Ronnie Martin, the hardworking creator of a popular TV sitcom, loved her tropical getaways. By all rights, her seventh visit to Bora-Bora should have been a breeze. Lucky seven, right? Then came her unlucky visit to the Rainbow Reef bar. Along with her afternoon Bloody Mary, she sampled a raw fish ceviche. Her husband Tom did not. It was a snack she would always remember with regret.
A few hours later, Ronnie lay moaning on the floor of her beachfront suite, desperately ill. The pain in her lower abdomen felt like a thousand stabbing knives. She had also vomited several times. Tingling, trembling, and unable to stand, she had just one thought: Need help—fast!
Soon, with Tom propping her up, she entered the only hospital within miles, a crowded sick bay far more rustic than what either of them had pictured when directed there by the hotel concierge. After receiving a liter of intravenous fluid, an unknown injection, and a working diagnosis of “kidney stone,” Ronnie had had enough. “Kidney stone, my a**!” she said to herself. She ripped the IV from her arm, got up, and staggered to a waiting taxi. Somehow she survived the ride back to the hotel and her flight home to Los Angeles the next day.