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Friday, August 17, 2012

Hospital Stay - Days 1 & 2

It started the night before last. I didn't sleep. I felt really nauseated and had this intense burning in my stomach that didn't quite feel like heartburn but I can't quite describe it. I couldn't even lay on my side, the pain was so intense. So, I decided to watch TV upstairs to not wake up my husband. While I was laying there, 5am rolled around. As it did, so did my stomach.

I ran to the bathroom and vomited. I noticed this dark black substance that almost looked like tar, in my stomach acid. It was blood. Now, I've vomited up blood before but it was usually a bright red color. This worried me because it was almost black. So, I called the GI practice and spoke with the doctor on call. He told me to try taking some pepto bismol and then wait until 9am to call the specialist I had been seeing for the Smart Pill.

And so, three stomach protests later, I called my regular GI doctor thinking that he could probably see me quicker. The nurse told me to go straight to the ER and that she would tell the doctor that I was on my way. So, I woke the husband up and headed for the ER.

... and because I had been vomited all morning without eating in the past few days, there was nothing left in my stomach so I couldn't vomit again for them to check for blood. I dry heaved like crazy, and still am. The ER doctor called my doctor and they decided to admit me. I really thought that they would give me fluids and send me home but my lab work had other plans.

My lipase is really high. My liver enzymes (the normal range is 30 to 40) are 300 to 400 and my blood pressure walking in was 180/117. I also had a slight fever 99.8 (it had been 101 the past two days). After telling my doctor about my lab work (which is the EXACT same issue I had in March - same numbers almost and everything), they decided it would be best if I could be monitored for a bit.

The doctor came in and told me about all of the lab results. He also explained to me about a procedure called an ERCP which would show him if I had stones or not. Even though I don't have a gallbladder anymore, I can still get liver stones. More information about ERCP HERE.

In addition to finding and removing stones, he also said that they are going to make a little incision into the sphincter that would relax the muscle so that the sphincter will release bile easily and help me with digestion. I am having the ERCP procedure on Monday. I will need to be monitored for 48 to 72 hours afterwards because many patients develop Pancreatitis.

Well, I hope this helps some. Today was interesting though. I asked for a Picc Line because I have such horrible veins. The only vein they were able to find for an IV site was the inside of my right wrist. The doctor in the ER was going to put it into my neck if the wrist didn't work.

When this hospital does a Picc Line, they use a tiny sonogram machine and insert the line. Then, a chest x-ray is taken and the Radiologist reads it to let them know that it's in the right place so that they can administer medication. Sounds simple, right?


My picc line went in at 11am (I had just taken my pain and anti-nausea medication at 10am). The chest x-ray was about 20 minutes after the picc line was placed. However, the nurse started to get REALLY upset because it was going on 5pm, and I hadn't had ANY medication. Thankfully, I have awesome friends who came to visit and kept me distracted from my stomach and vomiting the entire time. =)

Finally, the nurse came in and told me that the picc was a bit too far and was in the right atrium of my heart. So, the picc nurse had to come back in and pull it back into place. That was around 5:15pm. I finally got another chest x-ray and it was the same technician. He told me that he made the mistake and my x-ray fell through the cracks because he did about 20 chest x-rays in a row. He then proceeded to tell me how he likes to x-ray things in his spare time. He's x-rayed his iPhone, ipad, galaxy s, a campbell's soup can, and seashells. There are some really interesting people in this hospital.

The nurse last night, named Lora (yes, I am going to call her out on this blog because she was really horrible to me), really upset me and I will be writing a letter about her to the person in charge.

I guess she was mad that I made her work, I'm not sure. She treated me like I was a drug junkie last night because I couldn't sleep and wanted my pain medicine. The nurse just got angry with me. She asked what my pain level was on a scale of 1 to 10. I said 6. She snapped at me and asked if it ever went below a 6. I replied to her that if it did, I would answer with a number less than 6! My pain is intense, consistent, and makes me cry. Get off of my back and try to be a bit sympathetic.

This bothers me because I'm on the Oncology floor (it's the overflow floor for GI). If she treated ME this way, how does she treat cancer patients? That just really pissed me off. She wasn't a nice person. I hope I don't have to see her again while I'm here. Maybe I caught her while she was having a bad night, I don't know. I'm not a bad patient and I'm usually a good one but I wanted to take my IV line and strangle her with it. I was really angry. I hope that she's nicer to the other patients on this floor because if my grandfather had EVER been treated this way, I would have ripped that person a new asshole.

I had four friends come and see me today. I've gotten a lot of kind words on facebook and I know some really awesome people. Without their support, I would be extremely depressed. Thanks to all of you who read this blog and thanks to those of you who have responded to me and for the support. It really does mean a lot. I wasn't expecting this blog to be as popular as it is. I'm going to write another entry about Day 3 tomorrow. I hope to get some sleep tonight now that the picc line is in and the stupid IV pole won't yell at me every 5 minutes when I try to sleep. Having an IV in your wrist is horrible. >.<

My Picc Line.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I hope you feel better soon Emily, I knew you have been battling this for a long time, but I didn't know to what extent, so I read your blog tonight. I just wanted to let you know you are in my prayers, you have always been such a sweet person, and I pray you find some relief, and some good nurses! :)