I definitely feel that in the past six months I have really gotten the most of my tax dollars. I have been in the hospital three times and I'm certain that somewhere in some government building that there is a red flag on my file the size of my city.
So friends, here's the long story of my most recent hospital stay.
My tummy started to bother me last Friday. I figured that it was just upset because we had gone out to eat the night before. Stomach upset isn't unknown to me, besides the endo that used to bother me, I do have ulcerative colitis. Although my belly was still a bit unsettled on Saturday I went ahead and did my usual Saturday stuff like laundry and grocery shopping. I even went out for hot chocolate with a girlfriend that night.
Mr. JB's dad was staying with us because he was helping him do some work around the house so I didn't want to complain too much about my stomach issues. On Sunday morning I got up and did my business in the bathroom but my stomach was starting to feel worse. I went downstairs for some cereal and then I decided that I wanted to make one more trip to the bathroom before we left for church. After my second visit I could barely stand up. I called down to Mr. JB and by the time he got upstairs I was in so much agony I could barely lie still on the bed.
I started to panic and asked Mr. JB to call T.elehealth O.ntario, a phone line that is staffed by nurses that give health advice. When I described the horrible stomach pain the nurse on the line told us to get to an ER immediately.
We decided that we would go to a hospital in our area rather than head back to the city where I had my surgery. I was certain that with the amount of pain that I was feeling that I couldn't make the 20 minute drive on the highway. We usually chose this particular hospital because it's smaller and the wait time in the ER is shorter than the bigger hospitals in the area. I was happy that the nurses got me into the examination area within an hour.
By the time the ER doctor saw me the pain had gone from a 9 to about 7 and she suggested that with my recent laparotomy that a c.at scan was the only way to see if it was appendix or another issue. The first scan showed that I had some fluid build up either in my pelvis or in my fallopian tubes, both of which caused a serious fit of panic. The ER doctor asked for a consult with the ob/gyn on duty and we proceeded to wait for about three hours.
When the ob/gyn finally made it back to the ER she did an internal exam and decided that I had an abscess in my cul de sac which was most likely was a complication from my recent surgery. Apparently only 5% of women that have the same surgery grow bizarre abscesses and of course I had to be part of that small minority!! The doctor then explained to me that the only way to treat the abscess, which measured 6cm by 3cm by 2cm, was via IV antibiotics and that I had to be admitted.
That's when I lost it for the first time.
I didn't want to miss school. I didn't want to have to stay in the hospital again. I was just so tired after being in the hospital for almost 10 hours at that point. The doctor was very apologetic, but I knew that I just had to give in. I waited in the hallway while a room was prepped for me and Mr. JB called my principal with the news.
It was 11pm by the time they got me to my room which was in the maternal-child unit, and yes I heard a lot of crying newborns that night. I was in a semi-private room and the woman that I was sharing with had recently had a hystorectomy. I was so glad to have someone to talk to since I was pretty scared.
I had a pretty good day Monday. The roomie was discharged so I got to move to her side of the room that had the window. Mr. JB took a few days off to keep me company so I wasn't too lonely. The doctors seemed to think that I would go home the next day since my pain was lessening and I was doing well on the medication.
Unfortunately at about 2:30am I started to throw up and have diarrhea. I figured that it was just my stomach, but the pain got progressively worse. I called the nurse countless times and by the time the ob/gyn came to see me at 7am I was doubled over in bed around some pillows. My pain seemed to increase exponentially and the doctors and nurses started to get concerned as well. The ob/gyn called the infectious disease team and I had to have a second CT scan.
That's when things started to spin out of control.
Because of the vomiting and diarrhea the ID doctors decided to put me in isolation. Anyone entering my room had to wear yellow gowns, gloves and a mask. Then the doctors got the result of my CT. They expected to see something with the abscess, but the second CT showed that my intestines were inflamed which seemed to present itself like Crohn's disease.
Heart attack number two.
My colitis has been in remission for over 5 years and the last thing that I wanted to hear was that my disease had gotten worse. So a gastroenterologist was called for a consult.
One thing that the team of doctors seemed to downplay was that one, if not two, of the IV antibiotics could aggravate colitis symptoms. The nurses all seemed to be of the mind that it was the medication and I was 100% certain that it wasn't anything besides the meds. The ID doctors decided to take me off of the first three medications and they put me on a broad spectrum antibiotic that only gets prescribed in extreme situations. The medication is used so rarely that the ob/gyn couldn't even prescribe it, the ID doctor had to.
I was given my first dose Tuesday at 6pm and I almost immediately started to feel relief. They also pumped me full of X.antac and anti-nauseants so I was pretty comfy. By Wednesday I was ready to lose my mind. I was so emotional (thanks to Sew for listening to me!) and feeling so frustrated since I was in isolation. I begged the doctor to go home, but she wanted to see how I would do on the oral version of the medication.
Wednesday night I had to be moved to a private room because they needed the space in the ward. Lucky for me the new room had a view of the street and a television that was still set up (apparently the TV people at the hospital aren't the most efficient people). Again, I begged the doctor to let me go home the next day. I was feeling so much better, although I did have some stomach discomfort, but I needed out.
I spent most of Thursday waiting for the gastroenterologist to see me. The ob/gyn and the ID doctors had come to see me and they were happy with how I was responding to the new medication. Although the ID doctors thought that I could probably go home it was still the decision of the admitting doctor. I know that she didn't want to send me home without seeing how I reacted to the oral antibiotics, but she showed some mercy and discharged me.
And yes, as I posted I did get out in time for the U2 concert. In retrospect I don't think that it was the best decision to go since I was in pain and still feeling weak, but I couldn't imagine sitting at home. We're trying to keep the fact that I did go to the concert pretty quiet. My parents and my father-in-law would freak out if they knew!
So I'm so happy to be home. I had the best sleep of my life Thursday night. It was just so nice to be in my bed with Mr. JB beside me. I have a third CT scan on Monday to see how the abscess and my insides are doing. I was having some strange discharge yesterday and I'm assuming that it was the abscess draining. I'm not feeling the same pressure in my bowels and the discharged just looked like pus (sorry, TMI!). I have no idea how an abscess in my cul de sac could drain through my vagina, but I swear it happened yesterday!
Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I have a follow-up with the surgeon in two weeks and I have to make an appointment with the ID doctor on Monday. The ob/gyn reassured me that the abscess won't affect my fertility, but I need to hear it from my surgeon.
I hope and pray that I have a really boring weekend and no more trips to the hospital for a long time!