Josh Goes to the Hospital
1. I had a stomach ache. The previous night I had woken up at four in the morning in pain. I tried shifting around in bed to try to get in a comfortable position, but it didnít relieve the pain. I tried bending my knees to my chest, lying on my stomach, my back, and my side. My stomach hurt no matter how I was lying down. I couldnít sleep. My upper lip curled so my face showed that I was in pain. I tried moaning, but that didnít help either. It just made noise. When I did finally fall asleep, I woke up an hour later with the same pain and really hot. I had to open the window. Soon it was too cold so I closed it again. It did not feel like a normal stomach ache.
2. The next morning I went to the doctor because my stomach still hurt. I thought he would tell me I had a stomach virus or something like that and then give me some medicine. He didnít. When got to the doctorís office, the nurse showed me to an exam room. She took my temperature and asked me few questions about what was wrong. She left and said the doctor would be in soon. When he came in, I told him all my symptoms, too. The doctor was confused. He seemed more worried than I was. He wasnít sure what was wrong with me. He said that I should go to the hospital to make sure I didnít have appendicitis even though the pain was not near my appendix. I said I would if he thought that I should. He called me a cab.
3. The cab brought me to the Emergency Room. My doctor had called them in advance to tell them that I was coming and to check me for appendicitis. When I got there, I walked into a room with a nurse. She told me to sit down. A sliding door closed behind me. The glass was frosted so I couldnít see through it into the waiting room. They couldnít see me either. The nurse asked me a lot of questions about my insurance, address and phone number. Then another nurse came in to take over and ask some more questions, and then a third. I told them everything I knew sometimes I had to repeat myself. As she walked me to a hospital bed, she apologized for being sluggish. She explained that the hospitalís Christmas dinner was that night and everyone had been eating a lot. She told me what was on the menu even though I wasnít really listening. She said that she had not gotten her dessert yet. Then she said, ďBut you have a stomach ache donít you, so you probably donít want to hear about all that.Ē I smiled and tried to laugh as I grabbed my hair nervously.
4. When we got to the bed, there was a hospital gown. The nurse told me to get undressed and put on the gown and wait for the doctor. She left. I took off my clothes and put on the gown, but I didnít know where to put my clothing. There was no extra chair to put it on and I didnít want to put it on the counter where there were medical supplies. I put all my clothing on the bed and got onto the bed next to my pile of clothing and waited.
5. The doctor came in and I told her all my symptoms again. She said that she wanted to take some blood for testing and also give me some fluids through an IV. I wasnít expecting that. When I heard IV, I began to think something was serious. When she asked if that would be okay, I tried to say ďif you think thatís what I needĒ but the words didnít come out right. I was stuttering. I took a deep breath and tried to say it again. She smiled at me and left. A nurse came in and asked if I was supposed to get an IV. I said yes. She set up all the things she needed. I watched her. She took my arm and wiped some alcohol on it. The smell made me feel a little nervous. She tried to stick the IV in one of my veins. It stung. I began to feel very warm. The nurse said that she couldnít stick that vein. It was too small. She tried another one, even though she said it was a more sensitive spot. I put my other arm over my head. She slowly put the needle into my arm again. I took the blanket that had been covering me off. The nurse asked if I was alright. I said that I wasnít expecting all this and that the needle was making me sweat. She said that once it was in it would make me feel cool since the fluid was cold. She was right. Once it was in my arm and she had taken the blood, she hooked up a bag of fluid and left. My arm began to feel cold as if there was a bag of ice next to my arm. I waited for the doctor to come back with the test results. The nurse said it would take an hour.
Harvard Death Fugue
On the Exploitation of Bruno Schulz
The Jews of Istanbul
The Truth about the Rosenbergs
Thinking despite Doubt, Feeling despite Truth
Josh Goes to the Hospital
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From previous issues:
Shtupping in the Shadow of the Bomb