The radiologist’s report of a recent ultrasound test done on me by a very prestigious California teaching hospital (nothing but the best for those of us who are medical insurance-challenged) read, in part, “the bladder and …”
Wait. Instead, let’s look at the Facebook exchange I envision based on my Facebook followers demented and disrespectful natures. I’ve cleverly disguised their identities by using totally random initials.
JCD: The radiologist said my “pelvic organs were grossly unremarkable.” Can he say that?
WAD: Of course he can. For it to be libel, it can’t be true.
JCD: I was waiting to see who would raise that particular point. One less Christmas present to buy this year.
WAD: One less ugly polyester tie to exchange for a pair of socks this year.
HMD: Your hoo-hoo is not a pelvic organ.
JCD: I beg your pardon. There are numerous pelvises who would dispute that. For one, just ask … Never mind. No need to embarrass a well-known celebrity.
HMD: Anthony Weiner?
JCD: Now that’s libel.
HMD: Only if it’s not true.
JWD: Unremarkable means nothing remarkable. You can’t get less remarkable than nothing, so why grossly unremarkable? I would focus on that. There can’t be more nothing than nothing. Either you’re something or you’re nothing.
JCD: Great point. At least someone is taking this seriously. That sounds subjective and therefore actionable.
JWD: Of course he did say “organs,” so grossly might not have been a commentary on your hoo-hoo as much as a lumping it together with gall bladders and such.
JCD: No had better be lumping my hoo-hoo with anything else. My hoo-hoo stands alone.
JWD: At your age?
JCD: Now that’s libel.
JWD: Only if it’s not true.
The whole thing started with a fairly innocuous bout of nausea and vomiting one Saturday morning. I put that off to bad salsa and went on about life. That Monday, I flew from Maryland to California on business and got in around nine PM, went to the hotel and went to bed. Woke up around 1 AM in as much pain as I have ever felt and after three hours of hoping it would go away, I went to the hospital where the aforementioned ultra sound test was conducted. Several times, along with a bunch of others. Four days of pain with no apparent cause.
On Friday, while the gall bladder/diverticulitis/pancreatitis debate raged in California, I flew home in time to get the parking ticket from the hospital and go to my family doctor on Saturday. Claire, my fiancé, had worked some telephone magic and gotten the doctors in California to communicate with the doctors in Maryland, and my family doctor read the reports and said, “Now I’m just a little maggot doctor in Thurmont, but I see two tests they should have run and didn’t.” He ran the tests, the first one concluded it was without doubt my gall bladder, and out it came on Tuesday.
Laproscopic surgery and I have this Siren/Odysseus relationship – they make it sound so good and then, BANG, you’re on the rocks and sinking fast. My first laproscopic surgery was to take thirty or forty minutes and leave three little nicks to remove my appendix. Instead, it took nearly five hours and I woke up the next day with a six-inch vertical scar through my naval and a section of bowel gone to the biohazard bin.
This time, it was to be a simple 40-minute gall bladder removal, only to find my gall bladder had gone zombie on me and was one of the living dead, decaying in my abdomen. That took the doctor four hours to subdue, and left me in pretty sad shape.
The surgeon said afterwards, and I quote, “You’re family doctor probably saved your life.” He said the gall bladder was on the verge of bursting, leaving me with the mother-of-all cases of peritonitis. So, if Claire hadn’t convinced medical bureaucrats to expedite records transfer, and if my primary care physician really had been “a little maggot doctor,” and if he hadn’t ordered the tests that a huge teaching hospital had ignored, and if the medical lab hadn’t had an opening on Monday, well, this would be my obituary.
Instead, I live to write more of the exciting adventures of My Bathroom Biography.