This has not been a good start to a year for me.
I’m blogging from a hospital room with no clear idea when I might go home.
It started Easter Sunday when I had to start drinking the Gatorade/Miralax cocktail all day long and nothing else but clear liquids. Then Monday at 12pm, I was scheduled for a colonoscopy due to issues that I’ve been having with diverticulitis.
When I wake up, the Gastroenterologist told me they couldn’t complete the procedure because of a blockage which I knew didn’t sound good. He said that I would have to have surgery very soon. He gave me numbers to call on the following Monday to get it all set up.
But on that same night and the following Tuesday, I was in pain all day with a high fever. I called his office and they set me up with a CT scan set for the following morning (Wednesday). I drank contrast for several hours before the procedure. By now, my poor messed up stomach has gone through a lot.
I get a call a few hours later from my gastroenterologist nurse telling me to get to the emergency room and they would check me in. The nurse on the phone seemed alarmed and said a few things were extremely serious. 1. I had a mass on my colon 2. An apparent perforation 3. Obstructed right kidney from the mass.
She told me to pack a few things and she would call the emergency room to let them know to check me in.
I’m upset and probably barely coherent and I’m asking is it cancer. She told me that the radiologist said the mass could be from diverticulitis or a tumor. I started crying. She said if the mass was from the diverticulitis, it would contain more liquid and that my mass did not. Of course I cried harder. It must be hard for nurses and doctors to talk to scared and hysterical people.
So I’m bawling like a baby on the phone. I called Kevin to come home. I was shaking because my worst fear was literally coming true. She said that it appeared that emergency surgery would be needed to remove the mass that was blocking my colon and partially obstructing my kidney. And, apparently the colonoscopy pierced my colon. But the blockage or scar tissue was there prior to the colonoscopy.
I’ve met with a couple of surgeons a few times and they made me feel better that it is very unlikely that it is cancer and more likely that it is infection from a tear in my colon from the recurring diverticulitis.
So my husband and I were crying tears of joy when we were told that. They did say there was no guarantee but in their opinion, cancer is less likely and believed it’s from the infection.
But I still have some serious things to go through. I’ll be in the hospital for a few days getting antibiotics through the IV to help blast the infection away. I am on a clear liquids diet until God knows when! Of course they always say they can’t rule out cancer but I’ll choose to not dwell on that now.
So I’ve spend several days in a hospital hooked up to IV. I push a button for drugs, I’m bored shitless and eating broth and apple juice in a hospital room all day for a few more days. Once they get the infection cleared up and they can get a better look, they will do the surgery to remove that part of my colon that is causing the problem.
According to the surgeon this morning, I might go home tomorrow and continue antibiotics and liquids until I’m healed.
And at about 3 weeks, they will schedule the surgery to repair my colon. I don’t know much about this surgery but some say it can be laparoscopically done which I hope. She said I could resume most activities now and up to the surgery. My best scenario is that the surgery can be performed and maybe out of the hospital quickly.
I was told not to go back to work but that’s not going to happen. I just manage anyway and staying at home will drive me freaking nuts. I’ll take it easy and do as I need to do workwise.
I do plan on going to work on Monday and the Dr. said I could exercise (even run) as I felt up to it but pay attention to abnormal pain.
It may set my Chicago marathon training back a bit but I have full intentions of rocking that bitch with my friend, Tammy.
I’ve gone through so many emotions lately…highs and lows. But mostly I couldn’t bear the thought of dying and leaving people and puppies. I was facing the horror that many families face when they hear the word cancer.
When we thought the worse, Kevin and I had that discussion of what I wanted if the worse happened to me. He cried and didn’t want to hear it but he did. I was explaining how to go about getting the insurance money, creditor info and what I wanted done if the worst happened. I remember the look on his face. He always seems to be strong but he looked so weakened and sad that night. He seemed crushed as we discussed it. I told him where I kept all the info he needed on insurance, stocks and assets.
A few hours later, we met with the surgeon and he explained that it was unlikely a mass and more infection that was viewed on the CT scan. After the doctor left us in that cold room, we both broke down crying and relieved.
I’m still not convinced that I will not still hear that scary, horrible word “cancer” but for now, I am not focused on it. Although the surgery and recovery will be hard on me and Kevin but after that initial scare, I feel we can handle it better.
I don’t want to leave this world. I love my family and my life. But I do need to re-evaluate how I eat and live so these things are less likely to occur again.
One striking thing that I have noticed during my escapades lately in various doctor’s offices, ER rooms and clinics is that the rooms are full of obese people who smell like smoke. It is very hard to not notice it.
The nurses, doctors and techs in my hospital “Boone Hospital” have been awesome. The hospital is modern and nice. This is the hospital that my Daniel was born in. The people who cared for me were nice, professional, efficient and friendly.
(Ronnie, Adiam, Shawn, Szu (my favorite!), Jordan, Karen, Dr. Prica, Dr. Suppas, Dr. Vahabzadeh, Dr. Welsh) and others J
I’ve been mostly on clear liquids but now I am graduating to a low residue (low fiber) diet until after the surgery.
Update: I got out of the hospital late on Saturday afternoon. I was so happy to be home, in my bed, snuggled next to Kevin, Peyton and Eli. That was good medicine for me. We laid in bed together (all 4 of us) watching “The Office” on Netflix until after midnight. J
I regret the unhealthy life I have lived. Low fiber and unhealthy living caused the diverticulitis. And then I didn’t take warning with the first flare up back in November 2015. I really regret that.
Take care of your body. Teach your children to take care of theirs. It’s the only home they really have.