Last year, Sandy and I took an early-season camping trip, just the two of us. We had a borrowed tent, a borrowed tarp, and a leaky cooler… The trip was great, but our gear sucked.
So, a few weeks later we went to Target and stocked up: tent, cooler, sleeping pad, even a lantern! We were really excited to head out to Starved Rock with some friends for a camping trip the following Friday.
On that Wednesday, I took some of the kids from my youth program to Bennigans, where we ate a huge amount of tacky food. Wednesday night I didn’t feel so good, and I cursed Bennigans.
On Thursday, my general gassy queasiness turned into a kind of throbbing ache in my abdomen. It just got worse and worse. By the time I got to my parents’ house for dinner with my cousins, I was pretty sure that something other than novelty desserts was at work.
I called my doctor and checked the internet, and we all agreed that it sounded like my appendix was probably the culprit here. But since the nurse said that my doctor said I should “probably go to the emergency room soon,” and not “GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM RIGHT NOW,” I sat down to enjoy some quality time with my cousins, and at least get some dinner.
My whole family, you see, is pretty laid back about the emergency room, due to a fairly excessive number of visits for various chronic ailments. Not bleeding or choking? Let’s have dinner first!
Well, many hours, one horrible CAT scan dye drink, one weirdly hot and tingly CAT scan, a few blood draws, and an internal exam later, yep: appendicitis.
This year, I must admit, I was somewhat worried that another internal appendage might go nuts on me. Perhaps a gallbladder problem? A spleeny spleen? Would Sandy again have to spend a night sleeping on a foldout chair in a hospital room instead of on a sleeping pad in a tent?
No need to worry. I was happy and healthy this year. Plus, we had the added benefit of still having all this new-to-us camping stuff in the closet still in its original packaging. It was like unwrapping a present we had forgotten about.