Meg's Blog


I just got home from the hospital. I had to go in for some tests because ever since I got back from Europe I’ve had a) a weird buzzing feeling in my head, and b) this weird sensation that something is stuck in my throat.

If you are like some people in my family—and perhaps even my doctor–you might think that both these things are IMAGINARY, but I assure you, they are very real, and in fact, because I am a cyberchondriac (technically, I am probably a HypERchondriac*), I managed to find a possible diagnosis on the web for both ailments, one that’s even CONNECTED—acid reflux and sinusitis. Because acid reflux can actually CAUSE sinusitis.

* Certain people in this family begged me not to bring this excellent book, which I haven’t finished, with me to the hospital this morning, in case I was mistaken for a hypOchondriac. Those people were of course ignored.

Anyway, I didn’t walk into the doctor’s office and go, “I have sinusitis caused by acid reflux.” Because I actually know better than that. I watch House. I know doctors like to diagnose patients themselves. I know to leave SOME mystery for them, or it takes all the fun out of being a doctor.

So I described my symptoms, expecting to be given a prescription for antibiotics and maybe some Prevacid and a warning to lay off the taquitos with nacho cheese sauce (not that I intended to follow said warning).

Imagine my surprise when I got the Prevacid (which by the way does nothing)–but I also got sent to the hospital the following week for a head CT and barium swallow!

A barium swallow, in case you don’t know (I didn’t. I immediately raced home to look it up, He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog muttering the whole way, “They should have thrown in a trip to the psych ward at the same time,” which I thought was unnecessary, although here in Key West we have excellent mental health care, as anyone who watched Real World Key West knows. I’ve met Dr. Kovan at parties and he’s super nice) is when you drink some barium and they X-ray it going down to see if you have acid reflux or SOMETHING WORSE.

(If I do have something worse, I will still keep this blog, but I will also start a new blog, in which there will be a lot of swearing. I will provide a link to it from this blog, though, so you’ll be able to find it if you want to. But if you are under eighteen, you will have to get your parent’s permission to access it. I will not be responsible for any young minds I warp with my swearing, which, by the way, I do quite a lot in real life.)

So this morning I went for my head CT (boring) and barium swallow.

Here is a word of advice in case you ever have to have a barium swallow: Do NOT go to the Key West International House of Pancakes (IHOP) afterwards.

Not because the barium itself is so gross. It really isn’t. It tastes a lot like Mylanta.

And they really don’t make you drink that much, just a few sips (at least for me).

But they do make you climb up on this RIDE, kind of like that thing at the state fair that you stand on and it spins around really fast and then the bottom drops out?

Only the thing at the hospital doesn’t go really fast and the bottom doesn’t drop out. It just goes up and down and then sideways. WHILE YOU ARE ON IT.

And if you haven’t had any breakfast and there’s barium sloshing around inside of you and by the way, YOU HAVE ACID REFLUX so the barium immediately starts COMING BACK UP, and you have to swallow it down again while this X-ray machine is pressing down on you?

Yeah, it doesn’t feel so good.

And just when you think you can’t possibly feel any more nauseous, your husband takes you to IHOP and the server brings you your tea and you lift it to your mouth and the cup smells JUST LIKE THE INSIDE OF A TENNIS SHOE?

Well, then you’ll probably have to run out into the IHOP parking lot and sit there for a long time thinking about the vagaries of life and wondering what all those tourists inside the restaurant would think if they knew that was author of the Princess Diaries, throwing up out there in the bushes.

I’m just saying.

I get the results tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, a little Adrian Mole, for those of you who (like me) never got to see the television show. I find it oddly soothing.

More later.

Much love,


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