Friday, October 3, 2014


So, since nursing a rambunctious puppy back to health isn’t drama enough, I’ve been having health issues of my own.

Some of you may remember a few months ago when I had painful attack and had to go to hospital etc. etc. After all that, I had to see a specialist and have an endoscopy (which is another long story in and of itself) and the doctor's conclusion was that I had an ulcer.

“I don't have an ulcer,” I told Opie. "I mean, obviously, I do have an ulcer; they saw an ulcer on the endoscopy. But I don't think all this pain is just caused by an ulcer. I don't think that's possible."

"I don't think you're a doctor," Opie countered.

And he may be right but I do read a lot of WebMd and that's practically the same thing.

So I should've felt vindicated a few weeks ago when I woke up in the middle of the night with another bout of unbearable pain.

Unfortunately in these situations all I can really feel is panic.

So instead of pointing out that after three months of ulcer medicine, I shouldn’t be having ulcer pain, 
I preferred to elbow Opie ever-so-gently in the ribs and announce that I was dying.

And I have to hand it to him—he is really calm in the face of an emergency. If the situation had been reversed, I would have sat up screaming “What? What do you mean you’re dying?” And then I would have called my parents (who live about 8 hours away) and things would have gone progressively downhill from there.

Opie, on the other hand, sat up, nodded and said “You’ve been under a lot of stress lately; it’s probably your ulcer.”

“It’s not an ulcer!” I yelled.

And after about 40 minutes I didn’t really care what it was; I just wanted it to stop. “But I don’t want to go to the Emergency Room,” I said. “It’s too expensive.”

It is interesting to note that when I was relating this story to my mom the next day, this is the exact point she interrupted me and snapped “You just spent thousands of dollars on medical care for YOUR DOG! Do NOT tell me that you won’t do the same for yourself.”

Which is a valid argument and one that Opie has used frequently in the last few weeks.

It is also interesting to note that I seem to have an almost pathological need to over dramatize situations—even situations that are already dramatic. Which is probably why I gripped Opie’s arm and announced again that I was dying. “We’ve had a good run,” I told him. “But this is probably it. So promise me that you’ll move back to St. Louis immediately. I don’t want you here, alone, so far away from your family.”

“You’re not going to die,” he said.

“Promise me!” I yelled. “I can’t bear the thought of you languishing away alone!”

And I continued on like this in a way that I like to believe he finds endearing but others seem to think is completely annoying.

“I promise,” He said at last (and St. Louisians, hold him to that if I do happen to die sudenly). “But you’re not going to die; we’re going to the Emergency Room and you’re going to be fine.”

“Wait!” I moaned. "I need help getting my yoga pants on."

This was a little confusing to him "Didn't you already have pants on?"

"Those pants are horrible," I told him. "I can't wear them in public!"

Then he started muttering under his breath in a manner that made it seem like he didn't find me endearing at all. So I didn’t mention that he's lucky this didn't happen when I was young and in college or I might have insisted on taking a shower and doing my hair and makeup before leaving the house.

In any case, we finally made it to the hospital (even though my hair was a hot mess) and in an exam room for blood tests.

Which never go well for me.  Apparently, I’m a “hard stick” and it takes at least 3 times for any nurse or phlebotomist to find a “good vein” and I end up with marks all over my arms like this:

May I just mention how much I enjoy walking
 around looking like I mainline heroin?

Four “sticks” later they had enough blood to do their tests.

And my need for drama kicked in again. I grabbed the nurse’s arm this time and said “Are you going to give me the good drugs now?"

She didn’t take my histrionics nearly as well as Opie does…and, oddly, he didn’t take this one well.

“Don’t say stuff like that!” He told me after the nurse left. “Now they're probably going to do a blood test to make sure you’re not some prescription drug abuser.”

"She knew I was joking,” I insisted. “I'm sure somewhere in my file it mentions that I'm hilarious!"

“Oh, I’m sure," Opie agreed but it didn’t sound like he meant it.

Even worse. I think he was right because it took a lot longer for them to bring the good drugs and even then they weren't as good as last time.

But they were good enough that I didn’t gloat when the ER doctor came in and agreed that it’s not an ulcer.

What is going on?

We still don’t know. I’ve had tests and more tests and in a few weeks I’m going back to the hospital for another, more specialized probe. All of which I’m sure I’ll share later.  The point, for now, is that I was right.

It’s not an ulcer.

And you know what? Sometimes vindication is almost as good as a cure!

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