Appendect-OH-MY! – Part 1

5 06 2009

PART 1: The Airport

SFO

A few people have been asking me to share my story of what happened in San Francisco this past weekend, so I thought I’d write another one of those blog posts that people could refer to if they were curious about the details. Here’s what happened…

Last Thursday, May 28, Christine and I had dinner at Daphne’s with Alex Ko and Maria Oh just to spend some time together, and for the third time at Daphne’s I got food poisoning…

***A Note about Restaurants and Food Poisoning – I am one who can understand that a restaurant may on occasion make the mistake of serving spoiled food or food that has undergone cross-contamination. No one is perfect. But as a general rule, once I have gotten food poisoning from a place three times, they are banned for life. Besides Daphne’s, Souplantation is my other blacklisted restaurant. Even if these places offered me free meals for the rest of my life, I would not even step foot in their restaurants. Eaters, ye be warned. Now, where was I?…***

I felt pretty bad on Thursday evening, but things got worse on Friday. Sparing you the gross details, let’s just say I spent a lot of time in the restroom. I hardly slept Friday night!

On Saturday morning, Pastor John, J.R., and I were scheduled to fly up to San Francisco to attend Kevin Au’s mom’s funeral. That morning, though I wasn’t feeling well, the pain wasn’t so excruciating that I was willing to miss a flight for it. Besides, I really, really wanted to be there for Kevin. I quickly got ready and met the guys at the church to go to the airport. When I got to the church, I remember telling John, “John, I was this close to calling you and telling you that I wasn’t going to make it.” Honestly, one of the reasons why I got myself out the door was because I had booked the car rental and I didn’t think John and J.R. would have been able to pick up the car without me. Later on, I found out that they could.

When we got on the plane, I was feeling pretty miserable. I was visibly uncomfortable to the point that the lady sitting on the aisle (I was in the window seat) offered to switch places with me. I explained to her that I had food poisoning and she was surprised that I decided to travel anyway. “At least it’s a short flight,” she remarked. That’s when the pilot got on the intercom and told us that we would be experiencing a bit of a delay during taxiing. We sat on the plane for about forty minutes waiting for the ok to take off! At one point, the pilot said that we would need to go back to the gate. I was thrilled because, had we gone back to the gate, I would have requested to get off the plane. Just as I made up my mind to do this, the pilot got back on the intercom and announced that after some negotiating we received the ok to take off in about five minutes. Ugh. At least everyone else was happy. =)

In the air, things got worse. My entire stomach was radiating pain. I spent most of the time in the air at the back of the plane by the restrooms. I told the flight attendants about my food poisoning and asked if they had any crackers to munch on. They told me they hadn’t had food on the plane for a few years now but they gave me all I wanted to drink. They were really nice and one of them even said he would have offered me his own personal stash if it wasn’t against the rules to do so. They carried on with their beverage service and I continued to pace while clutching my stomach.

This is when I recalled my previous experiences with food poisoning and how things always seemed to feel better after vomiting. I wasn’t feeling nauseous, but I decided to make myself purge the impurities anyway. I went into the restroom and was able to successfully force myself to vomit. Unfortunately, the only things to come up were my Pepto Bismol chewables and the glass of water I had just taken before entering. What made things worse, the pain increased tremendously after vomiting! I thought it was supposed to make you feel better!

This is when the pilot announced that we were beginning our descent and that we all needed to take our seats. I got back to my seat, buckled up, and braced myself for the rest of the flight. When we landed and were taxiing to the gate, I told John that I wasn’t going to be able to make the funeral and needed to see a doctor. We got off the plane, I walked to the middle of the terminal, and collapsed on the floor by the center divider.

John went to the gate counter and informed the lady of my condition. She called for help and notified John that there was a medical clinic at the airport. She told me it would be free of charge to visit and that I should probably check it out. I was excited because I always wanted to ride in one of those airport vehicles with the flashing lights and the drivers that scream at people to get out of the way! When help arrived, however, to my dismay, it was just a middle aged man with a wheelchair. He told me to get in because the clinic was on the other side of the airport. I obeyed and he proceeded to push me through several terminals. Along the way, John decided to head over to baggage claim and get his bags. He also wanted to stop by the rental car place to pick up our car. J.R. stayed with me as the gentleman continued to push me for what seemed about a mile. I offered to walk, since I thought it would have been faster, but he insisted so I just sat there.

When we got to the international terminal where the clinic was supposed to be, we were welcomed by construction. Signs were posted all around that the area was closed. Even the elevator that takes you down to the clinic was not functioning. This was when the guy with the wheelchair started to freak out. He started racing up and down the terminal banging on doors and stopping every employee asking about the clinic. No one seemed to know where it was. At this point, I got out of the wheelchair and laid down on the floor. It was really uncomfortable to sit. People walked by as I clutched my side and groaned on the floor. Poor J.R.! He had no idea what to do. He just stood there watching me in pain. I asked him to call John and find out how long it would be before we had a car.

After a few minutes, one of the employees told my wheelchair driver that he had called 911. Soon after, a bicycle policewoman pulled up and asked me how I was doing. She started to get my basic information down and asked for my I.D. A few minutes after that, the EMTs came with their gurney. At first, I denied the ambulance because I figured John would be there soon. But after thinking a bit, as the guys were walking away, I called them to come back. It was sort of exciting because it was my first time in an ambulance. Along the way, the EMT continued to ask me questions and took my vitals. Thankfully the hospital was only a few blocks from the airport.

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4 responses

5 06 2009
vdubu

crazyyy.

6 06 2009
jennifer lee

omy…

i know what you mean by the throwing up. nothing comes up! and every time, you expect it to feel better and it doesn’t, and you just want to cry. anyway.

haha i like how you got all excited about all those little things even while experiencing all that pain. =D

8 06 2009
moonchoi

Hahahaha ooooh Patrick. You’re a trooper! Haha I was laughing while reading this (you write it comically) but I felt bad when I laughed. >_>;;; ‘Cause I saw my dad get appendicitis and it wasn’t pretty. But because it’s you, it’s funny. Hahhahaa.

16 07 2009
tia

… I hope there’s no Part 2. Unless you secretly had another appendix.

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