This story is based on true facts & real events!
As you do not know (but might well be suspecting), I am a celebrated hypochondriac the likes of which is rarely encountered in practice, not least because I'm a highly functioning sort of nut, that pernicious kind which makes up a good, credible story and readily persuades innocent bystanders. No flamboyant excesses here except as may be introduced by fine degrees beyond the notice of any boiling frog ; no self-contradiction, no ready semiology someone trained in psychopathy may recognize and attach to. No siree, a smooth ball of crazy the sort of which makes insane asylum resident clinicians with thirty years of practice under their belt take up arms and man a post to defend one from the impending invasion of armed ne'er–do–wells aiming to do harm for no reason and no consideration!
And soii mid January I started feeling a dull pain in the RUQ - an abbreviation with which you're unfamiliar chiefly because there's no pain to be had there in regular, everyday people (unlike say LLQ, with which you'd be unfamiliar through lack of reading) - precisely localised under the lower ribs (ie, the place where the tip of the pancreas would project). Pancreas, geddit ? Huh ? Huh ?
This sent the spymaster into a complete tailspin, because novel poison! Undocumented attack! Notwithstanding that we have no indicia that anything of the sort would be in operational use, notwithstanding that who the hell would think such a thing is a good idea to begin with, nothwithstanding that it's not even clear such a wonder does in fact exist, there is no such thing as a coincidence! The fact of the matter being that I rarely encounter people who are more paranoid than I am, deep-ly-er, rich-ly-eriii paranoid than I am, it's only reasonable they'd end up in that post. Who else ?
Records were furiously reviewed, to reveal what I broadly knew already, speficially that we had spent thirty hours in the same public place during a whole fucking year, due to the exact security concern under discussion. But thirty hours could have been enough! It only takes five minutes, conceivably! Geiger counters were sent for, and they picked up nothing in the (still in vivo) animal in question - humbly, your very own moi. But what of it! So the same beast's habitat(s) were inspected, to no further edificational benefit - but what of it! There's a poison of some sort that specifically gives its unfortunate victims pancreatic cancer! So what if no such thing is known, and so what if what sense does it make, if you have the time to wait for this process you probably don't actually want to spend the resources to kill the fucker in the first place. Ignorance of proof is mere proof of ignorance, not of absence! We also don't know the secret RSA factorization algo! And other things!
I lost a pint of blood to tests, which came back with slightly elevated liver measurements, such as would be befitting a quaint burgeois middle-aged fellow with an array of slaves at his beck and call, eager to lick his parts in choreographed tandems or make him cakes and pies just for the askingiv - or otherwise such as would hide an early pancreatitis process!
Emergency call upon the country's expensive hospital resulted in emergency ultrasound which showed nothing at all, emergency computerized tomography which showed even less than that, and chief of clinic's face which showed a select array of bewilderment and incredulity that money really couldn't buy. Money did buy the rest, and to borrow the expression of a professional fellow in the country que no es un pais pobre, a middle class local could never afford to pay for this.
Eventually, emergency resources well exhausted, a specialist was called for to settle the matter once and for all. And what a fine specimen of a specialist he was, this fellow. He proceeded to palpate, correctly - how many people do you think still know to diagnose with their hands ? Yes, it is true, modern imagistic diagnostic tools work a lot better, more dependably, more efficiently and effectually. Do you know why they do that ? No, it's not by themselves. It's because in the hands of a fellow who knows how to diagnose with his bare hands if need be, the pretty pictures are entirely edifying. In the hands of a derp that went to school in autocad, the pretty pictures are, while just as pretty, worse than worthless. Medicine as a going concern is doomed - but what of it, let it be doomed, so are you.
He proceeded to auscultate, he proceeded to do a job that I've not seen done in twenty-odd years, since I last saw my old Jew doctor in Romania, as a small child - and did it properly. After which he proceeded to give his considered, professional oppinion.
You see, there's two places in the abdominal cavity where the intestine curves upwards (the equivalent arrangement of the gas trap in your sewage link) : the splenic and the hepatic. Sometimes gas can end up trapped in there, irritating the bowel. This is especially seen in people with a particular lifestyle - such lifestyle as may befit elite men in the patriarchy, for instance.
So on very elegant art deco pre-printed pages he wrote me various indications, including treatment, in the form of Trimebutine maleate and some surfactant. In his very elegant hand, going splendidly with the pre-printed font, going splendidly with his appearance altogether, going all the way to the arrangement of the set he inhabited. Well, maybe not quite that far, but anyway - rarely have I been impressed by a male in aesthetic terms before.
And so I took the pills, and felt much better, and there was much rejoicing.v———
- Pancreatic cancer is something like 0.1% of hospital admissions and 10% of hospital deaths or thereabouts. [↩]
- Hey, have you noticed the a-literation of the paragraphs to date ? Yeay ? Good for ya! Neay ? Well now you have! [↩]
- No, it's not my fault. Yes, it is your fault. Apology accepted. [↩]
- Do you remember that thing about the plums and the drunks ? It's worse with women - they can take all you can put in them, and more ; yet they can make all you can put in you, and more! [↩]
- Should you be one of those many who won't admit to it but nevertheless do in fact hold their manhoods cheap for not having been fighting with us on that fated Crispin's day, you may be excused for not rejoicing, but at least consider : I was nearly killed by a bubble.
At least in the estimation of those charged with my physical security & continued perpetuity, I was nearly killed by an intestinal bubble. [↩]