Or they thought I was going to. Not being an attention whore, bitches, this is by request. Okay thanks.
So I wasnít feeling well for about a week. Fever, chills, nausea, etc. At first, I thought it might be a case of Montezumaís revenge because I was in Mexico for a little while and I always forget and eat ice or get a mixed drink or some dumb shit like that, but I didnít have anything coming out the other end, so I quickly ruled that out. Then I thought it might be a virus or an infection of some kind because it lasted so long (more like a week and a half really) and I wasnít getting any better. Plus I was starting to have a lot of pain in my back like where my kidneys would be, so I thought if it was a bad kidney infection or something, it might be a good idea to go in and get some antibiotics. So I guess it was maybe two Fridays ago, I finally decided to go to Urgent Care because I donít have a primary care physician and I was really feeling like shit. I guess I should have gone sooner, but Iím so stupid and such a fucking ape sometimes that I equate being sick with being a pussy. So dumb. So then anyway, the doctor there was really nice and looked like the dad on ďFamily TiesĒ. His name was Michael too! Anyway, he looked me over and I pissed in a cup for him and he came back and said the level of bilrubin in my urine looked way too high. Like he ran it twice because he had never seen a reading that high. I guess bilrubin is a kind of bile produced by the liver to help break shit down. I think thatís right, I donít really remember all too much from this visit because I guess I was pretty out of it. My fever was 104.5 at this point but I didnít realize thatís what they said because I kind of just plow through things especially when Iím sick. Anyway, Michael said he thought I might have West Nile and suggested I go to the hospital ASAP. He said also they would be able to do a CT scan and ultrasound on my abdomen. I said yeah, yeah, okay and left, because at this point Iím not thinking of it as I just received good medical advice, even though the doctor was very nice, Iím thinking of it as Iím out fifty bucks with no solution to my problem. This is how my brain works, even when dealing with health care. Especially when dealing with health care really. So anyway, Iím covered in sweat, I feel like shit, Iíve been up all day and my plan at this point was to try and get something to eat because I remembered I had a few codeine pills stashed away at the house and I was thinking that if I could just get something into my system so that I wouldnít throw up, I could go drop those and then trip out in front of the TV and then maybe pass out for a day or so and then when I woke up, hopefully Iíd feel better or at least better enough to deal with the problem anew.
So anyway, I went through the drive thru at Jack in the Box and got a small hamburger and a large Sprite. I took two bites of the burger and started gagging so I threw that away. I took the lid off the Sprite and literally guzzled the entire thing in like two minutes. I was SO thirsty. And then I went to Walgreenís to get some Maalox and a two liter of Sprite because I was thinking that maybe if I could take a big crap sometime in the next twenty four hours, I might feel better. Donít know why I was thinking that, except that my stomach hurt so bad too, like these really bad cramps, and the only thing I could compare it to was the feeling of being ultra constipated. So I get my stuff and Iím standing in line and thereís only one register open, nobody at Cosmetics, nobody at the Photo Center, and thereís all these fucking people in front of me buying like fucking GROCERIES and Iím just like, oh my fucking Christ. If youíve ever been in a Walgreenís when itís like super busy and youíve got like maybe three dollars worth of shit to ring up and the lady in front of you has like two carts full, you know exactly what I mean here. So anyway, Iím standing in line, shuffling my feet and holding my side and just like trying to maintain basically, and there are these kids behind me snickering and I know that theyíre laughing at me because I know Iím covered in sweat and I look like an idiot and Iím dancing around like I have to go to the bathroom and they probably think Iím a crackhead or something. So anyway, Iím trying to ignore the realities of this particular situation even though I feel like Iím going to pass the fuck out and I just want to drop everything and just like go lay down in the car for a minute but I really want the Sprite real bad all of a sudden so I decide to stick it out. So you know those tchotckes and shit they keep by the register hoping that youíll decide to pick something up while you wait? I reached out for like a squeezeball hand massager thing, I think it was, and all of a sudden I feel myself start to pitch forward. And I go to catch myself but it was like hey, where are my legs? Hello legs? Legs? LEGS? YouÖfuckingÖguysÖ
And then the lights went out.
The next thing I remember I was on a stretcher and was being wheeled down a hallway with all these voices going ďwhah-whah-whah-whahĒ like the teacher on Charlie Brown. The next thing I remember after that is a needle going into my arm and having an IV hooked up. At some point, they tried to take blood from me but apparently I blew chunks all over the place, so they decided to come back later. I remember this big ass Samoan dude being all like whoa, you sick man, they RUSHED your ass in (I guess my fever was like 106 point something when they checked me in) and then him getting my insurance card out of my wallet and after that, it was like Club Med. They treat you differently just as soon as they find out youíre a paying customer. Itís like youíre a VIP or something. This hot hot nurse came in and gave me some Potassium pills and like the coldest sweetest apple juice I had ever had in my life. She even held the back of my head while I sipped through the straw. Then this other lady came in and put two warmed blankets on top of me and I donít mean warm, I mean WARMED like she just took them out of the magic blanket baking oven or something. And she leaned waaaaay over me while she did it so that I could see her breasts and then she sort of brushed them up against me while she was tucking the blanket under me. It was wonderful. And then the hot hot nurse came back and said Mr. _______, the doctor says that we can give you something for the pain now. This is a five milligram shot of morphine. It makes a lot of people sick so Iím going to give you something for that first. She hooked up this other little bag to the IV and said it was called Zorfan? Or Zoltan? Or something like that. Anyway, after that she came back with the drugs which wasnít in a bag but like in this two pronged metal thing that also hooked into the IV thing in my arm. She said now most people, it hits them pretty quick. We usually donít give this large a dose but the doctor said it was okay because we almost lost you there for a minute. Mind you, I donít even remember MEETING the doctor at this point, so I was like yeah, sure, whatever. Letís get it on. I got to pretend Iím a lump of dog shit at this point to feel any better, so letís do this. At least put me in a better place, you know? So then she says, you will probably feel a tingling from the top of your head down and maybe some burning and Iím like lady, PLEASE. Letís GO. Have pity on monster already. Plus, the adolescent in me is like, yeah, smack for the first time. And itís legal. So I have this weird illicit thrill going on in my head over that as well. So she sets up it and clicks it in to the IV and no shit, itís like whoosh. Itís like instantaneous. I never had anything hit me that fast in my life. And Iím like wide awake all of a sudden and frozen at the top of the rollercoaster and then bam, every muscle in my body goes soft and hazy and happy and Iím not caring about anything at all and for like a split second, Iím like, oh shit, Iím a junkie now because I get it, this is fucking amazing, but then I donít even care about that because Iím drifting away on a gentle green wave with my friends the turtles and I donít care what happens to me anymore. The rest of the night after that is a blur basically, I just remember them wheeling me around to different places while I went in and out of sleep. They did a cat scan and this real nice lady put warm gel on my stomach and they did an ultrasound and at some point, they must have taken about a gallon of blood from me for testing but like I said, I didnít care. The next day, they let me stay and I slept a lot while they kept pumping fluids into me. Sodium chloride, I think, is what they use.
When they were getting ready to check me out, they had my test results ready. They still didnít know what was wrong with me. Only that my liver had temporarily stopped working and that while it was working now, the levels of trigl-something were three times higher than they should be. They gave me Vicodin and Pherangen, which didnít make any sense to me because of the acetaminophen, but Iím not one to say no to quality painkillers, by any means. They put me on a liquid diet and gave me the specialist that I was supposed to follow up with.
So I went home, did bed rest and drug holiday for like three days straight. My stomach still hurt and it burned when I pissed but hey, I had drugs, so whatever, right? I went to see the specialist and she took more blood and refilled my scripts and sent me back home for a few more days. She called me yesterday and says she thinks this whole episode was caused by my pre-existing illness. What pre-existing illness, I said? She says, well I think you might have mono, Mr._______. Either that or Valley Fever. Either the way the only treatment is rest. The elevated levels in your liver are still very high but theyíre starting to drop. Why donít you take it easy and come back and see me in four weeks and weíll run the tests again? Well, what could I say at this point? I said okay. Do I believe I have mononucleosis, a communicable adolescent disease that I already had when I was like twelve? No. Do I believe that I have Valley Fever, one of the prime symptoms of which is a virulent, persistent cough that I do not have? Nada. Am I going to argue these points with my selected health care professionals? No. Because what I do believe is that they did a GREAT job at the hospital and that they screened me for everything that they could think of. My body is a wonderland and apparently also something of a mystery to modern science. Also, now that Iíve spent over five hundred dollars on the problem, including the co pays for the ER and the specialist and the costs of the prescriptions and I feel that thatís just about enough. I guess what Iím saying is that the medical profession is not infallible and sometimes they just throw shit at the wall and they see what sticks, just the same as everybody else and I donít blame them for that either. I say just donít always treat them like theyíre the goddamned clergy or something cause theyíre not. The clergyís not even the clergy anymore. Weíre all human and we all make mistakes. What I do recommend however is hospital grade morphine as well as ER on an insurance card. It makes all the difference in the world. Any questions? No? Good.