from airplane to bed to couch to hospital

I got out of a week’s stay at the hospital last Thursday. I have colitis in 60% of my colon, likely caused by the bacterial gut infection I picked up in the UK. If you’ve been keeping up with my very few posts, you’ll know I was still having “residual inflammation” from the infection and kept going back to the doctor but they wouldn’t give me anything for it. By the time it got bad enough that they wanted to send me to a specialist we were coming back here (and it was BAD by that point).

When we got back on Oct 24, I crashed. I laid on my parents’ couch and was too weak to wash myself. Every time I tried to eat I would become full almost immediately. All I could do was sleep and watch TV and rush to the bathroom in pain. I did see my doctor and she ordered a whole battery of blood and stool tests. The bloodwork showed low hemoglobin and high white cell count but the stool tests came out clear for bacteria and parasites. Because of the loose stools and being unable to eat I lost 20 pounds in a month! By Nov 3 I was having heart palipitations and lots of pain so my doctor, who had been trying to get me in for a colonoscopy all week, got me into RUH through emergency. Within an hour of having IV potassium and anti-inflammitories, my appetite was back and I wolfed down 2 bowls of soup in the ER bed.

The first day in the hospital I just ate and ate and ate. It was so great to be able to eat again! I even ate a roast beef sandwich because I just needed food that badly. You know you need food when hospital food tastes good! However, the next day they put me on a clear fluid diet and gave me a laxative in preparation for the colonoscopy. Unfortuantely the jello colour for the day was green. ew. The next morning I had the colonoscopy, which wasn’t as unpleasant as one might think! Uncomfortable, yes, but they had also given me demerol and a sedative called vantrax. I was sort of awake for the procedure, enough to look at the screen and think, “That is the inside of my colon. Wow, is it ever red and sore looking. Cool, they are taking little biopsies out of it!” My brother, who is just finishing his nurses training, came to visit me while I was recovering from the colonoscopy and was quite entertained by my dilated pupils and inability to form words completely. I spent the next 6 hours just listening to music, and eating of course!

The doctor had been hoping to send me home that day but they were quite worried about my hemoglobin and potassium levels, and so I was in hospital for 3 more days, eating and getting IV potassium. The thing about IV potassium is that it burns! They had to keep slowing down the rate because it was too painful, but they didn’t want to move the IV site either.

Because all of this has to do with my gut, I asked to speak to a dietician. Wow, was that ever useless. The dietician experience is getting its own post. 🙂

So, now I’m at home on prednisone (which is working) and trying to get my hemoglobin and potassium levels up to normal by eating lots and having molasses snacks throughout the day. I’m very very tired so have been doing very little. Having a shower seems to use up most of my physical energy reserves for the day. However, I’m so much better already that I think in another week I’ll be another 200% better. Rest and good food are key at the moment.

While all this health stuff was going on Ed moved us into a place near the University. The house is full of boxes, though we unpacked most of my clothes yesterday. I needed a nap afterwards.

o – I did get my MA! That deserves its own post as well. Now that I am online and fairly sedentary at home I will be posting more often so keep checking back.