By 2 a.m., I’d made it to a bed, with David beside me in a chair. The first bona fide doctor I’d seen all day appeared, kneaded my stomach with his fingers, and asked me how I felt. “I feel fine,” I answered honestly. As with all the nurses and assistants before him, he dismissed the bitter-taste issue. He explained the risks of a CT scan. Then he said that, based on his examination, he didn’t think a scan was necessary, so he cancelled it. I was discharged at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday with a belly full of contrast liquid and a hole-ridden arm bedeviled by super-stick medical tape.
The pain returned the next time I ate. But I stayed home. The last thing I wanted to do was spend another ten hours in a hospital, just to be sent away with mounting doctor’s bills and as clueless about my condition as when I arrived. Instead, I lay on my bed, probed my stomach with my fingers the way the doctor had, and told myself I feel fine.