If you haven ‘t read the first post on my health, click here.
So, my last stay in the hospital close to my home was the end of July/early August? I think…It all sort of blends in at this point. I saw the on call doctor the night before in the ER, and they kept me for observation. The next morning, I saw the on call doctor for my floor, and he said they’d be keeping me for a few days. When he left, I heard my surgeon’s voice talking to the on call doctor. He then came in my room and said, “I really hate to do this, but I’m at the end of what I can do for you. I’m sending you to Columbus to have the colostomy done, because you just can’t stay healthy enough to figure out what’s really going on in there.” I. Was. Devastated. I knew every nurse in the hospital pretty much, as well as the STNA’s and got along with 99.999% of them. I had been with them, and my surgeon, for months, and now I felt abandoned. I cried.
He wanted to send me the next day, but his Physician’s Assistant decided I should go that day just to get things moving. She called Riverside Methodist Hospital, and had them find me a bed. That took HOURS. I was okay with that, though. I hoped it would take them a week. I really really didn’t want a colostomy. I wanted my colon re-sectioned at the very most. I did not want to have a bag of poo literally hanging from my stomach. No. Alas, they eventually found a bed, and I had my first ever ride in an ambulance. That was unpleasant, long, and very bumpy. Thanks to my amazing nurses at the former hospital, I was feeling okay, because she made them wait to take me until she could give me another dose of pain meds…Bless her heart!
We got there and I was stunned! The hospital I’d been brought from was big to me, but this thing was YUGE! Seriously, the biggest hospital I’d ever seen. As we entered, I begged the ambulance attendants to please not leave me because the ambulance entrance was probably bigger than the entirety of the hospital I’d come from. When I finally got to my room I was met by a nurse, as well as a PSA (Patient Support Associates also known as STNA’s) to do my weigh in and such. Then of course the registration person. My nurse told me the minute that she saw me that I was lucky, as I had the best surgeon in the hospital, and knowing him as I do now, I agree, but at that time, I just kept thinking, “but he’s going to do what I do not want done!” I was terrified.
They finally set me up with my pain meds and antibiotics, but I don’t think I slept much that night. The next morning, I was woken up by 6 men in green scrubs…Talk about frightening! This was my surgical team, made up of some really awesome people! They told me that my Doctor (Dr. Leff to make this easier) was NOT going to be performing any surgeries on me, and that he would be in soon after to discuss all of the options. I felt much better after this. This was just visit number 1, though.
More of the Same
After being discharged, I went home for a few days, only to have another diverticulitis attack that wouldn’t go away. I sucked it up for four days to get me to the weekend. I arrived again, given the same stuff, and he really didn’t want to do surgery this time, either. My disease was new to him…well, not the disease, but me, the patient. He didn’t want to jump in and use the knife, and I’m thankful for that. I was sent home a few days later…
While at home during all of this time (from the end of my first visit), eating and drinking was almost impossible. Nothing tasted good at first because of the meds I was on that made everything taste awful. Then it became an issue because I’d gone so long being NPO (hospital speak for no food/water/anything) because of abdominal issues, that I would get sick at the mere thought of food. This means that I was having to go to the ER for fluids, often. The last time I did this, the nurse from his office had called me to make my appointment, and immediately asked what was wrong with me. I was severely dehydrated and told her so. She told me to get to an ER stat, and that she’d have Dr. Leff call me. He called while I was in the waiting room, and told me to make them transport me immediately back to Columbus. Once I got there, Dr. Leff was determined to figure this out! He had me go for a hida scan to check my gallbladder at this point. It was horrible, but not causing me pain. He said it was most likely from my malnutrition over the last few months, and that he was going to take it out, that maybe this was why I couldn’t stay at home for more than a few days. This surgery was a cake walk!
The removal of the gallbladder was good, it was full of bile, as well as about 20 large stones, but this wasn’t what was ailing me. I went home, only to be right back a few days later. I literally ate one homemade taco in those few days. I couldn’t stomach food, period. This time, Dr. Leff was out of ideas, and knew that I needed more than this kind of life. Staying at the hospital all the time isn’t any kind of life, so he said he was going in, and he was going to attempt to do a re-section, and not a colostomy, but if he had to, he had to. I had to come to terms with this quickly, and did my best. The day of surgery came, and I was okay, until I woke up with…the bag…
This is where I’m ending this one, because it’s super long… There’s way more to come, because my health is better, for now. So, next time, I’ll highlight…Cancer.