Monday, September 7, 2009

An American Medical Story.

A number of years ago I had been having abdomen pains for a few days, getting worse each day. I was having problems sleeping and just in general very uncomfortable. My wife finally convinced me we should go to the emergency room. (I had no insurance at the time)

So off we go to the emergency and I was registered in pretty quickly. We should have brought a book, hell we should have brought a cot, cause I waited for 8 hours. At the 6 hour mark they took some blood though (I hate needles). Two hours after that I was brought into the back and put into a room. Where I waited some more.

I should mention at this point I was freezing cold and my back was killing me. It was 50/50 on what hurt more, my back or abdomen. When I have to deal with other types of pain my mind cannot hold off on my normal back pain, so I end up getting a double dose. Fun stuff.

There I am, finally in a room, in even more pain than when I walked in, and freezing cold on top of this (their air conditioning works wonderfully, but I’d say a tad too cold for my taste). In walks a male nurse who talks to me a bit to see how I am doing and what the problem is, the usual stuff. He then tells me he’s going to get morphine for me. I tell him thank you, but no thank you, and ask him why he is wanting to give me morphine. He says that is normal practice for people coming in complaining of stomach pains to just give them morphine, he said a lot of people just want the fix, so the hospital just gives them a pill (or shot or whatever) and they leave. Yeah that’s not me. I came to see what the hell is wrong with me, not to get a fix.

I have to say he was a really nice guy and we talked about healthcare in general at this point and I tell him my Canadian roots, so we talked about Canadian healthcare for a bit too. He was not very happy with a lot of the system he works in, and he said a lot of nurses feel the same way.

A little bit later in walks a doctor, I’d say he was in his 30s somewhere, probably upper 30s, a little older than my wife & I at the time I’d say. So he pokes and prods my stomach, asks if I am normally this ‘distended’ (when my wife reads this, I guarantee she’s laughing, I’ve never been able to live that down. But hey, when you’re supposed to be over 6 feet tall, but your back is held at the same size when you were 12 years old, and all your innards for a six foot tall person are squashed inside, you’d have a little belly too!). So the doctor says that he’d like to do a CT scan on me to see what the problem is. Except for the fact that CT scans do not work on me due to the metal in my spine (I’ve had one done, so I know this for true). I explained this, and he still wanted to go ahead with it. I asked how much money it was, because we don’t have insurance, he said $1,000. I said, ‘No thank you!’. lol

So I ended up with an xray, which found the problem. After 8 hours on sitting in the waiting room, in pain, freezing, and my back acting up, then being thought I was a junkie looking for a hit, then being told they want to do expensive imaging on me that simply will not work, I found…

That I am full of shit.


I was constipated for 5 days and that was the problem.

And yeah, I’ve never been able to live that one down either (there goes my wife laughing again, cause now she has ‘proof’ of my full of shitness).


  1. Oh, my, oh, my, ... she's going to have amunition for years. I hope they found the reason for the bung up ... or did they just take out the plug?

  2. Basically just took the plug out with this liquid in a green bottle. Let me tell you that was no fun. I don't want to be in that much pain on the toilet ever again. lol