For those that already know what I’ve been going thru the past month, feel free to skip over this post.
I lost 25 pounds in 2 weeks! Awesome, right! No.. as much as I need to & want to lose this weight, I truly don’t recommend the way I went about it. It all started about a month ago, almost exactly, and it goes like this…
It was Friday, August 10th. I was at work, and feeling less than wonderful, nauseous, and clutching my side from time to time, yet again. This has been going on for probably 2 weeks, steady. Not to mention, the past 6 months or so of it happening on/off. This particular day, I was really feeling it. One of my sweet co-workers looked at me, and knew, I wasn’t right. She told me.. call the doctor.. I’m not leaving your desk until you do. So, I did. Being it was a late Friday afternoon, of course I couldn’t get in there, but they told me to call in the morning to let them know I was coming. I let my friend at work know what they said, and promised her, I would go in, even though I was meant to take my children back to school shopping that weekend. I figured, get in early, get done, come home, and go shop till we drop for new clothes for my 2 teens that were going on threadbare & ill fitting clothes that needed badly replaced. I’d been preparing for this trip for a while and I was ready.
Saturday morning, August 11th. I get to the dr’s office, and the doc examines me and I burst into tears from the pain when he touches my middle. He said, “you’re going to the ER for imaging, it’s the only way to get quick imaging on the weekend. I’ll call them to let them know you’re coming. Can you drive yourself?” I told him yes, I drove there, and no way was I leaving my car behind. I get to the ER, which, as usual there is a wait. They get me back into an exam area and decide to get me into a breezy gown and hook me to an iv, give me pain meds and run some tests. The tests are not looking good for my gall bladder. So, they want to run a nuclear test.. which, I can not have pain meds in my system, so they stop giving me anything for awhile & I’m stuck in ER for hours waiting it out. Finally, I get to nuclear medicine, and they tell me it’s 90 minutes laying on my back on a table.. the first hour just normal type imaging, the last 30 minutes, a drug will be given that will cause my gall bladder to simulate a fatty meal being digested. I thought I was going to vomit the nothing on my stomach when that 30 minutes took place. It was bad. As it turned out, my gall bladder was only working at 11%, and the docs decided, it had to go. Admitted to the hospital.
Sunday, August 12th. Met with the surgeon, signed the papers, went to surgery around noon. Woke up about 2 hours later, and told that my liver didn’t look normal, so while he was in there, he took a couple of biopsies. “Honestly, your liver looks like cirrhosis of someone who’s been drinking heavily for 40 years”. Ok, take a step back a moment here.. I’m only 42, and I almost NEVER drink. Not that I haven’t ever.. but it’s very rare, even in my younger years.. I don’t like getting sick from getting drunk, and it’s happened about 5 or so times, and that’s more than I care to think about. I can buy a 6 pack of wine coolers and they last me 6-9 months. Suffice it to say, surgeons have NO bedside manner. He also wouldn’t explain what any of this meant, only saying that they were waiting on the biopsy, which would be a few days, and that I’d need to see a GI specialist. He would say no more on the matter of my liver.
I ended up remaining in the hospital until Wednesday, August 15th. The whole time I was there, I was in PAIN. If there weren’t drugs in my system, I was miserable. Sometimes, I was miserable even with the drugs. I couldn’t eat much, I started out on liquids, and moved up to soft foods, but could only manage tiny portions before I felt full, or sick. I couldn’t lay down from the pain, so I was sitting in bed to sleep, sitting up. I’d be up out of the bed by 5am, in the chair next to my bed, because it was easier to sit in than the bed. I’d sit there until 10 or 11pm when I thought maybe I could fall asleep, sitting up in the bed. As the days dragged on, they poked & prodded me, left me bruised beyond belief, and told me I had to work my lungs with this damn tube to breath in, because of the swelling near my lungs, I was very near pneumonia. Basically, I was hating life. I finally was allowed to go home on that Wednesday.. my fever had broke for about 24 hours, and my numbers on my labs were going in the right direction for them to feel it was fine to send me home. I was given discharge instructions, to make a follow up in a week, but to call or come in if I had excessive pain (which, I was still in excessive pain, so didn’t see the point in that) or had a fever of 100.6 or more. So, Thursday, 1 day after discharge, I started developing a fever. The only meds I was given on discharge, was for pain, to last about 5 days, then I should be able to manage with OTC pain meds. My fever kept going up & down each day. Friday I called for my follow up on Monday, and told them of my fever which had just reached 100.6. I was told then, if it goes over 101, call back or come in. Ok. It got to 101.5, so I called again Friday night, to the surgeon’s call service, and whoever that yahoo is that answered the phone, better hope I never find out.. or better yet, hope Steve never finds out, or he’s going to need a new asshole. “You called earlier today, right?.. Well, honestly, you don’t sound distressed or in pain, you’re not talking about nausea, vomiting, and you sound pretty ok. And I find that temps at home are notoriously wrong. But if you think you need babysat for your temperature, please let me know and I’ll call the ER to let them know you’re coming in.” I practically hung up on him, and was in tears. Steve was livid and was about to call back, and I begged him not to. I just said, I’d go in on Monday for my follow up, we just had the weekend to deal with, it’d be fine. I was miserable the entire weekend. Although, my oldest child drove us around town to do back to school shopping, and she pushed me in a wheelchair that Khol’s had, while the other child pushed the cart around. We filled up the cart, and rolled all of us into the fitting room, and I was provided a fashion show. Spent $400 that weekend, but got nearly all they need until winter.
Monday, August 20th. Arrive at the wound care center in the hospital for my follow up. In horrible pain, still running a fever. End up in tears when they touch my middle to look at the bruising that is still covering my entire belly from the bellybutton down and solid purple across the whole thing, like a plum. Trust me, I don’t think you’ve ever seen a bruise so big, and so ugly. No, I did not take pictures.. tho I was tempted. They told me, this is not normal for recovery, and you need more tests. Unfortunately, the only way to do it, is to go thru the ER again. UGH! They were even more busy. I had my appt. at 1pm, and was in the ER by 2pm. I wasn’t even called back to a room until around 5pm. I was taken to nuclear medicine again.. only, no gall bladder left, so that nasty last 30 minute part is a non issue. Just the fact that I still can’t lay down post-op, and the need me to lay on the table.. that sucked. I’m finally told I’m being re-admitted for complications.. and they are just waiting for a room for me.. I never got a room until 10pm. I was in ER for 8 hours. Awesome. So, the lovely nurse on my floor comes in to see me around 11pm. She is having computer problems and trying to get help with that so she can help me. She is giving them hell (she is in my room on the phone at the roll out computer cart they have) because she wants to be helping ME, not trying to fix a computer. She decides to just skip the computer mess and just treat me. She offered me a “benadryl cocktail”, which is just benadryl in your iv.. it was even better than the pain meds they gave me.. I felt it as soon as it hit the iv.. my head felt like it was floating & I just could only describe it as feeling all.. disconnected. It also made my mouth go really dry, and I got a bit nauseous from it, but then, I was knocked it. Over the next couple of days, I was given more iv antibiotics, lots of blood work, pain meds, anti nausea meds, instructions to continue my breathing exercises as my lungs are still not fully working and they have to keep putting me on oxygen. They really don’t want another complication of pneumonia, and honestly, neither did I, so I tried my best to keep breathing, even tho it hurt like a sunuvabitch. I was discharged again, on Wednesday, August 22, which also happened to be the first day of school for my girls. They were already out of school by the time I was discharged and home. Well, not exactly home.. at a friend’s house, because it was the first day of school, and they BOTH forgot their house keys. I was discharged with similar instructions as the first time, but provided not only pain meds (because I was obviously still in pain, and would be out that day of any kind of pain meds they’d given me previously), AND an antibiotic. This finally did the trick. No more fevers. I saw the wound care center on Thursday, August 30th, and they said after the holiday weekend & the follow up with my GI, I could go back to work. I finally got to meet with the GI on Sept. 4th, and resumed work, Wednesday, Sept. 5th.
Over the course of the last 2 weeks of being re-admitted, and cleared for work, I’ve had very little appetite.. I fill up fast, or still get nauseous from eating, or what I do eat, just runs right thru me. Hence, the losing of 25 pounds, seemingly effortlessly. On top of all of that, I started having pain in my left leg & hip just days prior to returning to work. I ended up making an appointment with my chiropractor who is just a couple miles from my job, on my first day back to work. From being laid up and the positions I’ve had to be in, my hip and locked up with bursitis. It hurts immensely. I’ve seen the chiro twice now, and she wants to see me at least 2 times in the next week as well. Ice ice ice, and stretch it out as I can. I am almost walking ok again, with some pain still, but not excessive as it was. I can come down the stairs semi-normally, but I can not go up them normally with both feet.. I have to go up on the right, and drag the left up. I just can’t put my full weight on my left leg to push myself up the stairs, or my leg tries to buckle out from under me.
I will say, I’m very glad to be back to work. I missed being there, and around the people there. I HATE the ride to & from work, especially with my hip right now, making the long time in the car or truck unbearable. The first night coming home was almost 2 hours in the car, and at an hour & 15 minutes in, tears were welling up in my eyes from the pain of not being up to move. I hope next week goes better.
I see my general doctor on Monday. Should be an interesting visit.. she hasn’t seen me since before all this mess happened. When I went to my dr’s office the day before I was admitted to the hospital, she wasn’t in, I saw the dr. that was there for that day for walk ins. I know that 1)I’ve lost a significant amount of weight in a short time (and this was absolutely the worst way of it happening), and 2) my blood sugars have continued to go DOWN. Which, is kinda good.. but it’s mostly because I can barely eat. I don’t know about my blood pressure.. it seems to be low whenever anyone else has checked it the past few weeks.. even on days when I haven’t taken my blood pressure meds. Some things may be changing with this visit. One things for sure, I’m making changes for my life. I do not want to have to ever go back in the hospital again. With the diagnosis on my liver, I’ll be eating better, getting more exercise, losing weight, and never drinking again (which was never an issue for me in the first place). This is the new me.