Last Saturday I noticed a pain in my side. It hurt, but it wasn’t exactly killing me, so I put it out of my head and kept on doing whatever it was I had been doing. Sunday morning, it hurt pretty bad, but I was still working around it. By Sunday night, I had lain down in bed and was completely unable to get back up.
Monday the pain had leveled to merely intolerable. Lena felt certain that the cause was all the dairy I had eaten the previous 2 days… which made a certain amount of sense to me. After all I barely eat dairy at all any more, and that weekend had represented a considerable break from this. I decided to give it one more day.
Tuesday, more of the same. Ouch. So I went to the doctor, a guy I really like named Balbona who has a sweet little office in the building next to my house for a diagnosis. After poking me in the ouchy places for a few minutes, his official opinion was gallstones. Not great news.
There are a few treatments for gallstones, but none are as easy or as successful as simple removal. Takes less than an hour, (for the actual surgery) is generally an out-patient procedure, and costs as from $9,000 to $13,000. Now, before you ask, I do have insurance. However, I only have the insurance I was able to afford. That means it’s crap. Crap to the tune of a $10,000 deductible and pay for your own fucking hospital gown, thank you very much your next premium is due Monday. (It’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield. They suck.) So you can understand my worry.
(Some of you are thinking right now, “Well he bought that insurance, what did he expect?” To you I would direct your attention back to the line: “However, I only have the insurance I was able to afford.” Some others are thinking, “Well that’s catastrophic insurance. It’s only meant to be supplemental. To you I would point out: “However, I only have the insurance I was able to afford.”)
Back to the story…
So Doc Balbona thinks gallstones, but he needs a couple of tests to be certain. (Certain is important.) Most importantly we need to discover if the problem is simple gallstones, which require surgery, or if my gallbladder is infected and inflamed, which requires OMIGODHE’SGONNADIEGETHIMONTHETABLERIGHTNOWBEFOREHEEXPLODES surgery. He sends me to Quest Diagnostics for blood labs, and St. Vincent’s hospital for an ultrasound of my gallbladder. I arrive at Quest at 4:02. The glass door is locked, and the sign says they close at 4:00. I see people waiting for attention inside, so I figured I’d wait outside until one of them left, slip in and explain my plight. Before I could the UPS truck showed up, and a woman in scrubs ran out to get her package. (I had been standing in the exact same spot for 5 minutes by then.) I stopped her “We’re closed.” and tried to ask if “We’re closed.” there was any way “We’re closed.” I could talk to someone “We’re closed.” OKAY, FINE. IS THERE ANOTHER LOCATION I CAN GO TO? At which point she told me that all the locations closed at four and they had locked their doors at 3:30.
By the time she went back inside Lena had found another Quest Diagnostics on her iPhone a few miles away that closed at 7:00.
As we drove there I talked to the hospital about the ultrasound appointment. The next open slot they had was a week and two days away. After explaining my predicament, they were able to find me a spot the next morning when the imaging lab first opened. (I showed up 35 minutes early, and they took me right in. No waiting, and they validated parking!)
That was today. (Well, Wednesday. Yesterday to you.) I actually felt a bit better this morning, which I attributed to the antibiotics Doc Balbona had prescribed, and took overall as a Bad Sign that I was likely infected. (Future comics done in new, Zombie-Kevin style!) I waited as long as I could before pestering Balbona’s office to ask if my results had come back. They had not, but they swore they would call me as soon as they had. An hour later they called me back to say all my tests looked great.
They had no idea what was wrong with me.
So that’s where things sit right now. Balbona had his pixy-nurses send all my info to his gastroenterologist guy, and I’m supposed to call him tomorrow for an appointment. I want to be happy… but frankly I’m just confused and a bit fearful. It’s been a roller-coaster, (Lena has been bat-shit this whole time) and right now the cars are poised at the top of an unseen hill. Will there be another dramatic drop, or just a slight bump and turn as we go back to home base?
Fuck if I know.