On to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?


The night of John Kerry’s big acceptance speech I was lying on an emergency room gurney suffering from the effects of pancreatitis, often one of the tell-tale signs of trouble with long-term anti-retroviral therapy. What should have been a reading of 160 came back as 1600.

Aside from feeling fear of the unknown, upon getting this news, I also wondered if the 1600 figure was an omen – and was it good or bad? (I chose to believe it to be good)- for John Kerry, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue being the address of the White House.

I just got home from hospital tonight.

I was admitted that night and eventually, with the aid of an ultrasound the next day, was found to have a “generous” number of stones at the fundus of the gall bladder, which would at least partially explain the pancreatitis.

The night before this happened I lay awake, moaning and groaning in the fetal position, part of me wanting to call an ambulance, but another part of me not wanting to dial 9-1-1 and bring out everyone from the firefighters to the police to the EMTs. It was my AIDS specialist, early the next morning, who sent me to the hospital’s Emergency Department, thinking it would be the fastest way to get lab results. (He had already seen indications of glucose in my urine sample.)

So there I was, hooked up to i.v. bags of Gravol and potassium, wishing I could still be listening to the television, which I had left on in my rush to get to the doctor’s office.

I’ll have a couple more stories to tell of my hospital experience in the next little while. For now, I am still trying to catch up on sleep.

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