Thursday, 13 November 2008


Didn't last 3 days after the visit to my GP . Didn't last 1 day.

I'd have felt worse about waking Nick up at 1 in the morning to take me to the hospital, but my screams of pain were probably going to disturb him, anyway. Eventually.

We drove to the hospital an hour and a half away and, fortunately, we were the only ones in the waiting room, so there wasn't a long wait. It just seems long when you're in pain.

I was taken to an examining room and a very nice nurse hooked me up to a pain drip. He was so interested to find I'm an American. (Quick Essay for expats and tourists: What Does Obama Mean to Me? Answer: People like me, again.)

I lay around suffering between being wheeled or walked to various labs for sonagrams and X-rays. I got a lavage (enema, yuck.) They could find neither intestinal blockage nor swollen appendix and decided to keep me at least overnight.

Les Urgences have their own rooms, comfortable enough, but tiny, without bathroom and, worse, without an extra bed. The nice nurse rustled up a padded wheelchair for Nick to sleep in and, in the morning, another brought him breakfast: hot chocolate, two croissants, "toasts" like non-sweetened zweiback and 3 packs of jam. Me, I couldn't have anything while waiting for another round of tests. The odds were 3-2 that I'd die of thirst before making it to the tests. Not even an ice cube?

We had locked the dogs in at home, in case they started seeing the spirit world or whatever it is that sets them off, and barked in the night. I suggested we call the village ambulance service and check if they were coming to Montélimar. We could give them the house keys and someone could let the dogs out. "Oh," says Nick, "I left the back door unlocked." Now he tells me. He called a neighbour who let them out.

About 5 everybody decided I was staying and Nick went home. I fell asleep about then and slept until 12:45 the next day, barring the interruptions for blood pressure every 2 hours or so.

Another lavage and a fast shot of something to keep me from throwing up. Another X-ray to make sure they couldn't find anything. The diagnosis (wild-assed-guess) is an infection in or around the ovary. I asked if my oncologist was in the hospital and could I speak to her. They checked and she's on sick leave. Sigh. So, Jerrold, if you're reading this, I still don't know what the white spots are that I have on my knees, again. Obviously they can't be from cream or the sun because it's long past shorts season.

About 3, they said I could go home and Nick showed up to wait with me until, at 5, the X-rays and prescriptions arrived: Tramadol for pain, an antibiotic (Amoxicilline for the detail-minded) and anti-constipation medicine. I now have 3 lots of constipation medicine and I am not constipated. Does everybody think I am lying about this? Why would I like about this?

A quick check of the information in the Tramadol pack and a run by the internet confirmed that Tramadol is contra-indicated when takings SSRIs. It's Wednesday and my GP is off until this evening. I left a message, but so far I seem to be doing O.K. on industrial-strengh paracetemol and the antibiotic, so I may just carry on.

I did initially think that one's appendix is lower then where the pain was, but my grasp of anatomy is only marginally better than my handle on geography. I thought my ovaries were lower down than they turn out to be, too. I consulted my friend, Google. Typing in things like "female anatomy," even if one adds "medical," leads to many interesting sites For Educational Use Only. Eventually, I found a legitimate site and darned if my ovary isn't right where it hurts. (And the appendix is lower, just like I thought.)

It was good to get home. Van-Ly was so excited, she got the zoomies. She hasn't done that in awhile. Nala, who was inside because it was raining when Nick left, managed to wake up and come to the door for a sniff. Even the cats were at the door.
Of course, it was way past their dinner time.


  1. I like the cat me too i have one cat and her name is ginny !

  2. Well I am glad you're home, what a pain in the ass. And tummy. Hope you get the meds thing sorted out.
    Tramadol was what Cooper was prescribed after his surgery, and it made him very drowsy. The constipation stuff is probably because that's a common side effect of Tramadol.

  3. I think I'll save the Tramadol for Nala. Don't let Cooper take any SSRIs.

  4. *Breathes sigh of relief* don't scare us like that anymore. Pretty please?
    Glad to hear that everything appears to be okay, but we'll continue sending good ju-ju (and cookies) your way - just in case.


  5. Internal pain can be weird.

    I am now missing two organs. Well, I know where they are - little sealed jars somewhere in my apartment.

    It would seem WHERE it hurts matters a lot less than HOW it hurts.

    And I sure don't miss my gall bladder (one year ago this week) or my appendix (almost 20 years ago).

  6. I am fascinated by the fact that cliff1976 has two organs in glass jars. Cool.

  7. Corrections to my earlier comment in the interest of full disclosure:

    (1) The wax seal on my appendix jar broke after a couple years (rendering the jar ajar) and the stuff started to smell, so I pitched it.

    (2) I don't have my gallbladder in a jar. I merely have its four largest products in a much sturdier jar. Here ya go, carina:

    Sorry to disappoint through misstatements.