Two Words Not to Be Used Together

Exactly one week ago today, I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible pain that stretched across my abdomen. Generally, it emanated from the left side. My habit is to sleep on my side and then to roll over onto my back. That roll did it. What? I don’t know but it hurt like hell. My mind played a loop of organs in the abdomen; heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, appendix, pancreas, stomach, bladder and so on. What did I eat to stimulate this pain? All I know is that no amount of rolling side to side changed the outcome.

Early in the week, I decided to take a vacation from my KETO diet. At first, it felt strange to order things on the menu that were previously untouchable but highly desirable, like bread, potatoes, or ice cream. It only took two days for me to deliberately fall off the wagon. The plan was to go back to strict KETO again after the vacation ended.

We had a delightful day browsing antique malls and stopped at Clementine’s in South Haven for a late lunch. I had a turkey club sandwich with curly fries. For desert, I was disappointed to learn that the Sherman’s Ice Cream shop that was previously across the street from Clementine’s was not there. I rationalized that the high fat content in the ice cream made it KETO (WRONG!!!). I Instead of walking across the street for an ice cream cone I drove a mile and a half down the street to the original Sherman’s. Believe it or not there was a line of people standing six feet apart wrapped around the building. COVID hit Sherman’s as it hit everything. Sherman’s wasn’t about to concede to the virus and they remodeled their store completely. Originally, they were an inside ice cream shop, Now, they were an outside window shop like a Dairy Queen, place your order at the window and pay, they give you a ticket and call you when your order is scooped. They had a bunch of old-fashioned picnic tables scattered around the building spaced six feet apart to handle the crowd. They also provided an awning over the line so people would not have to bear the hot July sun while waiting to place an order.

It only took a few minutes before our order was called which we happily picked up and headed for the car. There, we sat with the windows down enjoying the late afternoon sun drop, and spooning ice cream, it was good, but not KETO. Neither of us spoke while enjoying this rich creamy delicacy known as ice cream. We saved the spoken words for later when we drove to our cabin in the woods.

Our evening was somewhat uneventful, and I spent it reading a novel, while my partner read her celebrity gossip magazines. Eventually, I tired of reading and turned to my computer to stream a favorite program episode before going to bed. I never used my pc to watch TV before, so it took a bit to get the computer set up for wi-fi. Thankfully, I found a little black box that provided the wireless link, and also the password. A testament to the fact that miracles do happen.

The program I watch is called Cruising the Cut. It is a self-made reality series by a young man who has sold everything he owns to buy an antique long-boat which he uses to travel about England’s vast network of canals. The canals were built before railroads were invented as a way to transport goods from sea ports into the interior towns all across the country. It is a very relaxing way to travel at a couple miles per hour through some of the world’s prettiest countryside. A very simple way to lull one to sleep.

On a scale of 0-10 with zero being absolutely no feeling what so ever to a ten which is excruciating can’t bear it a for a second pain I ranked myself at eight. I rolled out of bed and found a nice easy chair to plop myself in. That’s when I envisioned the theory of what was happening to me. Here is my version: I switched from KETO to a normal diet too quickly and over loaded my pancreas. I am already a type two diabetic which pretty much means my own insulin is limited in what it can process. Like a fool I had a huge sandwich with three slices of very good white bread, loaded with strips of bacon and turkey accompanied by a pile of freshly made curly fries and topped with two scoops of Sherman’s extra creamy ice cream, and put the poor pancreas into dire stress. Add to that that I have heard that pancreatitis is extremely painful I self-diagnosed myself with self-induced pancreatic cancer with six months to live. It was not an easy night waiting for the sun to rise. I slept very little, and in the morning, I woke my sleeping beauty to announce that I needed her help to pack so we could leave for the emergency room. There are emergency rooms located all around Michigan, but I was determined to drive to the one by my house in Frankfort. That began one of the longest drives of my life.

I have never driven in traffic as heavy as that which I did last Saturday. Add the volume of traffic to the construction projects going on between Covert and Frankfort, and the drive time went from 90 minutes to 140. Thankfully, I have seat cooling on the Death Star so I set it on max to cool my hot pancreas. It seemed to work a little.

I can painfully prolong this painful story of where I am on the pain scale, but have opted to cut it short and to save it for another post on how Emergency Medicine works in an Illinois hospital considered state of the art on its ability to cope with emergencies and to move people through at record rates.

Oh, yes, the two words. Each one by itself does not evoke grimacing pain, but when put together the entire world changes, kidney-stone.

2 Responses

  1. All the best! Modern procedures are well equipped to handle kidney stones.

    • Based on the number of years since my last episode this is probably my last. The last boulder took a process called Lithotripsy to shatter.

Leave a Reply