this is that door-to-door salesmen pass by our apartment without knocking, thinking that we are too destitute to buy what they are selling. To this end we have also purchased a bottle of “That Smell”. You know “That Smell”, which lingers in the soggy trailers some of us may be familiar with, for some reason or another.

So, I’m writhing around in the heat and pain and decide to spend my Friday night (4a.m. ish) visiting the emergency room, where I first visited the bathroom. Pain pills and water…nothing was staying down.

The first thing the nurse said is, “we’ll get you an X-ray and a CT scan” Sounds frickin’ good to me. The warm towels feel good (maybe not 892$ worth of good, but I’ll get to that later). Some intern with gray hair came in and asked, “So what brings you in here today?” and “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much pain are you in?” I realized this is pretty much the extent of service you get without serious trauma. I geuss he figured I was enjoying a friday night/saturday morning in a meat locker with a warm towel. Then the brilliant real doctor comes in and asks the same series of questions. I keep wondering if there is, I don’t know, some kind of chart or maybe a record a doctor could read from so they don’t have to ask all these questions. I explain to this doctor that I’m going through this cycle of two days or so of no pain followed by a day of intense pain. He asks me which part of the cycle I’m in now. “The pain part!”

Apparently I wasn’t convincing enough because I got no tests. Three hours in the hospital and no progress. Life ain’t like “ER”. I did get half a liter of 0.9% saline (300$), which costs ~8$ when I order it in the lab.

Posted at 11:42 pm by Johnny B

Posted by BP @ 08/21/2005 11:51 AM PDT
I am waiting with baited breath for the rest of this story.

Dr. Woo part I
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