May 27, 2010
On Passover, after Seder I ended up going to the hospital the first time. My primary care doc ordered me to go after she saw an infection in my legs. She was concerned over the bright red color and said to me, if the hospital does not admit me to immediately let her know so she can begin some kind of treatment. She just felt that the infection warranted hospital review and me being admitted immediately.
I, of course, was not willing to go to the hospital right away. I was surprised by my doc's adamant demand that I immediately go to the hospital and I had responsibilities at work that I needed to deal with and on top of it, I didn't feel sick - or in pain any more than usual. Talking to Michelle - she bitched at me for postponing my visit to the hsopital and then I called my sister who bitched and damn near came through the phone to hit me upside my head demanding me to go to the hospital. I ultimately promised her I would go to the hospital after Seder Dinner at Chompies.
After dinner, Alex took me to the Hospital. I figured I would get some antibiotics and would go home. Oh no, LOL, when the ER doc saw the infection I was damn near immediately admitted. I think it was one of the fastest ER visits I had. Granted, multiple docs were debating if I had a fungal or bacterial infection but they all agreed whatever type of infection it was, it warranted immediate treatment with multiple types of meds, all the while they were investigating what type of infection I had. I ended up staying in the hospital almost 6 days. I found out that I had an infection that was related to MRSA (antibiotic resistant bacteria), a fungal infection and even had a staph infection in my nose. Basically, I was riddled with infections. After 6 days I was definitely on the mend. Given 2 types of oral meds to take and 1 cream to apply on my legs and sent home.
After a day or two home I started to go back to work. I was back at work for 1 day in April, and then it was the weekend. A weekend I would not forget. That Saturday was fine, I took it easy I remember Jenn making dinner and staying up pretty late. I woke up on Sunday dry heaving like I had food poisoning or something. My stomach was aching and I was in misery. I knew I had to deal with my school classes, but I felt AWFUL, nauscous, and over the course of 3 hours had 4 bouts of dry heaving. Of course nothing was vomitted but G-d I wish at the time something would come out so I would feel better. No such luck. I remember Alex and Jenn asking me if I was ok, and I told them I felt like crap and was going to lay down and hope the pain would go away. It only got worse. My 4th bout of dry heaving was it. When it occurred I seriously thought my G-d what if this dry heaving never stops, and at that point I figured I really needed medical attention. I called Alex upstairs to help me walk down and I told Jen to call 911. In 15 min, the paramedics showed up and I was taken to Phoenix St. Lukes. Unlike last time, this ER visit SUCKED. I was in alot of pain, the hospital was very busy, and even the pain meds were not really helping. At the worst part of the pain I really wondered if I was dying. Finally Doctors showed up and they were all pretty sure I had an intestinal blockage so they were withholding pain meds because they said that it would make the blockage even worse. I remember Dr. Gurero saying that I am very lucky, that people do die from this and that he will make sure that I will be Ok, but he would not give me any many pain meds until they are able to start cleaning up my intestines. I remember moaning and bitching for pain meds in the hall while I was waiting to be transferred up to the 8th floor of the hospital. Alex waiting patiently by my side.
Once in my room, I started getting pain meds, and meds to start relaxing my intestines and to loosen the stools....I sort of wondered why no enema, but I never asked LOL....But within 2 days I started to get cleaned out. To say I was making a mess is an understatment. Hehehe..lets just say...I think there were two days when I had about 11 bm's in a single day. In the meantime my surgeon ordered surgery for me to repair my abdominal hernia - the primary cause in the intestinal blockage. Day 4, was the scheduled day for the operation, but me being a hardass patient, I asked the Doc if they would revise my Gastric at the same time and he said no, that is not acute, so since I was feeling better I declined the operation. He said he understood, and they would keep me for observation for a day or two to see how I am feeling and then if all is well, I would go home. I was like, whew I dogged a close one again. Yeah, how is that for a famous last thought.
The next morning, day 5, I woke up with serious cramping in my abdomen, nausea, and pain. I called my sister and told her the situation and that I am going to beg to have the operation. I couldn't do my classes, I couldn't concentrate, I felt like crap. hehehe Dr. Juarez rescheduled my surgery right away. By 2 pm that afternoon, I was in pre-op. Everyone there was really cool, getting me all IV'd up and getting my history so that the surgery would be smooth. I had a slight feeling of foreboding but overall just prayed that I would not be in the pain I was once the operation was done. The surgery took about 2 1/2 hours and everyone involved said it went smooth. I woke up in recovey in pain, groggy and heaving for air like I was suffocating. The more I waked up, it was getting easier to breath but I felt like I had been through a meat grinder. And I immediately knew I had a catheter in me. After two doses of delaudin (stronger than morphine) pre-op would not give any more pain meds until I was going to be sent to my room. After what seemed like an eternity (but in reality was about 30 min) I was being sent back to my room and I would have access to all the pain meds I wanted LOL. Afterwards, I found out that in the course of repairing my hernia they had to remove about 8 inches of my bowel (large intestine) which was the cause of the cramping once I had my blockage cleared up just a day or two before.
That evening, the nurses took pity on me and did not force me to go walking, but they told me in the morning I would have to go for a walk. I was dreading that with the catheter.
Over the next couple of days there was some improvement but not everything was improving. The pain was noticeably less than before, but I was still nauseous, still had no appetite and I was bleeding out of my staples. (Yes, the surgery resulted in my abdomen being stapled as part of the closing process. After the first surgery I had 18 staples.After the second surgery, I was stapled 19 times down my abdomen). Every day the nurses grew more concerned as the leakage from my staples grew more and more blood colored until the surgeon was notified and he poked around and told me, "Sorry Robert, but it looks like your stitches broke, and we have to go back in you and reclose your abdomen. I will set up the surgery today!" I immediately got pale, for some reason I had a serious foreboding feeling that I was not going to come out of this procedure. I called my sister, waking her up, telling her that they need to do another surgery on me and she freaked out.....and then I texted work and broke the news to them. Everyone was shocked. Lauire told me not to let them wheel me to pre-op until she got there, hehe that didnt happen...The hospital staff took me to pre-op right away once they were able to lock up my computer in the head nurses office.
By this time trying to put a new IV into me was an adventure. Over the past two weeks I had just about blown veins in both hands, wrists, and arms. So, they ended up setting an IV in my chest (CAN YOU SAY PAINFUL, I KNEW YOU COULD). My sister and bro in law got there, and she tried to cheer me up but the only thing that did cheer me up was them telling me I would not need a catheter for this procedure. Seriously, that was the only thing that cheered me up. I flat out did not have the strength to deal with another catheter after the last one. After an hour waiting in pre-op, it was my turn in. When I woke up in recovery I felt like I was struggling to breath, and the pain was worse...worse than the last time in recovery, I dont know why. But then rinse and repeat, and I was back in my room. Unlike last time I was not as sleepy as before but by the the time of my first walk, I felt worlds better, walking pain free was such a great feeling. This time everything worked. While I was still getting all the pain meds I needed, I was much more mobile, able to walk farther and now just needed to build up my stamina again.
Just a recap, readmitted to the hospital and within day 4 or 5 had 1st surgery. Another 4-5 days later, had a second surgery. Then another 5-6 days of recovery and I was finally free to go home.
I do have to give my appreciation for Alex. He was there almost everyday, he even stayed the night! The nurses brought him a fold away bed so he could sleep in the room. When I needed the nurses he went to grab them for me. He made my stay there and my recovery at home so much easier! Hehe he even filed my tax extension since I was still recovering from surgery.
Finally after nearly 3 weeks into my second stay in the hospital, I was discharged. At first I was trying to decide if I would recover at my home or stay at my sister's home. I decided to go home. I wanted to be in my bed and recuperate in my home. After about 3 weeks recuperating at home, I am now back to work. This was my crazy adventure. From the end of March through Mid May. I am DONE with hospitals! And I am glad to be back to normal.
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