C is for…

CHICKEN!

In January last year, I got a tummy ache. Quite innocent-sounding, you think? I did too. I had just had a meal with chicken in it, so immediately assumed it was a bit of food poisoning. I had food poisoning about five years ago and so I remembered what it felt like. I thought I just needed to ride it out. I spent the whole night squirming around in bed, feeling awful.

The next day I thought it wasn’t too bad. I still had a tummy ache but, using my usual theory of illnesses, (if you ignore it, it’ll probably go away) I went to work and just ignored my stomach ache all day. When I got home, though, it was no longer something that could be ignored. Thankfully I had the next day off and planned to just sit around, waiting for it to go away. But it got worse and worse.

After another sleepless night, I couldn’t deny the need to see a doctor anymore. I went to an NHS walk-in centre and was prodded and examined and the doctor said it could be something quite mild, stomach cramps maybe. If it’s not that though, it’s something REALLY BAD and I needed to get to A&E. She gave me something to deal with stomach cramps and said if they didn’t go after two doses, I needed to get to hospital. I smiled confidently, it would be fine. It was just some chicken I had eaten. Of course it couldn’t be anything major. Chicken can’t kill you.

The two doses were taken and, as much as I tried denying it, the stomach pains didn’t go away. O no. By about 3am on Saturday, I actually couldn’t get around the fact that I probably needed to go to A&E.

I arrived and was examined again by a doctor with a worried face then given some liquid paracetamol. I felt a bit silly actually, knowing that it was just some chicken. I just needed to wait until I vomited or something, then it would be out. What’s all the fuss? I thought, with embarrassment.

Then a lot of things happened at once, I was taken for an x-ray (surely chicken doesn’t show up on x-rays… does it?), lots of needles with things in were attached to my wrists and then, the worst thing ever. A doctor, thankfully really friendly and understanding, but ultimately, the destroyer of my life, arrived with a tube thingy and said these words…

“I just need to put this tube in your nose and into your stomach to make sure it’s empty before we operate.”

And I thought, ‘IT’S JUST SOME CHICKEN!! HONEST! I CAN SOLVE THE MYSTERY NOW! JUST DON’T DO IT!’

He saw my terrified face and asked if I’d had it done before. I hadn’t but I didn’t need to have. I knew it was going to be the worst thing I’d ever experienced. It felt like he wanted something from me, a piece of important information about a terrorist attack or he’d torture me. I would have given up ANYTHING then, anything he’d wanted! I would have admitted things I’d never done, a murder, a theft, anything! Just don’t put that tube up my nose!

“When you feel the tube scratching the back of your throat, just have a drink of water and it will make the tube go to your stomach easier. It’s not that bad, honest,” he reassured me. Then he approached, with the torture implement in his hands and put it in my nose… and just kept pushing it. AWFUL! THE MOST AWFUL THING I’VE EVER HAD DONE IN MY LIFE! As instructed, I grabbed some water when I felt it in my throat but I was sobbing and feeling traumatised so instead of swallowing the water, I was just tipping the glass up against my face, crying like a baby and soaking the front of the lovely pink hospital night gown I was wearing. Awful.

Then they wheeled me to a new room, said I was next in the operating theatre, it was an emergency and I might wake up with a colostomy bag! I was a bit out of it, so I know they talked me through it properly but I was so distracted by the nose tube I couldn’t concentrate. I remember as they were putting me under the anaesthetic, I was still thinking, with embarrassment, about how they’d find a little peice of chicken and realise it was a lot of fuss for nothing.

In the end, I woke up WITHOUT a colostomy bag but WITH a ten inch scar down my front full of massive staples, was told it was something really rare called a transverse colon volvulus (where your colon twists around on itself – mental!) and written up in a medical journal.

And no, it was nothing to do with the chicken I ate.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. WOW! that’s all I can say, glad to hear all is now well.

    Reply

  2. […] in a situation of stress. Like last year, when I got really ill and had the emergency operation (C is for), I got really addicted to Top Gear. There are a billion episodes being repeated constantly and I […]

    Reply

  3. […] two years ago, as mentioned in C is for…, I had a bit of an emergency. Like a life-threatening, I-thought-it-was-some-mild-food-poisoning, […]

    Reply

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