This Sunday one of my internal organs decided that it was fed up with my eating habits and took a vacation.

I was in masochists' heaven for the whole evening.

I took an analgesic, thinking that as soon as it started working I could drive to the hospital, but my stomach made it quite clear that the best place for that pill was down the toilet.

Probably it was a conspiracy of my whole gastro-intestinal tract. The bastards.

Anyway, at midnight I folded and called the hospital. I have a couple of good friends that won't mind if I wake them up asking for a ride, but what I was actually hoping for was that the paramedics could give me a shot as soon as they arrived. I admit that I wasn't thinking too rationally at the time.

The ambulance arrived in five minutes flat, faster than the pizza guy. I've never tried calling the police, so I cannot make comparisons.

As some of you know from reading my writeups, I like understatements, so I described the pain in my side as "rather severe". The sane part of my brain screamed "Rather?!?" I hope that the nurse judged my condition more from my look (pale, sweating, trembling, panting) than from my words.

I was left waiting for exactly one hour with no pain relief. It makes sense: I would look very stupid if the doctor asked "Does it hurt here?" after pumping me full of painkillers.

I also don't mind about the long wait: when I'll be 95 years old, rushing through the ER with chest pain, I really won't like to be second-in-line after some youngster with non-life-threatening conditions.

Anyway, I was diagnosed with a right kidney colic and finally they started an IV line with Buscopan, Valium and God knows what else.

(Later my doctor suggested a gallbladder colic, considering my medical history. They are triggered by eating fatty foods. This gives me a great idea for a new diet: "the Gallbladder DietTM". Forget Atkins, low-calories and Weight Watchers. With the Gallbladder DietTM, whenever you eat too much fat, you'll curl up in pain for three hours. Trust me, you'll lose weight.)

Anyway, at 1:30 I was moved to a ward that was supposed to be quiet; actually there was another patient who was hooked to a monitor that would beep once for every heartbeat, and beep loudly every time he took too long a pause while breathing. It was like waking up at 4:00 AM, setting the alarm clock to 4:05, falling asleep again, lather, rinse, repeat. The guy who was being monitored was getting as annoyed as me, so he called his doctor.

Now, the rest of the ER team was a crew of angels, but this doctor was plain stupid. She stood there saying "All the alarms (beep) of this device (beep) have been silenced (BEEP). Quit complaining (beep) and go to sleep (beep-bloody-beep)".

I was released at 7:00 AM. The whole trip costed me exactly zero euro.