Saturday, June 02, 2007

Saturday Afternoon Emergency

I find that there is no better place to spend a hot summer Saturday than in the emergency room. Its air conditioned to chill you straight to the bone, and it stretches the weekend out because in the emergency room time actually stands still.

Funnily enough, our first choice for this fine Saturday wasn't the emergency room, but was to go to Coney Island to see the old rotting amusement park one last time before it is torn down to make room for the future - which is, as always, condos. But that was not to be when this morning, Max asked me quietly if he could speak to me. Turns out he had been suffering since the night before with a sharp pain in his right testicle but was hoping that it would go away. But it wasn't going away and he had to tell me because I was rushing him along to get ready to go to Coney Island, where there are rides that would surely be unkind to his right testicle.

Before we decided to go to the hospital, we thought it might be wise to look up symptoms on the internet. Max, much like his mother, will never be a doctor. Because once I started reading about torsion he said he felt like he was going to faint. I tried to get him to sit on the couch and put his head between his legs but he simply fell forward on his head and crashed down. It only lasted a minute but we realized that more information at this point wasn't going to help, so we put on shoes and got in a taxi to go 5 blocks to the emergency room.

The best part of the emergency room with a child is that you get to go to the pediatric section and not have to sit with the sick and bleeding adults in the waiting room. You get to skip straight to the area that has the screaming babies, and that was, once upon a time, completely decorated with frogs. The nurse who did the decorating has since left and, sadly, now all that is left is one little frog statue that happened to have a real life fly sitting on its head.

After some prodding and poking, the resident couldn't figure out what might be wrong and she brought in the real doctor who very quickly diagnosed appendix testicular torsion. She knew because of the "blue dot test." She showed this to the resident who had never heard of this before and asked if she could see it again. I was pleased to be part of her learning experience but Max wasn't so pleased that they had to have yet another look at his jewels.

What is this weird sounding part of the body? It's a small "structure" that sometimes gets twisted ("torsion") and hurts for 3-7 days and then goes away. Apparently there is no other problem with it and once it goes away it's done and gone.

After that invasion it was on to the sonogram to make sure that the diagnosis was correct and there was nothing else to worry about. Max was wheeled up the elevator and through a maze of deserted hallways because apparently nobody else but us gets to use the 2nd floor of a major NYC hospital on a Saturday. Also, nobody cleans this floor because it smelled BAD BAD BAD. We had to sit in this stench while waiting for the radiologist. We ate mints to try to distract our noses from the BAD SMELL.

Of course we got another resident. When I told him the diagnosis of the emergency room doctor he looked at me with a pitying glance and said, "Well that's highly unlikely." Really. 20 minutes later after poking and prodding he said he saw nothing wrong and couldn't figure what was causing the pain. All blood was circulating normally, which is good. But not knowing what is causing the pain is bad. So once again we needed to see the REAL doctor.

While we waited we joked with Max that they probably weren't using a big enough tool because the enormity of his parts were so masculine. And sure enough, when the doctor came in he looked at the probe and said to the resident," You were using a 6? No you should have used a 15." So they plugged in the 15, which was gigantic and this doctor didn't have the gentle touch of the fake new doctor so it really hurt. However, he pretty quickly found the appendix thingymagig and declared that Max has a torsion in his appendix testicle. Really? I thought it was unlikely but apparently REAL doctors know what they are doing while resident doctors are morons and shouldn't be allowed to speak to actual patients.

So what is the treatment? Take 3 motrin and call me in the morning. Literally. That is what they said.

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