It turns out I was wrong about my Friday night adventure; it wasn't food poisoning after all. It was the acute onset of appendicitis!
All day Saturday, I was hoping the pain in my lower right abdomen would go away, and it did diminish, mostly when I remained upright. But that night, I woke up just after midnight with the same severe pain I'd experienced the night before. I hovered about for a while, worrying about what to do, and then at 1:30 AM I told Dean I was going to Emergency.
I was suspecting appendicitis, although I didn't have all the symptoms; it was just that the websites all said that if the pain persisted over many hours, you should seek medical treatment. The fact that I couldn't explain what was causing the pain worried me, so I finally felt I had no choice.
Going to Emergency is something I am VERY reluctant to do, because all the horror stories you've heard are true. I've waited over 4 hours in Emergency with pneumonia, so this time I filled a tote bag with books and headed off, expecting the worst, as it was a Saturday night and the first really hot weekend we've had all summer. As I'd feared, the place was crowded. It was also being renovated, so we were all stuffed into a windowless waiting place with bare white drywall walls, chairs and little else. I'm glad I took a taxi, because if I'd driven, I might not have been able to find the entrance, it looked so different.
To my great surprise, I was taken in as a patient after only 1 1/2 hours in the waiting room, before many other people who'd arrived before me. I guess suspicion of appendicitis rates higher on the triage list than many other ailments. I noted with amusement that the very full waiting room was almost entirely composed of locally-grown inhabitants; in other words, very few foreigners. I suspect the weekend and the heat resulted in a LOT of excessive drinking, with the accompanying fights and falling off of porches.
The first doctor who saw me was a little unsure about what was ailing me, because I had no fever, and my blood work showed a normal white-cell count, so she called in the senior doctor, and they speculated that it could be some problem with the liver or pancreas. The end result was that they decided I should have a CT scan. This finally happened about about 9:00 am, and then about half an hour later they told me the result: I had appendicitis. (Ha! I knew I was right!)
Well, then it was a matter of waiting for a room upstairs, which finally came available at around 2:00 in the afternoon (until then I dozed in my Emergency bed), then into surgery at 6:30. It turned out to be more inflamed than they had been able to tell from the CT scan, so the surgery took about 2.5 hours, instead of the typical 1 hour. But it all went well, and I recovered pretty quickly.
The only problem was that I hadn't eaten since 6:00 PM Saturday night, so by Monday morning, what with the anaesthetic and the surgery, I was a bit shaky. And abdominal surgery often has an unfortunate side-effect: bloating and gas. The only way to dispel this is to walk around, but I didn't feel I could safely walk around until I had something to eat. However, I wouldn't be given anything solid to eat until my bloating stopped! So to get out of this Catch-22, I decided to go out and weakly shuffle up and down the hall, holding onto the railing along the wall, until a little relief ensued, and then I was able to eat a VERY light breakfast of Jello and tea. That lemon Jello was the tastiest thing I'd ever had, and the bit of sugar it provided gave me energy to move around a bit more, so eventually I was able to eat a muffin and then felt much better.
They would have released me this morning, but I'd eaten so little, they figured it was better to wait until after lunch, so I got home just a few hours ago.