NEW YORK -- That Scott Schoeneweis was feeling better on Thursday afternoon was no minor relief. And he was indeed feeling better -- at least to the extent that he could.

"A little better," Schoeneweis joked. "Now I just feel regularly bad."

Trust him -- that's more than fine. Schoeneweis experienced a scare early on Wednesday morning, when severe abdominal pains prompted him to call an ambulance and spend roughly seven hours in the emergency room.

First feeling the pain around 2 a.m. ET, Schoeneweis drove to a local pharmacy to pick up some over-the-counter medicine. It brought him only temporary relief.

"I woke up at like seven o'clock and I thought I was going to die," Schoeneweis said. "My family's not here. I was at my house by myself. I couldn't drive myself somewhere, so I called an ambulance and went to the emergency room."

There, a CT scan showed he had an inflamed appendix, though doctors did not consider an appendectomy necessary. More likely, the irritation could have resulted from scar tissue near his abdomen, left over from a past surgery to treat his testicular cancer.

"The scary thing was that I was in severe pain," Schoeneweis said. "I've been through a lot of stuff. For me to call an ambulance, I was in dire straits."

Seven hours and a few antibiotics later, the hospital cleared Schoeneweis to leave. His health improved -- and continued to improve on Thursday -- to the point that he said he could definitely pitch in the afternoon's series finale against the Nationals.

Now, he just feels "regularly bad." And that's certainly good enough.