Well here I am again and not at all happy about it.
This week I started to have pain under my breastbone. It started Sunday night and may have been the cause of my poor sleeping more than the ring on Tony’s finger (which would be a good thing, right?). By Thursday evening the pain had intensified beyond what I could manage and I knew the ER was on the agenda for the evening.
I had been careful, watching what I eat, taking some gas x and seeing if anything was influencing the pain in any way. I couldn’t find anything.
By the time we got to the hospital Thursday night, I was bowled over in pain and out of breath. They took me in quickly administering fluids and morphine right away. Sent off for X-rays and cat scans pretty quickly.
Then the surgeon arrived and my hopes plummeted.
The ER doc (as well as myself) were thinking pancreatis or something along those lines. But the surgeon debunked the results by saying I had another bowel blockage.
This meant we were going down a familiar path. I would be intubated with an NG tube, no food or liquids, no narcotics and a lot of patience. They did give me a strong opioid called Tramdol which worked for the time being and anti-inflammatory meds which helped.
I did cry once the tube was placed because I couldn’t believe I was back here again, in this horrible situation. I knew now they would admit me as well.
I was terrified that having the surgeon involved meant I was looking at being cut open again.
Going back to the 9th floor in the room directly across where I spent my 4 weeks in Sept/Oct was like a horrible horror story. But all the nurses remembered me and were so kind. They couldn’t believe how much better I looked as compared to my first stay. I suppose there’s some compensation there – that even with the damn tube coming out of my nose that they thought I looked good! 😂
I didn’t get to the room until 6am or so, and then rounds start soon after, so I was feeling really crappy after a night full of pain and testing with no sleep.
As it turned out, the pain began to disappear once I was settled and I didn’t need any further pain killers. They had me on simple fluids to see if my body could recover on its own.
Another cat scan and X-ray followed during the day and they could see that the initial contrast was making its way through the bowel. I told them all they needed to do was give me a cup of coffee and I would be pooping in no time! No one bought that.
By evening I pooped on my own. I did a little poop dance of joy 💩 because I knew that meant my body was doing its job.
Early the next morning the surgeon agreed and the tube came out. The doctor arrived some time later and said if I stick to liquids and soft foods for a week they would allow me to go home that day. He knew I knew the bariatric surgery ropes so he was willing to be lenient. I wasn’t too happy to have to go back to a liquid diet, but it’s better than being in the hospital and monitored here.
Ultimately they believe it was a bowel blockage that I caught super early. The NG tube allowed my bowels to rest for 36 hours without doing any work. The diet allows for further rest from whatever the blockage or inflammation was from. There is no real “reason” it happened or any way to prevent it from happening again. It’s just because I have had so many abdominal surgeries and bowel resections.
I’m waiting now for my son to pick me up so I can rest at home.
I’m bummed this happened in the middle of my exercise streak, but I will exercise lightly for the next week so the habit continues to form. I already felt myself falling into a hole lying on the hospital room for 2 nights. I couldn’t even focus enough to watch TV or even read.
Let’s hope, like the surgeon hopes, that this doesn’t happen again and I continue on my merry way.