The other day TWC observed that it was pretty likely that the practice of medicine is one third science, one third experience, and one third darts. And maybe another third magic.
I had my meet up with Doc Eko today. Turns out that the best time of day to book an appointment is at 2:00, right after lunch. Wham. Bam. Thank You Ma'am. I handed over the co-pay and a mere three pages into Jack Reacher she called my name for the blood pressure and then whisked me off to the room.
I can't fault the ER doctor at Loma Linda last Sunday, he did the best that he could with the information at hand. Hey, I still give these guys five stars. CT Scan, blood workup, pee in a cup.....his money was on kidney stones, but all he got was zip and nada. After ruling out everything else he settled on a colon infection. What else could create that kind of pain? The RN gave me a shot and some serious antibiotics and sent me home.
What I assumed to be an allergic reaction to a powerful antibiotic called Cipro, was something altogether different, thus explaining why the pictures of allergic reactions to Cipro on the intertubes didn't look like my mess.
Doc Eko took one look and pronounced it to be shingles, not an allergic reaction to antibiotics. Shingles(!)? That's what Old Man Kenny had. He used to live down the alley from me in Fullerton. Good Lord, I ain't that old.
The reason why the ER doc, Dr Z, wasn't able to diagnose is because the full symptoms hadn't manifested yet. Apparently shingles starts down deep, near the kidney. Then the pain follows the nerves that wrap around your belly and ultimately explodes on the surface of the skin. The pain is unbearable (Hear! Hear!) but it takes about a week before you see the inevitable pustules and sores on the skin wrapping around from your back to your groin. TMI, I know. Be happy I didn't take a pic.
When you have chicken pox as a vagrant yoot, the virus never goes away. It hangs around, causing trouble, but your immune system slaps it around and beats it down. Until you get some miles on the odometer, that is. Eko says it's stress induced. I don't know exactly what kind of stress triggered this, I don't feel particularly stressed out. Yeah, I know, it's tax season, but still. The upside is that there is a vaccine that will stop this from happening again. Yes, I'm getting it.
Oh, but wait, there's more. That elongated water balloon swelling on the same side of the abdomen? Completely unrelated. My error was assuming a connection to the pain without end, when really it's a dam hernia. WTH? Probably from wrestling that dang Beans around. Who ever heard of an 85 pound puppy? Surgery to come, which don't impress me much. I've not had surgery, except tonsils when I was young enough to care about anything but the promise of ice cream for dinner. I don't think you get Breyers after hernia surgery.
Doc Eko gave me steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs. I'm just happy it isn't anything more serious, though it hurts like hell. But not like it did a week ago when I was looking for double edged razor blades and a hot bath.
Thanks for all your good wishes and concern over the past ten days.
This too, shall pass, and I'm glad it isn't a kidney stone that shall pass.