Friday, January 21, 2011

Journaling My Medical Drama of 2010 - Warning, Graphically Detailed

I have been meaning to get to this post, mostly for myself because well as this is Maria's Space most of the non-commercial stuff gets saved into a Word file that I hope to eventually put into book  form for myself and my kids.

It is over a month that I had surgery but it wasn't far enough behind me to write about. It was such a traumatic time that to revisit it would be too emotional but I am ready and willing to write it down for prosperity.

Yesterday I finally discussed the details with someone outside of my immediate family and friends and it was very easy to do. it goes.

If you have been reading along, you may remember that last May-into June (here is the post), I ended up in the hospital with a severe case of diverticulitis that required me to stay at the hospital for 2 weeks and on heavy antibiotics for over a month afterward.

Since June, I have had numerous uterine infections and never felt quite right. My stomach ached, digestion wasn't easy and I always felt, weak, sick and nauseous. At the beginning of November with my 3rd uterine I headed to the gynecologist yet again. "Something is wrong! I have another infection." She does her thing and says, "yes, it appears you have a bacteria, very normal. I am going to give you an antibiotic, although I am surprised that after almost 6 months of antibiotics you have anything!"

I ask her to please send the culture to the lab! She insists it is just a vaginal bacteria and that the lab bill will be something she can't control (I have no insurance) and wants me to wait a day and reconsider not sending. I tell her that I understand about the bill but there have been too many infections, something is not right!

She calls me a week later from her car phone and tells me that she had to look up the bacteria that came back because it is outside her realm of medical knowledge. It is Bacteroides fragilis which turns out to be an intestinal bacteria. "Ummm"...I ask, "what is that doing by my cervix?" She says, "I wish I had answers for you, I don't know." Well, thanks lady!

The next day I call my GI doctor and explain over to the phone to his staff what is happening and ask to see him. We make an appointment and I head down to see him to set up a colonoscopy which is something we have had to reschedule before for a uterine infection.

Colonoscopy scheduled I head home and prepare myself for the thought of this. Two days before the colonoscopy, I pass stool from my vagina. Now, when I explain this part to people, I carefully say, there is no solid stool coming out. There is simply a smear of "poop" on the toilet paper. How did I know? I saw brown, smelled it and sure as shit it was shit!

Ok, now that I got that part out...let me continue...there is nothing that can prepare you for this...I came out of the bathroom crying. I went to the living room to get a tissue and my husband asked what is wrong? I walked into the kitchen and he followed. I told him and cried harder. He hugged me and said, don't be scared (this is not the first time these words have come out of his mouth. I have heard them twice before: 1. We heard a tree break during a storm and didn't know if it was going to crash through our house. He said it right before he threw himself over me and our newborn Handsome. 2. My water broke with Handsome and there was Meconium all over. He knew enough to say, the baby is Breech, his bottom is at your bottom, he will not aspirate, don't be scared everything is OK.)  He said, "maybe you should call your GI doctor. I did! He said, it sounds like you have a fistula. You need surgery. Call Dr. blah, blah and set up an emergency appointment, you need an emergency cat scan to find out where the path is.

I called, scheduled, saw the doctor, I told him that the path was between my uterus and intestine, he said, no it's your bladder and intestine.  Emergency cat scan was scheduled for the next day. I made a video on my cell phone, it makes me sick to look at it. I was so scared heading into the hospital alone for this cat scan. I really thought I was dying. It sounded so bad. Soft organs can adhere to each other and create a path?! What the hell?

The results were sent to the surgeon. During my appointment I asked what organs were involved. He said, it may be bladder, uterus and intestine (I found out later, he said, all three because he had never heard of a uterus being attached to the intestine).  

Surgery was set up. It wasn't soon enough for me. It was 10 days from my diagnosis and I was worried about sepsis. He prescribed an antibiotic.

I was really pissed about the date because just like in the Spring where I missed Handsome's Spring Concert, the surgery would be on the same day as the kids Christmas Concert! Nothing could be done about, the surgery had to happen.

Part 2 coming tomorrow, I just need to get it all down but don't want to make this post too long.


  1. WOW - I do hope you are all healed up now - I will be back tomorrow.

    Love to you
    I've Become My Mother

  2. You need some tlc after you are all healed...maybe in the form of a lovely vacation with just you & hubby. I just finished reading Cutting For Stone & learned alot @ fistulas from the book. It was a wonderful book & I recommend it. Get well soon!

  3. Hearing about this for the second time doesn't make it any easier. Hope you are feeling better.
    All my love and hugs!


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