Life & Health Theology

Meditations on Surgery VI: Turn for the Worst…

January 30, 2010

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. To be honest, these last few days have been long and hard. I’ll probably have to be brief because I don’t remember everything, but will do my best to fill in blanks. I will warn ya’ll that this might not be enjoyable to read, since I’ll be as honest as I can about what was going through my mind, and what happened (which can be gross). You have been warned….

Jan 22, 2010 (Friday)

Things were going great for me. I honestly was healing well and eating regular food up to this point. Steve and Tanya came out to visit me to learn about the ostomy and how they can help me care for it. The only really problem was that it hurt to laugh so much, but that wasn’t a big issue. I was off of my IV’s and had nothing attached to me anymore at all – totally free.

However, that night was a totally different story. I started getting horrible gas cramps and the pressure was incredibly painful for me. The problem is that you can’t get pain meds for gas pressure pain, which means you just have to deal with it. So since I couldn’t sleep my nurse told me that I ought to go walk around to get the gas moving. So that night I think I went walking maybe 20 times before the night was over. I couldn’t sleep at all.

I can’t remember exactly when it was, but on one of those walks I started feeling nauseous before I got back to my room, and ended up throwing up in the hall. The nurses got me a chair to sit down right where I did it (I got a bucket there before I lost it, so it didn’t make a huge mess). This is where everything went downhill.

Jan 23-27, 2010

All of these days kind of run together in my mind, so I will just talk about them in a single unit since I can’t remember exactly when everything happened.

Basically, I somehow got stopped up and things weren’t going through my system, so it came out where it went in. I thought it might have been because they gave me a bunch of fiber to get my stool thicker quickly — that didn’t go over too well. I threw up a number of times over these days. I couldn’t keep anything down at all, not even sips of water. It would all come right back up. So they hooked me back up to the IV to get me my liquids. Then, after a day or two I passed what seemed to be what was clogging my system and thought I might be getting better.  I added liquids, very slowly, and was holding them down — so I thought I might be getting better. But come Monday (or Sunday evening,  I can’t remember) after I tried to hold down a couple spoons of applesauce, I threw it all back up again.

By this time I hadn’t been eating for a while and thus wasn’t getting any nutrition, so the docs wanted to put me on a PICC line (which goes through your arm into a vein that goes nearby the heart, to give me direct nutrients). I was uncomfortable with it at first, but when I couldn’t even hold down water or applesauce I decided to go for it.

Since then they kept trying to figure out what was wrong with me and my bowels, and why I was so sick. I had a couple x-rays, which just showed that I had tons of gas built up (something I knew all too well!).

I’ve got to go walk a bit right now, but I’ll try to post on the last few days sometime soon (if I’m up for it).

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