Thursday, February 26, 2009

ER Rooms, Pain Killers & The U.S. Economy

So I'm sitting in the ER looking at a blank TV screen with the pain medication starting to take effect, wondering if I will need surgery. This was last Monday morning. Rewind. I had spent the whole evening tossing and turning with massive abdominal pains. It started shortly after my wife and I went to bed, as a strong stinging sensation just below my stomach. At first I thought it was some kind of constipation, but it wouldn't go away. By 5 AM I called 911, mostly because I was worried it could be appendicitis. The Paramedics came almost immediately and gave me the once over. They recommended I go to the ER because I still had my appendix. My wife drove me the four blocks to the Hospital. She checked me in and waited with me until they assigned me a room. Then she reluctantly left in order to open our business and take our kids to school. I assured her I would be OK. I then proceeded to sit in my little room, in intense pain as nurses and doctors looked me up and down and the man in the next room kept screaming from a very high delusional fever. They shot me up with pain killers, which reduced, but did not eliminate the burning, stinging sensations in my abdomen and groin. They made me drink this icky lemonade, then rolled me in for a cat scan. Back in my room as I was dozing off, when my wife and daughter appeared. They looked a little sad and upset. As my wife later told me, "I left and you were sitting in a chair, I come back an hour later and your hooked up to an IV, half passed out and lethargic in the rolling bed." At that point we had no news, so after several worried hugs and kisses, my wife proceeded to take my daughter to school (she had already dropped our son). I slept until noon, when the doctor came in with the results. Seems it wasn't kidney stones or appendicitis, but a swollen and inflamed intestine. No surgery today! But I would have to do a follow up with my doctor (whom I can't see right now because our Health Plan has been temporarily suspended until we finish and submit our 2007 tax returns...yes's a long story). My wife picked my up and dropped me at home where I lay sleeping and writhing in pain for most of the week. During my forced date with the TV and couch, I saw a really comprehensive TV program about the recent economic meltdown produced by CNBC entitled "House Of Cards." Very insightful as to exactly what led us to this current financial tipping point. It wasn't just the banks or unsavory potential home owners buying into mortgages that were beyond their means that created all this mess. It was a combination of things, fueled by greed and lack of oversight. When we bought our house back in 2000, we thankfully missed out on all this subprime fun. We ended up selling in 2004 for a decent price and now rent a smaller sized house. We intend on buying again, when our credit scores heal and the dust settles (four or so years from now) from all this. So yesterday (Wednesday) I keep getting these really sharp pains in the same spot, usually right before I fart, or if I wait too long to go piss. I haven't pooped since Sunday (but I also haven't been eating much). This is still worrisome as I usually have a BM two to three times a day. Very regular kinda guy (too much information...I know). So I get some Exlax and chew a few . Several hours later I get the same sharp pains, run to the bathroom and Poop Poop, Splash Splash out comes the Poopy! So today the sharp, intense pains are gone. Those ones really sucked because they would build and build and cramp and burn and then just when you thought you couldn't stand it anymore (this was on the pain killer meds BTW), it would stop. Now as I sit writing this little blurb I have a dull, itchy pain in my abdomen. I run our off pain meds tomorrow and am on antibiotics until next week. I still need to get to a doctor for a follow up. Was all this some crazy kind of constipation? Like the U.S. Economy? Strange parallel.

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