Friday, February 14, 2014

Well.... that is one way to get out of your bike test

Hello again.

Well I have debated how much I really want to or need to write about what happened since my last post. Some of you know, others of you dont and the main thing is that its only a big deal because it happened to me. In the large scheme of life its a blip and one that i would be very happy to forget. Alas, I cant and barely a week out from " IT" I am still freaked out by it.

So if you have a weak stomach or get grossed out my medical talk, then stop reading.

Sunday Feb 9th started well. A short elliptical wko at Mike's as i wasnt quite ready to run. It as 9 days post op and while they say " 3-5 days you will be back to your normal activities..." I was still sore! I will someday write a post called "elective laproscopy for the high level athlete, allow 2-4 weeks."
After that i went home and it was like the clock turned to 2pm and i started getting these intense spasm like cramps in my Right Lower Quadrant. So now, if i hadnt lost my appendix i would think that i was having an appendicitis. I called the MD bc it was that bad. She said " its gas, just take some drugs ( norco) and it will pass."  I did, it didnt pass. I tried a hot bathe, that didnt work. By 4pm my lovely sister who had unknowingly come over to use my recovery boots, was driving me to the ER ( same hospital i had surgery at) while i moaned and groaned and writhed in pain. I did allow her 30 min to get her legs pumped with those boots so i am not all that bad of a sister.

We got to the ER and i got checked in around 4, triaged and taken back by about 5. This was Super Bowl sunday so that maybe kept the census down in the ER, tho i do recall in my drugged haze seeing a few Ambulances ( EMTs) bringing back men who looked to have had a few too many cocktail weineies earlier that night.

Without too much detail I was set up on an IV and given a pretty strong pain killer called Dilaudid. It worked well for about 30 minutes then i would need more. It is sort of a blur, but i went from CT back to the ER, then went to Ultrasound, ( which left me in serious pain and literally screaming for more painkillers) and then to another exam room. When she said " we are all set up for you across the hall, lets walk over there"  I said " no way i cant walk. " it as that bad. At one point i remember a nurse coming in to tell em to stop moaning. Seriously? I get what she was trying to help me with ( to stop hyperventilating) but she sure didnt have good bedside skills. While i was thinking " Ya right lady" It did help to try to breathe deep but it didnt help with the pain. So while all the scans were clear, other than showing some inflammation and bleeding post surgically I was admitted for pain control. The ER doc was so nice, I was so exhausted and tired and crying. I could tell he felt so bad. At one point when he was talking about going home i said " i cannot go home. " My sister was going to stay with me, and honestly I am so glad she didnt have to, what a helpless feeling to see me like that,  Plus she hates hospitals and gets queesy seeing blood, etc.

So up to the Surgery Specialities wing I go. I had a super nice nurse that night. I got settled by 1am, and while i can say that the pain pump helped i was a bit leary to use it. I tried to sleep but i kept having these waves of pain thru my lower right quadrant. What is really interseting and maybe a tad bit embarrassing to say ( but has to be said) is that the only thing they came up with from the tests was that I had some stool in my Ascending colon, which if you know your bowels ( haha, never losing a chance to talk anatomy) is on the Right side of your addominal cavity, travels up and then across to your left side then descends down your Left side. So by the end of all this i was sore EVERYWHERE in my lower quadrant.

When nothing else proved positive ( Thank GOD, trust me i had lots of things going thru my head) i knew that the ER is the place they figure out or hopefully negate all the bad things that could be. I had abcess, hernia, perforated bowel, IUD has migrated to ?? who knows where, I had too many things in my head, even thinking i had some sort of blood clot in my ?? My sister had to tell me repeatedly to " DONT GO THERE" and i had to stop my lively brain.

So Monday dawns ( and honestly I just looked at a calender) as these 72 hours are a blur....and we are still in the same place, lots of painkillers and lots of people poking me. General Surgeon is called in as i started to spike a fever up to 101.8 and my White Blood cells were inching up. So now we have some sort of infection. I am sent down for xray, to see if there is anything they missed, as another CT in less than 24 hours is not warranted. OF course i am like " sure it is, lets be sure" and then the Surgeon says " ok we need to watch this, and i will be around. " You need to just be NPO for now ( meaning nothing by mouth) even clear liquids. I hadnt eaten anything bc now we had assumed we just needed to  clear me out and i had started on Miralax and a lovely bowel cleanse such as you over 50's have done for a colonoscopy. So he stopped all that. Till 10pm when he said " you are ok, we arent going to do any exploratory surgery" and so guess what i got to do all night monday night? Sleep is overated isnt it.
But at the same time the fever was still on my head was killing me and they were dripping IV antibiotics and when the bag emptied the pole with 3 lines going into my Right arm would beep like there was a fire ....one time it was so loud and it woke me out of such a deep drug sleep i paged the nurse and the CNA would come and turn it off ( not really its a 2 min pause) and it would go back on. I just remember HOWLING " TURN IT OFF..." and finally I just said " heck " and sat up on mybed and turned it off myself. At least my headache wasnt worse.

I will never take for granted the abiltity to pull myself up in bed, to sleep in my bed without considerable back pain, and to get to the bathroom without a pole. ( because you have unplug that thing everytime) as I was able to rest a bit more and yes start clearing out I still had a fever and my head still hurt. I had a headache even after i got home. I Would wake up and it was like my head just hurt. sort of a frontal lobe ache. WAlking the halls at 1 am, 3 am just bc i wanted to move and not feel like i was hunched and accordioned at my waist. It hurt. Not going to lie. I have never been in so much pain in my life. And to make it worse that tuesday night, when i was faced with a huge jug of laxative plus miralax plus a night nurse who I swear was just there to make sure i didnt die, well I had some weepy moments. I was scared, tired and wasnt sure i could do this. Mainly i was scared bc it was remarkably close to what i know Rich went thru during his hospital stay at Mayo for his initial surgeries. While i know mine wasnt as serious you cant help but think  " I am not ready to go see Rich yet." And wonder what the heck, why, what happened? This was supposed to be a super simple surgery.

So despite night nurses ( Who was back tuesday night too, oh joy, and sorry i know they have alot of people to take care of) and not being able to eat, and not being able to watch TV bc my head hurt, and not wanting anyone to come visit besides family bc i just felt so darn crappy...well they deduced that while they cant say for sure what happened they think my body just was UNHAPPY with the surgery on the 24th. IT gives me a bit of piece of mind I guess. To think that i have never ever in my life been constipated:) TMI but still that the week leading into this advneture i had been regular etc, and that AM had had a BM, well...( sorry if this is TMI but it speaks to the WTH?) maybe my surgeon ( OB) was right when i saw her this week " You are delicate, you have never had surgery and after 47 years you had some fairly extensive work, your body didnt like it." I trust her, she is the best. I knew that she didnt knick my bowel and had i had a bowel injury well it would have showed up in days 2-4 not day 9-10.

I got home and started learning to eat again. It still is uncomfortable, but i am on alot of flax and some miralax. But that is like draino. I am not sure how long till i feel normal again. Its getting better. I can swim, i can bike, Running has been a bit less comfortable but i am trying to make some strides so that the rest of my body ( aka hammies and addcutors) dont have such a hard time come March 1st.
I am still tired. Work has been great and while my work is so awesome and i work from home alot i just know i need to keep trusting my body.

Ironman Canada is july 27. My surgeon said " oh you will be fine" and i have to remember i will be but that i dont start training for IM on June 1st. So i have 100% plans for a killer race in Canada but if my body has other plans well, so be it. Ironman will always take my money and refund .555% of my entry fee, :) But there are other races out there later on should my coach and i think that is necessary.

Not much else to report, you have likely heard enough from me for a bit:)

Happy Valentines and special thanks to: My sister Elizabeth, my family for coming to visit me, Mike (I never thought i would meet another man who is as wonderful as Rich), ER, Angela, Sarah..you guys kept me hoping and laughing while i screamed in pain. Even though laughing hurt :) it was worth it.

5 comments:

Steve said...

Sometimes life hits us at different angles than we are accustomed to. I think it helps us look at things from different angles.

I'll tell you something about me. My step mom in the early 90's was sick. She was in pain a lot, and I didn't know what to do. I didn't like women all that much due to girlfriend break-ups and heart breaks and stuff. I thought she was weak.

Right after graduation I got the call though. She will be dead in less than a year. Holy memories, which I am sure you know. All the pain was from cancer. This was early 90's, and a big learning time for me.

I looked at life from different angles at that point. They came pretty fast and furious, kinda like you the last couple years.

Why?? Because in the scheme of things the things we think are so important aren't. At least when life hits us.

I am sure you know that as much as anyone.

So on this Hallmark holiday. I am making tacos, and then getting a couple hours of sleep, and then working. I am way cool with it too. We like our tacos. :)

Have a good weekend Julia. :)

cheryl said...

Oh my Julia! Dont be worrying about things you cant control. Just take it one day at a time, and let your body recover, and you will be back at it before you know it. Plenty of time before ironman.

Take care!

mtanner said...

Wow. I was wondering about you. I can't imagine your nightmare of pain. I love you because you are so Honest. If there is anything I can do please msg me! Rest up and keep fighting!

melissa caron said...

I'm always up for some good ole poop talk. It's very interesting to me. BTW IM sent out an email Friday announcing their new "transfer program". You can transfer to another race if you can't make the one that you have signed up for. Just an FYI. You will probably be just fine for July!

Jennifer Harrison said...

Don't worry, I saved all the emails you sent me while you were under the drugs. Priceless. I will save them for a special occasion. :)