It’s come to this.
*flashback montage with sepia filter*
It was late November, 2013. I was out, and I’d had a strange pain in my stomach all day. The pain intensified (on the stupid pain scale, 1-10, it was about a 60), I was literally writhing around on the bed in pain, I couldn’t stand or lie down or do anything other than cry. It was a pain I had not experienced before, and even asked friends on FaceBook (now you KNOW its legit serious) if they have had similar pains and what it might be. Many female friends had similar pains with ovarian cysts, others appendicitis. I called the local health line (for my townspeeps, it’s 13 HEALTH and is a super helpful tool!) and the consensus from everyone was: GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. NOW.
So I asked my then housemate (and super good friend, he’s like a bro to me) to drive me to the major public ER.
What followed were 72hrs of HELL.
Day 1: treated like a drug seeker, given an anti-inflammatory pain killer jab in the thigh (‘might sting a bit” said the nurse. THE DIRTY LIAR. It BURNED. BURNED LIKE THE FIRES OF MORDOR), given a ton of IV fluid (I was in so much pain I don’t even know what it was), had ultrasound of my stomach (PAINFUL THNX): NO swollen appendix, gallstones present, they were unable to see if I had any ovarian cysts as they don’t show up on a traditional ultrasound and would only be visible if I consented to an internal ultrasound (ultrasound up the vag – NO THNX), asked if I was pregnant – so many times I actually lost count, and then because the doctors were scratching their heads and shrugging their shoulders* because they had no idea what was going on, they stuck me in a bed overnight, gave me a box of oxycodone and sent me on my way with a “if it gets worse come back” (NOTE: by this stage it had NOT gotten better even slightly!)
Day 2: I went home via cab (horrible experience, story for another time though), writhed around in pain for a couple more hours, took the oxycodone as prescribed (did nothing, may as well have had TicTacs, at least my breath would have been minty!) and had my boyfriend drive me back to the ER. This time, got straight in, stuck in a bed, more IV fluid (potassium, three different antibiotics I don’t know the names of, they tried morphine via IV – it did nothing, so they started jabbing me in the stomach with it every couple hours), I had a surgeon stick his finger where no one has a right to stick fingers without my consent! Humiliation. They suspected appendicitis but still scratched heads and shrugged shoulders*, so they stuck me in a surgery ward with the statement: “If your symptoms are not gone by morning, you’re having your appendix out” which meant I had to fast: no water and no food (not that I was hungry, but when you are told you can’t have water, you suddenly want ALL THE WATER), and every so often a nurse would appear above me (I was exhausted from the pain and the morphine knocked me flat) with a giant needle either containing sweet pain relief OR horrible blood thinners. I left the hospital, with an array of puncture marks and little bruises on my stomach.
The following morning I woke up briefly when my boyfriend arrived (then held his hand and promptly went back to sleep, while still holding his hand) and when the surgeon guy came over and said “Well you get to keep your appendix, we still don’t know what is wrong… I MEAN you have “inflammed lymphnodes in your stomach” so here is some take home painkillers and a discharge report ok bye now!” and I waited till dinner time, they wanted to make sure I could keep down food, ate what was supposed to be “beef rissoles” but I’m pretty sure were just dog food, and went home. Miraculously the pain had disappeared.
The discharge paperwork noted a “small number of gallstones” that they deemed benign.
And so I went my merry way with my stones, thinking all was dandy and it was some freak event.
*mist pours across the screen and we are brought back to present day*
SO. That was 4yrs ago. I thought nothing of it other than it being 72hrs of hell.
That was until mid January this year. I woke at 2.30am, writhing in pain. The same pain. I couldn’t sit up or lie down or do anything other than cry. It was exactly like before. I went out to the nurses station (I was in hospital for an unrelated issue at the time) and a man I have never seen before said it was pain from my Fibromyalgia (having only just glimpsed my file – not actually asking any questions) which I promptly, from a horizontal position as I couldn’t stand up straight, that it was NOT the case. He gave me panadeine forte (codeine and paracetamol) and valium and told me to go lie down. I sat up for I don’t know how long, praying to every god and deity I know to PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.
At some ungodly hour I was able to get some sleep. My nurse the next day suggested perhaps it was pain from sleeping in the wrong position? … … … -_-
Since then I have had the pain twice, not lasting as long as the first one in January, but still fucking painful.
So my GP sent me for a fun CT scan last week. I had to drink icky iodine and then they injected a contrast dye halfway through the scan (which made me seriously ill).
Hey presto! Gallstones! That’s SO 2013 lyke oh emm gee.
So now I need that freaking useless organ removed. And I’ve been referred to the public hospital, as “non urgent”, so that’ll probably be a decade or so, and I tried to ask my VERY expensive health fund if it is covered, and apparently I have to go to a specialist and then they give ME the item number for the procedure and a provider number, which I then take and give to the health fund (WHY the specialist can’t send the details straight to my health insurer, is beyond me) AND I have to pay for the specialist myself and the health fund won’t chip in.
So now I’m having a FLASH SALE! PRICES HAVE BEEN SLASHED! EVERYTHING MUST GO! (Well, except the essential organs like my heart and such. But you can have my brain – but it’s got some manufacturing issues. NO REFUNDS!). If I can sell some of my organs, I’ll be able to pay for the surgery!
I’m so brilliant it’s scary.