Friday, 15 April 2011

Gall Bladdered

Well, after another night of pacing the floor, unable to get away from this vicious pain in my stomach, Andy tells me on no uncertain terms that I am to hie me to the doctor immediately, especially when my temperature turns out to be 34.2. I don't blame him. I'm fed up with me, too, feeling bl**dy awful one hour then right as rain the next.

So off I go, managing to hold down the nausea for the duration of the car journey by some frantic gum chewing. It's an hour and a half wait in the surgery because there is already a gang of patients in the car park waiting for the door to open at 8.30 and I possess neither the iron will nor the sharp elbows to secure myself a place near the front of the queue in the first-come-first-served method adopted by the surgery. Most of the car park gang are pensioners. Ruthless, sharp-elbowed pensioners. Pensioners with gimlet eyes, and an 'I-lived-through-the-war-you-know' story on the tip of their tongue. I decide that if my symptoms get much worse during my wait, I'll throw a fainting fit and jump the queue that way. I check out the angles of the rows of chairs so I don't bang my head on the way down. I assess carpet acreage for free-fall space. I settle down to read a book.

But don't really take any of it in because I feel yakky and crampy, which means I'll have to re-read it later. I am mildly entertained by a small child around the same age as Kayleigh who does exactly the same things Kayleigh does - chattering away in baby-speak, picking things up and dropping them on the floor, eating copious biscuits, making a dash for the door every time it opens. He even works out how to press the 'disabled' button so the door opens automatically. Great game that turns out to be.

Eventually, I am called in.

The doctor is unduly cheerful, I feel, given that he is faced with someone clearly VERY ill. I think, I bet this is part of his triage treatment plan -'If I can make the patient laugh, they can't be that ill.'

Anyway, I list my symptoms, most of which he poo-poohs. I think, shall I throw my faint now? He looks a bit like Roger de Courcey, this cheerful doctor I am seeing. Do I want to be resuscitated by someone who looks like a 1970s ventiloquist who worked with a highly dubious cross-eyed, lewd bear? No, I do not.

He listens to my stomach with his stethescope. 'Your bowels are working fine,' he says. I would dispute that from my end, I think.

He pokes and prods my stomach. Some of the poking and prodding has no effect. Some of the poking and prodding makes me feel like I am going to yak up and I'm glad I haven't eaten anything since last night. Or maybe I should have? Maybe a bit of projectile vomiting would have proven my case. He pokes by sides and my back.

'I think,' he says, 'that your pain and symptoms are likely to be caused by your gall bladder.'

He looks at me. He doesn't say 'fair, fat and forty,' but I know that's EXACTLY what he's thinking.

He gives me some jollop for the nausea.

'Drink plenty of fluids, don't worry about not eating anything for a day or two,' he says. 'If it doesn't settle by Monday, come back and we'll send you for a ultra sound.'

This is doctor-speak for, 'Water will hopefully dilute and partially negate the effects caused by your obviously fat-laden diet, and not eating for a couple of days will help you lose a few pounds which will be useful for the surgeon who may end up having to whip out your gall bladder.'

So, there we are.

Gall bladders.

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