Saturday afternoon my upper stomach started hurting. Bad. Susan and I have developed a pain scale (from 1 to 10) to let each other know how much something hurts. These stomach cramps started around a 3 or so. By mid-afternoon, it was an 8. I tried everything to relieve the pain — PeptoBismal, Tums, Aspirin, you name it. I tried eating a little something in case these were just really strong hunger pangs. I sat on the toilet for a while, thinking maybe that might help. Nothing. I eventually laid down, curled up into a ball and took a nap, hoping that when I awoke the pain would be gone.
For a while, it was — then it returned. I started worrying. Your upper stomach is pretty close to your heart. Your gall bladder’s around there somewhere too. The way this was hurting, I figured something serious must be wrong. My dad had just stopped by to visit when the pain started in again. Once it got bad enough that I was visibly in pain, we decided to take a trip to the after hours clinic.
Dad took me to the Mercy afterhours clinic while Susan took the kids over to my mom’s. After the obligitory ten minutes of paperwork, we were moved to a waiting room. The pain began residing once we were there. Susan showed up a few minutes later. The pain was almost completely gone, but I had a new problem. I needed to poop.
And so, while waiting for the nurse to call me back, I slipped into a side restroom and did what I had to do. After that, I felt great! Of course, moments later the doctor called me back. He asked about the pain and I told him the following.
“Well, my stomach had been hurting all day. Then I got here and took a crap in your waiting room. Now I feel much better.”
The doctor looked at me. “You took a crap in my waiting room?”
“Well, not IN the waiting room. In the bathroom off to the side,” I said.
“Ah, that’s good,” he said. “I would have to bill you for that separately.”
And so, as a small town part-time doctor who gets stuck with the weekend shift, he told me it could have been either stomach flu, or a digestive issue, an ulcer, my gall bladder, or a heart attack. Or acid reflux. If it keeps happening, I should see my normal doctor. In the meantime, I should buy some Maylox.
One ten dollar co-pay and one turd later, we were back on our way. Susan thought the whole thing was pretty funny until Sunday, when she began having stomach pains …
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