Conversation with the ER doctor

winter 1994- view from Ted's sailboat-A

Hawaii.  Photo by Ted Trimmer.

Sunday night, after my guests had left, I went to bed to rest my back and eyes. As I lay there, I suddenly experienced intense pain radiating throughout my abdomen. It felt like it was on fire.

Changing positions in bed did not help. Getting up and walking and then sitting did not help. Taking omeprazole for acid reflux disease did not help.

I thought that the old umbilical hernia, which had been patched in 2012, had reopened and I would need surgery again.

After two hours of searing, unremitting pain, I asked David to take me to the emergency room at Pali Momi Medical Center. I shuffled into the examining room, and a nurse asked me, “On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your pain?” I said, “10.”

I was seen by Dr. Brian Tobe, who ordered x-rays and blood work.

Following that, we engaged in a nice conversation.

Me: “What are the results? Do I have a hernia again? Do I have an infection?”

Dr. Tobe: “No, but you have a lot of gas.”

Me: “How do I get rid of the gas?”

Dr. Tobe: “Well, you have to fart.”

Me: “Well, that’s a little difficult right now.”

He had the nurse give me two Bentyl capsules for abdominal cramps. They worked immediately.  He also gave me prescriptions for a stool softener and the Bentyl, to be filled at the pharmacy later.

Me: “This is my husband, David. I am so glad he brought me to the ER. Without him, I would have had to call the ambulance.”

Dr. Tobe: “How long have you been married?”

Me: “More than 35 years.”

Dr. Tobe: “That’s a long time. What’s your secret?”

Me: “You have to be fat like us. I know some people who are skinny and good looking, but they are divorced. So, it truly helps to be fat.”

Dr. Tobe: “Thanks for the advice. I will discharge you now, but if you don’t feel well later, come back. I’ll be here all night.”

Me: “What a lousy job, working all night.”

Dr. Tobe: “No, I consider it paying it forward. One day, I’ll be a patient and someone will help me.”


What a wonderful healer! Dr. Tobe is not only knowledgeable, he also has people skills.

I entered the ER, feeling miserable, and exited the ER, feeling a lot better.


14 Responses to “Conversation with the ER doctor”

  1. Mary Says:

    Thanks for starting my day with a smile.

  2. Linda Starrl Says:

    so glad you are ok, and relief it wasn’t serious, you might want to consider beano before meals (although I have never taken it) wonder if he can fix my neck, it’s killing me today

  3. Olga Says:

    You are a ticket!

  4. dkzody Says:

    My husband takes Beano and says it works for him as he knows what will cause gas in his system. If I have a gas problem after eating, I take GasX. Works like a charm. I find, though, that lots of walking keeps the problem from even occurring in the first place. I always know when I’ve been lazy about walking, the gas builds up.

  5. ohmygoodnesssakes! Says:

    I take the omprezaole in the morning each day, then I am off of it for a week or two..I walk as much as I can and try to limit salsa and gas producing foods and drink lots of water…Hoping you are feeling much better soon..The doctor sounded so nice, too bad they can’t teach a lot of humor and compassion in medical schools, I got a physician who makes me chuckle and always is sweet, kind and peaceful or I would not be seeing him or anyone, when one is ill no one wants doctors to be rude and quick and dismissive.>You take care of yourself and aloha and have a wonderful week free of any health afflictions, peace, joy and love sent to you in the most beautiful state, aloha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hattie Says:

    Well, it was painful, but it was only gas. It can be excruciating, all right. I’m just thankful now that the humidity is letting up and the hurricane has bypassed us.
    Terry and I have been married 52 years. We depend so much on each other that it’s a worry.

  7. Christine Says:

    so glad it was just gas, lol.

  8. DeniseinVA Says:

    Oh dear, I am sorry you were in so much pain. I’ve never had that kind of pain due to gas. I hope I haven’t jinxed myself. Glad it all turned out well. Dr. Tobe sounds like a lovely doctor. I loved the conversation you had with him and his response regarding paying it forward. What a wonderful human being. When my father-in-law was in hospital we met some very nice doctors but one stood out. During our time there he was impressed with how many family members there were to take care of Dad. The doctor did eight days in a row during the 4th of July week and he was amazingly kind all the way throughout. When he was leaving and we knew we wouldn’t be seeing him again he gave all four family members a big hug and told us not to worry, that everything would be okay. He left a lasting impression of wow, what a great doctor.

  9. Tom Sightnigs Says:

    Ooh, I feel your pain … but you had me laughing!

  10. Jan Says:

    I had to laugh, too, but I’m so glad it was something easy to treat and not serious. I also take a generic version of beano when I eat gas-producing foods like beans or cabbage. it sure does help! 🙂

  11. Linda Reeder Says:

    I seldom have gas problems any more, since I lost weight and try to stay active after each meal.
    But Oh, the gastric trouble I had after my back surgery! The surgical pain was nothing compared to the pain in my abdomen. I ended up back in the emergency room the day after being released from the surgery. By then I was vomiting along with the gas cramps and nothing was moving.
    It took about a week to get it all straightened out. By then I was already back to walking a mile a day.
    That ER Doc sounds wonderful.

  12. SchmidleysScribblins Says:

    He’s right you pay it forward. That’s why I spent so much time with seniors when I was younger. You are funny Gigi and you made me laugh today. Glad you are okay.

  13. marmeladegypsy Says:

    What a fright! You mut have been terrified. He sounds like a wonderful doc and I’m glad it was him who was on duty when you came in — and that it was nothing more serious. You were most fortunate.

    Thanks for popping by Marmelade Gypsy to check out our fishy wines! I love it when you stop by!

  14. Beatrice Says:

    Better to have read about your pain, Gigi, and not experienced it 🙂 Glad you found a good ER doctor as well, not always sure how you will be treated when not feeling good, but you had a very good experience. Thanks to David for being there as well and able to transport you to the ER.

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