What do you do when you’re feeling punk and nothing else will do? You go to the hospital. So, I’ve been there again and learned some new stuff to pass along.

My first encounter in the emergency room was with a young man studying to be a paramedic, who needed to draw some blood. The first of many blood draws.

He was only 19 years old and the survivor of a heart attack. Amazing.

The next helper along announced they were going to take a cat scan.

I thought about asking if they would use a Persian, a Siamese or a Manx, but decided nobody but me would think that was funny.

As it turns out, the cat scan machine is a big ring through which you slide. It talks to you, but it’s vocabulary is pretty limited.

“Take a deep breath and hold it. (long pause) Now breathe.”

That’s all he says. Over and over.

My reason for the trip was a serious case of nausea, plus a little pain in my sawdust.

They got me to a room upstairs and started giving me antibiotics. Then the doctor said we’d plan on having a colonoscopy the next day. I had sworn several years ago, having had several of those, that I wasn’t going to have another.

I tried to veto the idea but got overruled.

Then I received the first of my wonderful meals from the cafeteria. A diet based on clear liquids.

You cannot imagine the things they can think of to give you that are all clear liquids.

My main course supper was chicken broth. It was delicious, mostly because after days of not wanting to eat anything, I was a little hungry.

My main course the next morning for breakfast was beef broth. Also good.

On my trays also appeared orange juice, Sprite, cranberry juice, another berry juice, and on and on.

The very best was a dessert made of frozen lemonade, which was just delicious.

I spent the night getting ready for the test. If you have had one, you know. If you have not, you don’t want to know.

I went downstairs on a rolling bed, where I enjoyed meeting once more the jovial nurses who had taken care of me before.

Out of sleep, back awake, up to the room and trying to rest. The doctor said I could go home. Test was all OK.

After she left, I decided I didn’t feel like going, and I stayed an extra day. The wonderful nurses took good care of me, as usual.

Now I am home with a solemn vow to keep. No more tests.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She can be reached at cathy.gillentine@comcast.net.

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(2) comments

Carlos Ponce

"plus a little pain in my sawdust" Funny. I hope it's not termites!

While working at Hoffman Lumber Company in the 1960s and early 70s I was surprised to learn Emken-Linton Funeral Home used sawdust as part of the embalming process. Organs were removed and replaced with sawdust. Other funeral parlors in this country use shredded newspapers or cotton to stuff the body. I wonder if you can specify the stuffing ingredient. If the deceased was an avid newspaper reader, stuff him with newsprint. If the deceased loved natural fabrics, stuff him with cotton. If the deceased was a pain in life, stuff him with pine.[wink]

kyle o'brien

Cathy only you could make a trip to the hospital entertaining! I hope you feel better soon!

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