This is the first in a series about life on the road with a colon gone rogue. I absorbed so many lessons in a few short days that I hope to share as many as I can remember. Sometimes years of wisdom can accrue in mere days. Time is malleable. So here we go:
Listen to your soap opera: Last Monday evening I had some gas pains. Par for the course. They continued through Tuesday with more pain. I figured it was IBS. I kept on keeping on, not particularly alarmed, though I did sleep poorly. The pain and gas increased on Wednesday and I was not very hungry. The pressure was quite unpleasant, but not unusual. This did not resemble my initial attack. I was watching my soap opera and preparing to go to an appointment. There was a storyline where one of the actresses was ill. Everyone was telling her to go to the hospital, but she kept denying the need to go. I began to fast forward these scenes because they were making me anxious.
I started to get the chills and I found that odd. I took my temperature and it was over 100 degrees. What? I do not feel feverish at all. I knew this was not good so I called my doctor. Guess what, he was on vacation! C,mon now. So I called my GI doctor and she was not available. Talk about lousy timing.
Jesus take the wheel: I cancelled my appointment and looked for Urgent Care. I left my house and I was frightened. Who would support me with my doctor out-of-town? There was snow on my car but I had no strength to clear it. I let the wipers do their thing. I repeatedly told myself to stay focused. My mind was racing and I did not have the luxury to become distracted. I drove to Urgent Care to be told they could not help me. So I drove all that way on a low tank for nothing. I was getting tired and more anxious. Would I make it to the ER in time? I had to use the bathroom but there was no time. I knew that the fever was a sign that I had an infection and needed treatment. I kept praying for help. I was wondering if driving myself was foolish. But I did not want to go by ambulance. I wanted to go to another hospital further from my home. I heard it provided a higher standard of care. Plus my GI was affiliated with this institution.
I did eventually arrive at the ER and man, was I relieved. A couple next to me were discussing waiting for 6 hours. As I listened further, I heard the man referring to 201s and 302s. I realized they were talking about psychiatric commitments. I began to think about my working in the mental health field and the laws that sometimes result in tragedy. I also wondered why I ended up hearing about this topic.
Staying in the present is a constant test for me. I recognize that when successful I come into power and peace. I felt relief that the confines of the moment would push aside any contemplation of past or future.
To be continued….