We also discuss other things, of course, including some health issues we’ve dealt with. Not long ago, she had some pretty severe abdominal pain and bloating.This had been bothering her for a while, so her doctor scheduled a test to determine the cause.
A very specific test, it turns out.
She was required to allot about five hours at the doctor's office and bring the following at the appointed time:
- A hard-boiled egg
- Buttered toast
- Orange juice
- A plate and knife and fork with which to eat the egg
The test was structured in such a way that she would eat one of the food items she brought, wait, and then the medical team would scan her abdomen to see how the item was being digested. Then, rinse and repeat. For FIVE HOURS.
(Please note: a bit of internet research shows this test is called a 'gastric emptying scan' and includes the following explanation: 'Before the scan, you'll eat something solid, something liquid, and a small amount of tasteless radioactive material.')
While all writing benefits from a certain level of detail, I hardly think the flavor profile is the most concerning part of that sentence for most patients.
Anyway, being the naturally inquisitive type, I had several questions:
- Would she digest this differently if she was simply eating the egg without first plating it and delivering it to her mouth with a fork?
- Is it important the egg was hard-boiled and not prepared some other way? Does this harken back to the 'scrambled egg/false positive' lore that forever haunts every medical resident?
- Would it have altered the results had she brought buttered bread instead of toast? Or, quelle horreur, an English muffin?
- If the appointment was scheduled later in the day, would the menu have been adjusted to feature a club sandwich and chips or perhaps a nice Cobb salad?
And possibly most importantly:
- How many doctors were standing on the other side of the two-way mirror enjoying how obligingly she participated in this ‘test’ without even questioning it?