Saturday, July 25, 2009

Out of the Hospital

I was discharged from St. Mary's Regional Medical Center on July 23rd. So, apparently my diagnosis was gastroenteritis and dehydration. The doctors pretty much just kept me there to monitor my kidney function. They wanted to make sure I'd be okay leaving the hospital with oral medications and still be okay without IV fluids. After the first couple of days in the hospital the main problems I was having were abdominal pain, nausea every 8 hours or so, insomnia, and getting fatigued quickly. I'm still experiencing these, but I've been feeling better since being home other than the fact that it's a million freaking degrees outside. The doctors put me back on prednisone, so I get to taper off of that again. That's probably what's bothering me the most. Prednisone is definitely taking it's toll on me. I've also got antibiotics, potassium, vitamin D, sleeping, pain and anxiety medications. There are probably more, but just can't think of them right now. I was getting IV iron also which was weird because they were pretty much injecting solid black into my IV. I got up and about to go to Wal-Mart today and did okay. I just had to take it really easy and almost felt like I was going to pass out a couple of times, but I think that was more from the weather than medical problems. My ileostomy output has been pretty liquidy today which I'm frustrated about. I've been taking the Imodium and being pretty good about my diet for the last 2 weeks or so. That is probably what I'm most concerned about right now. The output hasn't been even the slightest bit formed since I left the hospital. I ate some rice a little bit ago and it appears to be slightly helping, so I'm crossing my fingers that it's just a fluke or something. I've been drinking an unbelievable amount of water and I hate it, but I have to. I'm hoping to go back to work on Tuesday. My work has been so amazing and understanding of my situation, I am so appreciative of that. I'm stuck on a low residue, low fat, low lactose diet. I haven't really been following the low lactose exactly because they pretty much put me on it after they served me 2 meals of pretty much all dairy. I haven't had problems with dairy before, nor have I since the surgery. I think 2 meals they gave me were just a bad idea since I never have a lot of dairy products anyway. I'm going to cut the dairy out tomorrow and see if that helps at all. My normal GI doctor has been unavailable for the last 2 weeks or so and I have an appointment to see him on August 7th. I'm hoping nothing goes wrong before then. I'm really anxious to see him as I haven't seen him since before my surgery and this latest episode really scared the hell out of me. That, and he's pretty much in charge of my latest prednisone taper. That's pretty much all I've got to say about the hospital visit other than the fact that I would like to thank all the nurses and staff that took care of me while I was there. If I think of anything else I'll add it.

On another note.. All of these medical speedbumps are really starting to take a toll on me. I'm constantly being complimented on my positive demeanor considering what I've been through. I try so hard to stay optimistic, but it can be truly trying at times. I'm getting to the point where I ask my self, "At what point do I just say 'F$#% it!'?" I should be graduating college this year and I'm not. I'm not even close. I worked so hard in school growing up so that I would be able to have a great career and really do something with myself. The drive that I used to have is fading all the time. It's so frustrating because I see so many people that are doing absolutely nothing with their lives and are completely capable of it. Yet, here I am... wanting to do something and can't. I've been known to completely break down in front of doctors and nurses because sometimes something will just strike the wrong nerve at the wrong time. I'll probably attribute some of the to being medicated. Thanks a lot, prednisone! I'm pretty sure prednisone causes people to lose any sense of having a filter before they say/do some things. Anyway, that's all for now. I'll keep you posted on my health and sanity. :) And FYI, still no regrets as far as having the surgery done. It's still the best decision I've made I just wish I could have known this before starting the steroids.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Admitted to the Hospital

Saturday July 11 was the last day of my prednisone taper. I started feeling a little nauseous on the Friday night before that. I spent all the Saturday pretty sick and made the decision that if I wasn't feeling any better by Sunday that I would go to the emergency room. Well, I bet you can guess what I spent my Sunday doing. The took me into triage, gave me IV fluids, nausea medication, ran some bloode and urine tests and pretty much sent me on my way home. I felt alright for a couple of hours then spent the entire night sick as all hell again.

SO, I went to a different emergency room on Monday with the same symptoms (nausea, vomiting, light headed, dehydration, dizzy, no appetite, can't keep any fluids down, heart rate through the roof). They did the same thing... IV fluids, nausea and pain medication. They did a cat scan which didn't give them much infomation. I hung out in their ER for about 7 hours and they discharged me even though I really wasn't feeling too much better.

Tuesday afternoon was the worst. Every time I ate or drank something I would throw it back up, making me more dehydrated and giving me abdominal pain. I was really starting to get worried because I knew something was definitely wrong, but the hospitals kept sending me home. Well I go back to the original emergency room that I went to and the admitted me within 10 minutes of getting there. Started running a whole bunch more tests. Some blood and urine labs and cultures, x-rays, pumping me full of IV fluids. I told them that my surgeon's PAC recommended I be admitted for no less than 24 hours. So, after about 7-8 hours in triage, they admitted me to stay over night in the hospital until they can figure out what's wrong because they finally started taking me a little more seriously *lol* I finally had someone tell me that there is definitely something wrong and we're working on finding out what it is. Got some pain medicine, clear liquids, nausea medication, antibiotics, IV steroids and went to bed.

Today I woke up and they drew some blood. A doctor came and spoke with me and told me that my labs showed some abnormalities in my kidneys (no good). He also told me that a GI doctor from my regular GI doctor's office would be coming by to check up on me along with a kidney specialist. Well the kidney specialist told me that on Sunday my kidneys were find, yesterday they started showing signs of failure and today started showing signs of improvement. So, they are monitoring my kidneys. I've had abdominal x-rays and ultrasounds of them. My GI doctors thinks I may have tapered off prednisone too quickly. I'm here at least until tomorrow afternoon, so we'll see what happens. FYI: don't dehydrated yourself after j-pouch surgey. Bad things happen. =)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My current list of annoyances.

I can't sleep through the night.
I can't get comfortable when I'm trying to sleep.
I'm losing weight, but not in my face yet. (1 more week of Prednisone)
My butt is sore.
I can't be up and about for more than a little while without getting tired.
Most of my wardobe is unwearable.
I'm so bored and want to go back to work.
I'm broke because I'm not working.
I want to get back into school.
It's driving me crazy that I was supposed to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree this year.
I miss spicy foods.
All the foods I like to eat are foods I'm not really supposed to eat.
Walking up 3 flights of stairs to get to my apartment.
My cats deciding to use their litter box within 5 minutes of me being nearby it.
The fact that I probably shouldn't be drinking soda, but can't stop.
Huge stretchmarks, everywhere.
It's summer and I am nowhere near the bikini body I used to have.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Post Script

My older blogs are on my myspace page.

FYI: My myspace blogs are a lot more vulgar.

It's great to start feeling normal again.

Well, I am about 3 weeks out of surgery. I just got back home to Reno a couple of days ago. I'm already starting to feel like myself again. The idea of leaving my house isn't something causing my extreme amounts of anxiety. Take away the fact that I can't wear my form fitting clothing for the time being and I couldn't be happier right now. I'll be off of the prednisone in about 1 1/2 weeks. I can't wait for that, my body and face will start shrinking again. I bought some new clothes to assist in hiding my ileo bag. I also found a maternity band to go around my waist which helps conceal the bag, but I'm finding that I have to be really careful with it so as to not cause leaks.
In other news. I went and saw some of my friends in Las Vegas and was able to not flake out of them due to not feeling well. It was awesome. I went grocery shopping with my dad which felt good because that's something I've always done with my dad since I was a little girl and over the last couple of years I haven't been able to go. It would crush me every time he would see if I was feeling up to going and I would tell him "no". So, that was really awesome that I could go and show him that I wasn't going because I really wasn't feeling well enough to go.
I'm still pretty sore, but nothing a little Tylenol can't help. I can't really walk around for too long because I get worn out pretty easily. My walking speed is slightly faster than a turtle. I'm mainly sore like inside my bottom where they put the pouch and around my stoma. These past couple of days are the first days I've managed to get sleep that felt restful. I definitely recommend following the low residue diet.
I'm hoping to go back to work in the next couple of weeks. I feel up to going back now, but I need to wait until I'm 6 weeks out of surgery because my job won't let me come back from a leave of absence with any restricitons. I'm also learning that gravity is not my friend. I feel like the more I'm standing, the more sore I get. I've had a couple of leaks on my ileo bag, but nothing too bad so far. It just sucks when it happens.
Some good news. I was able to travel from Phoenix to Las Vegas in a car for 6 hours about a week after my surgery. Then I hung out in Las Vegas for a week or so. I flew from Las Vegas to Denver to visit family and rode in a car from Denver about 3 hours away for a family reunion. It feels amazing to be able to travel and not panic about not making it to a bathroom. I still have to make sure the ileo bag doesn't get too full, but it's better than worrying about not making it to a bathroom at all. It is absolutely a huge step up from buying Depends at 22 years old. Then when I was flying back to Reno I stood in a HUGE security line, which I would have never been able to do before my surgery. I also managed to have a couple of cocktails on my little vacation. =)