Author’s note: This is a recollection of my events from a year ago. There is no need to panic.
It is Saturday morning and I wake up still feeling nauseous. I have a complete lack of appetite but I force myself to go to McDonalds and get two Egg McMuffins. I can only eat one of them and throw the other away. The rest of my day is spent in the recliner watching TV as I feel miserable. Kelly reminds me that I made a promise to go to the ER. At around 6:00 in the evening I finally shower for the day and go.
Instead of going to the hospital I go to the emergency room around the corner. Other people refer to it as a “doc in a box.” It is the first time I have been in the emergency room since I broke my ankle twenty-five years earlier. The place is nearly empty with only one other patient and their family member attending. It’s quiet but the staff are friendly.
I explain my symptoms to them. My weight has dropped into the 150s, I occasionally vomit, feel nauseous frequently and have no appetite. They are going to run a CAT scan on me. I spend most of the night messing with my phone waiting for the results.
At nearly midnight they give me the news – they have found a mass in my pancreas. They want to call an ambulance but I tell them I can drive there. Orders are sent to Baylor Scott White down the street from me for a direct admission. I thank them, pay the co-pay and leave. Instead of going to the hospital I stop at the house first and grab my laptop bag. I can’t remember if I pack a bag or not. I may have asked Kelly to do this later on. I also can’t remember if I told Kelly then or waited until morning. I likely waited until morning.
I drive myself to the hospital and admit myself to emergency. It is as eerily quiet as the doc in the box was. The paperwork is in order and I can go straight to my room. I am offered a wheelchair but I decline. I also meet briefly with the doctor working. This is the first time I have ever stayed overnight in a hospital.