Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The Lost Weekend
Woke up nauseous at 2 am Saturday morning. Thought I had a bad food, I went to throw up, felt better and went back to bed. Hah! I was up again in 1/2 hour, this time barfing up nothing but gastric juice. And gut wrenching. I spent the rest of the night retching every 1/2 hour, alternate chills and sweats, trying to drink water to hydrate. Bad. In and out of the shower, wrapping up in blankets on the couch. Thinking hoping each trip to the toilet was the last. Margo came down in the morning, called the ask a nurse at our healthcare, and she drove me to the emergency room at Providece Medical center. This is the hospital where No. 1 son was born 20 years ago. Also where our Primary Care Physician is located. Also in NE Portland, not to far, but a fun car ride. Quiet when we got there at 8 am Sat morning, not like the last two times I went to the E-room. The Medical Professionals are hard to tell apart, doctors nurses technicians aides. I.V. first for hydration then finally morphine for pain, and for the fist time in hours I was able to relax my tummy muscles. Took three attempts to get the tube down my nose and into the stomach. This to suck out the gastric juices that are still being produced. Four days later I still have sore throat and raspy voice. Then MRI ... or CAT scan not sure... to look for problems inside. Which showed possible intestinal blockage. So admitted to a room on the surgical ward. If the blockage did not clear it would require surgery. I have been mentally prepared for some thing like this for about fifty years. Conor & Margo came for a visit. Next morning I go to Xray for a open ended session of time lapse photography as a substance is fed through the tummy tube and progresses through the small intestine and hopefully into the large colon. My doctor, who I first met pretty out of it, stops by to monitor progress, says that if everything moves through well then no need for surgery. He will let me know about the taking the tube out after the procedure is finished and he has the opportunity to examine the Xrays. Margo arrives and stays with me through he rest of the Xrays, The Xray tech tells me it does look like the substance has reached the large colon, the Radiologist likes the pictures, and back upstairs to my room. Soon word comes from the doctor Okay to remove the tube and okay to try Clear Liquid diet. Coffee is on this diet, and my floor nurse brings me a cup right away, sweet Angel of Mercy! Margo helps order room service for some broth, sorbet, and more coffee. My I.V. is long enough to reach the toilet, and things are finally coming out the right end of me. In the evening I am able to watch the Superbowl while eating some solid foods, turkey slices mashed potato and dessert. Cards! Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Margo returns, hangs out for a while and leaves feeling better about the no surgery part- me too! The next morning the doctor arrives, says he could go in and find where the blockage or kink occurred but that raises the possibility to create a new adhesion. If this occurs again in a short time frame, then surgery will be needed. He said hopefully, it will be another 50 years. Nurses remove the IV, I take a shower, change into my civvies, sign a form for my nurses, and head downstairs to the billing office where we are able to give insurance information, sign again and head for home. 48 hours. The first thing I do is make a decent cup of coffee, the hospital stuff was weak. Monday night after dinner Margo and I go for a walk with the dog, and as always, it's good to be alive.