Ok, I’ve had a couple of hours of sleep, my breakfast of clear fluids, I’ve got the laptop going and I’m between bathroom trips so I’ll try to finish up.
Thursday night and most of Friday were horrendous. I’ve experienced a lot of intense pain over the past few years and I have to say this topped it. Y’know how they ask you to rank your pain on a scale of 1 to 10? Well, I couldn’t talk, much less think clearly enough to rank my pain. When it wasn’t spiking, it was around a 5, when it did spike, it was all I could do to remember to breathe. Once they got me settled into my room, they switched me from the morphine which wasn’t doing anything, to dilaudid. That did the trick. That got me close to four hours of drugged sleep with just the base level of pain. But when it started to wear off, it all came rushing back. I don’t know how Shannon got through the night, to be honest. He held pans for me to throw up in, he put cold washcloths on my forehead and neck, he offered up his hands for me to squeeze when I had the strength to, and he talked me through the moments when I simply couldn’t take it anymore while I was waiting for the next dose of pain killers. I, at least, got those bursts of druggy half-sleep.
Friday started off badly because my pain killers wore off at shift-change so my call to the nurses’ desk got lost in the shuffle and by the time they got my request, the pain had peaked again. Then the doctor’s started coming. FIrst, my OB’s partner, then later a gastroenterologist. (I also have to point out that by this time, I hadn’t had anything to eat since a small dish of vanilla ice cream at around 4pm on Thursday. All I’d had to drink was water to rinse out my mouth and spit. I was finally allowed ice chips around 11am or so. I was hungry, thirsty, in raging pain, and stoned.) My labs ruled out the pancreatitis. My pregnancy ruled out almost every other diagnostic tool since I couldn’t have xrays or ct scans. The new prevailing theories were return of the diverticulitis, an inflammation of the colon, or appendicitis. I did get an MRI late Friday afternoon and, even better, a clear liquid dinner. Jello and watered down chicken bullion shouldn’t taste that good.
By Friday evening, the antibiotic seemed to be doing its job. I made it through the night without narcotics. The pain is still there, but it’s absolutely tolerable. I’m getting myself in and out of bed. I never ran a fever and the MRI showed nothing unusual, but it can’t show diverticula. So, it looks like our course of action is to continue with the IV antibiotics, make sure the pain is gone/managed/under control, and once we get past August and bring home our little girl, we can do the necessary contrast studies to see if there’s anything to see. Not a great solution, but the only one that’s really safe for both of us.
So, that’s where we are. Shannon has gone home to take a bit of a break and bring back a decent pillow. My mom is flying in tomorrow night to make sure there’s food in the house (which, of course, there isn’t because yesterday was going to be grocery shopping day). My tolerance for hospital beds has seriously declined in the past two years, but I’m still amazed at just how good a shower can feel. I’m hoping to be cleared for solid food tonight and I’d like to be sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night, but knowing hospitals like I do, Monday is probably more realistic. Today, I’m just hanging out, letting the antibiotic do it’s thing. I get to hear the little one’s heartbeat a couple of times a day and she’s kicking like mad (babies in utero DO NOT LIKE the noise from an MRI by the way. She was going nuts in there!). Shannon gets to take me on walkies in a little bit so I can show off this fashionable gown.
Oh, a word of advice. If you find yourself at home, showering, and you think, “Should I shave my legs, or can I get by for one more day? I think I’ll wait.” Shave your legs. Trust me. Otherwise you find yourself in a hospital bed with itchy stubble and male nurses helping you lift your legs on and off tables and getting sandpapered. It’s like the clean underwear your mother always told you to wear just in case. It’s one of those stupid little things that don’t matter until they do. (And yes, I know the male nurses don’t really care that much and they understand. but still….)
Update: Appendicitis has been ruled out. It’s definitely something with my colon. Beyond that, there’s no real way to tell. I have been cleared to move from clear fluids to full fluids for tonight and tomorrow, as long as I manage soup ok, I can have a bland diet of solid food. Whoo hoo!