Sunday, March 2, 2008

Adventures in Medicine, or; Eat at the Airport the Last Day of your Trip

I will tell you about my vacation soon, but first I have to tell you about the adventure after my vacation.

The day we left Mexico (Thursday), Mr. Fantastic and I shared a sandwich for lunch that made us sick. Like, we both spent the plane ride home feeling like we had food poisoning. Although his was more typical food posoning symptoms, mine was basically just this really, really awful pain in the middle of my belly. It would come and go in waves. At one point, I almost passed out in the airport - just standing in line, I started pouring buckets of sweat and feeling dizzy and had to sit down before I fell down. At that point, even taking a sip of water would cause a wave of this horrible pain.

We finally got home Thursday night and went to bed. On Friday, Mr. F was also having an earache so he went to the doctor. I tried to eat some lunch but literally minutes after I put something in my mouth, I got waves of that awful pain. I put a call in to my surgeon and by the time Mr. F got back with magical eardrops, I was feeling much worse, and his tummy wasn't any better either. I got a call back from Amanda, the nurse at my surgeon's office, and she told me to go to the ER and that she would let Dr. Snyder know. She was really worried about dehydration since I pretty much hadn't had anything for almost 24 hours. It's really easy for a gastric bypass patient such as myself to get dehydrated and really hard to get caught back up without medical intervention. So at the very least, she wanted to make sure I was hydrated.

Since Mr. F was spending so much time running to the bathroom, I told him not to come with me, and I drove to the ER at Rose Hospital about 3:45. I had to wait a long time for them to have a bed for me. And I was sitting there in the waiting room just feeling worse and worse. The pain I was having became a constant pain, with these excruciating waves that would spike every few minutes. Let me tell you, I can handle pain. Ask Mr. F. But this was seriously the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life - and it just kept getting worse with each passing hour. I was sitting in that waiting room just sobbing from the pain.

Eventually they got me back to a bed, took some blood, had me pee in a cup, took some XRays and a CT scan and got me started on an IV. I couldn't take the pain sitting down, so I was pacing around the little room, stopping to bend over the bed when the wave of pain would hit. Finally they decided to give me some pain meds which meant I had to call and have Mr. F come in and also they made me sit down in the bed which sucked because it meant I had to try and curl in a little ball when the pain came.

The CT scan was apparently very scarily abnormal and made them think I had a twisted loop of bowel. Which, turns out, feels just like it sounds. It felt like my intestines were going to pop. And I guess the pain was coming in waves due to the peristalsis motion of digestion. Anyway, the pain meds helped a lot - first it was fentanyl, then later something that lasted longer. As the night wore on and the pain got worse, I started getting nauseous and dry heaving, which just made things hurt worse.

Then Dr. Snyder got there and he and his resident decided they needed to do surgery. They couldn't confirm for sure from the XRay and CT scan that I really did have a bowel obstruction but I was in so much pain that they wanted to be safe and make sure. So about 10 pm they whisked me off to surgery. Three of my incisions from my gastric bypass have been re-incised so they could put in a camera and tools and look around and fix anything that might need fixing. Thankfully, Mr. F and Steve were both there to see me off and help me calm down a bit. By the time I was getting ready for surgery, I was nearly hysterical with the dry heaving, pain and being scared of such hurried surgery.

Unfortunately, they couldn't find anything wrong. Or, fortunately, I guess. Once they got in there, they couldn't find an obstruction or anything. They guessed I had some kind of twist or obstruction that resolved itself but can't really say for sure what the hell was happening. What I think happened is that I got the same food poisoning that Mr. F did but because I was seriously dehydrated, I didn't get the, er, runs. Instead, I got my body trying to expel the nastiness but being unable. Each wave of pain was one that would've sent me running to the bathroom.

Anyway, spent the night in the hospital and got to come home late Saturday afternoon. I'm sure you will be happy to know I have pooed, and the pain I was having is gone. Unfortunately, it's been replaced by the pain from my healing incisions. It pretty much sucks that they decided to do surgery and it basically was unnecessary, but it's better safe than sorry, especially with the amount of pain I was having.

Mr. F is still feeling a bit wonky in the belly but he seems to be on the mend. It sucks when we're both sick because then there's nobody to be the mom!

So. Lessons learned. When on vacation, I need to be super vigilant about keeping hydrated. And eat at the airport the last day of the trip.

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