December 26, 2004. A date I can remember for several reasons.
1) It would have been my paternal grandmothers birthday, if she hadn’t of passed 4 years earlier. 2) The tsunami happened over in Indonesia 3) Reggie White, one of my favorite football players, died.
And the biggest reason? I started my almost five week hospital stay. It was the longest 4 weeks of my life. We headed up to Forsyth Medical Center bright and early that morning. We got to the emergency department and my dad checked me in. I had to go to the bathroom so my mom wheeled me there (and ran me into the wall in the process, thanks again Mama!) because at this point, I was so weak I could barely walk. When we got back to the triage and did all of the necessary stuff, they took me right back to a room.
Now, as I’ve mentioned before, my memory is bad. Some things I remember, some things are sketchy, and some things I just don’t remember at all. I remember getting an IV in, I remember a bitch of an ER doctor checking me for internal hemorrhoids (she was NOT gentle at all, but I got her back because she walked in on me when I was on the bed pan…and I wasn’t peeing, if you get my drift), I remember having to drink all the nasty concoctions for various CT scans, and watching the news about Reggie White and the tsunami. They decided to admit me so I was wheeled to a “holding room” until a room up on the GI floor was available.
I headed up to room 2317 later that night, I believe. Yes, I remember the room number but I don’t remember what time it was. Told you the memory was sketchy. Plus, when you live in that room for almost five weeks, it’s burned in your brain. My neighbor across the hall was an elderly woman with dementia. All she did was holler out, “HELP ME!” all night. I was in so much pain I was down right irritable and she was pissing me off. Thankfully, she was my neighbor for a short period of time.
Dr. Evil (my GI doctor) started me on pain killers and medicines. I had an IV in, of course, but the lab people were coming daily (if not twice a day) to draw blood. I was blowing veins left and right, my arms were swollen, and my fingers looked like little sausages attached to my hands. After one of the lab ladies threw an absolute fit that my arms were terrible and all tore up and that she wasn’t going to inflict any more pain on me (yes it was painful as all get out…more than just a normal needle stick), Dr. Evil said he would order a PICC line to be inserted to my left arm. It made blood draws and med time more easier.
I was in so much pain that I watched the clock like a hawk and knew when it was time to get more medicine. I got hourly doses of pain meds and
hourly doses of Phenagren. My mom literally threatened to take the clock out of my room if I didn’t stop staring at it. The nurses could literally set their watches to when I was going to call out for my meds.
My dose of pain medicine was very high, as was the medicine I was also given. I had a nice little side effect of hallucinations and tripping. I remember my uncle and grandfather had come to visit me around lunch time on a Saturday. Shortly after they left, I was laying in bed. I looked up at the wallpaper border and noticed the ships were moving. I was like, “oooooook I’m seeing things” and blinked a couple times. That didn’t help, it just made it worse. Next thing I know, I see Jerry Garcia walk by me…followed by Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. But what really scared me was when Charlie Manson walked by. I hit the call bell and when they asked if they could help me, I said, “yeah…um, dead musicians from the 60s and 70s just walked by me…along with Charles Manson.” Within 3 seconds I had ALL of the nurses and CNA’s on the floor in my room. They helped me out of bed (I’ll explain that later) and to the potty chair next to the bed. As soon as they did that. my mom walks in. I started BAWLING like a baby. I thought she was going to kill me
for getting high. Turns out the high dosage of pain killers mixed with the high dosage of medicine and caused my hallucinations. One of the
nurses took my mom outside and told her what had happened. They adjusted the pain killers and medicine so the hallucinations wouldn’t happen anymore. My mom came back in and calmed me down a little. I was still on the potty chair at this time. I didn’t want to get back in my bed because it looked like an evil Chairy from Pee Wee’s Playhouse. I thought my mom was going to smack me to get me to calm down. I finally got back in bed and all was fine.
Around this time, we realized the IV medicines weren’t working or helping, at all. Surgery was brought up. What kind of surgery? Ileostomy surgery to remove my large intestine. Dr. Evil didn’t want me to have it because I was young (22 at the time) and it could affect my chances of conceiving children later on. I told him at that point, it didn’t matter. I was single, didn’t want a boyfriend, I just wanted to be rid of the pain. I literally cussed Dr. Evil out in my hospital room, told him I wanted NOTHING else to do with him, and I wanted the surgery. He said, “Fine, you can have the surgery, and I’ll wash my hands of you. Dr. Good (my now colorectal surgeon) can deal with you now.” If I hadn’t
of been laid up in bed, I would have done a happy dance. Surgery was tentatively scheduled around January 07, 2005. But that didn’t happen.
During this time, and I don’t remember why they started thinking something was up, but I developed a blood clot in my left arm, at the
PICC line. All I remember was my arm was kinda swollen and it hurt. They wanted to take me down to have an ultrasound but I honestly couldn’t leave the bathroom long enough so they brought a portable ultrasound machine. Sure enough, I had a blood clot. So, they took the PICC line out and put a central line in my neck. I was also started on blood thinners as well as given blood transfusions. The blood clot also put a delay on my ileostomy surgery. When I learned this, my dad says I threatened to kill Dr. Good but I honestly do not remember doing this and apologized profusely to him later.
I was so weak that, when I had to go to the bathroom, I had to call the nurses station and let them know so someone could come in and put me on the potty chair next to my bed. Of course, I am stubborn and would get out of bed by myself. Finally, after a good scolding, I finally got it in my head that I HAD to call out to get help or I would get hurt.
I was on the potty chair one morning when Dr. Good came to tell me the good news. I would finally be having surgery. He said they thought I had gotten enough blood transfusions to under go the surgery. I was happier than all get out I would FINALLY be getting rid of my nasty,
Surgery was scheduled for January 14, 2005. My new disease free life started then.
Part four, coming up!
Submitted by “Giverherlove/ aka Jamie”
Read the previous 2 stories she has written here: https://ihaveuc.com/author/giveherlove/