Remember those old public service announcements that were like, (stern voice): “Do you know where your children are right now?” Well, if someone had asked my mother that last night, I doubt she would have said “Drinking barium, half naked, while strangers slide her around on a table in a dim room.”
But that’s exactly where I was this morning.
I know that a lot of people are intimidated by hospitals and esoteric medical procedures and whatnot, and I get that. It’s strange, it’s overwhelming, and doctors can me so intimidating and condescending. But I generally have to fight the urge to giggle in these situations. I mean, come on—“You can put your pants and shoes back on but that’s it. Don’t eat or drink anything. You can make piss but not caca and here’s a plastic baggie for your brat and shirt. Wait here. We’ll call you in half an hour.” HILARIOUS, right?
Oh, but how did we wind up here, Sarah? is the real question.
It all started last July, when I noticed (to my horror) that, despite working out six days a week and eating healthier than practically anyone I knew, I was bloated ALL THE TIME. And I was gaining weight, which is the worst thing that can ever happen to a person. (Don’t look at me like that. I know what you’re thinking—“But Sarah, what about [insert horrible, debilitating and/or disfiguring incident here]?” But you know what? People pity the injured, the sick, the victimized. Nobody pities the chubby).
Anyways, America being the wonderful country that it is, I didn’t have insurance. Until September. So I went to the doctor right before leaving for Spain and she was like, “Well, you have some sort of infection, I’m not sure what exactly but I’m going to go ahead and guess it’s a colon infection, which is weird for someone your age.”
True, but I’ve also already had arthritis and bunions. So we keep an open mind.
She gave me some antibiotics, I took them, and nada. By this time I was in Spain, so I had to climb down off the jet-lag/home-sickness bummer I was riding on and muster up enough gumption to go to the doctor here. In short: more tests, more pills, but no solution. Not even a diagnosis.
Then came Christmas and I was busy being forced to eat a ton of food by well-meaning Spaniards, which of course didn’t help anything. I arrived at a point where I was like, “You know what, stomach? You’re not going to digest things? Fine. I’m not going to feed you. But you’ve put me in a foul fucking mood, so expect to see a lot of alcohol,”
This troubled my mother, who insisted that I go to the ER, to settle this shit once and for all (this sounds extreme, but it’s because they don’t really have insta-clinics here. You either make a Dr’s appointment for a few days/weeks later or you go to the ER). So I did, and they sent me to a new doctor, who also implied that my problems stem from chewing gum/eating nuts/being a hysterical woman and generally not knowing what I’m talking about/making a big deal out of nothing.
Now here I am, tummy full of pink barium, bra in a bag, waiting to be called in again for round three of the radiology shuffle.
At least it’s entertaining.