Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday with friends and food.
So I had a unexpected twist to my Christmas where I learned the true meaning of having a bowel blockage.
Last week I started having some indigestion but didn't really think much of it because I've been having more indigestion lately and it usually resolves itself in a day or two. I was still passing gas and a bit of stuff so figured it would clear up on its own. But then I wasn't able to really eat anything because I felt bloated so by Wednesday when nothing had cleared, I contacted my Halifax CF doctor who I had clinic with that afternoon to consult what to do.
After clinic and doing a x-ray of my stomach, she sent me home with two 4L jugs of peglyte and told me if after I drank those nothing improved, to go to my local hospital for an enema. I drank peglyte last year when I was prepping for a colonoscopy (that never ended up happening) so I figured it would go down about the same as then. Terrible but manageable.
When I got home that night, I drank two glasses pretty quickly and then hit a wall at the third. Every time I tried to drink more, I either spit it out or threw it up. So off I went to Springhill emerg to see if they could help me and they sent me on to Amherst.
The Amherst doctor immediately wanted an IV put in as I was dehydrated but after the nurses failed three times, they thought maybe it wasn't that important. However, after they did the enema and I started to feel faint and told them "I think I'm going to pass out," they got one in pretty quick. After some hydration I felt a bit better (at least like I wasn't going to faint anymore). I stayed in Amherst emerg that night and had another enema, but nothing seemed to help.
The Amherst team decided I was more complicated than they were ready to handle and that I should be shipped to Halifax. However, it was important to get a NG tube (nose tube) in to start suctioning stuff from my stomach. Having the NG tube inserted was one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life.
I had them in Toronto but they were inserted when I was either completely out or half-sedated. The nurse gave me a Ativan but I'm not sure it helped that much. She sprayed my throat with some freezing and I immediately began to throw up, before the tube was anywhere near my face.
I puked up a bit and it was brownish and I thought "that's weird, I haven't eaten anything brown lately" and then it switched to "oh god no, that's not what I think it is, is it? It can't be." And then I proceeded to internally scream "NOOOOOOOO this isn't happening" while I vomited for about 5 minutes.
The nurse calm explained afterward that if "there is blockage, the poop has to go somewhere." So basically my stomach was full of bits of poop and it came out when she put in the NG tube. If that makes you want to throw up, it should. I'm so traumatized that everyone else should be too and I'm not even sure if that accurately describes the horror. It was so gross that it made me keep puking long after the initial reaction.
The nurse looked like she might throw up too but instead she shoved in NG tube up my nose and made me swallow it down into my stomach. Eventually things settled down and I got an ambulance ride to Halifax late Thursday night. I got a room in the IMCU (like a step-down ICU) and have been hanging out here ever since. I spent Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday getting enemas and having peglyte pumped into my stomach and then suctioned back out. I've also been stabbed so many times as the nurses try to get IVs into my poor veins.
Christmas, yesterday, the nurses decided that they were done trying the traditional enemas and switched to the old-school "a nurse on another floor swears by this" milk and molasses mixture. The hospital doesn't carry molasses so the charge nurse had to drive to the Needs convenience store, which happened to be open, for molasses and whole milk (apparently the hospital's 2% wouldn't do). They were all so excited and hopeful that it would work.
After two milk and molasses enemas, it was about three hours later when the nurse said she was going to get the stuff ready for a third one when I felt a promising movement in my stomach. I used the commode and it seemed like maybe, finally, things were starting to move. Twenty minutes later, things were definitely moving everywhere. I'm not 100% sure it was the molasses and think maybe it was just the passage of time or all the peglyte in my stomach but I spent the rest of Christmas Day and all last night on and off the toilet. (The nurses all swear it was the molasses)
It was Poopmas for me!
Not exactly the Christmas I had been planning. I'm still in IMCU for (hopefully) one more day while they top up all my electrolytes and make sure I can keep liquid down without throwing up. I was hoping to go home today but I guess they would rather be safe than have me pass out in their parking lot.
Through all this, Isaiah has been in Halifax with me staying at his Aunts place. The rest of my family stopped by for a visit yesterday on their way to the Valley and then again today on their way back home. We are now going to wait and do a Christmas when Mom and Dad are back from Montreal sometime early January. It'll be like Christmas never ends this year!
I hope your Christmas and Boxing Day were much less exciting!