Sunday, July 22, 2012

Most Exciting Summer Ever...? Part 2!

A problem? What problem? Was I ok? Was I dying? All of these questions and more screamed through my head as we made our way back to the doctor's office. We got there and the doctor told me that my white blood count was WAY high, like 3 times normal high! They tested my heart rate which was still high even on my medication and took another x-ray. What I saw on the x-ray scared me. The doctor showed my that my right lung was 2/3 of the way shadowed indicating either fluid or inflammation which was soo bad that it was actually shifting my heart! She flat out told me that if I were any less healthy or older with my lungs and heart this bad I should and would be either dead or close to it! She said I had to get to McKay Dee hospital ASAP! So we ran. On the way there I started hurting badly. Which scared me even more! We get to the emergency room and wait. And wait. Aaaand Wait!!! There were tons of people trying to get in and people coming in after me were being processed first! Finally my mom did her thing and made the nurse realize just how bad this was! The nurse then started running around and got me processed and actually got me into the ER before all of those other processed patients. That made me realize okay this is BAD. I was in the ER by I think 6 and given an iv shortly after. (Luckily the nurse was amazing and I was in soo much pain I didn't feel it!) I was given a CT scan and told to wait for the doctor. During this time the pain in my abdomen shifted to my back and became unbearable! All I could do was cry and try not to scream when these horrible back spasms would hit with every slight movement. Finally the nurse gave me a pain med. but by this time it barely made a dent. Then I met Dr. Varela. He had reviewed my CT scan and said that I had developed a rare abscess... actually I had developed 3 RARE abscesses. Lucky me. This resulted in massive inflammation which was why my lung was soo clouded. I would have to either have major surgery to clean out the pockets and risk major organ damage or have drainage tubes placed. We agreed to have the drains because I couldn't risk organ damage. So he said we will do it in the morning until then you will be put in a room and given pain meds. to help with the spasms which were a result of the infection. I was told I couldn't have any food or drink after midnight. So they got me in my room and I looked at the clock 11:55 pm. I had not had anything to drink since 2pm and I was soo dried out I felt like a mummy. My nurse, Bless Her Heart, RAN out of the room and sprinted back with a cup of water which I greedily slurped until the clock hit 12 and she apologized and took my water away. :( I couldn't be mad at her of course because, while other nurses would have just told me it was too late, she rushed to get me a drink before my deadline hit. A simple thing that I really appreciated more than anything! The next morning I was prepared for my procedure. All I cared about was whether or not I could be either knocked out or HEAVILY medicated for the process. I hate being poked! They said to talk to the Radiologist and he would help me out. Once I got down there however I was told I had to be awake through the process but I would be given a "chill out" med. "I wouldn't be aware of anything!" Famous last words dude! Let me explain this drain process. I had an abscess below my liver, one huge one right where my appendix used to be and one located near my ovaries. (I think) That translates to: One drain into my side below my ribs, one drain into the side of my stomach and finally one drain right smack into my buttcheek. Woo! Let me simply state this experience was AWFUL!! I felt slightly out of my body, I was bawling and I was being stabbed with straws!! Once again I was blessed with a great person by my side! One of the radiologist's was helping with the procedure but throughout the entire thing kept patting my leg or holding my knee telling me that I would be alright and just reassuring me that he was there! I love you good sir! Thank you! Finally the horrible deed was done and I was carefully removing from the CT scan and placed gingerly on my bed and taken back to my room where I promptly cried myself into a sleep. I will admit I slept a lot during this stay simply because I was heavily medicated which I was not opposed to because I had tubes sticking out of my right side and my left buttock. Meds. were good... GREAT even. I later found out from Dr. Varela that they had drained over 1 litre of infection just from the appendix area drain! (That's a lot)He said that the infection in the abscesses was actually a direct result from my appendectomy! He said my appendix had either burst, been punctured or they simply didn't clean me out well enough during surgery which resulted in this gunk flooding my body with bacteria. Thanks BCH! I would be monitored and my drains would be emptied and checked until they felt confident I could return home. I still couldn't eat but unlike Brigham Hospital they didn't force me to drink Boost or Ensure, instead I got Carnation! YUM! During this stay I was still on heart medication because my heart rate was still erratic. I was also having hot flashes which resulted in my sweating and feeling like a melting popsicle which also caused my bedding to be changed more than the nurses wanted to do it I am sure! One week later I was given the news I wanted! I could go home but it came with bad news. I would still have my drains and I would be receiving a picc line. I had no idea what that was... then I found out and I didn't want to know anymore. Basically a picc line is a mobile long term iv. I would be having a line inserted into my arm above the elbow and it would snake through my vein and finally end in my heart. .....Yay? So I go down to Radiology and meet the guy inserting my picc. He assured me it would be pretty much painless. I didn't care I started to cry openly not caring that I am a grown woman and that the process really didn't hurt! While he was working on my picc guess who came to visit!! My awesome radiologist from my drain placement! He came and said hi and told me he was sorry I only saw him when thing were being inserted into my body! I gave a laugh/sob and he left with a reassuring pat on the leg. My ordeal was over and as a peace offering the radiologist presented me with an ice cold can of lemonade, which I gratefully drank while we listened to country music waiting for my nurse to pick me up. One week from entering the ER I was going home! Now let me tell you having drains in your butt and side SUCKS!! It hurts, it is very uncomfortable and it makes wearing pants and sleeping IMPOSSIBLE!! I was receiving iv meds. daily via my mom (love you) and just trying to eat and improve. So I slugged through the next week and then went back to Dr. Varela praying the drains would be gone! I get there and he gives me crushing news that he will probably MAYBE only remove one drain but I need a CT scan to see if even that would work. I began crying immediately. You wouldn't blame me at this point. I was exhausted mentally and physically, I was sore all the time and I just wanted these things out of my body! So I went through the next 3 hours waiting for my CT scan being forced to drink this liquid, that I can only describe as liquified berry Tums, trying not to throw up or start sobbing. I received my scan and returned to Dr. Varela to find out the news. He came in and started showing me my CT (seeing your insides while getting a guided tour from the Dr. is gross... just saying.) and surprisingly Dr. Varela kept saying Wow... wow. He turned to me and said this looks amazing!! He then told me that my results were so impressive that he would remove 2 drains that day!! *Angel Chorus* My most painful drains were going away! My butt drain and my top side drain! I was overjoyed UNTIL Dr. Varela stood up walked over and started getting ready! I went hold up now! What?! He explained that basically you just yank them out! Dr. Varela say WHAT?! OH and just be prepared there is a part at the end called a pig tail and if it doesn't release and uncurl all the way it may hurt! I freak out and start babbling about anti- freak out pills and he says "We can hit you on the head with something if you want." I say YESYESYESYES!! He smiles and says "Nah, you will be fine!" (Famous last words) So he approaches my bottom and clips my stitches... I started freaking... he says "Okay, 1, 2..." OH *$&%! This THING rips through my bottom like a bullet! I immediately stop breathing and shaking! If any doctor ever says hey you need a drain.... RUN!! So I am freaking out! My grandma is trying to make me calm down and not pass out while the nurse grabbed me some juice and Dear Dr. Varela is looking at me with an expression mixed with concern and amusement at my over dramatic reaction. He tells me he will step out for a minute and I can decide whether or not to "Go for 2!" I calm down and decide I do NOT want to wait knowing what I am in for! So he comes back and they remove my side drain which was SLIGHTLY less painful but I once again cease breathing because it just plain SUCKS! So Dr. Varela pats my knee says see you next week and makes his exit! Meanwhile all I can think of is how much I hate that man! I go home and slump on the couch. Unsure if I ever want to see his face again! I go through the next week a bit better. I can eat, less pain and sleep FINALLY! I return to Dr. Varela dreading my final drain. He yanks it, I say every curse word I know in my head and I recover much quicker this time. He decides to keep the picc. line for another week or so to give me longer on meds. so that hopefully I can kick any residual infection. I went in for my final appointment on July 5th and they took my picc. line out. Which I was soo happy about because it hurt intensely over the last week which I came to find out was because my stitches had ripped out of my skin! Yay. Let me describe it for you, imagine someone pulling a wet spaghetti noodle out of your arm! You're Welcome. Dr. Varela bent my arm which had been kept straight for over 3 weeks! I immediately felt amazing! I was free!! I was a battered and scarred version of my prior self but still I was finally untethered!! FREE! Dr. Varela wishing me luck and I told him that I hoped to never see him again in the best way and he released me! So, Here I am! I am getting better daily. I am off of all medication and I am eating. Yeah I still have crappy days but all in all I am improving. My new adventure will be figuring out how to pay the $50,000+ in medical bills! Wish me luck.... I need it!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you posted this! I saw all of your little posts on fb but didn't dare ask what was going on for fear it would be a great big long story that you were probably sick of telling everyone. I'm glad everything is looking up! Get well and good luck with everything!

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