It's a bit humbling, being sick. It's especially humbling when you end up in the emergency ward being trundled around like a soon-to-be-corpse on a gurney. This is what happened to me, starting quite suddenly yesterday morning. I had returned the previous evening from a wonderful "One Hour/One Painting" session at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, with a huge, 12-panel scroll painting by the 17th century Chinese artist Shitao--a masterpiece tour-de-force that offered ample opportunity for the kind of prolonged contemplation I offer.
A great session, then, followed up with a stop in Ojai for dinner with good friends and a long drive home. So in the morning I was up and ready to go out for my usual morning walk when it hit me. Feeling queasy, I realized a walk was out of the question and lay down on the conch instead. Queasy, and with a tight knot in stomach just below the sternum. I went to bed, and lay there feeling sorry for myself for the better part of the day--until Ellie put in a call to the "Advice Nurse" at Kaiser. The upshot was that trip to the emergency ward.
After multiple tests, including a CAT scan, they discovered nothing more serious than a particularly virulent stomach bug. The care I received at Kaiser, from doctors to nurses to gurney, was excellent. I felt like I was in good hands, even though the emergency room was crowded--all the rooms filled and gurneys lining the hall--and everyone was busy. Six hours later, I was out of there. Home by ten-ish, and off to sleep. Then Ellie got it... That's another story.