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A story of 2 torsions

The kids were asleep, and I could hear a muted, distant moaning coming from our bedroom. It reminded me of labor pains, but there were three things making labor unlikely: my wife’s IUD, the absence of a gravid abdomen and the kind of unintentional celibacy that occurs between working parents raising two toddlers. I tried to ignore the moaning. In part, because it was a Sunday night, and the sound was disrupting the golden hour (the 60 minutes between the kid’s bedtime and my own), and because I could immediately recognize this was something potentially very bad. If I didn’t acknowledge it, perhaps, it wouldn’t become real. It soon became obvious that this was something I was going to have to attend to. I walked into our bedroom and found my wife supine on the bed, knees to chest, rocking back and forth, wincing in an unsightly grimace. Bad indeed.

I began to take the history. My wife presented this information in a non-linear fashion, complete with contradictions and vague or tangential responses to my pointed questions. Why should this be any different than work? My wife and I are both stubborn and often in some state of emotional burnout. Tonight is no exception. An uncomfortable, terse exchange takes place, but I obtain the salient points. Satisfied with the history, I cleverly distract her with other conversation as I press on her abdomen. It was benign. I suspected a pelvic cause. I texted some colleagues. One suggested a kidney stone. My wife insisted it was gas pains. I had started texting to see who might come over to stay with our children while we go to the ER but my wife was refusing a trip to the hospital. Her pain eventually calmed down with Gas-X and time. She was able to fall asleep, and by morning it was gone. Another humbling experience. I was wrong. The patient was right all along. Gas pains.

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