I sent the below email to my friends a couple of years ago after my perforated bowel fiasco. I went through a lot and it was scary. The below email was me updating my friends on what happened when I was in the hospital. I thought it was an interesting (and informative) email outlining what I had gone through in the hospital
Subject: Hello xxxxx & xxxxx!
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 20:31:48 +0000
xxxxx, I got your message yesterday. Sorry I didn’t pick up. My nurse was here when you called, and I did hear my phone ring, but I forgot to check the message after my nurse left.
I am doing pretty well. Not the Sunday that just passed, but the Sunday previous to that was the day that a nurse at the hospital took my staples out. Well, wouldn’t you know that a few seconds after all the staples were out, the wound just kinda…..popped open? Yes I know that sounds gross, but it did. It didn’t bleed or anything, and the pain was minimal when that happened. But I do have a gaping hole in my lower stomach now. The doctor says he doesn’t want to re-staple it or stitch it up, or else only the surface will heal and the inside won’t….so i’ll end up with a big hole in my stomach which is covered by healed skin. That could cause an infection.
So, a nurse comes by everyday to clean my wound, and pack it with gauze and bandage it up. Apparently it is supposed to heal from the inside first, and then slowly heal up and close. It looks like I had a c-section and the doctor forgot to close me up. Kinda weird!
But I am doing well. Tylenol 3’s and I have become great friends in recent days. Walking fast, sitting up for long periods of time, and my energy level are my main obstacles at this point, but everyday there is definitely progress.
Thanks for coming to visit me that day. It was good to laugh….even though it kinda hurt the staples!! Haha, but a good laugh was worth it.
I must say, however, that the day after you two came to see me was a rough day for me. I was given a blood transfusion while I was on dialysis and I had a bad reaction to it. The first though was that I must have been allergic to a protein in the blood I was receiving. Basically what happened was my stomach started to hurt really bad. I could barely lie still. I started sweating profusely…like literally as if I just ran a marathon in Africa. Sweat was pouring off of my face. My pulse went up to 180, and I was screaming bloody murder. Luckily I didn’t have a roomate at that point, as my roomate went home earlier in the day. Doctors and nurses rushed in. Nurses first hooked up some morphine to my IV, and then Benadryl. After receiving morphine for about 10 minutes, the pain subsided.
My dialysis was stopped. The nurse doing my dialysis changed and cleaned the machine so that I could continue with my dialysis without the blood transfusion. Dialysis was restarted. After about 45 minutes, I could feel that same pain in my stomach coming on again. I complained again…and before I knew it, my heart rate was up again. I was sweating like crazy again, and my stomach was killing me.
Doctors and nurses rushed in again. One doctor was holding my wrist, checking my pulse. What was scary is that I could feel my eyes rolling into the back of my head. Then, I went blank for a moment. Then I remember someone putting an oxygen mask on my face, and I remember the doctor that was holding my wrist slapping me lightly in the face. I also remember him yelling at someone to call the ICU, and to call a code blue. Then a female doctor came along and was asking me questions, such as what my name was, where was I, why was I here, etc. I answered all of the questions, and was a bit confused as to why they were asking me stupid questions, especially when I was in pain. Where’s my morphine??
After listening to the doctors and nurses talk back and forth, I figured out that the doctor who was holding my wrist and checking my pulse suddenly lost my pulse for several seconds. I guess he thought my heart stopped (or maybe it did..?) So that’s when they were going to call a code blue but I guess before it got to that stage I was alert again. So that’s why they put the oxygen mask on me and stuff.
So I guess it was obvious that we were going to skip dialysis for that day. I was exhausted, and my stomach felt like I had just finished doing 100 sit ups. I stayed in bed for the rest of the evening while my mom and dad watched on. The doctor who was checking my pulse came in to check on me all night…at least every one and a half hours. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a dedicated hospital doctor.
Alas, after much investigation, it was found that the reaction I had wasn’t to the blood transfusion at all. It turns out that after the surgery, there had been some bleeding going on in my stomach. That is what caused the intense pain, which caused all of the other symptoms. I was given some medication via IV to help with the bleeding, and I was also given some oral medication. They all helped. Doctors had suspected previously that I was bleeding somewhere because my blood count was very low, and also (this is gross) because of the colour of the stuff coming out into my colostomy bag. While when normal ppl go to the washroom, its brown. Mine was much darker, and that is an indication of bleeding. This was also confirmed by a G.I. doctor who performed a scope on me (scope=sticking a camera down your throat to look at your throat and stomach). I gagged the whole time, even though they gave me plenty of relaxation drugs. During this scope, they also discovered a cut on my esphophagus, which explained why I was having trouble swallowing, eating, etc. Apparently the tube that was in my nose and down my throat for a few days after the surgery cut my throat. It is unclear as to whether or not the cut occured while it was being put in, or taken out.
I am no longer bleeding, and feel much better. Eating is still slightly painful, but much better than it was a week ago. That whole episode prolonged my hospital stay by at least 5-6 days. Boo! Oh well, I’d rather stay a couple of extra days just to make sure everything is good.Geez, this is a long email. But that’s the update!
zzzz, I will definitely let you know when my throat is 100% so we can have cake! Yummmm….