Hello, friends. I wish I had something happy and fun to share with you today, but I don’t. Recently, I’ve been dealing with some health issues. On Thursday, I spent 6 hours in the emergency room. Luckily, it’s nothing *too* serious, but I thought I would share a more detailed post with you guys about what’s been going on, and what I found out. Twitter and Facebook don’t let me write as much as I want to. There’s going to be a lot of personal, medical information mentioned, and if talking about bodily functions, hospitals, doctors, etc., makes you uncomfortable, you might not want to read this.
**Scroll all the way to the bottom for the TLDR short version.**
Earlier this week, starting around Tuesday, I began getting weird pains in my stomach, unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. I’ve dealt with cramps, bloating, pregnancy, indigestion, pulled muscles, diarrhea, and flu symptoms in the past, and it didn’t feel quite like any of those things. The pain started right below my ribs, where it was a bit dull, and went all the way down to my lower abdomen and pelvis, where the pain was much more sharp. At first, I thought maybe it could be pain from constipation, but I quickly realised that I was no constipated, quite the opposite actually, as I found myself running to the bathroom at least once an hour. I didn’t know what to think. I had no fever, nausea, or other symptoms, so I tried to ignore it, and hoped it would go away.
By Wednesday, the pain had increased, and was making it impossible to do just about anything. My appetite had started to decline, and I couldn’t lie down on my back, or sit for long periods of time, without a lot of pain. I could barely sleep at night, because I could only comfortable sleep on one side, and if I moved in my sleep, the pain would wake me up. I was also still having to run to the bathroom every hour or so. Still no fever or nausea, so I took Ibuprofen for the pain, and hoped it would go away.
On Thursday, I was exhausted and weak. I hadn’t slept well in two days, and despite knowing that I was hungry, I couldn’t bring myself to eat. Even looking at food made me feel queasy. The pain in my lower abdomen had gotten to bad that it was painful to walk, or stand for long periods of time. I was also having a hard time picking up my son, and would get waves of pain and nausea when carrying him. I knew that this wasn’t going away any time soon, and decided it was time to see a doctor.
Kyle got home from his first job around 2:30, and I told him what was going on. He called off from his second job so that he could take me to the clinic that we normally take Liam to, which didn’t open until 4:00pm on weekdays. So we waited until they opened, then went in. The woman at the front desk told me they don’t handle any kind of imaging or labs there, and sent me to the ER. I hadn’t been to the ER since I was little, and I always feel guilty about going there, because I didn’t feel like my situation was an “emergency“. However, we live in a small town, where there really aren’t that many major incidents, so I decided to suck it up and go.
Since we only have one car, and I can’t drive anyway, I told Kyle to just drop me off, and take Liam to the play area at the mall, and to get some dinner. I didn’t expect it to take very long. Boy, was I wrong. I also only had 20% battery life on my phone when I went in. So, ya know, yikes.
A very nice nurse checked my blood pressure and heart rate, and got all my information, and asked me what was going on. I told her, and I was put into my own little room to wait for the doctor. Another nurse in gray scrubs came in to give me a gown to change into, listen to my heart and stomach, and to ask me where it hurt specifically, and a whole mess of other questions. Then, another woman came in to draw blood. She meant to draw 4 vials, but accidentally only drew 3, but said it would be enough. After about 30 minutes waiting, the doctor came in, pressed on my stomach, which resulted in A LOT of pain, asked me more questions, then left to order some tests.
The nice nurse in the gray scrubs came back after another 30 minutes, with a large cup of Crystal Light, mixed with contrast solution. She told me that I had to drink the entire thing over the course of 70 minutes, then I would go down the hall for my abdominal CT. The stuff didn’t taste great, but I was actually crazy thirsty, so I was thankful to have a drink. Shortly after I started drinking, Kyle and Liam came in to see how things were going, since I hadn’t had a chance to update him. I told him that I was going to be there for at least another hour and a half to two hours. He was upset, because Liam had been crying for me the entire time I was there, and it would be very close to his bedtime in a few hours, and I didn’t know how I would get home.
A nurse came in to put my IV line in, and an orderly brought some crayons and pictures for Liam to color, but they decided to go home and relax instead of stay, because Liam is a bit wild when he’s supposed to stay in one place. So, I was alone again, with my nearly dead phone, my nasty drink, my pain, and no idea what was wrong with me.
But then, the ER picked up a bit, and that helped pass the time.
When I came in, all of the rooms were empty but one, which had an elderly man hooked up to a mess of machines that were helping him breathe. Shortly after my guys left, I heard a loud, static announcement over the intercom that said a car had hit a building, and they were incoming. Within minutes, there was a woman and her son in the room across from me. The woman had swerved off the road to avoid a truck that kept swerving into her lane, and she had crashed into a nearby house. She walked away uninjured, and the other man was apparently drunk, ran himself off the road, and was not in the hospital with us. Not sure what that means for him. She was irate and loud (with good reason, mind you), but kept using the word “retarded” and “gay” to describe just about everything about the scenario, which was super obnoxious, and begging for a cigarette. They left after about 45 minutes.
There was also a woman there with her young daughter. The woman had been out of town for a week, came to pick her daughter up from a friend’s house, and discovered that she was covered in rashes that resembled ringworm. Spoiler alert: It was ringworm. The little girl was NOT happy to be in the ER, and hearing her cry made my heart hurt, and miss my son.
Then, a maintenance guy came in to give me a remote for my TV, and I watched Chopped, and drank my horrible contrast solution beverage. The bed I was on was supremely uncomfortable, and was making my pain worse, but it was either sit up straight on the bed for hours until my back felt like it was breaking, or lie down and deal with the pain in my stomach. I decided to lie down. At least I had TV.
While I was waiting for my CT, another few people came in. This time, it was two teenage girls, both absolutely hammered. Mind you, it was only about 6:30pm at this point, and a weekday. Oh, boy. They were placed in the room right next to mine. Only one of them was there for medical attention, the other was just there for support, I assume. They were loud and obnoxious. Playing shitty music on their phones, sending SnapChats, walking up and down the hallways, loudly talking badly about people they knew, and cackling like hyenas, mixed with a bit of crying.
Also, the imaging solution is designed to go STRAIGHT through you, and let me tell you, that’s what it did. I peed about 15 times over the course of 70 minutes, among other things. It was… well, it was something.
I was relieved when an orderly came to get me for my CT, because it meant I was another step closer to going home. I had to sit in a wheelchair, even though I was perfectly fine to walk, but I gotta say, it was a pleasant ride, haha. The woman who did my CT was the nicest person I’ve ever met. She was about my age, maybe younger, and she made me feel so comfortable. Hospitals and procedures like this don’t make me too nervous, but having never had a CT before, I didn’t know what to expect, and that made me a little nervous. She explained everything to me, answered all my questions, and was so, so nice. Seriously. She was the best.
The CT was pretty cool. I had never had one before. After some test pictures, the woman injected some more contrast solution into my IV, and it was the strangest sensation. She warned me ahead of time, but it still freaked me out. I felt the effects immediately. I hot sensation in my neck, followed by the feeling of peeing my pants. I didn’t actually pee my pants, but that’s what it felt like. A very, very warm crotch. Then, I sat for 7 minutes, and took my real pictures. The whole process took about 10 minutes total, but it felt like an eternity, because the room was freezing.
Then, back to my room to wait for my results and watch more Chopped. At 8:00 pm they announced that it was quiet time, but the girls next door didn’t listen, so the nurses closed the sliding glass door to their room. Peace and quiet, finally.
After 45 minutes or so, the doctor came in.
First diagnosis: He informed me that a small part of my intestine had twisted around itself (he compared it to how you twist the casings when making sausage) and was now dying. No joke. Part of my intestine was just dying. He had already talked to a surgeon, who told him that I wouldn’t need surgery, because it wasn’t causing any major obstruction, and that it would just die and heal on its own in about 10 days.
Second diagnosis: I had a cyst on my right ovary. It was small, but could mean trouble. He said that the cyst was actually very close to the part of my intestine that was twisted, and the two combined were causing a lot of inflammation, which is why I had so much pain all over my abdomen. He told me I now needed an ultrasound.
Then, he left.
And I started to cry.
And cry some more.
Oh, I also had to get a nurse to help me put my bra back on, which had to come off for the CT, because my IV was making it hard for me to reach behind my back. That was embarrassing.
The nice nurse with the gray scrubs came in to give me a huge container of water, and told me it would be another hour to an hour and a half for my ultrasound, and told me to drink as much water as I could. I turned my phone on to tell Kyle that it would be another several hours. It was now well after Liam’s bedtime, so I asked Kyle to see if his mom could pick me up and take me home, so we wouldn’t have to deal with bringing Liam out in the middle of the night.
That was the first night in 2.5 years that I was not there to put my son to sleep, and that alone broke my heart.
So, I cried some more.
After an hour and a half, just as I was losing my last bit of sanity, and my bladder was about to burst, my ride showed up, in the form of a wheelchair, to take me to my ultrasound. The ultrasound tech was not particularly friendly. At all. And she pressed so hard on my pelvic region that I had tears in my eyes. I also thought I was going to pee on the bed about 15 times. Then, she was finished, and I could go pee. You guys, let me tell you, I have never felt such relief in my entire life. Ever. Oh my god. So much pee.
Anyway. I was wheeled back to my room to wait some more, but once we got there, the nurse pulled back the curtain, and there were two other people in my room. So, she brought me to the nurses station, and they told me that they had switched me do a different room. Not sure why.
The room was on the opposite side of the ER, as far away from the bathroom as possible, and right next to the Ambulance doors. I was also closer to the man who was hooked up to all the machines, and there was a lot of beeping and strange sounds coming from his room. This room also had a smaller, older TV, that only got 6 channels. No more Food Network. I ended up watching some weird show about naked people surviving in the woods on Discovery channel.
A lot of action happened in the last 45 minutes of my stay, including the man hooked up to the machines being transported to another nearby hospital, so he could be airlifted to a major hospital in the city. I’m also fairly certain someone in one of the rooms next to mine died.
Finally, the doctor came in to give me the news.
There was nothing they could do for me. Or, rather, there was nothing that needed to be done. The cyst was small, and wasn’t going to give me any further trouble, and would clear up on its own in a few weeks. The piece of my intestine that was dying would just die and go away, and didn’t need surgery. He prescribed me some pain medication and some anti-inflammatory medication, and sent me on my way.
Just like that. 6 hours in the ER, two tests, a few panic attacks, and I would be just fine in a week or two. Maybe a month or more for the cyst.
I was relieved, but annoyed. Kyle’s step-father came to pick me up, as it was now just after 10:30 pm, and took me home. I told Kyle all about my hospital adventure, and passed out, totally exhausted.
Yesterday, I woke up with a bit more pain, but knowing it would go away soon was comforting. I picked up my prescriptions, did some grocery shopping, and spent the rest of the day and night relaxing. Both of my pills need to be taken three times a day, and both cause drowsiness and stomach upset. That, coupled with my pain, means I’ll be stuck on my couch, totally useless, for a week or more.
At least Kyle picked up around the house a little bit for me, so I could stop having anxiety attacks over the state of our home. However, until I have confirmation that my insurance covered my hospital trip, the anxiety will still be there.
I’m feeling a bit better today. I slept well last night, despite a bit of nausea from my meds. A bit of stress has been taken off of me knowing that it’s not as serious as it could have been. I am sad that I feel so miserable, and can’t play with my son like I normally would. But, it could have been so much worse, and I’ll be better soon.
**TLDR Version: I spent 6 hours in the emergency room, had a CT scan and an ultrasound, found out a tiny part of my intestine is twisted and dying, and that I have a small cyst on my ovary. Those two things combined is making my whole abdomen inflamed, but they are actually fairly minor, and should go away on their own within a week or two (maybe more for the cyst). The ER was filled with chaos. I peed and pooped more in one day than I have in my entire life. I didn’t get to say goodnight to my son for the first time in 2.5 years, which resulted in lots of crying. I got out at 10:30pm, and now have lots of medicine to take that makes me feel sick, and I keep having anxiety attacks.**
Thanks for reading, friends!