This is no stomach bug
Posted on 30 November 2012 by Susanna Mills
It had been an excellent holiday, but this really didn’t seem like the way it should end.
The griping spasms had started after getting off the plane but, by the time she went to bed, Julie was writhing around in pain.
Keith had limited sympathy. 'You're always doing this,' he said. 'Trying out the most weird and wonderful foods you can find, and then blaming the water in the hotel.'
But by morning Julie felt worse, not better, and her anguished grimacing prompted Keith into action. 'We need to get you to a hospital,' he announced, and a short ride later, Julie arrived at an emergency department.
In due course, Julie and Keith were escorted to a cubicle, where the foundation doctor 2 took a history. 'So you've been on holiday,' she summarised 'in Egypt.' And you say you've enjoyed tasting the local foods, including the delights of the souks. Right…'
The FY2 proceeded to an abdominal examination. 'You’ve got a remarkably good tan,' she noted. 'You’re looking — well, extremely healthy really.'
She made a few token prods and percusses, but to Julie and Keith it was apparent that the diagnosis had already been made. They looked at each other in exasperation.
'I know I’m looking well,' offered Julie, 'and I have just returned from north Africa. But this really feels like something quite serious.'
She grimaced in pain again, and the FY2 offered a condescending smile. 'Of course I understand,' she nodded, 'a tummy upset can be really miserable. But you’ll be feeling so much better by morning.' A few minutes later, Julie was discharged, and returned home.
And to be fair, she really did feel much better in the morning — but only as she awoke from the anaesthetic, with her burst appendix nestled, now innocuous, in a carefully sealed plastic bag.
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