(Or, “In Which I Reference Harry Potter, Lost, Robert Browning, and Lord of the Rings, and Hope that No One Realizes that my Browning Reference Is Actually a Neon Genesis Evangelion Reference”)
So, in Part Two of my 39-part series, “Neal freaks out about organ loss” (see Part One here), I’d like to talk about an organ no bigger than the human appendix:
The human appendix.
Specifically, my appendix. That’s right, today I was incredibly happy to find out that my appendix was no larger than normal, and thus not particularly liable to rupture and fill me with deadly poison.
I mean, what’s the appendix doing down there, anyway, all full of deadly poison? Isn’t that just asking for some shit? It’s like the appendix is some kill switch the aliens implanted in us to terminate us in as painful and miserable a way as possible when we step out of line.
As it turns out, there’s new evidence for a sort-of-new theory about what the appendix actually does: it stores beneficial bacteria that live in your stomach and help you digest food and fight off sickness.
So with this in mind, I was somewhat reluctant to have my appendix carved out by some Muggle nutter who cuts people open; especially given the heightened risk of opportunistic infections that I’ve heard accompanies Georgian hospitals. Fortunately, I didn’t have to. Apparently this is the month where I get to keep all my organs.
Sunday morning was when the pain started in. I toughed it out because Chef Steve Diamond was having a dinner party at Chez Steve Diamond and his food is to die for. I almost did. In a way I was lucky; normally I don’t get to taste Steve’s food over and over again throughout the course of a night. Anyway between the vomiting and the extreme pain and the sleeplessness and the extreme pain, I started entertaining thoughts.
I had a friend back in New York who had appendicitis, you see. He thought it was food poisoning, so he didn’t go to the doctor until it was too late. I’ll never forget his tragic story. His appendix burst. He couldn’t drink alcohol for literally months after that fateful morn… it’s one of the most horrifying tales of woe I’ve ever encountered. I didn’t want to suffer my good friend’s fate, so I figured that if the pain didn’t go away by today, I’d throw caution to the wind and make haste to the doctor. I’d put my fate in the hands of a Georgian medical man.
I knew a guy at the Police Academy who’d retired from medicine and decided to become Police. He told me he’d performed over a thousand surgeries. Unfortunately I didn’t get his number, so I just called my insurance agency. They made me an appointment within two hours from my call. To the doctor I went.
Patient presents with intermittent severe abdominal pain. Complains of vomiting but no diarrhea and no fever. Patient history reveals he has had diarrhea once before. This information is inconclusive.
Fact: the medical center in Vake where TLG sends us has its very own ultrasound lab! It’s been open for 10 years, apparently (if my Georgian reading skills are correct… it might have said they had 10 books). I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be pregnant… it feels like getting lube smeared all over your distended abdomen and getting fondled with a cold plastic knob while a doctor reads out mysterious numbers. 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42… what could those mean? Aw, crap, am I dead? (spoiler alert!)
So my doctor sent me for an ultrasound, and the ultrasound dude told me I had nothing to worry about. He said the appendix was in its heaven and all was right with the world. Suggested I consult with a gastro-intestinal specialist. Apparently my doctor disconcurred, or maybe that woman she was arguing with was a gastro-intestinal specialist, because she just gave me a prescription and sent me on my way. ALL FREE, by the way, hip-hip-hooray for health insurance!
So now that you know that I didn’t end up having to get my appendix removed, the rest of the post is pretty boring. Oh, wait, I told you that on like the third line. Why are you still reading this???
As I left the doctor’s office I imagined the Ultrasound Technician saying, “we don’t want your kidneys OR your appendix!” while his whore friends giggled at my foolishness.
I came home and researched the drugs my doctor gave me. To my surprise, this time they were all legit! No unnecessary antibiotics, no random antacids with laxatives mixed in to fight the constipation the antacids give you… just some anti-spasmodics and anti-gas and anti-constipation meds, all of which totaled only 33 lari from which I only paid 16 and change, which is like ten dollars – FUCK YEAH GO HEALTH INSURANCE AND A FREE MARKET IN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS fucking FDA don’t know shit… what was I saying?
Oh, yeah, one of the medications is called “Eucarbon”, which I think is Greek for “Good Carbon.” I popped it out of its blister pack, and I was absolutely shocked to find a matte black tablet (can’t say that five times fast) glaring at me like the Eye of Sauron. It left a residue behind on my hand… yes, Eucarbon is mainly charcoal. But it’s “good” charcoal. That’s why they don’t call it “Discarbon”.
Every time I get sick in Georgia my perspective is subtly altered. Or smashed into a thousand pieces. But this time, subtly altered. After how amazing the last stomach medication I took here was (which I somehow failed to blog about, but it was awesome), I have a weird bit of faith in Georgian doctors, which is odd because I still have no faith in American doctors.
Anyway, I took a bunch of pills so let’s hope I don’t spend all night vomiting like I did last night and the night before! (I think those were Elvis’s last words…)