Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Speaking Too Soon

So in my last post I made comments about how life was moving slowly for me, with not a lot going on. You will probably not catch me saying anything like that again, because I have learned my lesson! After making those comments, life did a little flip-flop for me very quickly - the very next day actually!!! Here's what happened:

On Thursday, October 9, I was getting into bed at about 9:15. As soon as I crawled in and pulled the covers up, I started getting this stomach pain. I have felt this particular pain twice in the last few months, and recognized it immediately. It is not normal stomach pain, and it's kind of hard to explain - the best way I can put it is that it is the WORST pain I have ever felt in my entire life. I've been through appendicitis, three jaw surgeries, two knee surgeries and much more - and they don't even compare to the pain that I felt!! Well, the last two times that I had felt this pain before, the pain subsided within thirty minutes to an hour. So as soon as I realized that it was this certain pain again, I checked the clock so that I would know how much longer I was going to have to deal with the agony.

By 10:15, I realized that the hour had come and gone, and I had not felt ANY relief. I was in tears, crying because the pain hurt so badly. By the way, when I'm in a lot of pain, stomach pain in particular, it is very hard for me to sit still. I constantly shift into different positions, hoping one hurts less than the other, and I'm constantly moving my legs and feet - I think this is my way of trying to get my mind off the pain by thinking about moving my legs and feet instead. So when my husband decided to come to bed, I knew that I would need to relocate myself, otherwise my constant moving was going to keep him awake. So I got up and moved to the sofa and tried to curl up with my favorite blanket and make it all go away. Well, instead, I found myself running to the bathroom to throw up, which I hoped would help me feel better because I was beginning to get very nauseous. Unfortunately, it didn't help at all. I continued to be in pain, in tears and throwing up for the next few hours.

By 1:30am, my husband was sound asleep and I was still on the couch, rolling and writhing in pain. I had already looked up my symptoms on the Internet to see if there was something seriously wrong with me, and webmd.com was not much help. I tried watching TV and reading...completely impossible when you can't sit still and all your brain can think about is PAIN!! So I decided to look in the phone book to see if 24-hour clinics existed. I was in no mood to sit in the emergency room all night, but when I found that a 24-hour clinic IS the emergency room, I called the closest hospital in hopes of getting some medical advice. They wouldn't give me any medical advice over the phone, but told me they had just cleared out the waiting room and now would be a good time to come in.

After contemplating what to do and waking my husband up to get his advice, we were stuck trying to make a decision. I quickly ran to the bathroom to throw up one last time, and that was the deciding factor in what to do next. So, off we went to the ER at 2:00am.

The nurse on the phone was right - the waiting room was clear and I went straight back to a room. Within about an hour, I had seen a doctor who decided to do an ultra-sound on my abdomen. It didn't take long for him to see at least three stones around my gall bladder. Great. I had gallstones. Feeling somewhat relieved that I had not drug my husband out of bed and to the ER in the middle of the night for something as silly as gas, we then began to realize that this was something serious and not to be taken lightly. The doctor said the first order of business was to get my pain under control, start me on an IV and medicine and then wait for the surgeon to come in first thing in the morning. Morphine became my best friend, and my nurse who administered it to me heard "I love you!" from me all night/morning!! haha :)

At about 5:30am, I went ahead and called in to work to let them know I would not be there, and there was a chance I would be having my gall bladder removed that day. I guess somewhere around 7-8am, I was taken to have another ultrasound done, I guess to see if the stones had moved at all. Of course, they were still there and appeared to possibly be lodged somewhere, which was keeping me from passing them. Shortly after, the surgeon came in to give us our options - surgery today, or go home with some pain medicine and antibiotics over the weekend, and come back to be re-checked on Monday and possibly remove the gall bladder then. There was no way in the world I was going home for a few days to deal with the pain without my morphine, and we made the decision to go ahead and proceed with the surgery that day. I mean, why not? We were already there and it didn't look like we were leaving any time soon!

So we waited and waited for the surgeon to finish his already scheduled cases, and they took me into a private room at around 1:30pm. By 2:00pm, they were moving me to the holding room and prepping me for surgery. The surgery went fine, with the only concern being that it didn't look like things were flowing through my digestive tract like they should be. So with this in mind, along with the fact that my Billy Ruben and liver levels were too high, they decided to keep me overnight for observation. They said typically the levels go back down to normal after the gall bladder is taken out, but we would need to wait and have more blood tests done the next morning to make sure.

Some time after noon on Saturday, the doctor came in and gave us the unfortunate news that instead of my levels going down, they went UP instead. I was staying there at least another night for more observation, and they would do the blood tests again the next day. I have to admit, I started kinda freaking out at this point, wondering if something more serious was wrong with me. But talk about being disappointed!! We had already had to cancel our plans to visit friends in Tennessee, and now they were telling me that I was to spend my entire weekend in that hospital room. Bummer.

Sunday morning finally rolled around, and after having my blood taken AGAIN, the doctor came in around lunch time and told me I was fine to go home!!! I was so excited and so was my hubby! We ended up leaving around 2:00pm on Sunday, which means we spent almost exactly 60 hours in that hospital. I was so ready to get all those tubes and needles taken out of me and get home and take a shower!!

I took the next two days off from work and stayed at home recovering. I was very sore and could not walk very well or stand up straight at all. I am almost 100% now, and my incisions are almost completely healed. I have my post-op checkup tomorrow so hopefully that will be the end of my gall bladder saga.

So, for future reference, next time it seems as if your life is moving slowly - be thankful!! I've always been told that no news is good news. In my case, no action in my life was good news!! Like I said, you probably won't hear me "complaining" or commenting on my slow moving life again...I learned my lesson!!!

1 comment:

Nikki said...

Oh my gosh!!! I'm so glad you are okay!! I know how terrible it is to get stuck in the hospital! I hope everything is better now!!

~Nikki