It has been a very long time since I last posted. I haven't been feeling well at all these last 2 weeks. Really tired and I started to bleed from my butt. Yup, you heard right. I thought it was due to my hemorrhoids (one of the many wonderful benefits of having given birth to 2 kids). The only difference this time was that I was having more frequent abdominal cramps, kind of like menstrual cramps that seemed to be happening within 5-10 minutes of eating anything and that the bleeding was a constant companion with these cramps. Felt like I was constipated but that wasn't the case at all. Just felt like I could never get fully emptied.
The morning of my doctor's appointment, I woke up, worked out and then went to work. I am a clinical nurse educator, an instructor for nurses, so I did some office work and went to visit with the patients and see how things were on the unit. As I walked around, I started to feel the cramping get worse and generally I felt unwell. By the time I got back to the office, the pain was quite bad, bad enough to get me concerned. I decided to leave, still contemplating if I should actually go to emergency. As I approached the triage window, there was no one in line. It was a sign. Stay, get assessed and see what was going on. As I was assessed by the triage nurse, the pain really intensified that I could not even straighten out my body. I was hunched over.
I did get brought back and had an IV started on me. It is always enlightening to see things from a patient perspective. The odd person who walked by and just smiled at me really did make me feel so much better. Introducing themselves before they started anything was really something meaningful and comforting. I realized that these small touches were ever so important. You always hear that it is but until you are in that situation, you never truly realize the impact and the importance.
One thing that shocked the heck out of me was that my husband showed up. He is so freaked out by hospitals that I was sure he would not come. How utterly comforting to have him there even though 1) he felt they were piping in some special hospital smells through the ventilation, 2) he covered up the IV in my arm so that he didn't have to look at it and 3) he was feeling tingling and a weird feeling in his body just sitting there with me. Oh the power of love really does conquer all. He made time pass by more quickly and was a good distraction. I am so thankful having someone like him.
After having a soap suds enema (have given these but never received one) and then going for a sigmoidoscopy (nice, a tube with a camera on it up your butt), I realized how very vulnerable these patients feel. I was so close to having a full panic attack
as they were giving me sedation prior to the camera butt test that it took everything I had to calm myself down. Now I know why it is so important to connect with the patients, see how they are really doing and comfort them. The ones who look like they are "okay" really may not be deep down inside. They may just be a few millimeters from unraveling. Our hospital is a teaching unit so there were about 6 doctors in there watching what was happening. Nothing better than having my ass out for all to see. They took some biopsies and then the procedure was done.
Armed with new appointment and prescription, I was soon able to leave. Unable to drive, drink or cook (best part) for 24 hours, hubby took me and my daughter out for dinner. Not having eaten anything since 5 am, I was surprised I wasn't famished but by the time I took my first bite, I realized I was very hungry. So thankful that I could eat. I only had one episode of cramping and then it was over. Needless to say, it was an early bedtime for me. Who thought laying on a stretcher in emergency for the majority of the day was as exhausting as it was?
The new medication is a specific suppository (nice) that helps to decrease any inflammation in the lower colon. To be free of cramping and pain at this point I will do whatever. Imagine my surprise when I went to pick them up. A 3 month supply costs $200!! Thankfully our insurance covers the cost but it got me thinking, what about those without coverage? How do they pay for it? My thoughts are that they do not get the medicine and suffer with the pain and bleeding until it probably gets so bad that the disease gets way worse. This whole experience has really opened my eyes to how blessed I am in so many ways. Also, it makes me so very appreciative of our social workers who try so hard at getting resources set up for patients so that they can get the medication they need.
So now what? What about my workouts? They are currently on hold for a week to allow myself to heal, feel better and get rested. Still feeling tired which is totally due to the inflammation. What I did do was some baking this morning. With Xmas not so far away, I thought I should start some baking. I am low on baking supplies but had enough to make one batch of one of our favorites, Chocolate Drop Cookies
, that I only make over the holidays. Click on the link for the recipe. This one comes from Taste of Home but I altered it a bit. Instead of spreading a frosting on the top of the baked cookies, I added chocolate chips to the batter and then sprinkled vanilla sugar on them. I am sure that once you try these, they will become a holiday staple in your baking as well.
Remember, life is short. Sometimes all you can do is laugh to help release anxiety and stress.
Enjoy all moments, whether good or bad. Sometimes the bad moments remind us of the many blessings we have to be grateful for in our lives. This whole situation showed me that I am very blessed in so many ways.