Friday, April 6, 2012

Challenge Day 6 - Haiku or Hospital?

Today's challenge is to write a Haiku.  Really?  First off, I don't write poetry - ever.  It's a personal rule.  Secondly, really?  A Haiku about poop?  Come on, even I won't do that!  So instead I will write about my hospital stay last week. 

Tuesday I waited and waited for my doctor's office to call me about what my small bowel follow through showed.  Did I mention I was able to do the test in 12 minutes?  It took 12 whole minutes from the time the barium touched my lips to the time it was coming out the other end.  My personal best I think.  Finally, I was able to learn that I have acid reflux.  Hmmm, who knew?  ME!  DUH!!!  And as usual, no active Crohn's showed up.  I talked to the nurse about the pain I was having that wouldn't let up.  She informed me that Dr. GI was still out on vacation and if I was having pain I should go to the ER.  I did. 

The ER ran a CT scan which showed nothing.  Big surprise.  They then gave me a GI cocktail apparently thinking I was only experiencing mild heartburn.  When that didn't help they tried morphine and dilaudid.  That didn't really help either.  To my surprise they decided to keep me.  They wanted me to see one of the GI doctors on staff there and have one of Dr. GI's partners come in the next day.

I am VERY particular about my doctors.  I am so particular in fact, that I will refuse treatment based on who the "on call" doctor is if I cannot see my own.  I'm not completely thrilled with Dr. GI but he is my guy.  I'm comfortable with him.  And there happens to be one doctor in the practice that I hate above all other doctors.  When I was first diagnosed I had to see him and he instinctively wanted to give me a rectal exam.  Mama doesn't go for the rectals.  I was young and in a lot of pain and I just didn't want him doing that to me.  He wasn't my GI and I was not happy.  A fight ensued and I won but he wasn't happy about it. From then on I refused to ever see this doctor again.  Either accidentally or on purpose. 

Meanwhile back in the hospital the next morning the hospital GI came in and pushed around on my stomach and informed me that I have a hernia.  Good to know.  I had been wondering if the bulge on my stomach was a hernia or just fat.  Then she told me that he would be in.  He, him, that guy, that rectum probing doctor I swore I would never see again ever.  No, not him!  Yes, him.  So I blurt out, "I can't stand him!"  I'm so tactful when I'm in pain and in the hospital.  I back pedaled a little bit and tried to explain that I had a bad experience once with him but it was out there, my true feelings.  I didn't really care though.  Hospital GI left and I waited nervously.

Then he walked in.  He looked just like I remembered.  Short and skinny and kind of weaselly looking with thick glasses and grey hair.  Not that I am making fun of someone with thick glasses, but you get the picture.  He poked and poked and poked on my stomach.  I just looked at him annoyed.  Then he said he wanted to do a colonoscopy and an upper endoscopy to see what was going on.  I explained to him my need for propofol because I can't do the "twilight" sleep thing.  He agreed.  I also asked what would happen if nothing showed up.  He said he understood and realized that I cannot be expected live my life like this regardless of what the test showed.  He said that there were things that could be done but we just needed to get the test over with.  First things first.  Okay, he was kind of nice and he didn't want to probe me. 

I was unfortunate enough to have a roommate during this stay also.  We had to share a bathroom.  I had to do a colonoscopy prep.  It was a good thing she hardly got out of bed. Well up until her boyfriend showed up and they went outside and smoked and came back wreaking of cigarettes and eating candy bars.  It was also a good thing that a flimsy curtain divided us or I would have snatched that candy bar right out of her hand and shoved it down her throat.  But I digress.

I hadn't eaten anything since lunchtime the day before so I was pretty well cleared out before I started the prep.  I thought I wasn't going to go that much because of this.  Well, that and the fact that I had a sink right beside my bed.  I may have dumped half the prep down the sink.  (smiles in happy reflection of pulling one over on the hospital staff) 

Around ten that night I hadn't been to the bathroom for about an hour.  I felt totally empty but my stomach was still hurting so like a complete idiot I asked for some pain meds.  The next thing I know it was four in the morning.  I opened my eyes and looked at the clock and wondered how in the heck morphine managed to knock me out.  I never go out like that.  I was still laying on my back in the same position I was in when the nurse gave me the meds.  My back and butt felt wet.  I kind of rolled over and thought about how I wished they could turn the heat down in the room.  Then it hit me.  I wasn't hot.  I wasn't sweating.  I was a soiled mess.

I stood up and grabbed an extra pair of underwear I had in my bag, several washcloths that were by my bed and headed for the bathroom mortified.  I could not believe what I had done.  Once I was cleaned up I went out to take care of my bedding.  I was definitely not going to call someone to clean up my mess.  But when I was in the bathroom my aid had come in and took care of everything.  I know it's their job but it was still really embarrassing.

After this incident my mind started wandering about what the doctor had said.  "Things can be done."  I convinced myself that he knew of my hatred for him and he had planned on perforating my bowel, on purpose, during the procedure.  "Things can be done."  It would get me into surgery so they could look around and see what was going on.  "Things can be done."  He was going to kill me on purpose so I didn't have to live like this.  It was apparent I had become delirious.

The test went fine, the doctor was actually nice and just like always everything was normal.  For a brief moment I thought there was going to be some kind of decent plan about what would happen next.  Would we discuss surgery?  What were these things that could be done?  Pain management?  But all the doctor said was for me to follow up with Dr. GI and take Imodium "liberally" for the diarrhea.  That was it.  He was out.  That afternoon they let me go home.  No answers other than it is probably scar tissue causing my pain.  No plan.  No help.  Nothing.  Another wasted trip.  I got home and took the longest, hottest shower of my life.  I still don't feel clean.

My follow up appointment with Dr. GI is on Monday.  I doubt he will have any answers or any plan.  He will just be mad that the ER did a CT scan and I was radiated for no reason. Now, wasn't that more interesting than a Haiku?


MuseOddity (Jen) said...

Have you tried straight out asking for a pain management referral? Even doctors that are not comfortable treating pain will usually do a referral for patients in chronic pain... but you usually have to ask. Maybe that is not the answer but I am 32 years old and in chronic pain management (not from Crohn's) and it has improved the quality of my life. It is not just narcotics either, good pain management clinics have many ways to help you cope with or reduce pain. Either way, I know chronic pain is terrible at any age but it is especially terrible when you are young and it robs you of your youth. I hope you find some relief somehow.

Emily said...

Have you thought of seeing a Naturopathic Doctor? I'm not sure where you live, but where I am in Canada it cost me about $400 for an initial visit with all testing and remedies included with the consultation. Before I went to a ND I had suffered with IBS, Fibromyalgia and depression. Little did I know, 99% of my symptoms were due to candida yeast overgrowth in my bowels, leading to leaky gut and multiple food sensitivities. Systemic candida (which is what I had) can cause more than just digestive and intestinal problems, it can also manifest into pain and stiffness, chronic fatigue, skin problems and mood disorders. Basically what I'm trying to say is, I suffered for way too long, not being offered any help from the medical community beyond prescription drugs (covers up symptoms, doesn't cure your ills!). Now, as a nutrition student I know what havoc candida can wreak on the body and how MD's are not equipped to deal with it. Most won't even acknowledge it! That really sucks. Anyway, just thought I'd throw the ND idea out there, in case it's something you hadn't considered... I came across your blog while I was searching for the bristol stool chart so that I can hand it out to my case study clients. I hope you are able to get some relief, whatever form that may come in.