Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Patient Again

Yep, I'm a patient again.

Let me start with the end:  I'm doing okay.  I'm home, no surgery, on limited activity and liquid diet for awhile.  I even got an extension on my CPE hours so I'm not even too stressful about that.

Back to the beginning.  We went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II this weekend.  When I stood up at the end of Part I, I had a sharp abdominal pain around my belly button.  I was nauseous and crampy, but it subsided after a bit.  I thought it might be the delicious Korean we had for lunch, but I never started vomiting; and it didn't feel like food poisoning.  I felt well enough to go to part II (which was wonderful, more on that later) and just took it easy.  I felt better when I sat, wore my brace, and didn't walk.  But I didn't have much appetite.

I taught RE--our last class--on Sunday morning and even ate some on Sunday with no problems.  And I went to hospice on Monday.  I was still tender and crampy but not like my obstruction three years ago.  Monday evening, while cooking dinner for the kids, I bumped the oven handle with my belly and it almost sent me to my knees.  This wasn't normal.  I couldn't get my GP on the phone (she's checking why the answering service didn't pick up) and so we opted for the urgent care.  But instead of ruling anything else, the doctor there said to go straight to the ER; it was probably a hernia or an obstruction.  I did not want to do this again.

I'm not going to revamp the ER visit--I had fluids, morphine, and a cat scan and a surgical resident who had absolutely no clue--and came away with no answers beyond that it wasn't a surgical problem.  This was good.  Not a hernia or an obstruction.  But no other answers.  We were there til 5 a.m., almost ten hours.  So I slept all day Tuesday.

And today I went to my doctor, whom I really like and respect.  Based on the hospital reports and her own examination, she believes I have a partial small bowel obstruction with an inflamed peritoneal lining, caused by all the scar tissue I have from abdominal surgeries.  I'm on bowel rest, which means mostly clear liquids, and limited activity so as not to inflame the peritoneal lining more, all while watching for fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, increased pain, redness. 

I'm glad not to have surgery.  I knew another obstruction was possible, even probable, with all my scar tissue.  I feel better than I did earlier.  I'll be okay. 

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