Monday, June 21, 2010

My Emergency Hospital Stay - Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

A picture of the kids that Teach sent me after they left me at the hospital on day 5.

So, this is the one that I have been avoiding. This is the post, I have been unwilling to put into words.

Part 2, left us with my spending 6 hours in the worst pain of my life.  So, after the 6 hours, two rounds of morphine, I am depressed and bitchy. The nurse of the day offers a smile asking me "who shit on your parade today?" I tell her no one that, I am just tired. My roommate offers up, "she just wants to go home!" I make a complaint about the chair being uncomfortable and notice a wheelchair in the doorway. My chariot has arrived to take me to another cat scan. My urine test must have showed something.

I am doing my second cat scan in less than 6 days. Great. The cat scan takes about 25 minutes and I am back in my room. A "new" chair is next to my bed and a bigger curtain is up, the last one was only 4 feet long, this one at least gives me a little privacy. The chair, a gift from the nurse who wanted to make my day must have been "the chair" 15 years ago. It is old, a bit broken but better than the piece of crap wood they had there.

A doctor comes in telling me that the abscess is a problem and that they will be doing a procedure to drain my intestine under the cat scan. I am not nervous and have no idea how they will be draining it but relieved that something will be happening. I knew something was wrong and I am being promised relief.

There are four techs, a surgeon and the Supervising Nurse with me. I am placed on the cat scan table and a number of pictures are taken to figure out the location for the drain.  A phone rings and the supervising nurse says, "I told you not to bother me for an hour, I am in a procedure." She states to a tech that another person has passed away in ICU. I am comforted but concerned that I am being attended by the Supervising Nurse. A surgeon explains that a catheter will be inserted into my intestine and that the abscess will be drained.

After every movement, they all leave to take more pictures. This is like a surgery but they are going from outside the body and everything needs to be in the right place. The surgeon gives me a local. I feel him cut me and flinch more from shock than feeling. Two people have my arms and two people have my legs. The surgeon, takes something that looks like a harpoon, puts both hands on the top and pushes. There is a collective moment of breath intake. They knew he is piercing my intestine and so do I. I cry and they all stroke my arms and legs. I feel the catheter being inserted. Once in, he puts his hands on both sides and pushes. Another gasp from everyone and I cry more. The push is enough to bring the pressure up the catheter and I hear them putting it in containers. There is one person holding my hand and I continue praying.

The doctor says that's all then shakes his head and with a syringe, pulls more fluid. He shows me the syringe. It is filled with thick, yellow, pus. He says, "that's not good" as he hands it over to the nurse telling her to send this to the lab too!

He stitches the catheter into me and tapes it to my side. It contains a bag which will hopefully collect the remaining fluid. They took 99ccs out of my intestine. He tells me that this should relieve some of the pressure I had been feeling.

I am taken back to my room and sleep under a cover of morphine.

My Facebook status that night: FU no water or food. A big FU to my extremely uncomfortable bed. FU to horrific procedures without being put to sleep!

My first meal in 32 hours was a cup of ice which I begged for.

That night I feel pain in my hand. I page for a nurse, no one comes. It is about 2:30. I go to the bathroom and again pull the string for a nurse. Hopefully they come. Someone might have fallen in the bathroom, you would think they would run in. No one does. Heading back to my bed, I again push the button looking for a nurse.

I wake up and it is 4:30 a.m. I turn on my light and this is what I see.

I am pissed off and page a nurse. No one comes! I stop the drip on the IV, remove the plug from the wall and head down the hall looking for a nurse. They stop me in the hall and walk with me back to my room. Obviously the vein infiltrated which is exactly what I knew at 2:30 a.m. Damn them! So, with diverticulities, a drain, a yeast infection, urinary tract infection now this! I am not happy!

My roommate is leaving which is totally fine with me. It was hell and the girl had issues that I was tired of hearing about. She didn't want to go. She loved her pain meds, being fed and watching TV.

When she leaves, I ask them to please let me have at least a night without a roommate. I would love to sleep!

One night alone but the next morning I get a roommate. She is 91 years and feel in the bathroom, breaking her hip. Her daughter is with her. When she leaves I tell her that I will make sure she is taken care of.

They operate on her hip that day. She is a pistol but gets very confused. I spend four nights talking to her through our curtain. It's Ok! You are Ok! You are at the hospital. You broke your hip. I'll get you a nurse. You are not wearing shoes. She cries all night. Waking and forgetting what happened to her and why she is here. Poor thing! I became her advocate when her daughter wasn't around. The nurses left her on bed pans for hours and took forever to get her one. They were awful and I wanted to tell them, just imagine this is you, how would you want to be treated?

Eventually she left before me too.

The drain comes out 3 days later and I am scheduled to leave. A surgeon visits and says the drain was taken out too soon. It is Friday and he says he is holding me until Monday! I call the house and tell my husband. I am crying and begging to come home. He and the kids were coming to get me. I just want to go home. They dangle the discharge papers in front of me and take it away. He tells me everything will be OK and that he didn't think it they would release me. I hadn't been on food yet.

I am told I will have a cat scan on Sunday. Sunday, I am told the machine is broken and that it will be tomorrow. I am upset! I want out! I want to see my kids, I have been in the hospital for 2 weeks!

My girlfriend Susan visits. It is pleasure to see her standing in my doorway. She saw my Facebook status and headed to the hospital from PA.

Facebook Status June 5: Another morning waking away from my family in an isolated, dirty, 4 wall room makes me so sad!

June 6th, I walk down the hall! Like a baby, I need a nap on my way back. I guess 10 days without food or water will do that to you.

I head to the waiting area to read. I just can't sit in my room anymore.

June 6th Facebook status: I hate not being in charge of myself! I hate this rollercoaster! I hate not having a direction! I hate being here!

I get to eat!

It isn't much but it is food and I am happy.
June 7th, I am going home! I am so happy. My husband and Goddess come. They eventually leave to pick up Handsome because being released takes quite a while.

They come to my room and grab my bags after more waiting. They head to the car and a nurse walks me downstairs. She gives me numbers of doctors to call for follow up and wishes me well.

I walk to the doors. The car with my husband and kids are in front. I walk through the automatic door. My first time in 14 days. I feel the sun, the kids are smiling in the back seat. I smell flowers. It is a beautiful blue sky day. I breathe and have to stop myself from sobbing. It is a religious experience. Not my first there were two others at the hospital that I will have to tell you about too!

With tears in my eyes I make it to the car on wobbly legs. I open the door and get in. We drive home and all I can think about is, "I love my family."


  1. Wow. What a horrific experience. Thanks for sharing your experience! I hope you are feeling a lot better now and that you will completely recover quickly!

  2. Oh, wow what a story! I would be complaining to the hospital on how you were treated. My aunt was in the hospital for 2 weeks b/c of the same exact thing. Her intestines was so infected she had had to have a colostomy (was reversed 6 months later). I am glad you are home and better!

  3. I'm so glad that horrific experience is over.


  4. Anonymous10:05 PM

    I hate reading this! I can not even imagine the pain you went through. You made it and you are a strong woman. Hopefully everything will get better. Think positive

  5. I just read parts 1 through 3--My Lord, I am so glad that is over and I hope it stays over. I am shocked that you had roommates, had to pay for T.V., couldn't get nurses to answer call buttons...I thought our hospital here was crap but you've just made it sound like Heaven in comparison! I hope you never have to go back there again!


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