Yesterday I had a pain in my lower abdomen. I've had it before and been intensively investigated including an intrusive ultrasound - not like the sort you have when you're pregnant. They never found what the problem was because tests take so long to organise it had always gone away again by the time the test came round.
Today the pain was still there - and much sharper than normal. The thing that worried me was that it was located just about where NHS Direct told me my appendix was. My GP surgery (as normal) couldn't give me an appointment until 12pm (how is that possible when their phone lines were down?!). Off I went to A&E.
I am a regular visitor to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as an outpatient but I'd never been to A&E before. A long (long) walk down the side - almost back to Cemetery Lane where I'd come from!
It seemed quiet, not at all as jammed as I expected. I gave my details at the desk... solved the mystery of the wheelchair delivery people not being able to contact me (the hospital had a very old mobile number)... and took a seat. I had my Kindle as whenever I've visited Eye Casualty Units I've been there for hours. Not very long later the PA system asked me to go to the mobile unit outside the entrance.
Delightful bright, airy (and above all clean smelling) portakabins. Now I did settle down and waited quite a while. I eventually saw the doctor with his amazing gadgets (he pointed a laser at my head for my temperature and took my blood pressure with a tiny little finger cap). Prodded and poked. Not appendicitis, but if it got worse or I developed a fever (etc) then come back. Strange thing - as I was leaving I apologised for wasting his time (was feeling a bit guilty for my over-reaction) but said I hadn't been able to get an appointment to see my doctor. You did, he told me, just not at the surgery. I thought I recognised him!! I congratulated him on his excellent memory, he told me it was the unusual name.
I kept the Doctor's appointment as I was now wondering if it was some sort of infection. The GP did some more poking and prodding and agreed that it wasn't appendicitis. Then he asked for a urine sample. Whenever this happens my bladder goes on strike - so he told me to bring one back later.
Two cans of coke, a pint of fruit juice and three pints of water later I eventually did. No infection I was told. Take paracetamol if it helps and rest. So I am.