I was referred out to Radiology at the hospital for ultrasounds to try and see what was going on in my abdomen. A two week wait from making the appointment. In the meantime I'd been dealing with nausea daily and consistently, along with sharp abdominal pains that came and went, daily, no matter what I did, that were getting worse. Last night I was sitting down, gearing up for my latest "Once Upon A Time" fest when the sharpest pain to date struck. I felt like I was being stabbed in my side. I knew I had to go to the emergency room and possibly face emergency surgery all by myself. So I did what anyone would do: I packed my hospital bag and drove down to the ER.
I was taken back into the ER almost immediately. Anyone who has ever dealt with Navy Medicine, or any ER for that fact, knows I was thinking I was in for a LONG wait! They took me right back, and got me right into a little curtain room. The doc ordered more lab work and the corpsman prepped me with an IV should surgery be coming up. Those snacks I packed? Worthless, since I was told I couldn't eat anything until surgery was ruled out.
"IS THAT BLOOD RUNNING DOWN MY HAND?!" I asked him in a panic.
"Oh, don't worry, that's a good sign!" he assured me.
I'm no phlebotomist, but I'm pretty sure that's not how this works. That's not how ANY OF THIS works!
The staff was AWESOME. Everyone from the nurses who helped me, to the gal in radiology, to the corpsman (even the IV one who didn't slap my dramatic sobbing self). The doctor who helped me was great. Sadly- they couldn't find anything. I mean, don't get me wrong- that's great news! My liver is fine, my gall bladder is fine, my pancreas is fine! There was thankfully no emergency surgery and I was discharged around 1:30am or so. But now I sit and wait to get in for my ultrasound appointment next week to see if they see anything, and if they don't, I will be going to a GI specialist to see what could be causing me this constant nausea and this pain.
The best news is: Gene will be back for the ultrasound, so heaven forbid anything goes wrong, I won't be alone! I think I'm in for an awfully long road ahead, with several appointments and tests, where I will try my best to never say "I was on WebMD and saw _________! Maybe we should look at _________ and test for ________!"
If you are in Okinawa and ever need emergency care, based on my experience, you're in good hands with the folks at the US Naval Hospital!