Gastroenteritis… or maybe just gas.

Wednesday around 3PM my stomach started hurting so bad that I almost cried. And I am NOT a crier. The pain prompted me to Wed-MD my symptoms, which naturally yielded a variety of exciting diagnoses ranging from constipation to pancreatitis to stomach cancer. After some contemplation, I decided that calling my real doctor would be a worthwile venture.

Unfortunately, upon calling my HMO, i learned that the hot asian doctor has taken an extended leave of absence, which meant I needed to sign on with a new PCP before I could be seen.

I love how the people in the medical practice are all, “Hey, now you can CHOOSE your doctor!” like it’s this big deal to be able to choose from 5 different strangers on a webpage list. What kind of criteria is one supposed to use in that situation? “ooh, her name is Mary. Like the Virgin. I think she’ll be my new doctor!” Why don’t they put some REAL information up there? “Doctor A has an eating disorder and is uncomfortable around fat people” “Doctor B has good rapport with tall chicks but battles an irrational fear of midgets”

For lack of a better method, I chose the first doctor on the list, a nice-looking young woman who enjoys sports. (as an afterthought, this was probably a bad idea. the closest I get to ‘sports’ is beer pong, and I don’t know if she’d get that as a one-liner.)

after selecting her as my new PCP, I was transferred up to a woman who couldn’t seem to grasp the spelling of my last name.

“your last name is English?”

“no, no, A as in apple, N as in Nancy…”

“m as in michael?”

“could you transfer me, please?”

finally connected with a nurse, I gave my symptoms (pain in the region of my diaphragm, kind of throbbing and cramp-y, never get heartburn, etc). She asked me a bunch of questions in response, such as; had I eaten tomatoes? anything spicy? coffee?

Of course, the answers were yes yes and yes. I LOVE spicy food. I would MAINLINE coffee if I could. And tomatoes, well, yeah, I ate tomatoes, but they’re TOMATOES. Come on. Then she laid down the bad news. It sounded to her like acid reflux or some such nonsense, which meant that i couldn’t eat anything:

spicy
hot
chocolate (!!!)
caffienated
cold
or
tomato-based

Which basically eliminates everything in my daily diet save for cereal and cheese.

Thankfully, I think that I’ve proven (scientifically) that acid reflux is not the cause of my malaise. Last night I went out and unabashedly scarfed nachos and buffalo tenders, washed down with a king’s share of vodka and some beer. This morning, the only thing that hurts is my head.

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