Friday, March 23, 2012

Post 30: I get knocked down...but I get up again!

Waiting in the ER waiting room.
Unfortunately, this ER trip gave us no answers and we ended
up having to drive to Shands in Gainesville shortly after this so
I could be admitted into the hospital.  
Last week was just plain horrible. There's no other way to describe it. There is a happy ending to my story though! I missed the entire week of work because I had to be admitted into Shands Hospital for complications. Phillip and I left Elise with my mom while I was hospitalized. It was so difficult leaving her again, and I found myself crying so much in the hospital because I missed her terribly.

Just to give you a quick run down...... Last week (March 11-16th) I was in and out of two hospitals, had a CT scan, blood cultures, stool samples taken, abdomen X-Rays, more blood tests, a MRI of my abdomen & pelvis, Potassium infusions, countless bags of IV fluids, IV antibiotics, vital signs taken a billion times, met with surgeons, lots of doctors and medical students crowded around me observing the doctors.....let's just say I felt like I was on an episode of "House" with a giant team of doctors, oncologists and surgeons trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Even though the abscess showed up on my CT scan, I still never ran a fever, my blood work never showed an infection either. But I was extremely sick and in a lot of pain. The doctors were baffled and this time they weren't going to let me leave the hospital until we had this problem solved.

To make a long story short, my abscess made me sick. VERY sick. I started feeling ill on March the 10th. Just really under the weather and nauseous......Then the next morning (March 11th) the diarrhea (profuse - like a full ostomy bag every 30-min to an hour) started. I started blacking out and when I would stand up my heart rate would shoot up to 117 bpm. This lasted all day and then the vomiting began. I became severely dehydrated and no medications would even begin to stop it. I was taken to the ER in Valdosta (We were there for 12 hours!!! With no answers!! It was not a good experience, but that is a whole other story) I was given fluids, had a CT scan, and once the doctor saw my completely re-arranged insides on the pictures - I think they were confused and said "I should go see my surgeon". Great.

So I was admitted into Shands in Gainesville until they could figure out why I was so sick and why I was still in excruciating amounts of pain from this abscess.The doctors said they would not discharge me until the diarrhea stopped. After a LOT of IV fluids and IV antibiotics, I am happy to say I began to feel somewhat like a human being again by Friday the16th. I was hooked up to an IV to get continuous fluids for a few days. After the antibiotics kicked in the diarrhea suddenly stopped and my pain went away. This is the first time in almost a year I have not been in some kind of pain. (First time in almost 3 months I have had relief from this abscess.) I am still on oral antibiotics this week, but I was feeling so much better that I was able to go to work all week! I can not start my chemo back until my antibiotics are done. Don't want a reaction like I had the last time. (Described in my last post)

We were happy to finally have some answers as to why I was in so much pain. My oncologist explained to me that my digestive tract was in so much distress from everything (abscess, surgery, antibiotics, chemo, not having a colon doesn't help either!) it was causing severe spasms in my stomach and intestines. When I would have these spasms it would squeeze the abscess causing insane amounts of pain. The vomiting and constant diarrhea was evidently caused by the infection. Chemo can sometimes mask the signs of an infection. I am so happy to be feeling better!!! The antibiotics still make me feel yucky and upset my stomach a bit, but I will take that any day over what I was feeling before. I should be finished with my antibiotics in about a week and then I can start my 4th round of chemo over. I am happy to be home and back together as a family & feeling pretty decent! We missed our baby girl! Elise is doing great. She's trying to learn how to walk and will be 11 months old next week! I'm excited to have a good, pain free weekend with my family!

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