May 31, 2003

Kidney Stone

So, umm.... yeah. I was sick. And being the stubborn idiot that I am, I didn't bother to go to the doctor when the pain was at its worst. Instead, I went on the 4th day, because food poisoning shouldn't result in a stomach ache that bad and a fever that high for that long, right? By day 3.5, I had re-self-diagnosed with a possible case of appendicitis, which is actually what made me go in.

So, from 9 AM to 2:30 PM yesterday, I saw 3 doctors and had more tests than I can count. I think my primary care physician would have sent me home with a diagnosis of gastroenteritis if I hadn't started crying (literally. tears.) when she palpated my stomach. I have a hunch that she may have felt guilty for underestimating my pain and pressing too hard, but it worked out for me. She pulled enough strings to get me an immediate appointment with a surgeon--in other words--NO Emergency Room!

In just under 5 hours, the surgeon, his observing medical student, the clinical manager of surgery, a lab tech (who was the best blood draw EVER!), a radiology tech, the chief resident of radiology and his attending determined that I had probably passed a kidney stone, and may have a minor case of gastroenteritis to boot.

Woo-hoo. I'm relieved to be on the mend and to know what caused my pain. I also feel a bit guilty about taking so many medical people's time. I guess it was interesting for them, but I have this deep-seeded belief that I shouldn't take up a physician's time unless I am dying--Stupid. As the surgeon said, "Young healthy people never go by the book. You guys always ignore the early symptoms and then come in with just the severe ones. More than half the time, you guys are getting better by the time we finally figure out what was wrong with you."

Well, that was my friday, at least I almost finished my book so I can start Turrow's 1L. I'm going to take it easy this weekend and go back to work on Monday with nothing accomplished on the two projects I brought home. Given that most people go in to the ER and take pain killers in order to pass kidney stones, I feel justified in reading and relaxing for the rest of the weekend before I go back to the grind. Ridiculous logic, isn't it? Whatever, it works for me.

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