Long sickness description, 2007-02-27, 5:52 p.m.
Here's my story.... It's gross and icky and I'm warning you in advance. I need to write it down to remember it. It's also quite long.
January 29th I started throwing up around three in the morning. Considering that I'd had a junky lunch the day before I figured it was my gallbladder (I have stones and have been on a waiting list to get it removed for a while. My appointment on the 4th of January was postponed as was my appointment the day before I got sick). D. and P. went to work and I stayed home throwing up everything. I kept down water. That night I went to sleep very early. The next day it was the same thing but I couldn't even keep down water. I suspect that I threw up around 40 times between the two days. I took a nap, woke up around two and started yelling out in pain when I'd move. I took a shower, took a bath and nearly passed out. I had to call D. and say that I couldn't pick him up. Luckily there are cabs with car seats. I also called my parents house. When they got home I called my parents and got them to pick me up to bring me to the hospital. I was near passing out and still throwing up all the time. P. kept kissing my belly and hoping I would feel better. This was the last time I'd see my house until February 19th.
I got the hospital with my dad driving cautiously the whole way and asking if I needed to stop to throw up. It wasn't very fun. Every bump was hellish. I went into emergency and my mom and sis were waiting for me. While waiting to get in I threw up three times. I figured that I would be told it was stomach flu and that the pain was from muscle strain from throwing up so much. When I got in I couldn't walk all the way to the room in one trip - I had to sit down. My sister came in with me. They hooked me up to an iv (after several tries and after causing one forearm length bruise that stayed with me for three weeks) and gave me morphine, gravol and fluids. I had to give a pee sample and that's when my sister and I realized that this might not be the stomach flu - I could only pee a little bit and it was brown. Or Dusty rose, depending on how specific you want to be. I lay there and let the drugs kick in. They told my sister that it was pancreatitis and that a gallstone was in my bile duct. They transfered me into a room upstairs with three other people, started injecting me with morphine and I slept, being woken only by the injections of painkillers.
The next day when I woke up, I was deeply swollen. I looked ten months pregnant. My family was there, D. came in and I was unable to move. Every three hours I got painkillers and I had to track how much I peed. I was not peeing very much at all. That night it was hellish being in the room with others - their guests during visiting time were so loud and their questions were more than I could handle. Then later that night they upped my fluids. I became unable to feel my face, my right hand with the iv in it couldn't bend at the joints very well (it clicked) and I was not peeing. They put in a catheter and gave me painkillers. That morning I fought with the doctor and got the catheter taken out - I just couldn't deal with it and it wasn't making me pee any more. I was allowed to drink little bits of water finally.
Later that day a student came to visit and at the same time I got my own room. Both were very appreciated. The student was so sweet to visit and brought flowers. I just felt so ashamed of the state in which she saw me - swollen so badly and so dirty - I'd not showered for a few days. Luckily she understood. It was great being in my own room and I was able to finally clean up a little and not have others talking around me all the time. That night I got a cat scan to see how messed up my insides were. My iv had just been replaced and it was in a horrid place (the back of my hand) and it started to bleed after they put the cat scan stuff in it. Not fun at all. Incidentally, the iv continued to pull on my hand and a few days later it was removed and my hand was swollen for days - I still have a mark from it. They continued to give me fluids, allowed me to start having some juice and continued with the morphine and blood thinners.
As the days went on, I stayed swollen. They let me start eating some solids - jell-o and pudding and I walked a little. I started peeing a little more which was a relief to all. I got them to take out my iv from the back of my hand and they couldn't get another one in anywhere. They were still telling me that I was going to get my gallbladder out before I left. Mom took time off so that she could be in the hospital with me every day. I took a lot of naps, had a lot of morphine and started eating a little more. My cat scan showed that I was very messed up inside and my blood tests showed that I was running an infection. The worry became that I would develop an abscess and have to have emergency surgery.
I became a medical mystery - I could walk, eat limited foods and was in good spirits when the doctors would visit. Yet I was very very very sick. The decision was made to delay taking out my gallbladder as the panceratitis was worse than they thought - it was a severe case, not the mild case they thought. I was told that if I was 60, they would have put me in the ICU. I had another cat scan and was deemed to be very messed up (official doctor terms). I had to rest, try to eat and not do much. I started taking atasol 30s instead of morphine, stopped paying for television and got a laptop and dvds. Mom came everyday, bearing foods to try to tempt my appetite. I started becoming quite frustrated being in the hospital. I saw D. almost every day and saw P. three times (including a snack on valentines day). Some teachers and students stopped by which was nice and the phone seemed to never stop ringing.
Finally, the doctor decided that I could go home. I was just lying around and I could do that at home as easily as in the hospital. So I went home. And I think I've slept ever since. I keep getting a bit of a fever and I can't sleep in the bed as I can't lie down for long periods of time and sometimes I think D. must think he has two kids to take care of, but it's good to be home. I take pain killers and I can't drive so my family has been fantastic in picking up D. and P. and anything else we need as well as bringing me anywhere I need to go. I'm getting better enough that I hope when I go to my appointment in March I'll be well enough to get my gallbladder out. I have another cat scan in the future. I've lost a lot of weight because I can't eat and from that, I've lost a lot of hair as well. I can't do much, but at least I'm home not doing it.
I don't know what would have happened had I not gone to the hospital. I just know that I'm glad I did. And I'm so glad that I have the family I do. And if you made it this far, thanks.