Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Uncle Cranky Pants has been living in my basement: My autoimmune fate?

It's late Wednesday night and I'm typing this from a hospital bed.  This place literally saved my life.

Where to begin?  Monday was a liquid diet day, Day-Before-Colonoscopy style. Monday morning, I called my primary doctor really early after about four hours of sleep.  She got me in for an appointment right away.  My hemoglobin was way low from losing so much blood mid-month.  I was hoping for a referral to the hospital infusion center for a blood transfusion center.  "Blood transfusion" ran through my mind all weekend long.

She got me in.  The Thursday before, my hemoglobin was 8.4, which did not qualify me for a transfusion.  I mentioned an iron infusion and she told one of her CMAs to get the info for a referral for me.

I got to school around noon-twenty, which was late for my noon class...  I felt like I really had to go #2, so I hit up the bathroom.  SOOO much blood.  I stood up, felt shaky-cold again and went back to my car.  I was confused and called my brother.  I told him he might have to take me to the ER and that I was going home.

"Why are you going HOME?" he blurted out and told me to go straight to the ER.

Less than 15 minutes of fast-but-safe city driving, I pulled into the ER parking lot.  I felt so weak.  Even though I had a fantastic parking spot, I could not make it to the door.  I flagged down a nice blonde lady with a white jacket on (a resident, perhaps?) and asked her to help me.  She thought I needed directions, but I really was going to faint.  She helped me to a bench and brought me out a wheelchair.  She promptly put me in it and wheeled me into the ER.  She even told them that I was suffering from a GI bleed and was about to faint.

They took her seriously and expedited me right to the front of the line of the ER!  They threw me up on a trauma table and within moments, I had an IV in each arm and getting the full treatment.

They tested my hemoglobin and I don't even remember what it was, but my heart was racing through the roof and I was very weak and dizzy.  After a couple of hours, I was well-hydrated and up on the bed, feeling okay-ish.  I had my colonoscopy the next morning.  I was *almost* cleared to go home when a resident doctor insisted that I take a long walk before I be discharged.

The long walk only lasted a trip to the bathroom where I proceeded to lose lots more blood in the toilet.  Up on a stretcher I went and back on the Trauma Table in the ER.  I looked around at the cabinets and I literally saw one labeled "Brains and Burns."  It looked about a third of the way stocked.  I knew I was in a place that did not fuck around.

They (thankfully) decided to babysit me for the remainder of the night.  I was put on the same floor as last time - thirteen days ago, thirty doors down.

When I arrived, my brother was there with my sis and her hubby, which made it okay.  They seemed freaked out that I could literally not even stand.  I asked them to leave the room so that I could use the commode.  More blood.

I started my colon prep (first round of the colon cleansing laxative powder plus Propel) at around 9pm.

About three hours later, I went to the commode with two ladies to assist me.  I told them that I felt light headed.... and then I kind of "came to" with about thirty pairs of eyes staring at me, scared for my life.  I just looked around, dazed.  I had puked on myself and they were scared for my life.

They took off my clothes and got me back up in bed.

At this point, they told me that the last hemoglobin check that I got put me at a 5.1, but that I was obviously way lower, based on all of the blood in the commode.

They pumped me full of three transfusions.... THREE blood transfusions.  Thank you to those wonderful blood donors out there who literally save lives.  Seeing that red blood in the hanging bag gave me so much hope.

My heart was racing and I got dizzy even lifting my head off the pillow.  Like, I drank too much and the room is spinny dizzy.  I felt like I was not even in my body.  The lights were on, but nobody was home.  I felt like I was in the attic of my body, with a little candle going when it should have been lit up like a Super Walmart in a small town on a clear night in October.

I called my dad, kind of told him what happened and he came right up.   He was planning on driving up the next morning to drive me in for my colonoscopy anyway.

The hour between 11pm and midnight just went by so slowly, with me drifting in and out of consciousness, my candle flickering.  Once Dad arrived, I felt like I could crawl into the back seat, take a nap and let him drive.

A GI doc came in and they almost wanted to do an emergency type early scope on me, but I just did not have enough blood.

About halfway through the second bag of blood, the head nurse (former military, no bullshit type of blonde with a feminine streak), told me that I scared her.  That she was afraid they were going to lose me. 

I woke up cranky with a massive headache. I was transported over to get my procedure.  As luck would have it (and, in my personal opinion, LOTS of help from my Overtime Working Guardian Angel), my GI surgeon (who worked on me last time with the endoscopy and was going to do my colonoscopy in a different location), came over to the hospital to do it!!!  What  a freaking HERO!

The procedure double the time that he had allotted.  He told me that he repaired a pretty massive leaky ulcer (that I think is the culprit of stealing all of my hemo-reserves). He suspects that I have Crohn's Disease.   He put me on an IV steroid to get the inflammation under control.

My nurse gave me a couple packs of Lorna Doone cookies as my snack for being done with the colonoscopy, which kind of felt like a dog getting a reward for sitting, but I was pretty out of it.  As soon as she heard that I must maintain my Clear Liquid Diet, she swiped them off my tray table and gave them to my dad, which seemed cute.  I was not going to eat them anyway.

 My surgeon seemed apologetic when he told me about my ouchie, ulcer-y digestive tract, which I found endearing and scary.  Surgeons are usually All Business when it comes to telling you what they found.  The guy who told me about my mom's melanoma reported it to me with the same level of regret as a mechanic, telling you that it's not just the battery, but it's the alternator as well...

This was yesterday morning.  Clear liquids all day, just trying to wrap my mind around it.  Today, started some foods.

I wanted to go home today (obviously), but they wanted me to have some non-bloody number twos and see if the oral steriods would be a good match against my Alleged Autoimmune disease (which I might call Uncle Cranky Pants).  They also want to make sure that I am okay at eating.

If all goes well, I may go home tomorrow.

I mean, I think I deserve to because my birthday is the day after that.

The eats, right?

Sugar free jello
Lots of fluids

Sugar free jello
Chicken broth
More fluids


-Chicken broth, jello, fluids
-Two strips of bacon, a little turkey, some ham, a bite of nasty turkey sausage that was pink in the middle, blue cheese and two hard boiled eggs
-Four strips of bacon, ham, shredded cheese, three hard boiled eggs and blue cheese dressing

I'm on a low fiber diet now.... Not sure how long.  Not sure about anything these past couple weeks. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, Angie! I'm so glad you are in the hands of competent and caring people. What a huge scare! How can you write so eloquently when you are in the middle of such existential chaos? Get better! What a hollow thing to see in type but I mean it with all my heart. Get better! <3