Friday, June 24, 2016

You know, like one of those twins just made of teeth and hair

Nick captioned this "Lisa doesn't get enough attention at home."
In the last two weeks I've had adventures in belly button pain, chest pain, two visits to the ER, and one to a surgeon.

So, a couple weeks ago my belly button and the area around it started hurting really badly.

I know, I know. Nobody has ever heard of a pain in the belly button.

I did an ab workout on a Monday and the next day it started hurting, and it hurt worse on Wednesday, at which point Nick and some other friends suggested it might be a hernia and I should see my doctor.

I saw my doctor, who sent me to the ER.

I don't know if you've spent any time in the ER. I myself had only been a bystander in times prior. Mostly with my dad. As such, I brought a book and plenty of water and snacks.

But when you're the patient and they think you might have a hernia then they are all, nope, no eating or drinking anything in case we have to do emergency surgery. Oh, but here, drink this bottle of gross stuff for your CT scan.

Initially I said no thank you to an IV, just go ahead and take my blood, because really, I won't be staying that long.

Everyone winds up with an IV, apparently.

And eventually they stuck iodine in my IV, and then I got my CT scan, and then I got X-rays.

But first they poked my stomach a whole lot, while I tried not to scream profanity.

"How much does it hurt? On a scale of 1-10?"

When I had Jordan and the nurses forgot to hook up my pain meds post-C-section (but hadn't yet realized it), they asked me this question.

I had language like, "How much? Like a motherfucker."

But now I understand the scale, and I have a concrete 10. So I was able to say, "Well, if 10 is labor, then I would say 6 or 7."

They like when you give them numbers rather than vague terms like motherfucker.

After seven hours and two tests and much poking they determined that I didn't have a hernia, or if I did, nothing was stuck. Because did you know little bits of your bowel can get stuck and then they die and then this is VERY PROBLEM.

They discharged me and told me to make an appointment with a surgeon, and to come back if I had more pain.

Genuinely, everyone was lovely. Really professional and lovely. Also, two of the nurses had read Gone Girl, which was the book I'd brought with me. We had good conversation.

So I took my hurty belly button home and then the next day I started having sharp pains in my stomach and chest. This persisted until Sunday, at which point Nick was like, let's just make sure it's not a heart attack because pains in your chest!

So we trekked back to the ER, and when we were checking in I was all, "Well, see, I was here on Wednesday and then I started getting sharp pains in my stomach and right around my heart and I think it's the stuff that I had to drink..."

And Nick was all, "CHEST PAIN."

At which point they put me on a stretcher and hooked up five million little thingies and put in an IV.

If you want immediate attention, it turns out "chest pain" is the way to go.

So they did another CT scan--this time of my heart. And they asked a whole bunch of questions. And then said they though it was acid reflux and gave me a prescription antacid and sent me on my way.

And then yesterday I saw the surgeon.

She asked what my story was. She had the whole history and the scans.

So I told her that at this point, my belly button only hurts when I poke it.

She gave me a look and said, "You know what I'm going to suggest, right?"

I explained that I only poke it once a day to see if it still hurts, which it barely does at this point.

So she did some exploration and determined that if I have a hole, it is a tiny one. And that she'd have to do surgery to see if I needed surgery, which she didn't want to do.

She suggested I just not do any ab work for six weeks. Several friends have offered to not do any as well in solidarity. I asked if they'd also up their Cheetos consumption with me, and a couple were gracious enough to say yes.

And now I need to see a gastroenterologist about my potential acid reflux. Which I still think is my body freaking out from CT scan drink and iodine.

But now I'm like, huh, maybe I do have a wee hole in my belly button? And it lets air in? And maybe that's my whole problem?

Or maybe, as Kris suggested, it's "something benign, like one of those twins just made of teeth and hair".

One can hope, sister wife, one can hope.


  1. I'm sorry you had to go through all the poking and prodding from doctors and all the waiting, dear friend. I will take a break from ab workouts with you. I might even have a little ice-cream in your honor :)

    1. You are so kind, Heather! Thank you very much for the solidarity. And the ice cream in my honor. :)

  2. I spent a late night at the ER with John having belly button pain! Turns out it was painful gas...hope you are on the mend.

  3. I hope you feel better soon, and they figure out what is going on quickly. It's so hard to take care of kids when you aren't feeling well!

  4. Eerily or not, my sister's has been going through the very same motions since a month or two. The pain made her eyes tear up while talking. A trip to the doctor, an endoscopy and a few poop tests later we are none the wiser as to the cause. So she just avoids pizza now a days. :)


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