My husband took the children to the car at the silent request of the other diners. I scarfed the remaining chili con queso. My stomach hurt quite a bit as I inhaled that fine Mexican feast, but I just couldn’t stop myself.
Turns out, that was the queso that broke the idiot’s intestines.
The following morning brought no relief. I dropped the boys off at my mother’s and went to the doctor. It was a check-up for a previous incident. I could barely stand up for the exam but did not mention the pain. I assumed it was gas, and I was too embarrassed to tell the doctor. I believed a nap and a good fart would clear it all up.
The nap did not help. No release of any gas came forth. I decided I had a real problem and drove to a ‘doc in the box’. When I arrived, I was hunched over and sweating. I approached the receptionist and tried not to sway. She explained that it would be best if I left a phone number so she could call me back in a couple of hours to return.
“That’s not going to work. I’m in too much pain. I probably shouldn’t be driving.”
Her glare told me she thought I was just trying to jump ahead in line. I stumbled to a chair in the waiting room. People came and went but none looked to be suffering. I hated them all.
A little over an hour later I was called back. The nurse asked personal questions about my recent bathroom habits. She had me lie down to see if the pain would ease. It did not. Finally a doctor came in and repeated the bathroom survey and physical examination of my abdomen. He then ordered a quick x-ray just to be sure.
There was more waiting and finally another appearance by the doctor. He said the x-rays were clear though there was one spot that looked suspicious.
“It could be a bowel obstruction or scar tissue from one, but that’s pretty rare. You’ve never had one of those have you?”
“Um, yeah, I have. I had one after the birth of my twins two years ago.”
Oh. That changed everything. He insisted I go to the hospital right away. I drove myself there while calling my mom to tell her she won the keep-my-kids-longer lottery. I was slumped over the steering wheel and praying for green lights.
When I arrived, I showed them my ER VIP card (yes, really) and was taken back immediately. My father arrived with a serious face. They gave me relief from the pain via an IV. There were more x-rays and more serious doctor faces. My husband arrived just in time to see me get a nasogastric tube shoved down my throat.
Then, around midnight, a surgeon cut out five inches of my intestine and my appendix for good measure.
I don’t blame the queso. I blame myself.
This post is part of the yeahwrite summer series.