Last Friday, even as I was finishing the final few of my remaining rites at IIT Madras, as every graduating student must, I felt a sharp pain in the stomach. Truth be told, it had been lurking about in that area rather sadly for the past week, but there was that something about this sudden spurt of renewed enthusiasm.
On a gut feeling (painful pun obviously intended - Ha! There's a pun in that sentence, too.) that something was wrong, I decided to visit the doctor. It was my second trip to the IITM hospital - the first one being on the second day of joining, five years ago. This one was no weirder though, for the last trip occurred due to a rather strange accident involving me running at about 5 miles per hour, an embarrassingly stationary scooter and several stitches.
After waiting at the reception for ages and being told that I had no medical record at the hospital, I left for about 2 hours to promptly sneak back in when there was nobody at the reception. Finally I met a doctor who told me to lie down and diagnosed me with sub-acute Appendicitis.
Appendicitis is the kind of disease that has two forms: the acute one gives you so much pain that you need surgery immediately; and sub-acute, which slowly persists till it reaches the acute stage, at which point your innards explode.
My first reaction was - "WTF! I'm a ticking time bomb!"
On Saturday, therefore, I rushed back home to Delhi, where a close friend's father happens to be a world-class surgeon. All this while, I'd been taking antibiotics and painkillers and the pain had been easing off, although slowly. When I first contacted friend's dad, the pain was still enough to make him diagnose appendicitis, but he asked for an ultrasound.
For a first-timer, an ultrasound is an adventure in itself. Basically, they ask you to keep drinking gallon after gallon of water and then hold it in till your bladder is fully distended. Whether there is a medical reason, or pure sadism on the part of the operator, I will never know, but the pain in my abdomen was definitely not the first thing on my mind as I lay down on the doctor's table. For crying out loud, the idiot actually took a phone call leaving me in a helpless plight. That done, my appendix didn't show up in the report at all. (Perhaps it got obscured by the now oversized bladder?) The ultrasound wrote down some general inflammation, and a few -itis words so that other doctors could make sense of the report. On seeing this, other doctors advised me to rest and be "under observation" for the next week and avoid rich food.
So here I am, at home, bored to death yet unable to venture out of home, surviving on boiled vegetables when mom's excellent cooking is so close (yet so far), getting blood tests done every other day.
Life slii sucks, but could have been much worse.
UPDATE: It turns out I was afflicted with typhlitis, which in layman terms is basically a different form of -itis. It affects the cecum of the large intestine. Unfortunately, since "Adventures of the-cecum-of-the-large-intestine man" does not have that familiar ring of the original title, we will have to stick to the original.
Although this leaves me with no worry about surgery, it still means that boiled vegetables will continue to constitute most of my meals :-(